Television

Reviews and Recaps!

Game of Thrones

Listen to Germar and often Jessica cover GoT better than anyone on the net.

Big Movies

Reviewed

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Isolated

In Episode 526, Germar talks about how the COVID-19 lock down has highlighted his most significant personal deficits. It's a personal pod, and may disappear soon.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

THE NBA's All-Time Team - Debated

In Episode 525, Jessica Slate returns to assemble the NBA's best possible 10-man roster. Germar and Jessica draft, debate, discuss, and duke it out. In the end, both squads are elite, but peek below to see the results of the draft, and simulated game. Apologies for the constant audio glitches; we just can't have nice things. For the sim, Germar had to swap out one player that is not yet available via sims. And to meet the player minimum, both teams picked up identical bottom of the league players. Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron; Jessica is @theJSlate.


The Draft

1. Germar - Shaquille O'Neal - '99-'00
2. Jessica - Kobe Bryant - '08-'09
3. Jessica - Lebron James - '15-'16
4. Germar - Michael Jordan - '95-'96
5. Jessica - Oscar Robertson - '64
6. Germar - Steph Curry - '15-'16
7. Jessica - Larry Bird - '85-'86
8. Germar - Kevin Durant - '13-'14
9. Jessica - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - '75-'76
10. Germar - Dirk Nowitski - '05
11. Jessica  - Magic Johnson - '86-'87
12. Germar - Hakeem Olajuwon - '92-'93
13. Jessica  - Karl Malone - '89
14. Germar - Charles Barkley - '92-'93
15. Jessica  - Carmelo Anthony - '09-'10
16. Germar - Steve Nash - '06-'07
17. Jessica - Bill Russell - '62
18. Germar - Scottie Pippen - '93-'94
19. Jessica - Allen Iverson - '02-'03
20. Germar - Zion Williamson - 2020 (replaced by Grant Hill '99-'00)

The Result
Simulation by WhatIfSports.com






Friday, March 13, 2020

Single Niki Wants to Date

In Episode 523, Germar talks to L.A. comic Niki Marinis. They discuss all things related to romance in 2020--apps, sex, and stalkers. It may get deep. But first, Germar sings a new theme song for the first time in almost seven years. You won't want to miss that. Follow Niki @NikiMarinis. Continue not following Germar everywhere @GermarDerron. NSFW.



Sunday, March 8, 2020

Queen & Slim

In Episode 522, Germar finally reviews the Black "Bonnie and Clyde," Queen & Slim (6:30). And he compares it to those wack Oscar-nominated movies you loved. But first, more podcast complaints. Apologies for the handling noise. Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Rankings: the Theeuhtahr [Updated: 3/7/20]

You love lists and Look to the Cookie doesn't do enough of them. Plus, Germar's life has shifted from music, to film, to . . . stage. And because he sees so many theatrical productions, he will rate and rank them here. Additionally, you're going to click this link because you want to know where your production ranks. This list does not include grade school or "junior" productions.

And remember, a score of 5.5 does not equal 55% or failure. It means that the show was better than 55% of all shows.


24. The Wizard of Oz (2013, Southern Arizona) 7.2/10 Monkeys flew, witches melted--an all-around technical achievement. But it was also three hours long and you know how it ends.


23. It's a Wonderful Life (2018, East Central Indiana) 7.2/10 The leads dazzled. But you really have to love this era of storytelling, to love this show, in 2018.

22. Willy Wonka (2019, East Central Indiana) 7.2/10 It's always all about the Oompa Loompas! It was Wonka . . . wacky and colorful and kid-friendly.


21. Harvey (2020, Central Indiana) 7.2/10 Each cast member played their part to perfection. Also, see above: It's a Wonderful Life.

20. Mamma Mia (2019, Michiana) 7.3/10 This Sophie SANGS. Beautiful cast. The director and choreographer put professional stamps all over this thing.

