To Infinity and Beyond Burgers, Hot Dogs, Beer, and Popcorn!

America’s Dad, Tom Hanks- unfortunate affiliation with Chet Hanks, aka Chet Haze, has lent his booming and iconic voice to countless films and audio-visual mediums. I mean the man was in the Green Mile, and Catch Me If You Can, and he and made me ugly cry in Toy Story 3.

Who doesn’t love Tom Hanks?!

While Major League Baseball is back, crowds and concession connoisseurs are still watching from the couch. Which led to a very famous actor lending his voice to the loudest people in the stands. No, not Yankees fans.  

Tom Hanks will be heard as the faux- concession hawker for the Oakland Athletics.

Why? Because the world is crazy enough as is right now? Why are you asking why? We don’t have all the answers, jeez….

A Ruff Time to be a Paw Pa-troll

[Earth, 2120]

Alien 1: Grandpa, please tell me about the year 2020 again.

Alien 2: Well, Zorgnilafu, it was weird as hell. There was sickness, we had riots about whether or not the Galactic Stormtroopers, or as we knew them, the police, should murder innocents, and the scourge of Karens swept the planet!

Alien 1: That sounds terrible, Grandpa Flinglingdorfinshmorf!

Alien 2: It was, my sweet alien grandson. But it wasn’t all a horrendous flaming fart sarcophagus of a year.

Alien 1: It wasn’t?

Alien 2: No, it wasn’t. Because on Friday, July 24th, 2020, then-President Trump mistakenly believed that the hilarious and adorable kids’ show, Paw Patrol, was taken off the air. He was even distraught about it! His Press Secretary admitted to the national public that the President of the United States was “appalled by cancel culture and cancel culture specifically as it pertains to cops. [He] saw a few weeks ago that Paw Patrol, a cartoon about cops, was canceled.”

It’s true, the most powerful buffoon on planet Earth, actually believed, and relayed to the press, that a TV show about talking cartoon puppies, was canceled as a response to the backlash of cops after the murder of George Floyd.

While cop-porn shows like COPS and Live PD, which incredulously paired soft reggaeton music to videos of angry police officers slamming criminals, were taken off the air, cancel culture has not come for Paw Patrol yet.

This is probably because the characters of Paw Patrol protect and serve their communities. As Wren Graves of Consequence of Sound reports, “One works in construction zones, one is a firefighter, one specializes in underwater rescues, and yes, a lone German Shepard works as a police K-9.”

Sounds a lot like we should Defund the Police, not Defund the Bichon Frise.

Not All There is Almost There

By Jake Kaufman

One Lawrence band will soon not just be taking Douglas county by storm, but the whole state of Kansas, probably the Midwest, and time will tell, but maybe even the country. Not All There https://www.instagram.com/_notallthere_/ , an Indie rock band started by University of Kansas Senior, Brett Gilgus, is set to come out with their debut single, Time Will Tell, on August 1.

Like all bands, they have a story on how they came together. Some are started in their parents’ garage, others have auditions, but that wasn’t the case for this up and coming group.

“I work at Jazzhaus as a door guy and I started singing karaoke when I was working. The lady who works there said, ‘oh you’re pretty good,” Gilgus said.

Brett went on to tell her that he had a band that would love to set a date and perform at Jazzhaus. But that was far from the truth. Although Brett had people in mind to get a band together, there was no band. It was at that moment he knew he had to act fast and get the group together.

Before he [Brett] knew it, KU graduate, Max Meininger was at drums, Oklahoma State Senior, Will Padek was at bass and keyboard, and Not All There was there.

“I think we needed that little bit of pressure to actually do something. There’s a show that’s booked for a band that kind of exists, and we had to turn it into something,” Meininger said.

With the band together, they started off mostly playing covers at bars around Lawrence, and one time at the rooftop of Corrigan Station in Kansas City. Now, they’re making their own music and taking things to the next level.

“The initial goal was to kind of just play bars, but then we decided it’s more fun to write our own songs, and become actual musicians,” Gilgus said.

In addition to Time Will Tell, the band is coming out with another song, Quarantine my Clementine, a music video and a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the Granada, Bottleneck and Jazzhaus on August 7.

“With quarantine, those live venues have been hit the hardest. Everyone who works there and everyone who is a part of it relies on events, but events haven’t been happening for three, four months. It’s really tough for them to stay alive, so we want to make sure that music in Lawrence is here for years to come,” Gilgus said.

“It’s such an important thing to so many people in this town too,” Meininger said. “Just having a pretty strong interest in the arts, going to participate in something like a concert is something that a lot of people like to do, and you can’t do it right now.” 

Just like all of us who are dying to go to a concert again, Not All There is dying to have a live performance again. The last show they put on was January 21 at Bullwinkles in Lawrence, Kansas, then Coronavirus ended up putting a halt to all other live performances they had lined up.

