A little while back, you might recall, Dan wrote a paean to Billy Joel’s 100 Greatest Songs. Naturally, as a male, my first reaction was: I have to equal or surpass his work–by proffering a list of the top 100 songs from my favorite artist, U2. As someone who’s seen Bono’s clan 10 times in concert, believes them to be much more nuanced than the casual listener would claim, and long ago burned out most of my friends and family with how much I talked about them, I felt thoroughly qualified for such a job.
But then I realized something after performing some high-level math—ignoring B-sides and the like, U2 has released just 139 songs in their career, and that number includes the extraneous nonsense on Rattle and Hum, plus, you know, all of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Therefore, I decided to tap out at 50. The unfortunate mine’s-shorter concession is mitigated by the delightful fact that I don’t have to articulate thoughts on “Get On Your Boots.” (For the sake of fun and snark, I’ve also included a few tangential thoughts on popular songs that didn’t make the cut.)
I’m going solo and weirdly specific for the third iteration of the Earn This Mixtape. Here are eighteen covers of the seminal holiday classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, separated into the good, the bad, and — since this is the internet — the ugly.
At last, we’re coming to the end of the long drawn-out Film Favorites Countdown. My apologies to those of you who have been waiting patiently for the epic conclusion – hopefully the delay has at least served to create some suspense.
That said, we’re finally into the much-revered TOP THREE slots of the Countdown! We start off with a film which dares to ask the question: What could be better than a science-fiction-tinged mystery set in the Victorian era?
And follows it up with the only possible answer, surprising in its simplicity: Throw in Batman and Wolverine, fighting in top hats. Continue reading →
Now that Halloween season has come and gone, we return to the much anticipated final posts in the 100 Film Favorites Countdown. Even though at least one astute reader among you has already deduced the remaining Top 3 posts still to come, I’ll try to make them interesting all the same.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m about to talk about Fight Club.
Yes, I realize I’m breaking the first two rules.
A brief note here: Both “Fight Club” and my next selection feature pivotal twist endings. Thus, both this and the following entry may be slightly shorter than other recent posts, so as to avoid spoilers.
Fight Club, based on Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel of the same name, opens, chronologically speaking, with its unnamed protagonist (Edward Norton) suffering from insomnia. An automobile safety inspector, he constantly jets across the country, analyzing car accidents and calculating whether monetary losses due to potential lawsuits justify his company’s issuing a recall. This detached view toward human suffering combines with his incessant jet-lag to instill in the narrator feelings of isolation and insignificance. Continue reading →
We’ve made it at long last to the TOP FIVE! I know we technically should have reached the end long before now (if I’d kept my daily pace we would have ended on the 3rd). Regardless, we’re finally into the home stretch. Welcome to the Final Five Favorite Film Favorites.
If you’ve been paying attention thus far, you may have seen today’s selection coming. In fact, you might be able to guess a couple of the other films still to come. Today, we complete the Back to the Future trilogy with its first entry. On the Countdown post reviewing either Part II or III of the series, Pratyush Dubey commented that the sequels should have ranked closer to the end of the Countdown. Well, if all three Back to the Future “Parts” were considered together, as a single six-hour supermovie, it might very well rank among my top 3 Film Favorites. The masterful use of running gags, common themes, and a deep, coherent, and consistent film-world combine to make “BttF” arguably the best film trilogy ever made. Continue reading →
Pop is the most widely beloved, enduring, and profitable form of music in the age of recording studios. Probably because of this, it doesn’t get a lot of respect from hipsters, which makes it easy to find online music hubs filled with nothing but loathing and pity for the millions blasting Top 40 on the highway. At Earn This, though, we’re more than open minded. The truth is that we love the stuffing out of pop, and nobody has done more to win our love than Karl Sandberg.
Not a name you know? Well, first let me clarify that he works under the alias of “Max Martin,” and second, know that he’s not a pop artist at all. He’s a writer, producer, magician, and star-maker. And you have been living your life surrounded by his works whether you knew it or not. Let our mixtape guide you through some of Martin’s first, some of his finest, and some of our favorites. (A Spotify playlist of our picks is embedded at the end.)
100 Film Favorites – #6: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
(Steven Spielberg, 1989)
“I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne… ‘Let my armies be the rocks, and the trees, and the birds in the sky.’”
The third Indiana Jones film opens with the titular adventurer as a boy (played by rising teen heartthrob River Phoenix, who would die of a drug overdose less than four years later). On a Scouting trip with his troop through the canyons of Utah, Young Indy sneaks away to trail a group of treasure hunters who have purloined a golden cross which once belonged to Conquistador explorer Francisco de Coronado. Believing that “it belongs in a museum,” Indiana stealthily snatches the cross and races across the desert on his horse, with the posse of grave-robbing goons in hot pursuit. The action rises to improbable new heights when Indy climbs aboard a passing circus train. Soon, he and the thugs are dodging not just each other, but also the horns and fangs of angered lions and rhinoceri. Continue reading →
This is the first in a hopefully-recurring feature where the writers of Earn This will choose some genre or theme, collectively pick twenty or so of their favorite songs under that umbrella, and write a few words about each song. If we’re motivated, we’ll even embed a Spotify playlist.
For our first entry, Dan and Grant each picked ten pop-punk songs. We were a little unsure where to draw the boundaries of “pop-punk” — Grant suggested we use “anything that wouldn’t sound out of place on the American Pie 2 soundtrack” as a starting point. We included some songs that others may call “emo” or “power pop” or something else instead of pop-punk. Oh well, it’s our list. Continue reading →
Of all the many, many positive changes that result from leaving summer in the rear-view every September, one that has relevance to this blog is the return of a regular TV schedule. And one returning show that has relevance to this author is the oft-discussed “How I Met Your Mother.”