19. Tarzan (2019, East Central Indiana) 7.3/10 They used a real baby! They swung on vines and climbed trees. Go-ril-las stole the show. 


18. Scrooge: The Musical (2017, East Central Indiana) 7.4/10 Classic and timeless tale, done by a big diverse cast. Costumed fun.

17. Into the Woods (2019, Central Indiana) 7.4/10 Talented cast. The set designers and builders optimized, and creatively utilized, a tight space.


16. The Music Man (2019, Michiana) 7.5/10 The best ensemble performance ever. 


15. West Side Story (2018, East Central Indiana) 7.5/10 Every time Maria was on stage was the best thing you've seen on a stage. Rosalia . . . Anita . . . . Tony.



14. Now and Then (2019, Michiana) 7.6/10 Casual and modern. And by the end of the show, it's life-changing.


13. Cinderella (2018, Tour) 7.6/10 Beautiful set, world-class dancing, but no soul.


12. The Little Mermaid (2018, East Central Indiana) 7.6/10 Ariel nailed it. And the magic of the sea was felt throughout the performance.

11. Big River (2019, East Central Indiana) 7.7/10 I can't decide if the show is a story about:   1) two cons on the run; 2) crazy Tom Sawyer; or most likely 3) a love story between a white boy with a heart of gold and a runaway slave. Five outstanding performances made this a tough call.


10. First Date (2020, Michiana)  7.7/10 A show for people, born after 1984, who would rather see a movie than a play. A home run from the director.

9. Of Mice and Men (2019, East Central Indiana) 7.7/10 Tough tough show, made better and worse by excellent performances.    

8. Animal Farm (2012, Southern Arizona) 7.9/10 Beautiful, moving, and important. When those pigs started walking around in their overalls, you couldn't help but feel the hopelessness of the cycle. 

7. Peter and the Starcatcher (2018, East Central Indiana) 8/10 Odd. And one of the best stagey mcstage plays of all time. And who doesn't love Peter Pan?


6. Sister Act (2019, East Central Indiana) 8.5/10 F.U.N. Also, it's sexy (or it could be), funny, and colorful. Everyone in the cast got a chance to shine.

5. Matilda (2020, East Central Indiana) 8.7/10 Story? Weak and common. Writing? Random and superfluous. 8000 kids dancing in perfect sync, and singing in perfect harmony with perfect pitch in perfect Harry Potter accents? Nailed that shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

4. My Fair Lady (2017, East Central Indiana) 9/10 The perfect Eliza. Perfect direction.


3. Rock of Ages (2018, East Central Indiana) 9.3/10 If you like the 80s, or listen to the same 10 songs on some wack work FM stations, you'll love this. Plus, it's sexy and makes no sense.

2. Annie (2018, East Central Indiana)  9.5/10 THIS is cheating. Cute little girls, performing classic choreography, to Jay Z's most popular song.



1. Beauty and the Beast (2019, Farmland Indiana) 9.6/10 Everyone sang everything like Whitney sang The Star-Spangled Banner. Plus, they DANCED--DANCING in a show, in Indiana!!! I guess when you collect a check, you get the steps right.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Groupthink Impedes the Progress of the Nation

by Germar Derron



This is a small excerpt from a much larger study, and presentation, on groupthink. 

. . .
Group members support views, policies, and interests that oppose their personal beliefs for the benefits of group membership.17  “Groupthink as a concept is not novel.  A psychologist, Irving Janis, first explored groupthink18  in the 1970s.19   Subsequent studies heavily cite Janis’s work.20   Janis developed the theory while examining how government officials botched U.S. policy through the use of faulty decision-making procedures.21   Researchers cite groupthink as the principle cause of fundamental breakdowns in U.S. policymaking, including Watergate, the Bay of Pigs, Enron, the Department of Defense, Pearl Harbor, and the Vietnam War.22   Janis noted three groupthink conditions: “1) a cohesive23  group, 2) structural faults in decision making, and 3) situational context.”24
Janis describes cohesiveness as that communal 

