Concert review: Bad Religion

Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY – August 3, 2019

Dreamed last night that I saw Bad Religion play in an undisclosed space roughly the size of a meat locker. We as fans were uncomfortably packed in – social distancing was not observed – and the band noticeably pent up and airtight. BR unleashed a quartet of personal favorites I would’ve never expected to hear live, and don’t expect I ever will again, before exiting stage left as if seized by the realization that a horrible mistake had been made. I shook Greg Graffin’s hand on his way out, or at least grazed his shoulder in passing. As dreams go lately, I’ll take it. Don’t worry, though. I like to confine my concert reviews to the realm of non-fiction, and so what you’re reading isn’t some embellished field report on that figment of my imagination. The harsh logistics of life under self-imposed quarantine haven’t yet pushed me to the point of whole cloth invention of performances with which I might theoretically ply and impress you. (I repeat, yet.) Continue reading “Concert review: Bad Religion”

Movie review: “Carrie” (1976)

“Well, who should we vote for? They’re more your crowd than mine. (she thinks) I don’t even have a crowd.”

“Why don’t we vote for ourselves?”

“No!”

“Why not?”

“Please, don’t vote for ourselves!”

“Carrie. (smiles at her reassuringly) C’mon. To the devil with false modesty.”

(she thinks, finally smiles in return) “To the devil.”

I read Stephen King’s debut novel Carrie over the course of a single, white-knuckle weekend back in high school and haven’t revisited it since. Neither of those statements is particularly surprising in retrospect. King was my first, second, and third favorite author growing up. Whereas typical kids can be counted on to occasionally skip schoolwork to indulge in unconstructive extracurriculars, I too often found myself immersed in choice cuts from Night Shift or Skeleton Crew instead of my own assigned reading. The breadth of King’s literary domain has rendered his lesser tomes somewhat disposable, and Carrie certainly isn’t one of his best. Structured largely as a series of small town newspaper articles covering the aftermath and, retroactively, the background and lead-up to a sensational local tragedy, it reads like the growing pains of an ambitious first-time author manifesting in real time. Continue reading “Movie review: “Carrie” (1976)”