5 Reasons Why Tim Burton’s “Wednesday” is Worth the Binge

5 Reasons Why Tim Burton’s “Wednesday” is Worth the Binge

In case you have been living under a rock or in a hollow tree, Tim Burton’s latest addition to the Disney universe – the series reimagination of The Addams Family, aptly titled Wednesday – has been making waves since its Netflix release on November 23rd. While purists might not be immediately ready to dive in, I binged the series (3 times) and heavily encourage you to do so as well. Here’s why.

“Wednesday” Is A Welcome Departure From Reality

Reality has been dark. But Wednesday? She’s darker. A teen nightmare who is obsessed with all things evil is absolutely entertaining. The closest we can get to having friends like Wednesday is if we unironically hang out with gothic peers or take a time machine back to the aughts emo scene. Existing in the orbit of someone this maniacal isn’t usually a pleasure we all have.

Watching someone use piranhas for their high school revenge schemes is laughable and unrealistic (for the most part), but so out of left field that it’s funny to watch. Having a detached hand named Thing scurrying around and supporting your educational efforts isn’t something you see every day. 

Wednesday Is More Relatable This Time Around

Wednesday – now depicted by the indelible Jenna Ortega – seems even more relatable post-pandemic. The disdain for other humans? Check. The quirky ways she moves through life, particularly on the dancefloor? Check. The constant desire to be alone? Check, check, check.  

Wednesday’s Humor Is Elevated

Sure, all former portrayals of the character of Wednesday include some heavy dry humor and sarcasm. But the bits in this revival – and Ortega’s delivery of said bits – are absolute gold. Some of our favorite quotable Wednesday moments?

  1. “I don’t bury hatchets. I sharpen them.”
  2. “But drip [coffee] is for people who hate themselves and know their lives have no real purpose or meaning.”
  3. “I don’t need your help or your pity. I already have a mother and a therapist. That’s enough torture, even for me.”
  4. “It’s not my fault I can’t interpret your emotional Morse code.”
  5. “I find social media to be a soul-sucking void of meaningless affirmation.”

The Easter Eggs Are Amazing

What does everyone want out of a follow-up, sequel, or remake? They want callbacks. Give me all the new material you want, but if you can slide props, quotes, cameos, or similar storylines in for nostalgia, you’ve captured my attention. For example, there is a secret society housed in the walls at Wednesday’s outcast school – where her parents met and fell in love – Nevermore. The “passcode” to enter is a quick two-finger snaps. Where have we heard that before? 

How about the archery scenes at Nevermore that harken to scenes of Pugsley and Wednesday practicing archery in Addams Family Values? Plus, Wednesday hates pilgrims… if ever there were a nod to Christina Ricci’s portrayal of the character, this is it. You’ll notice this – plus many more references to previous storylines and even Tim Burton’s work – sprinkled throughout.

Wednesday’s Rendition Of “Paint it Black”

I had never heard anything so painfully beautiful until the first episode of this series when Wednesday plays the cello. Her own siren song, it seems, “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones was performed by Ortega herself, who learned to play cello for the role. If you tune in for nothing else, this moment will change you.

byland’s heavy for a while will actually leave you feeling free

byland’s heavy for a while will actually leave you feeling free

With her first, deep inhale at the top of the title track – which just so happens to be the first on Byland’s new release, Alie Byland signals a deep sigh of relief for us all. “Heavy For A While” is the vulnerable, soft intro to this 10-track masterpiece release, which is officially out now.

Byland – officially a duo comprised of Alie and her husband Jake, surname Byland – has chosen to create an album so beautifully relatable, especially post-pandemic. Says Alie, “It’s more so my own unfettered journey of finding a sense of home and comfortability with myself, wherever I am.”

With songs like “Postcard” and “Settle My Mind,” Byland addresses isolation in an expansive and thought-provoking way. The dissonance toward the end of “Settle My Mind” feels almost like the chaos that has been occurring inside of every human over the past 4 years, as we all grapple with our emotions and identities in the wake of so many mind-blowing global issues.

Alie and Jake, in particular, zoom in on emotions and thoughts from the darker COVID days, and a time when they were contemplating a cross-country move. They both worked separately, then married some of their ideas together and refined their work as a team to really work through the aforementioned isolation organically. And you can feel it in the songs – the composition and the lyrics. Melodies and lines serve as organic puzzle pieces building toward the whole picture – a true masterpiece of an album. To extract us from the humbling events of today, Alie’s voice carries us to another plane.

