Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writers: Emma Donoghue
Stars: Brie Larson (Ma/Joy), Jacob Tremblay (Jack), Sean Bridgers (Old Nick), Joan Allen (Nancy), William H. Macy (Robert)

Room tells the story of a young woman, Ma, and her son, Jack. Ma, real name Joy, has been a captive of Old Nick for seven years, and locked in a single 10x10 room the entire time. While imprisoned, she is impregnated and gives birth to a boy, who lives in the room with her. Ma does her best to keep Jack active and healthy despite their predicament. She has encouraged a certain myth about the scope of the world to her son, but reveals the realities of the world to him after his fifth birthday in order to bring him into her plan for escape.

For subject matter that can quickly turn depressing, Donoghue and Abrahamson succeed in making this a hopeful and uplifting film. It was also a well-acted film; one that completely changed my view of the lead actress.

Mini soundtrack:

Harry McClintock - "Big Rock Candy Mountain"
Jon Hopkins - "Campfire"
This Will Destroy You - "The Mighty Rio Grande"

Monday, December 28, 2015

New Music Friday - November 13, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

BOOTS - Aquaria

BOOTS first made a name for himself as one of the primary producers on Beyoncé's surprise 2013 album. Since then, he's distinguished himself as a talented musician in his own right. Aquaria is his first full-length album as a solo artist, though he previously released a mixtape, WinterSpringSummerFall, and an EP, Motorcycle Jesus.

Watch: "C.U.R.E."
Watch: "Bombs Away"

GUM - Glamorous Damage

2015 was a big year for Tame Impala. They managed to become of those bands to majorly overhaul their sound and not piss off their fan base. The album, Currents, has even become one of the most celebrated of the year! That wasn't quite enough for the band's drummer, Jay Watson, who has a second project under the name GUM. Glamorous Damage is his sophomore album under the moniker.

Watch: "Anesthetized Lesson"
Listen: "Science Fiction"

Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete

Oneohtrix Point Never is the stage name of musician and producer Daniel Lopatin. He's done production, film scores, and even a few collaborations, but is best known for the experimental, twitchy aesthetic of his own music. His seventh album was announced via mysterious online campaign centered around Ezra, a teenaged alien. The album is already being named one of the year's best releases.

Watch: "Sticky Drama"
Watch: "Repossession Sequence"

Other Full-Length Releases

Cee Lo Green - Heart Blanche
Watch: "Sign of the Times"
Watch: "Robin Williams"

Cool Uncle - Cool Uncle

Listen: "Break Away" (featuring Jessie Ware)
Listen: "Breaking Up" (featuring Deniece Williams & James Fauntleroy)

Givers - New Kingdom

Listen: "Record High, Record Low"
Listen: "Bermuda"

Jeezy - Church in These Streets

Watch: "Church in These Streets"
Watch: "Streetz"

JEFF The Brotherhood - Global Chakra Rhythms

Watch: "Radiating Fiber Plane"
Listen: "Mary of Silence"

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Paper Mâché Dream Balloon

Watch: "Paper Mâché Dream Balloon"
Listen: "Trapdoor"

Kylie Minogue - Kylie Christmas

Watch: "Only You" (featuring James Corden)
Listen: "Christmas Wrapping" (featuring Iggy Pop)

Norman Westberg - 13

Listen: "Frostbite Falls"

TIGUE - Peaks

Listen: "Mouth"

Ty Dolla $ign - Free TC

Watch: "Only Right" (featuring YG, Moses & TeeCee)
Watch: "Solid" (featuring Babyface)

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Andrew Hung - Rave Cave 2

Listen: "Repetition vs. Time"

Aretha Franklin - The Atlantic Albums Collection

Listen: "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You"

The Besnard Lakes - "Golden Lion" 12”

Listen: "Golden Lion"

Black Lips/The Coathangers - "Freedom Fries"/"Watch Your Back"

Watch: The Coathangers - "Watch Your Back"
Listen: Black Lips - "Freedom Fries"

Daniel Caesar - Pilgrim’s Paradise EP

Listen: "Paradise" (featuring BADBADNOTGOOD & Sean Leon)
Listen: "Streetcar"

Devinyl Splits No. 4

Listen: Cymbals Eat Guitars - "Aerobed"
Listen: Kevin Devine - "Magic Magnet"

DP - Designer Casket

Watch: "For the Love Of" (featuring D.R.A.M.)
Listen: "Wait"

Kurt Cobain - Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings

Listen: "Been a Son"

Neko Case - Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule Box Set

Listen: "Set Out Running"
Listen: "Man"

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Hell EP

Listen: "Laid"
Listen: "Hell"

Parquet Courts - Monastic Living EP

Listen: "Monastic Living I"

A Sunny Day in Glasgow/Mis Ojo Discos - Planning Weed Like It’s Acid/Life Is Loss

Watch: A Sunny Day in Glasgow - "Hey, You’re Mine"
Listen: A Sunny Day in Glasgow - "Jet Black, Starlit"

A Tribe Called Quest - People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm Reissue

Listen: "Bonita Applebum" (Pharrell Williams Remix)
Listen: "Bonita Applebum"

Twin Limb - Anything Is Possible and Nothing Makes Sense

Watch: "Don’t Even Think"

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from 50% Hipster!