warm-fuzzy feeling, and a sense of 
 “we.”25   This condition may be the most important in terms of promoting that sense of us-versus- them that shapes groupthink.  The three factors that define cohesiveness are: 1) a sense of belonging to a powerful group; 2) “homogeneity of the members' social backgrounds, ideologies, and cultural backgrounds;” and 3) admiration for the group’s leader, when the group has had past success.26   Cohesion may occur through functional ties, as in an off-duty military force, or even through loyalty to a common leader, 

notwithstanding inner-group conflict.27 

The structural faults component, of groupthink, typically involves: “1) inadequate decision making procedures, and 2) a lack of impartial leadership.”28   When decision-makers rely on faulty information, from external experts, they act inadequately.29  The consequences can be augmented when the relied upon experts are funded by the group, or selected based on results. Impartial leaders tend to announce their personal opinions, which pertain to group business, early and often, discourage dissent,30  and have parallel—possibly contravening—motivations that are external to the group’s function.
Groupthink occurs during situational contexts, such as “the need to make consequential policy decisions during a time of high stress.”31   When the stakes are high, group members look to other members to validate decisions that may be contrary to their personal morals, or group ethics.32   To avoid the accompanying attenuation of self-esteem members push towards consensus, for the feeling of support.33  In this way, group members deal with decisional stress well,34  but at a high cost.  Though individuals prosper, the group may stagnate, regress, or worse.          
Janis’s “symptoms” of groupthink include: 1) sense of invincibility; 2) belief in the group’s inherent morality; 3) collective rationalization, in spite of evidence to the contrary;35  4) stereotyping of other groups, and group members;36  5) self-censorship; 6) the illusion of unanimity; 7) pressure on dissenters; and 8) self-appointed mind guards.37   Fortunately, Janis provides “solutions” for these symptoms.  For example, groups should use a Devil’s advocate, hold “second-chance meetings,” and use different groups for different tasks,38  in support of a common goal.  I posit that groupthink may not always require solutions.

. . .

14                  Klein, supra note 8.
15                  Id. (citing Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind).
16                  Id.
17                  See id.
18                  Janis defined groupthink as, “[a] mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members; strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise
alternative courses of action.” Lt. Col. Harry J. “H-Man” Hewson, USMC, Hive Mind and Groupthink The Curse of the Perfect IPT, Defense AT&L (Nov.-Dec. 2005)
19                  Julie Venamore, Beware the demon called ‘groupthink, the lamp (Oct. 2003); Theodore E. Keats, M.D., The Diagnosis and Treatment of “Groupthink, Virginia Medical, Vol. 107 at 231 (Mar. 1980); Lt. Col. Harry J. “H-Man” Hewson, USMC, Hive Mind and Groupthink The Curse of the Perfect IPT, Defense AT&L (Nov.-Dec.
2005).
20                  See e.g., id.
21                  Marleen A. O'Connor, The Enron Board: The Perils of Groupthink, 71 U. Cin. L. Rev. 1233, 1257-58 (2003).
22                  See generally, Theodore E. Keats, M.D., The Diagnosis and Treatment of “Groupthink, Virginia Medical,
Vol. 107 at 231 (Mar. 1980); Lt. Col. Harry J. “H-Man” Hewson, USMC, Hive Mind and Groupthink The Curse of the Perfect IPT, Defense AT&L (Nov.-Dec. 2005); Marleen A. O'Connor, The Enron Board: The Perils of Groupthink, 71 U. Cin. L. Rev. 1233, 1257-58 (2003) (each source supports some of the assertion).
23                  The concept of cohesion is debated in the field of psychology.
24                  Marleen A. O'Connor, The Enron Board: The Perils of Groupthink, 71 U. Cin. L. Rev. 1233, 1259-60 (2003).
25                  Id. at 1261-62.
26                  Id.
27                  Id.
28                  Id. at 1267-68.
29                  Id.
30                  Id.
31                  Id. at 1267.
32                  Id.
33                  Id. at 1268.
34                  Id.
35                  Groupthink may relate to group solidarity, a separate but similar psycho-social concept.  But, solidarity cannot be accounted for because 1) field experts disagree on what constitutes group solidarity, and 2) groups in
solidarity lack access to contrary evidence, unlike “group-thinkers” who rationalize contrary evidence. See Douglas
D. Heckathorn and Judith E. Rosenstein, Group Solidarity as the Product of Collective Action:
Creation of Solidarity in a Population Of Injection  Drug Users, Group Cohesion, Trust and Solidarity, Vol.19 (2003); Michael Hecter, A theory of group solidarity, Research in Marketing, Vol. Suppl. 1, 285-324 (1982); Interview with Marieh Tanha, Ph.D. (Apr. 19, 2013).
36                  Here, points two, three, and four may be related or sub-grouped as (Janis does this, but under different
nomenclature) group polarization, or polarization judgment, an area of psychology that developed parallel to Janis’s
groupthink. See David G. Myers & Helmut Lamm, The group polarization phenomenon, Psychology Bulletin Vol.
83 (Jul. 1976); Marleen A. O'Connor, The Enron Board: The Perils of Groupthink, 71 U. Cin. L. Rev. 1233, 1260 (2003).
37                  Julie Venamore, Beware the demon called ‘groupthink, the lamp (Oct. 2003); Marleen A. O'Connor, The
Enron Board: The Perils of Groupthink, 71 U. Cin. L. Rev. 1233 (2003).
38                  Julie Venamore, Beware the demon called ‘groupthink, the lamp (Oct. 2003)

