The Stampede

Entertainment Picks of the Month: January

The Crown

The Crown

Robert Viglasky/Netflix

Robert Viglasky/Netflix

The Crown

Aman Bajwa and Moriah Costa

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“Pleasantville” is a 1998 film starring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon, two siblings who become trapped within a 1950s television show called “Pleasantville”. In the show, everything appears perfect, families are loving, wholesome and content. However, as Maguire and Witherspoon become more entrenched in the lives of the show’s characters, they realize how the conformity and semblance of happiness is all a facade. As the siblings seek to bring truth to the people of Pleasantville, they reveal the deep prejudices that plague the people of the community. It is a light-hearted yet important film that uses a creative plot to reveal how prejudices and conformity can be bad for society.



“Half-Light” by Rostam is a beautiful album that employs a wide spectrum of sounds. Rooted in Middle Eastern percussion and Classical strings, each song on this album is a innovation, unlike anything done before. But the art new-age style is not just for music fans; the melodies are extremely catchy, the lyrics are relatable, and the rock/pop inspiration is noticeable throughout the production of the album. Stand out tracks for me include “Bike Dream”, “Wood”, “Rudy”, “Gwan” and “Don’t Let it Get to You (Reprise)”.


             “Baseball” by Hippo Campus is a song I have had on repeat for the last couple of weeks. This song is off of the band’s 2017 “warm glow” three-track EP, although this track definitely stands for itself as an amazing individual track. Similar to the band’s previous sound, “baseball” celebrates the band’s guitar-driven pop, inspired by Vampire Weekend Afro-pop and the post-punk alternative music scene of the early 2000s.    


             “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” by Arctic Monkeys is the Arctic Monkeys first true monumental album. It skyrocketed the British band to the top of the charts, selling hundreds of thousands of records, and earning them awards across the country. Inspired by the gritty rock of Blur and Oasis, the Arctic Monkeys prove that true British rock n’ roll is not dead. Reinventing the grit of bass, electric guitar, and drum with emotionally poignant lyrics and frontman Alex Turner’s crooning voice, this Arctic Monkeys album sets the stage for the band’s domination of the modern alternative rock genre. Favorite tracks include “Mardy Bum”, “Riot Van”, “From the Ritz to the Rubble”, and “A Certain Romance”.



“The Crown Season 2” was released by Netflix in December, a follow up to the series’s first season following the life of current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II. In this second season, the personal life of the Queen and her husband Prince Philip is on full display, a common thread that unites the series of episodes. In this season, Claire Foy and Matt Smith are back to portray the royal couple as they take on the chaotic 1960s and 1970s, dealing with increasing problems across the Commonwealth, riots and revolts that put the royal family into internationally compromising situations, all while they must deal with their own personal problems, ranging from infidelity to a poorly functioning government.



Mac DeMarco – (Salad Days) I started to listen to DeMarco on accident, and at first I wasn’t sure if I liked it or hated it. I’m not sure I’ve decided yet, but it’s been playing in my car constantly for about a week. What initially attracted me to the music was the sound that was reminiscent of the work at the end on the Beatles career together.  Music that sounds like they were high when they wrote it or are now, very light, carefree, and almost emotionless. This “cameleon” like music is interesting, because even though it initially seems not to carry any real weight , or emotion it actually so full of it that you can pull out whatever feeling matches your mood and groove to it almost universally. I would say 8 times out of 10 it fits whatever situation or feeling that I find myself in, but there are those 2 times that make be want to through my phone that’s playing the music. It may sound strange that I’m recommending this , but give it a shot you might find that the universality of it suits you.  


Film/ TV show:  

Perks of Being a Wallflower-  It’s an indie turned mainstream film that is based on the widely acclaimed novel by Stephen Chbosky. The film’s screenplay is also written and directed by Chbosky so as you can imagine the film has as much honesty, rawness, and integrity as the novel. The cast features many big name childhood actors who have chosen to take part in this story such as Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, and Logan Lerman. It’s about a freshman boy’s, Charlie, coming of age experience as two seniors take him under their wing and expose him to drugs, girls, and good music. The movie shows not only Charlie’s social awakening, but also a cultural one as he finds solace in his reading and writing. He deals with finding himself in other people and realizing that he must take this journey alone as other people will always come and go, but you must be content in yourself. This is my favorite “high school” movie as it transcends time and place and gives you a raw, honest interpretation of life that helps all people remember their own coming of age experience whether high school was apart of that experience or not.  



Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald – This novel gives you a glimpse into the life of Zelda Fitzgerald and her husband whose dream it is to be remembered. The novel takes place in the height of prohibition where ironically they were all alcoholics as they drank to feel, love, and express themselves on the page. The narrative takes place in the south, New York City, and all over Europe to tell a tale of a destructive love story that consumed their lives. Everyone in the  literary world and beyond have heard of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but not everyone knows about the wonderfully talented women he shared his life with- Zelda.



Almost Maine – A romantic comedy given to you in eight  scenes and a prologue. In the small town of Almost, Maine you learn about love and what it feels, looks, and sounds like. In this winter wonderland you see a visual representation of what love is that all can relate to. From feelings of regret, brokenheartedness, hope, love, and more you can experience a world so different, and yet so similar to our world. It gives you so many scenarios in which you can find yourself in like the idea of not belonging. Reading the script of Almost Maine is highly recommended unless you plan to see the show at Rodriguez High School on April 6, 7, or 8. Tickets are on sale now at 10/10 recommend.

image credit: IMDB

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Entertainment Picks of the Month: January