Shelf Life: Albums, Books and Flicks from Then & Now
“The Pink Album”—Sunny Day Real Estate
In the early ’90s a genre stepped out from in between grunge and punk and said “I’ll have what you’re BOTH having. Now, pardon me while I cry AND yell.” No one knew what to call it, so they called it emo, which was a lame name, but it stuck. Emo has changed a lot, kids. If emo brings to mind Hot Topic and bangs, check out Real Estate’s debut album, Sunny Day Real Estate (often referred to as “The Pink Album”), and prepare for a musically life-affirming rabbit hole.
Mania—Fall Out Boy
According to Fall Out Boy, this record is “the most off script we’ve gone,” but the only thing Fall Out Boy fans heard was NEW RECORD NEW RECORD OMG OMG. All I know is as long as Patrick sings his cute face off the way he has been these past three albums, all will be right with the world, because there’s no bad news when there’s a new Fall Out Boy album. Note: This message is brought to you by the world’s oldest Fall Out Boy fan.
In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason
Published in 1985, In Country helped to reopen the doors for rural Southern authors, with its deceptively simple, distinctly Kentuckian voice. It’s the story of a young MTV-obsessed girl who learns about the Vietnam War through the ghosted memories of her father who died there, and the experiences of her uncle Emmett who was forever changed by it.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
In this tale from the acclaimed author of The Nightingale, Ernt Allbright, a former Vietnam POW, takes his family deep into the Alaska wilderness to escape the clamor of civilized life in 1974. But unforgiving conditions and isolation summon Allbright’s worst demons, and his wife and daughter find themselves trapped in their own home.
Ghost in the Shell
There are a few ’90s sci-fi touchstones that they will have to pry out of my cold, dead hands. One of them is William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer, and the other is the 1995 anime feature film Ghost in the Shell. I’m not going to explain it to you. It’s gorgeous, it’s majestic, it’s mind-blowing, and there’s a 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition that will knock your socks off. Go. Watch.
Blade Runner 2049
Skeptical of a Blade Runner sequel holding any water to the 1982 original? Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy, if not excellent, sequel. Director Denis Villeneuve gives us a story that’s noir-ish and mysterious and challenging—a film that’s truly visually stunning in its own right. If you didn’t like Ryan Gosling singing and dancing, trust me, he’s a great robot. Or is he? *ROLL CREDITS*
By Sharon Penny