Professional wrestling is often a David vs Goliath story. A regular joe goes into battle against a hulking colossus, a beer swilling redneck fights against his corporate employers, or a small upstart promotion tries taking on the establishment. Killing the Business by Nick and Matt Jackson ("The Young Bucks") settles into this groove nicely. Smaller, athletic brothers (not twins, they'll point out) raised in the pro-wrestling oasis of Southern California, the Jacksons found international fame (and infamy) through hard work, luck, and more than a few missteps along the way. A breezy read, Killing the Business is among the best pro wrestling books published in the past few years. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll
Once again, a new Murakami short story collection is upon us. Much like the recent Men Without Women, First Person Singular finds the legendary Murakami at a more grounded headspace than some of his previous work. Save for the one story featuring an English speaking, beer drinking monkey who works (and washes backs, apparently) at an inn, these stories find the author once again diving into the everyday.
As the title suggests, every story here is a first person narrative, though it can be argued most of the “I” in these tales is often not Haruki himself. Even the selection in which Murakami straightforwardly seems to be writing memoir features details that will be recognizably fiction to long time readers.
Several of these stories have been featured in various literary magazines over the past half decade or so, but fans will be excited to have a new collection to dive into. For me, the pleasure and beauty of Murakami’s work is not what the words say, but how they make you feel. We’ve all been there; cheering on a hopeless local sports team, bothered by a nosy stranger at a bar, or having a fleeting memory of a friend turned stranger years ago. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll
The first new Bright Eyes record in a decade doesn't disappoint. Producer extraordinaire Mike Mogis perfectly brings back that classic sound that fans have been looking for since The People's Key. Glitchy drums, reverb heavy vocals, and those odd little background noises could easily have fans thinking this was recorded alongside 2005's Digital Ash in a Digital Urn.Conor Oberst's lyrics are dark, and more outward looking than those of his more emo past, although who can blame the guy for not being all that enthused these days? ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll
Reductively, this is The Onion for music, and music-adjacent interests. Not only are the "headlines" eye catching and chuckle-worthy, but the articles are extremely clever and full of Easter eggs for those in the know. I'd go so far as to say this might be a must-buy for those interested. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll