ACRN’s Most Disappointing Albums of 2021

10. Mastodon – Hushed and Grim, [Reprise; 2021] ACRN Contributor Mastodon’s latest project, Hushed and Grim, brings almost nothing to slake fans’ thirst for innovation. The album isn’t terrible, but it is a 90-minute exercise in patience with close to no payoff. Keeping Mastodon’s trend of memorializing loved ones through their projects, Hushed and Grim…

Battle of the Bands 2021 Q&A: Salva Bryn

By Ethan Bloomfield, Staff Writer
[Photo provided by Salva Bryn via Instagram]
The 2021 Battle of the Bands took place in Athens at the Union Thursday night, and it was one to remember. An array of wonderful acts came to compete, not the least of which being Salva Bryn, an experimental electronic artist who put on the most unique and energetic show of the night. I was able to sit down with her and ask a few questions about her music, the show, and her plans for the future.

Q&A: Plastic Lemonade

By Amy Szmik, Copy Editor
[Photo provided by Plastic Lemonade via Facebook]
Q&A with Nathan Cain (vocals, guitar and harmonica), Damon Bonar (electric guitar), Kyle Willison (bass), Kaitlyn Markert (vocals and ukulele) and Joe Ash (drums) of Plastic Lemonade

A Month Through Movies – November Edition

By Ben Lindner, Staff Writer
Doesn’t it sometimes feel like there is just too much to watch out there? Often, it feels easier to scroll through Netflix trying to decide what to watch than actually watching something. Do you constantly find yourself overwhelmed with content, wishing you could somehow find a way to narrow it down? 

Preview: Teenage Halloween with Dairy Family + Kaiba

By Paul Nern, News Editor
Well Rock Lobsters, there’s a buzz floating around ACRN. We had a glorious Halloween weekend full of music and spooky celebrations, but why on earth would we stop there?  The mist of the Hocking River seems to exude a certain energy at this time of year, and what better way to capitalize on this than to have Teenage Halloween and Dairy Family bring the heat on what otherwise might have been an average Wednesday night in Athens, Ohio. The Union will play host to these two phenomenal bands November 3 at 7:00 pm, for what ACRN promises is sure to be a glorious night.  

Album Review: King Krule – You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down

[True Panther Sounds/Matador Records; 2021]
Rating: 9/10
Key tracks: “A Slide In (New Drugs) – Live”, “Stoned Again – Live”, “Easy Easy – Live”
Closing your eyes to a live album can provide a euphoria to the listener, like you are actually there, and in my mind, I am here: at one of King Krule’s concerts right before quarantine. King Krule (Archy Marshall) is an indie rock/post-punk musician hailing from London, U.K who has released projects under multiple names, including Zoo Kid and Edgar the Beatmaker. You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down is King Krule’s second live album release aside from Live On the Moon and overall his fifth project he has released under the King Krule moniker. You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down features live performances from past projects such as 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, The OOZ and Man Alive!.

Movie Review: The Card Counter

By Ben Lindner, Staff Writer
[Focus Features; 2021]
Rating: 5/10
Writer and director Paul Schrader, best known for writing Scorsese classics Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and the 2017 indie hit First Reformed, returns to the big screen with The Card Counter. In The Card Counter, former soldier William Tell (Oscar Isaac) is just getting out of prison. Haunted by his time in a cell, William spends all of his time playing blackjack, swindling the casinos out of money with the card counting skills he learned during his time in solitary. William prefers to be alone, but he ends up getting to know La Linda (Tiffany Haddish), the charming poker manager who wants to get William into bigger gambling rings and Cirk (Tye Sheridan), a young former soldier who brings William’s past back to him. William has to face his past and see if he can adapt back into the world.

Album Review: Sufjan Stevens – A Beginner’s Mind

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Asthmatic Kitty Records; 2021]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “Reach Out”, “Back To Oz”, “You Give Death A Bad Name”
Stevens is one of the biggest indie folk figures of the 2000’s and 2010’s, and he has released some of the most essential pieces of indie folk music within that time. It was a bit of a shock to see him drop his second album of the year, A Beginner’s Mind, just four months after his last album Convocations.

Group Feature: ACRN’s Live Music Feature

As 2021 comes to a close, it’s starting to look like we’re seeing the resurrection of live music. Here’s ACRN’s list of artists we’ll be rushing out to see as soon as we can.

Album Review: A Great Big Pile of Leaves – Pono

After an eight-year hiatus, A Great Big Pile of Leaves makes a worthy return with their third album Pono. Equal parts past adolescence-laden lyrics and proof of musical growth, the album is a perfect addition to the band’s already strong discography and extends its reach far past their Brooklyn-emo roots. While their other releases are fun to listen to, if not a little naïve, Pono displays the group’s maturity while reminiscing on the same subject they’ve always catered to: the wistful feeling of youth.