“Two Circles” addresses space and time itself, and was one of the first tracks I connected with upon first listening to Heavy For A While. Explains Alie: “[The track] feels like it changes meaning each time I get to sing it. I see myself in this song. I see others. I see love, pain, anger, frustration, joy, shame, angst, everything and nothing.” Its simplistic lyrics are open for interpretation, though each version feels like it addresses a relationship — with yourself, another, an emotion, an event in your life.

The pace of “Temporary Everything” wakes you up out of the gorgeous melody in “Two Circles,” giving sonic momentum to this section of the album. It grapples with the acceptance that everything in life is temporary. Alie gets a bit cheeky with the line “The end of the fucking world,” but she’s only saying what we are all thinking.

“Darts” comes back in slowly, almost like a lullaby when juxtaposed against the tracks that come before and after it. Then “Monstera” comes in wielding a whole different energy, a song Alie wrote about her childhood best friend – the first person she had musical dreams with – and how she grappled with the change of a big move – and a lifelong dream together. This track has a sense of urgency about it, a bit more grit, and also a sense of beautiful acknowledgment of those people who helped to set you on your trajectory. Alie took such a liking to the track that last fall’s tour (2023) was titled the “Monstera Tour.”

Sonically, “Like Flies” feels like a Tim Burton movie, especially when compared to its predecessors. There is almost an eery tone to the melody, cinematic and beautiful in its own right. Last track “End Scene” comes in like a brisk walk a the end of a daunting journey. The piano is the centerpiece of the track, the simplicity establishing a sense of peace – a firm ending to this whirlwind of emotions (and talent).

Upcoming Shows
3/29 – Seattle, WA – Easy Street Records (Album Release Celebration)
5/2 – Tacoma, WA – New Frontier Lounge
5/3 – Portland, OR – Alberta Street Pub
5/7 – Reno, NV – Cypress
5/8 – Eugene, OR – Sam Bond’s Garage
5/9 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile (w/ Noah Gundersen & His Band)
5/11 – Santa Fe, NM – The Mystic (Alie solo)
5/16 – Everett, WA – Fisherman’s Village Music Fest 2024

public domain features music icons in new cover “#toyland” and its accompanying music video experience

public domain features music icons in new cover “#toyland” and its accompanying music video experience

Ray Angry just may have been involved in crafting the most truly engaging and vibrant music video experience of the holiday season, if you ask us. That is, based on the gorgeous color play in the visual release for “#Toyland,” a seductive R&B remake that features some iconic names. Public Domain – the musical collaboration project Ray Angry operates – has released a party-themed gem that will have you getting in the mood for the new year. Explains the caption on the official music video:

‘Toyland’ is a song from the 1903 Christmas-themed operetta. The song is originally a saccharine tune about a wistfulness for childhood and how once you cross it’s borders, you can never return again.. It’s a nostalgic exploration of loss of innocence. With that theme in mind, our updated song is about an acid trip and psychedelic/spiritual experiences in general, tying it to Toyland in that once you cross the border of self exploration and rebirth in that way, you don’t necessarily return the same person. We have Perverted the original meaning and created a new narrative that explores the continued and perpetual losses of innocence that occur throughout adulthood that are sad, beautiful, and complex.

Questlove, Black Thought, Marcus King, Pino Palladino, and Liv Warfield all feature, as you watch a literal kaleidoscope of lights and theatrics through the screen. Equal parts Tim Burton, Cirque du Soleil, and Southern California rave, this video is a really fun direct reflection of its concept and lyrical twist, a psychedelic experience you won’t want to miss.

darkminds demonstrate loyalty and mad percussion with latest single “til’ the world is gone”

darkminds demonstrate loyalty and mad percussion with latest single “til’ the world is gone”

Pop hip hop project DARKMINDS formed in recent years when two established and talented artists Daniel Ellsworth (Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes, Chaos Emeralds) and Christopher “C4 “ Umana (Big Sean, Trey Songz, Kelly Rowland) came together for a songwriting session. Because. of their obvious chemistry, they continued to make music together, and 2021 sees no gap in creativity. Two full-length albums are due this year from the duo.

Their new track, “Til’ The World is Gone”, is quite enchanting, actually. The duo went a little more dark pop with this particular release, a song that brings about the idea of Tim Burton-meets-One Republic. The lyrics are hopeful and vibrant, surrounded by entrancing percussion. The duo builds instrumentals around the lovely thought of loving something (or someone) so completely and deeply until everything is over.

danger // chain, roses in a glass

danger // chain, roses in a glass

This weekend is the first one where we’ve felt awake and like we’re gaining momentum for the first time this year. Perhaps that’s because we’re lucky enough to host the exclusive premiere of Danger // Chain‘s 5-track Roses In A Glass EP, and it’s been playing on repeat since it landed in our inbox.