Healthcare for Most of Us

by Germar Derron

This is an award-winning essay that I wrote while in law school.

It was Sunday, muggy, and hot. I began a walk that I’d never forget. When I moved to Denver, into a hostel, a longtime resident shouted, “they hirin’ at the King Soopers!” I soon learned that King Soopers is the Colorado take on Atlanta’s Kroger grocery stores. I never worked there, but I shopped there twice a week. I often walked, through storms and trudged through snow, not for the picturesque scenery, but out of necessity. The city bus was an option, but my feet were faster. They didn’t have a schedule to keep, and they didn’t stop at each block. Cabs were too expensive. Normally, I reached the store within 20 minutes. About two blocks into this familiar trip, I felt a very unfamiliar “crampish” pain in my abdomen—right side. I thought “dehydration,” then stopped at the gas station, where I sometimes waited for the bus. There, I bought a Sprite; then, I continued on.

The pain worsened, as I thought to myself, “get to the store, get the groceries, go back home, take a nap.” I drank more and more of the Sprite, but it seemed to fuel the pain, like lighter-fluid igniting hot coals. Finally, I tossed the Sprite. As long as I held it, I sipped it. The more I sipped it, the more my body revolted. I tossed it. The pain intensified.

I continued on, towards the store. This would likely be my only chance to pick up food for the next three days. I passed seven restaurants on my way to the supermarket. They were beyond my budget. I thought, “get to the store, get the groceries, go back home, take a nap.” The air was thick; the wind whipped. The normally-light jaunt felt like a footrace in mud. After an ever-intensifying 45 minutes, I reached the store. The pain surged. I loosened my pants, hoping to feel some relief. My head throbbed. It seemed as if the sun was unusually bright, and people were unusually loud, and everything was unusually slow. I thought, “get the groceries, go back home, take a nap.”

