Welcome to CC Weekly. This new segment is a space for our Compact Culture writers to make rapid fire recommendations for new music, movies, TV, books, blogs, podcasts or whatever else we are enjoying in the moment.
CC Weekly Playlist 004
Andy: Every year I make a spreadsheet before Coachella. I put every artist on the list, alphabetize it and start working my way through. I try to give each artists at least two songs but some aren’t so lucky. Much of what made it on to the playlist this week comes straight from my Coachella research. Later this week, Jo and I will be sitting down to discuss everything we are excited to see at Coachella on The Record Club, so check back soon for more Coachella related content.
The Record Club 004 with Evan Stephens Hall of Pinegrove
Andy: This week on The Record Club, I sit down with Evan Stephens Hall of Pinegrove to discuss the creation of their fantastic new album Cardinal and how literature, location and family can shape the songwriting process. Check out Pinegrove’s music at pinegrove.bandcamp.com and be sure to follow them on Twitter @PinegroveBand
Your Compact TV Viewing Schedule
Eric: You’re behind on some shows, and they just keep piling up. Its hard to keep track, especially when you have all your streaming options to binge. We’ve taken the liberty of assembling your weekly viewing schedule to stay up to date on the best shows currently airing. Mark your calendars.
Sunday: The Walking Dead, Vinyl, The Circus, Girls
Monday: Better Call Saul, 11.22.63
Tuesday: The People vs OJ Simpson
Wednesday: Broad City, The Americans, The Path
Friday: Black Sails, VICE
Saturday: House of Cards, Daredevil
Thoughts On The Walking Dead Finale
Spoilers ambling ahead.
Eric: Despite its nearly infinite hordes of viewers, The Walking Dead has spent every last scrap of good will in its shuffling conclusion this past Sunday. Season 6 was, at times, TWD at its best. It brought a refreshing change of pace to its constant we-need-the-suppliers-but-there-are-walkers-between-here-and-there by adding political intrigue and large-scale battles with human and walker kind alike. Even then, the show still suffered from lackluster character development, resulting in, like other seasons, a great swath of episodes where its genuinely difficult to remember anything of significance or progress occurring. That of course comes with the territory, but when Glenn was seemingly devoured at the waist after taking a tumble into a horde of walkers, TWD had a shining glimmer of hope that only Game of Thrones has managed to capture. Certainly if Glenn could be killed, no one is off limits, and suddenly the predictability of TWD comes crashing down, making each episode an edge of your seat affair where side-characters and Carls alike can be taken down in the fray (a lesson that only GoT has fully embraced). However, when Glenn shows up at Alexandria with balloons in tow, it became readily apparent that AMC was not willing to go that extra mile.
Glenn’s double-take was enough of a groaner for one season, but AMC couldn’t help itself it seems. The long-awaited reveal of Negan is satisfying (especially with Jeffrey Dean Morgan at the helm), but only serves to burn all remaining good will. As Negan’s girlfriend Lucille (a barbed-wire-laced-baseball-bat) plays a game of eenie-meenie to find the lucky recipient of a few shattering blows to the head, we are filled again with the possibility of unpredictability. But as the blows finally do come, the camera switches to POV, shrouding the victim in mystery. Could it be Rick, or Carl, or Michonne? This all swirls in your head, until you realize that, oh wait, they’ve done this before. Glenn is apparently off limits, so certainly the only remaining options are your secondary guys like Rosita or Abraham, who we hold no particular attachment to. I’ll still tune in to any zombie show you throw at me and will follow Rick until the end, but the Season 6 finale potentially marks the beginning of the end for The Walking Dead: when the compulsion to string viewers along for as long as possible upheaves storytelling and leaves us all shrugging our shoulders in defeat.