WP Review: 7 Best Tracks of 2015

2015 was a year of grand triumphs for some, and of bitter defeat for others. ¬†Hip-hop saw the release of an incredibly acclaimed album, and the pop scene soared with the triumphant return of Adele. ¬†At the same time, indie veterans like Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie released LP’s to disappointment from fans and critics alike.

But all is not lost, as a new cast of characters appears to be emerging from the wings. ¬†Some have fully embraced the 21st century’s gradual shift toward a more intense, electronic sound. ¬†Others have rebelled into a sort of folk revival, painting lush and intricate scenes with the sparest of instrumentation. ¬†Either way, the face of music may look very different in a few years as these artists continue to grow and the stars of the 2000’s slowly wave goodbye.

We’re now halfway into this decade, and while some decry the music of this modern era, 2015 was home to a handful of standout tracks. ¬†Here are some of the ones I most enjoyed, in the hopes that you will enjoy them too.

Continue reading “WP Review: 7 Best Tracks of 2015”

Data-Determinism

‚ÄúIn the information age, we have embraced the language and priorities of technological intelligence to the exclusion of more visceral and emotional ways of understanding human existence.‚ÄĚ

– Bill McGarvey

read more (americamagazine.org)

In a world where technology is quickly establishing itself as a sort of pseudo-religion, articles like this one stand out as particularly timely and on point.  Source: America Magazine (a publication I highly recommend).


MLA source citation (good practice for college students…)

McGarvey, Bill. ¬†‚ÄúData-Determinism.‚ÄĚ ¬†America 28 Sept. 2015: 40. ¬†Print.

To the MOOOOOOONN! and the Official WP Photographer, F. Stop Fitzgerald

Welcome, good lords and ladies, to another edition of The Friday Review. ¬†This week, we bring you a space shuttle of a masterpiece that will (possibly) make you cry, and a book widely revered as a classic this side of paradise. ¬†So grab your ticket for the next bus to Princeton and a box of tissues, because it’s time for…

This Side of Paradise
F. Scott Fitzgerald | Scribner (1920)

F. Scott Fitzgerald is more widely known for his 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, but his debut novel,¬†This Side of Paradise¬†is worth the price of dinner too. ¬†If you are a fan of classic literature, you ought to give this one a go. ¬†If contemporary fiction is more your fare, or if you find romantic protagonists who can’t seem to grow up annoying (which is understandable), look elsewhere for your next read. ¬†This Side of Paradise definitely has its shining moments, but its lack of an actual ending, or at least a decent one, removes it from my ‚Äúmost loved‚ÄĚ shelf.

A novel that could use more direction, but a classic.  7 out of 10.

stars35

 


excellence-visualTo the Moon
Freebird Games | 2011

Oh, where to begin with¬†this one… ¬†Can video games be considered a work of art? ¬†With the creation of To the Moon, the answer to that question has become a resounding ‚ÄúYES.‚ÄĚ

Never have I played a game so firmly based on its story. ¬†And what a story it is. ¬†The setting: a future in which doctors can alter the memories of the dying to give them the sensation of having achieved their lifelong wishes. ¬†But it gets so much deeper from there. ¬†How it’s possible to connect with and care about characters rendered in 16-bit style graphics is beyond me, but it is. ¬†I get chills just thinking about the ending.

Some have argued that¬†To the Moon isn’t a game but an interactive movie. ¬†I disagree. ¬†Besides the fact that it lasts twice as long as the average film, it’s gameplay elements go beyond the mere advancement of the story. ¬†Although, it is obvious that the most effort was put into the game’s storytelling. ¬†It’s sparse, slightly repetitive gameplay is its only flaw.

However, the gameplay’s shortcomings detract nothing from the plot, which unfolds like a novel. ¬†It can be played¬†‚ÄĒ nay, experienced is the word ‚ÄĒ in a matter of 4 hours, but it need be no longer. ¬†Its touching story, poignant soundtrack, and multifaceted characters transcend any perceived limits of old-fashioned graphics, coalescing into an unforgettable experience that may find you reaching for that box of tissues.

tothemoon02

No longer need video games be ostracized from the world of art.  For that is truly what To the Moon succeeds in being.  9 out of 10.

stars45

Deathbed

Who says the Christian music scene can’t have 11-minute long epic pi√®ces de r√©sistance?

No one!

Granted, in my experience they are few and far between. ¬†Okay, this is the only one I’ve found to date. ¬†But Relient K gets major artist points for telling the story of an man’s entire life and conversion while holding your attention for over three times longer than most of the other songs on this record. ¬†And they do so with few bumps along the way.

It would be really super cool to see some mainstream Christian artists taking that kind of risk.

(If you find it slow at first, things really kick into gear at 1:17.)

IRONY

The countless people wishing for snow… They got it. ¬†And then some. ¬†A foot of it.

IMG_2610 I must confess to being among those people.  And while I was gladdened by its appearance, it had some unwelcome side effects.

  • Monday:¬†my choir’s annual Valentines’ Day Cabaret: postponed to March.
  • Saturday:¬†the restaurant where my brother cooks and at which we planned to eat: closed.
  • Sunday: piano recital:¬†postponed to next week.

Not to mention schools being closed and the road conditions. ¬†We’re not used to this much white stuff. But the irony is that practically all the reasons my grandparents came into town for the week did not happen. ¬†No Cabaret, no piano recital, no restaurant. ¬†I suppose the moral is be careful what you wish for. However, ever the optimist, I maintain it was still lovely to see them. ¬†And the sledding was pretty awesome. ¬†(I set a personal distance record. ¬†ūüėÄ ) So, consider this an official announcement: due to inclement weather, I have decided to postpone my birthday until March. ¬†(Do I have to pick a day? ¬†Oh fine then… how ’bout the 18th.) ¬†Thus, last week has been entirely, officially, and totally canceled. ¬†It never happened.

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Two more things I must add:

  1. My posts may be scarce and I may be slow in responding to your comments. ¬†I’m trying to avoid the internet as much as possible for Lent. ¬†(And I will write something about that at a later date.) ¬†Thank you for your patience.
  2. You must watch this video. ¬†It has joined David, I’ve Got Cake as one of the two videos I could literally watch over and over and over and over again and not get sick of and still laugh at.

Stay warm, folks.  God bless.