“We’re really trying to do our best to put ourselves in the best position to hit it hard [explicit] right when all this stuff blows over, and play at bigger venues. This is a great chance to build our following, as far as our original music, because that didn’t exist a couple months ago,” Gilgus said.

They might not know it, but Not All There, in my opinion, is as there as they’ve ever been, and they have corona to thank for it. Yes, they would have had more shows, and a handful more people would have heard them for the first time, but if it wasn’t for this pandemic, Quarantine my Clementine would have never been a thought.

I had the pleasure to get an early listen to their upcoming singles, and trust me when I tell you this; this song will put them on the map. No song has hit me as strong as Quarantine my Clementine has in a long time. It’s a song that everyone in the world can relate to. A song that not only will make you miss your friends that you haven’t seen in months, but remind you to treasure every moment that you have with the people you love, because you never know when the last time you see them will be.

Just like the name of their debut single, time will tell if this band captures people’s hearts. But if there’s one thing certain, Your Culture Vulture will keep you up to date on their music, and their crowdfunding campaign. #SaveOurStages

Taylor Swifts’ “For Emma, Forever Ago” Moment

Come on, Skinny Love, just last the year.

These lyrics conjure an emotion. More than that, they can soothe, they can bite, they can heal, and they can love.

When Taylor Swift touches pen to paper, she’s usually doing all of these things, and she’s doing it in a pop song. The difficulty of actually saying something on a pop track, that’s something special. To take a step away from the lights and the fame and return to nature? That’s something else.

So to hear that Taylor Swift put out an indie-folk album for quarantine times?
It’s like, “Where do I sign up?!”

T Swift has always been an assassin with an acoustic guitar, and as skilled as a surgeon with the pen. The girl knows how to write songs that will cut you to your emotional core, and keep you coming back for more. Whatever your opinions on her, she is a pop music Mozart. 

Now that arenas are shut down, along with members of Bon Iver and The National, Taylor made her most personal and visceral album yet. Like the album cover, folklore, is much like a walk in the woods. It’s seeing the forest for the trees. It’s taking a deep breath when things seem most hectic. It’s a true return to form, and it’s brilliant. 

The lead single is “Cardigan,” which is a slow burn, built around acoustic guitars, ruminating synths, and Swift’s voice, laid heavenly atop it all.

“These hands had to let it go free, and this love came back to me” Swift swoons as the song builds and builds until it bursts.

“Exile” features the man of the woods himself, Bon Iver. It sounds a lot like you’d expect a T Swift / Bon Iver collab to sound like- it’s extraordinarily beautiful. Swift’s voice is teeming with soul, and it’s almost like the heartbreak she’s feeling can be transferred through the music and injected straight to the heart. She’s really laying it all out on this album, and then the addition of Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver, takes it to the next level.

For Swift, quarantine was a moment to slow down. Like Vernon did, when he recorded his revelatory “For Emma, Forever Ago,” there is a reason behind the isolation. There is comfort in the solace. Peace in the silence.

Folklore may be Swift’s bravest album yet. It doesn’t sound like a pop album, it sounds like a woman, not a girl, getting her emotions out on the page like never before. She’s back with guitar in hand, ready to lay it all out on the line. It’s refreshing and it’s solemn. It’s comfortable like an old hoodie or a fire on a winter night.

In a day and age where everything carries it’s barbs, news hits like a dagger, and kindness is kicked to the curb like yesterday’s garbage, Swift somehow picks up the pieces of it all and creates something extraordinarily beautiful.

On folklore, Swift makes her proclaimation, just as Bon Iver did so many years ago:

“And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
And in the morning I’ll be with you
But it will be a different kind
And I’ll be holding all the tickets
And you’ll be owning all the fines”

Gordi’s Wrecking Ball Wrecks Us All

Gordi is an Australian musician who creates gorgeous yet brutal music. Her sophomore album, Our Two Skins, is a beautiful, devastating thing. The emotionality of her lyrics, her soulful voice, and the fragile instrumentation makes for a perfect rainy day listen.

Which is perfect because it just happened to be raining just on my face while listening to her rendition of “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus.

Not just anyone can cover this song. This ain’t karaoke during after hours at the Chili’s. Gordi absolutely belts this thing out and instantly shattered any hearts or souls in a 5 mile radius. 

In the behind-the-scenes video, where the Aussie talks with Like a Version, she explains why she chose the song.

“I really like “Wrecking Ball” because it was one of the first moments that Miley really broke the chains from her Disney upbringing,” she continued. “I think, especially as a young woman being brought up in the spotlight like that, she was taking ownership over her own life again, which I thought was really cool.”

Additionally, she mentioned that her friends have called her Hannah Montana for years because “I was leading this double life of being a musician and also going through medical school.”

Needle in the Hay Vol 5. – Rick Rubin x André 3000 (Broken Record Podcast)

Positivity flows like a fine wine, getting better everyday. Inspiration, creativity, passion, these are the charcuterie board of what makes great artists and great conversation.