I wanted to call someone, but lacking a phone or person to call, I just walked. I wondered what was going on in my body. I guessed appendicitis, but hoped for gas, or constipation. I shopped furiously, with no care for what I grabbed. My shopping constituted the smallest items in the store. I often paid three times as much for travel-sized items. I never bought in bulk, and I never spent more than 20 to 30 bucks. My normal routine included filling my book-bag with a few items, then carrying a large plastic bag in each hand, right and left. I lived in poverty. Premiums paid out of necessity are one of many unseen, unreported, and unfair expenses of poverty. I bought a big box of detergent once. For the next three days, I couldn’t lift my arms without wincing. On that day, I made sure to get a small bottle of concentrated liquid laundry detergent. I also bought the healthiest, cheapest, transportable food items available: frozen dinners, tortillas, and soda.

By the time I made it out of the store, the pain tore through my belly. This was childbirth, but not at all. The short walk home became an impossibility. It felt like an infuriated warrior stabbed my gut—over and over and over. The pain never eased, it only spread. I had to find a hospital, I might be dying.

Luckily, I shopped at a strip mall, one of the last places in this country, where one can find a pay phone. I dialed 911. A crowd gathered. Everyone knew that “something” was happening. Apparently, the authorities informed the store manager, because he raced out to find the cause of the disturbance. People mumbled about theft, violence, and mental illness. No one seemed to think that I might be a victim, or in need of assistance. I dropped my bags and clinched my side; food rolled everywhere. I informed the crowd that I was in pain, and had already called 911. The crowd dispersed.

A fire truck arrived within five minutes, and I thought, ‘“kcuf.’” I understood that when the call goes out, first come serve first. Of the emergency responders, firefighters often respond first because fire emergencies are reported less frequently than crimes and medical emergencies. They asked questions, and took vitals. I raised my hand for some reason, and my loosened-pants opened wide. I was “exposed” at the local grocery store, but I was in far too much pain to care. The ambulance arrived. Though I was present, and responsive, it was all a blur.

In the ambulance, I noticed that a young man took care of me, while taking orders from an attractive older woman. Training. Their new guy controlled my fate. I listened while they debated incessantly about my heart, appendix, kidneys, and intestines. I remained totally exposed until the trainee put on gloves, and made me decent again. He asked what hospital I preferred. I lived there for only a year or so. I knew no hospitals. I moaned a response: “the closest one.”

Denver, Colorado must not have many hospitals. When we finally arrived, I realized that I lived on the other side of the tracks. The hospital smelled like a potpourri factory. The halls were lined with beautiful paintings, roses, and candy cane. The staff catered and cooed, until they asked for an insurance card. I had no card and no insurance. I tried to enroll in a school plan, but they were too expensive. I worked two jobs, as a student employee, and never thought much about my lack of benefits. As a new resident, with no “real” employment, my options I had no options. Before moving to Denver, I received coverage from one of the big-three insurers. My monthly payment grew to $280 per month. As a student, my income averaged about $700 per month. I could never afford to pay as much as half of my total income to insurance, just in case something happened. Something happened.  
They said that I would see the doctor. Once I said, “no insurance,” no one mentioned a doctor again. But I heard him, just beyond my door, talking to the nurse. I asked for water multiple times. She responded twice, “no, not until we know what’s wrong.” After my third request, she asked the doctor.  He pleaded with her to get me water. “It’s likely a kidney stone. He’ll need to drink as much water as possible.” The thirst hurt almost as much as the stone. She filled a cup with water from the sink. It was warm. I could see a water cooler only three feet away.

I moaned and groaned for about 30 minutes. The pain hit nine (of ten) and remained. I explained that I took acetaminophen for pain, and possessed an unfilled prescription for anti-depressants. I could not afford seven to ten dollars per pill, especially for a Primary Care Physician’s assumption. While I moaned, I could hear them discussing me, as if I wasn’t there. They mentioned mental illness, drugs, and insurance. They confirmed the kidney stone, but believed that my response to the pain was an overreaction. My only actions consisted of muffled moans, and a slight arching of my back. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw my release papers. Part of the written diagnosis included: “mentally ill patient refuses to take medication.” The statement was untrue and unfounded, but nonetheless included in my medical record. Someone gave me morphine, and after some time, I was pain free, and asleep.