I wanted to take a moment out this holiday season to wish everyone out there a merry Christmas! It's also a time of year for many artists and musicians to share special holiday songs and surprise recordings. Here's a sampling of what we got this year:

- Bill Murray has a new Netflix holiday special, A Very Murray Christmas. It was directed by Sofia Coppola and features appearances from other comedians and even a few musicians like Miley Cyrus, Jenny Lewis, and the band Phoenix. Phoenix got together with Murray to record a cover of the Beach Boys' "Alone on Christmas Day."

- Amazon released their Indie for the Holidays compilation, including songs from Avid Dancer, YACHT, and Langhorne Slim, along with many others.

- Sondre Lerche continued his tradition of recording a cover of one of the year's biggest hits as a gift for his fans. This year, he took on Drake's "Hotline Bling."

- Run the Jewels started a 12 Days of Christmas advent calendar, giving fans the chance to win special prizes everyday!

- Kelela released a collection of remixes from her latest EP, Hallucinogen, today. It includes reworks from Sporting Life, Kahn, and Airmax.

- A number of artists released new Christmas and holiday themed EPs and albums, including: Ariana Grande, Cassie Ramone, and Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings.

- And, as usual, a number of one-off tracks were released by a wide variety of artists, enjoy them below!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Music Friday - November 6, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Jamie Woon - Making Time

Woon released a pretty awesome album, Mirrorwriting, back in 2011, then when almost completely silent. He started popping up again earlier this year, contributing vocals to Portico's Living Fields. At one point, he was considered to be a purveyor of post-dubstep music, but shifted more towards traditional R&B with this long-awaited follow-up.

Listen: "Celebration"
Listen: "Skin"

Grimes - Art Angels

"Surprise"-releases are very popular lately, which is becoming a bit frustrating. After teasing this latest release with a series of one-off singles since her 2012 album, Visions, Grimes announced that the album would be surprise released on iTunes with just one day's notice back in September. She became more forgiving with a timeline later on, giving the official release date at the end of October. I'm always happy to have a more solid date to look forward to, but even happier that it's a great album!

Watch: "Flesh without Blood”/“Life in the Vivid Dream"
Watch: "REALiTi"

Kate Boy - One

It's been a long wait for a debut album from this synthpop band. They received praise for a number of singles released over the past three years. The band waited longer to release an album than many other purveyors of their style. Some of whom, like Chvrches, Poliça, and Purity Ring, have released multiple records in that time. The band were perfectionists about this first album, putting in three years' worth of time to put out their best work.

Watch: "Midnight Sun"
Watch: "Higher"

Other Full-Length Releases

Haybaby - Sleepy Kids

Watch: "Doored"
Listen: "Elevator Song"

Made of Oak - Penumbra

Watch: "Side Rides"
Watch: "Pinebender"

Noun - Throw Your Body on the Gears and Stop the Machine with Your Blood

Watch: "Loveblood"
Listen: "Pain"

Palm - Trading Basics

Watch: "Ankles"
Listen: "Crank"


Watch: "First Mythz"
Listen: "Peace Upzzz"

Soldiers of Fortune - Early Risers

Listen: "Nails"
Listen: "Campus Swagger" (featuring Stephen Malkmus)

Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder - Indie 500

Watch: "Every Ghetto" (featuring Rapsody)
Listen: "Understand" (featuring Brother Ali & Planet Asia)

The Unspeakable Practices - The Unspeakable Practices

Listen: "Early Warning System"
Listen: "A Steadying Effect"

W-X - W-X

Listen: "Clean It Glen"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Busdriver - Thumbs

Watch: "Much"
Listen: "Surrounded By Millionaires" (featuring Daveed Diggs)

Björk - Vulnicura Strings (Vulnicura: The Acoustic Version)

Listen: "Lionsong"

Blanck Mass - The Great Confuso EP

Listen: "The Great Confuso Pt. 1"
Listen: "No Lite"

Bob Dylan - The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12

Watch: "Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues"
Listen: "Just Like a Woman"

GØGGS - "She Got Harder"

Listen: "She Got Harder"

Kurt Vile - Spotify Sessions EP

Puff Daddy - MMM

Watch: "Workin’"
Listen: "MMM" (featuring Future & King Loss)

Ride - Nowhere Reissue

Listen: "Nowhere"
Listen: "Vapour Trail"

Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour: The Drowning Shadows Edition

Listen: "Drowning Shadows"

This Record Belongs To ____