Two of the world’s most interesting humans alive got together to chop it up, and to say it was an insightful and thought-provoking conversation would be an enormous understatement. 

Andre 3000, aka 3 Stacks, aka one half of the greatest hip hop group of all time, Outkast, has spent most of his time outside of the limelight since Outkast dismantled in 2006. He’s lent his talents to Frank Ocean, Beyonce, and a couple others, but he’s relatively under the radar.

Rick Rubin, the genius producer, zen master, and one of the coolest guys alive, cut his teeth producing for the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J, and many more. But he didn’t create a legacy of building up and supporting artists through their creative journey just to sit back and let the culture pass him by. He’s remained a foundational member of pop culture to this day, helping artists like Pharrell, Brockhampton, SZA, and so many more not just produce their albums, but find their whole sound, and find themselves in the process.

Rick Rubin has been running his podcast, Broken Record, from the converted bus on his property dubbed Shangri La, out in Malibu, and has conversed with some of music’s biggest names, but the one that took my breath away was his interview with Andre. 

This chat is filled to the brim with wisdom, and it feels a lot like listening to an Andre record, or a Rubin produced song, you can feel it in your bones, it soothes the spirit, and gives us hope for the future. 

What We’re Watching Right Now: Girl Talk live at Panorama Festival 2017 New York City 

When I first discovered Girl Talk, my brain exploded so hard, that I needed a couple of weeks to recover. 

Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, is easily the most prominent name in mashup music and has been around since 2002. He’ll put Young Thug on an Elton John song, and before your brain can register what just happened, Ice Cube is rapping on top of a Bee Gees track. But he won’t just mashup 2 songs, he’ll bombard your eardrums with 20-25 songs Frankenstein-ed into one track. It’s audio assault in the most exhilarating and exciting way possible. 

His shows are also an absolute party. The energy is electrifying and the music is just ridiculously fun. Balloons drop within the first minute of the show, toilet paper guns fire streamers of single-ply at the partiers, and people’s minds are constantly being blown by hearing 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club” being mashed together with Vampire Weekend’s “A Punk.”

Girl Talk is a creative genius on levels I can’t express enough. We’d be here all week listening to me wane on about how he fought hard for sample culture and creativity to do whatever feels right in music, but for now, let’s kick back and watch this party unfold together. 

Be Excellent to Each other

With AMC postponing their re-opening, and the success of releasing films like Palm Springs and King of Staten Island on-demand, going to the cinema is not always necessary to have an excellent time.

That’s why Bill and Ted Face the Music is poised to rock your living room on September 1st.

The follow-up to 1989’s Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and 1991’s Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey comes with the package duo of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter.

The movie looks incredible, and seeing Keanu return to his stoner goofball self, just a couple years removed from his murderous, badass John Wick role, we just couldn’t be more excited.

And please remember, be excellent to each other.  

J Cole and the Inevitable Everything

J Cole is an anomaly. Zack Fox’s to JID’s “Workin Out” perfectly summarizes this.

“I fuck with y’all n*****, bro / why that n**** J. Cole Got all this money, look like he ’bout to borrow somebody charger or something / “C’mon bruh, let me get your charger bruh / Let me get my shit to uh, uh 10% percent And I’ll give this shit back to you bruh bruh” / C’mon bruh flex some of that Dreamville money, let me see it.”

The massive success of the North Carolina rapper is nothing less than incredible. Truly the hardest working rapper from 1998 on, dropped 3 truly great mixtapes, got signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation, and has been on fire since, while spitting conscious, thought provoking, yet hard rap music. He’s headlined arenas, held his own music festivals, created his own label, got dismantled by NoName, and continues to put out some of the most highly anticipated music. 

The dude is a phenom, and his next album, The Fall Off, is set to be another chart topper. The rhyme sayer just released the first two tracks from it, and they are both fire.

Check them out here

Needle in the Hay- Perfume Genius, Live on Fallon

Remember concerts? The feeling you get in your gut as the lights go down. Feeling guitars, bass, drums, electricity fill the air, sometimes being swallowed entirely by the sound. The sway of the crowd, and the carefree push of a moshpit. Watching your best friend smile and sing along during their favorite song. The out of body losing-of-yourself that only happens during a live show.

Yeah, we miss shows too.

While we’re still far away from meeting up together on the floor, some days we feel just a step closer. Jimmy Fallon featured musical guest Perfume Genius on Tuesday and we actually got to see real live music, albeit from an empty venue. 

The song “On the Floor” really brought the heat. The chugging organ, the slick guitar, and the melodies are second to none. Singer Mike Hadreas swooned sensually, singing and swaying with the grace and elegance of nothing less than a Queen.

It may not be a live show, but it’ll do for now! I found myself dancing along, wishing I could sashay like Hadreas. If nothing else, it brought joy, and that’s what live music should do. 

Watch the performance here 

A birds eye view of the scene.