I was doped, dazed and drowsy when the nurse first asked for a urine sample. I fell asleep. When she asked the second time, she was furious and unconcerned for my lack of cognition. She didn’t point to a restroom, or close the door to my room. I asked where I should go, to provide the sample. She said, “I don’t care.” I urinated in a cup, in the emergency room, with the door open, totally unaware of where I was, and what was going on. I did not like this fancy fragrant hospital.

Later, a man in scrubs asked three times if I was ready to go. Each time he woke me, and each time I quickly fell asleep. During his third visit, he didn’t take no for an answer. He said, “it’s time to go!” On that occasion, he yanked the I.V. from my arm and ripped the attached tape off. It hurt. The adhesive side of the tape was covered with my arm hair. It hurt bad, but did the trick. It woke me. I bled a little lot. There were tape-shaped wounds on my left arm. Those scars remained for years.
I stumbled towards the exit, with some papers in hand. “What’s the name of this hospital? What side of town am I on? How far away is my home?” I only barely understood how to take public transportation to school. I borrowed a phone and phone book. I called a cab. The cab cost $40. Fortunately, my account balance was relatively high for me at $60. But then, I realized that I lost my groceries. I vaguely remembered firefighters trying to get my food into the ambulance. I was in too much pain to care about a few frozen dinners. I told them not to worry. I regretted that decision for a week.

The bill arrived within a few days: $15,000.00. The nearest ATM displayed an $18 balance, half of my $36 average balance. I shared a one bedroom apartment with a drug addict. I worked two part-time jobs for ten and twelve dollars an hour. Both rates reflected pay increases granted due to my graduate student status and experience in the fields. The other students envied my extra two dollars an hour. I was Rudolph. Our Santa loved me enough to make me the leader, but simultaneously ensured my status as a pariah. At the conclusion of that summer, and my time in graduate school, I was hired. I was hired because of my education, experience, and expertise. The job paid less than minimum wage.

For me, this story, and those like it, embody the healthcare quandary. Reform is a necessity. Under every policy before, and every currently ballyhooed idea, the impoverished citizen, who needs the most, receives the least. All educated, hard-working, law-abiding citizens should have equal access to essential care, regardless of their class, status, or account balance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act merely takes the first small step in the right direction.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Political Noise

In Episode 521, Germar wants you to get your information from unbiased sources, or at least from both sides of the aisle, but definitely not from Facebook memes. But first, how does he really feel about podcasts?

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Rankings: the Theeuhtahr [Updated: 2/22/20]

You love lists and Look to the Cookie doesn't do enough of them. Plus, Germar's life has shifted from music, to film, to . . . stage. And because he sees so many theatrical productions, he will rate and rank them here. Additionally, you're going to click this link because you want to know where your production ranks. This list does not include grade school or "junior" productions.

And remember, a score of 5.5 does not equal 55% or failure. It means that the show was better than 55% of all shows.


22. The Wizard of Oz (2013, Southern Arizona) 7.2/10 Monkeys flew, witches melted--an all-around technical achievement. But it was also three hours long and you know how it ends.


21. It's a Wonderful Life (2018, East Central Indiana) 7.2/10 The leads dazzled. But you really have to love this era of storytelling, to love this show, in 2018.

20. Willy Wonka (2019, East Central Indiana) 7.2/10 It's always all about the Oompa Loompas! It was Wonka . . . wacky and colorful and kid-friendly.


19. Mamma Mia (2019, Michiana) 7.3/10 This Sophie SANGS. Beautiful cast. The director and choreographer put professional stamps all over this thing.

18. Tarzan (2019, East Central Indiana) 7.3/10 They used a real baby! They swung on vines and climbed trees. Go-ril-las stole the show. 


17. Scrooge: The Musical (2017, East Central Indiana) 7.4/10 Classic and timeless tale, done by a big diverse cast. Costumed fun.

