Singing the Praises of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Heyyyyyy… Remember when I made a New Year’s Resolution to write up at least one blog post per week and then didn’t put one up in the first week after said resolution was made??  Classic! 😛

At any rate, this past Sunday night was the Golden Globes ceremony.  I don’t put much stock into awards shows, and Sunday’s fare was pretty boring, in my opinion. But I did get super excited when Rachel Bloom won Best Actress in a Television Series Musical/Comedy for her work on The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend!

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Crazy-Ex Girlfriend is a strange little show that seems to have flown underneath most people’s radars since its debut last fall.  Bloom –who co-created the show along with The Devil Wears Prada writer, Aline Brosh McKenna — stars as Rebecca Bunch, a New York lawyer who struggles with depression and a sense of unfulfillment in life despite her successful career.  When she randomly runs into an old childhood sweetheart named Josh Chan (played by Vincent Rodriguez III), she impulsively decides to move to his hometown of West Covina, California.  …But not because Josh lives there!  It’s totally just a coincidence.  Yeah…

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To Quote the Poets — Monstress #1 is Pretty Amazeballs

Monstress is a new comic series written by Marjorie Liu with art by Sana Takeda.  The pair had previously worked together on X-23, and have rejoined forces to create an original, creator-owned property for Image Comics described thusly:

Set in an alternate 1900’s Asia, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power…a connection that will transform them both, and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers…

The 66-page, triple-sized first issue was just released yesterday, and I loved it.  I have heretofore mostly stuck with reading collected editions and trade paperbacks of comic books, but I pre-ordered Monstress #1 on a whim when I saw the gorgeous artwork by Sana Takeda.  The series’ unique visual style blends Eastern aesthetics with art deco and a dash of steampunk for good measure.

Monstress #1 Cover Art (via Image Comics)

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Musical Monday/Happy Labo(u)r Day

Happy Labor Day to my fellow Americans and a Happy Labour Day to our Canadian neighbors!  Hope you all have an enjoyable day today!  To start off your free day, here’s some music from a new obsession of mine, Run River North:

Run River North, formerly known as Monsters Calling Home, is an indie folk rock/pop band from Southern California.  The group is comprised of Daniel Chae (vocals, strings), John Chong (vocals, drums), Joe Chun (vocals, bass), Alex Hwang (lead vocals, guitar), Sally Kang (vocals, strings), and Jennifer Rim (strings).

The LA-based, Korean-American sextet has a great sound.  I would liken them to fellow indie folk artists Of Monsters and Men or The Head and the Heart.  The band’s line-up of multiple vocalists allows them to create lush harmonies that create a beautiful wall of sound behind lead singer Alex Hwang.

In addition to their musical style, I was initially drawn to Run River North by their poetic lyrics.  The band members come from a Christian background, and many of their lyrics are tinged with biblical allusions and spiritual metaphors.  As evident by some of the other bands I’ve highlighted on the blog, I really appreciate musicians who are willing to be upfront about their faith without giving up their own artistic integrity, and Run River North does a great job finding that balance.

As an Asian-American Christian with a love for indie folk music, Run River North is right up my alley.  But even if I wasn’t either of those things, I would definitely still be a fan.  With a rich musical sound, poetic lyrics, and a great group of talent, there is certainly much to be enjoyed from this terrific band.