Eighties-inspired synth and inspired bass lines almost dance around the dark, eery vocals as we spin into what can only be explained as a Tim Burton-esque existence. Hauntingly beautiful, it’s actually served as the soundtrack we needed to get our asses in gear.

Says Heather:

I don’t think anyone has all the answers for how to make a better world, but certainly we should be able to imagine one through art. As an artist, it’s my job to reflect what’s going on around me. I believe it is the responsibility of artists to speak on matters of a political nature. Roses In A Glass is my interpretation of the world as it is today, told through a retro futuristic lens. We may not be able to escape the current times, but we can still listen to music. I believe very much that music heals.

Let the dark ambiance envelope you this weekend.

trupa trupa, jolly new songs

trupa trupa, jolly new songs

Polish alternative band Trupa Trupa – comprised of Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Tomek Pawluczuk, Wojtek Juchniewicz, and Rafał Wojczal – released an eleven track collection titled Jolly New Songs at the end of October. Packed with intense attitude and reverb for miles, the album’s sound will keep you captivated as it trudges through first track “Against Breaking Heart of a Breaking Heart Beauty” until the last fourth, when it enters into an even darker soundscape and really thrashes into “Coffin”, which enters into the light, indie pop realm with its sound. By the end of it, you spiral into a feeling of falling, which is perfect because the third track is a frantic attention-getter that swirls into a dreamlike state-inducing trance track titled “Falling”. And while “Mist” is darker, led by percussion, the title track keeps a pleasant sound to the vocals, as though it’s staying on the polite end of the soundscape almost because of its title. That’s all well and good, until the song takes on an almost Tim Burton flare and spirals into a heavy instrumental cacophony that feels dangerous and inviting.

“Leave It All” is as melancholic in sound as the title would suggest, though the song itself leans more toward an off-kilter lounge band sound, though the theatrical nature of “Love Supreme” draws us into a Wizard Of Oz-meets-death march realm where Tim Burton’s antics feel slight and far away. “Never Forget” pulls us out of the darkness and plunges us into a dark alleyway, where we’re almost marching forward, decked out in combat boots and a leather jacket. “None of Us” reminds us of a dark and murky lullaby – perhaps for Satan’s children more so than anyone else – with guitar riffs that could swallow your ears whole. The tumultuous instrumentals in “Only Good Weather” remind us of the so-called reliability of the National Weather Service (ha!), replete with waning guitars and a swirling, psych rock bed of sound. And – if you ask us – Trupa Trupa did us a service making the crashing sounds of “To Me” the last track, as it, too, splinters into an uproar of crashing cymbals and intense rock vibes before leveling out and inducing a feeling of calm with its listeners.

Every emotion is palpable with Jolly New Songs. You just have to let it envelope you.

Jolly New Songs is out now. Keep up with Trupa Trupa here.


juice set to entrance knuckleheads saloon in kansas city on september 12th

juice set to entrance knuckleheads saloon in kansas city on september 12th

2018 has been a pretty big year for genre-bending collective Juice, made up of Ben Stevens (vocals), Kamau Burton (acoustic guitar/vocals), Christian Rose (violin/vocals), Dan Moss (guitar), Miles Clyatt (drums), and Rami El-Abidin (bass), and Michael Ricciardulli (guitar). In June, they brought us their 4 track EP Workin’ on Lovin‘. As impressed by their talent as we’ve been, we have yet to see them live. But that all changes in September as they head out for several amazing shows. They’ll bring their own brand of magic to Kansas City on September 12th as they perform at Knuckleheads Saloon. Good news is that they released a music video for their track “Sugar” this past spring, and it gives us a glimpse into their live performance tactics… though we’re certain that they’re going to bring it all up a notch for an amazing evening out. Check them out, listen to their EP below, and then grab your tickets and hang with us on the 12th!

Make sure to catch them at Knuckleheads, and keep up with Juice here.

juice, “sugar”

juice, “sugar”

After releasing their EP in 2016, hip-hop/rock collective Juice – consisting of Ben Stevens, Daniel Moss, Kamau Burton, Christian Rose, Miles Clyatt, Michael Ricciardulli, Rami El-Abidin – Is back again with a new song titled “Sugar”. An upbeat song, it is about temptation. The song talks about being addicted to temptation and falling into temptation’s trap. Upon first listen, “Sugar” is a song that you will get addicted to because of its appeal from the perspective of several different genres. 

Keep up with Juice here.