16. Into the Woods (2019, Central Indiana) 7.4/10 Talented cast. The set designers and builders optimized, and creatively utilized, a tight space.


15. The Music Man (2019, Michiana) 7.5/10 The best ensemble performance ever. 


14. West Side Story (2018, East Central Indiana) 7.5/10 Every time Maria was on stage was the best thing you've seen on a stage. Rosalia . . . Anita . . . . Tony.



13. Now and Then (2019, Michiana) 7.6/10 Casual and modern. And by the end of the show, it's life-changing.


12. Cinderella (2018, Tour) 7.6/10 Beautiful set, world-class dancing, but no soul.


11. The Little Mermaid (2018, East Central Indiana) 7.6/10 Ariel nailed it. And the magic of the sea was felt throughout the performance.

10. Big River (2019, East Central Indiana) 7.7/10 I can't decide if the show is a story about:   1) two cons on the run; 2) crazy Tom Sawyer; or most likely 3) a love story between a white boy with a heart of gold and a runaway slave. Five outstanding performances made this a tough call.


9. First Date (2020, Michiana)  7.7/10 A show for people, born after 1984, who would rather see a movie than a play. A home run from the director.

8. Of Mice and Men (2019, East Central Indiana) 7.7/10 Tough tough show, made better and worse by excellent performances.    

7. Animal Farm (2012, Southern Arizona) 7.9/10 Beautiful, moving, and important. When those pigs started walking around in their overalls, you couldn't help but feel the hopelessness of the cycle. 

6. Peter and the Starcatcher (2018, East Central Indiana) 8/10 Odd. And one of the best stagey mcstage plays of all time. And who doesn't love Peter Pan?


5. Sister Act (2019, East Central Indiana) 8.5/10 F.U.N. Also, it's sexy (or it could be), funny, and colorful. Everyone in the cast got a chance to shine.

4. My Fair Lady (2017, East Central Indiana) 9/10 The perfect Eliza. Perfect direction.


3. Rock of Ages (2018, East Central Indiana) 9.3/10 If you like the 80s, or listen to the same 10 songs on some wack work FM stations, you'll love this. Plus, it's sexy and makes no sense.

2. Annie (2018, East Central Indiana)  9.5/10 THIS is cheating. Cute little girls, performing classic choreography, to Jay Z's most popular song.



1. Beauty and the Beast (2019, Farmland Indiana) 9.6/10 Everyone sang everything like Whitney sang The Star-Spangled Banner. Plus, they DANCED--DANCING in a show, in Indiana!!! I guess when you collect a check, you get the steps right.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Indie Music: Zilla With Her Eyes Shut "Whisper Whisper"

by Germar Derron


This is in common time right? And also the common tongue (English)? But it doesn't feel that way. And yet, it also doesn't feel contrived. I need more--a larger sample size.

Supposedly, this fits under the ever-growing "Pop" umbrella (surreal or avant-garde). That argument must lean heavily on the . . . chorus, "whisper, whisper something." But that line--which could be the foundation of a most singable hook--refuses to linger long enough to allow the listener to get comfortable.

This song sounds like the feeling of watching Ari Aster's, Midsommar for the first time. Everyone expects a thing, but then receives another. Then, once you get a feel for this thing, and prepare for the logical right turn, the roller coaster jerks to the left, and suddenly stops upside down and underwater, before falling into a tall glass of quicksand. Was any of it real?

There's an incessant drone that could be a siren, or more aptly a warning. It's reminiscent of our current fascination with all things "dance" (especially the party/club scene). But overall, Zilla should remind you of . . . music--all. the. music.

The classical training is apparent from the first few bars. And beyond the kingdom of music major geekiness, exists a quaint village of strange storytellers, and splatter art. Last and not least, the vocals are sugary, light, and better than you might expect.

I end as I began; I need more. Like you, I'll just have to wait for the full album release on March 13th.

 
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