Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties - We Don't Have Each Other

Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties -
We Have Each Other

Hopeless Records
Release Date: July 8, 2014
When Dan Campbell announced his first outing as a solo artist, under the moniker Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties, the immediate anticipation was palpable. Over the last four years, Campbell and The Wonder Years have built themselves up to the undisputed leader of their wave of pop punk.  The hyper-personal lyricism and aggressively catchy musicianship has defined Campbell, both as the front person of his own band and as an increasingly more used guest vocalist within the scene.  With Aaron West, Campbell promised a change in pace.  Replacing his self-referential lyricism with a wholly fabricated character, and trading the high speed musicianship for something more stripped down and folksy, Campbell has delivered something different with his new outlet.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dowsing - I Don't Even Care Anymore

Dowsing - I Don't Even Care Anymore
Count Your Lucky Stars
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Looks have frequently been deceiving for Chicago, IL’s Dowsing. Dating back to their earlier EPs, the band has frequently used their own brand of humor to mask the sharp, personal lyricism of vocalist/guitarist Erik Hunter Czaja. From the Arrested Development referencing title “…And That’s Why You Always Leave A Note!” to the wildly amusing artwork for their debut album, It’s Pretty Terrible, Dowsing have always sported a sense of fun that is generally lacking in the contemporary emo scene, at least when it comes to the bands’ art.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Dangerous Summer - Golden Record

The Dangerous Summer - Golden Record
Hopeless Records
Release Date: August 6, 2013

Life hasn't been easy for The Dangerous Summer. Over the course of the last few years, we've seen them cancel a number of shows and tours as well as going through line up changes and inciting what some would categorize as "drama," but I won't get into that. What really matters, at the end of the day, is the music, and both their debut album Reach For The Sun and the follow up War Paint have connected with fans on a very personal level, with the latter being the one I hold closest to my own heart. Putting all of the external conflicts aside, the anticipation for the band's Third LP, Golden Record, has been pretty high. While the record may not be the defining Dangerous Summer album the title would suggest, it still contains many of their strongest songs to date.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Track-by-Track: Dowsing - I Don't Even Care Anymore

Today marks the release of Dowsing's sophomore album, I Don't Even Care Anymore, the follow up to last year's It's Still Pretty Terrible. To celebrate the new album, Dowsing vocalist/guitarist Erik Hunter Czaja has given Sanctuary Review a rundown of what's behind the silly album title, artwork, and song titles that actually make up one of the most deceivingly unsettling albums of the year. After reading through the track-by-track for I Don't Even Care Anymore, be sure to check the band's new album, out today through Count Your Lucky Stars.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Movie Review: Drinking Buddies

Drinking Buddies
Joe Swanberg
Release Date: August 23, 2013
The so-called "mumblecore" movement is on its way to its Hollywood moment right now.  The heavily naturalistic subgenre often times dealt with largely unknown performers, who, if they were known, came to recognition through films of the genre.  Thought there are still many directors rooted in the origins of the style, the more prominent names are starting to progress forward. The Duplass Brothers have gone on to work with the likes of Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, and Susan Sarandon in the last couple years, while Lynn Shelton collaborated last year with Emily Blunt and this year with Ellen Page.  The latest film maker to jump into the realm of blending mumblecore with commercial appeal is the prolific Joe Swanberg with his 13th feature in eight years, Drinking Buddies.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Movie Review: The Way, Way Back

The Way, Way Back
Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
Release Date: July 5, 2013
In its early days, Sundance Film Festival was a crucial part in launching the careers of budding auteurs.  Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, and Paul Thomas Anderson are amongst the many who got their footing through the Utah situated festival.  And, while back in the 90's it may have looked like a mini Cannes, these days the festival has become increasingly known for the myriad of coming of age/quirky dramedies that flood the cinemas of Park City every January.

It seems that since the bewildering success of 2006's Little Miss Sunshine, a film that went on to be nominated for and win plenty of awards even after leaving Park City empty handed, nearly half of the festival's schedule is comprised of films from directors hoping to repeat the same success.  For all the films that try, we rarely ever see many get the wide platform to attempt to recreate that level of recognition.  This year's Sundance big ticket comes in the form of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's directorial debut, The Way, Way Back.

Movie Review: The To Do List

The To Do List
Maggie Carey
Release Date: July 26, 2013
The sex comedy can easily be considered a weak link the realm of comedy films.  Although the sub genre has upheld some memorable releases (see: the first American Pie, Superbad, The 40 Year Old Virgin), it's a genre where the bad (see: every other American Pie movie, your local Walmart's bin of straight to DVD releases) outweighs the good more than any other.  It has become increasingly rare that one of these films makes its way into theaters, and even more rare that it's given such a wide platform.  This summer sees first time writer-director Maggie Carey's tribute to 1993, The To Do List, getting that exact platform in a shockingly risky move from distributor CBS Films.