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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Culture Corner

The Art Desk’s weekly picks for movies, books, television and music

By MAYA REIHANIAN — arts@theaggie.org


Song: “Growing/Dying” by The Backseat Lovers 

The Backseat Lovers is one of my favorite bands of all time. Seeing them in concert for the first time in the fall of 2021 was a life-changing experience for me, and I don’t know how to break it to my future husband that our wedding day might never compare to seeing this band live in concert. The Backseat Lovers first plunged into mainstream indie music with their song “Kilby Girl” from their debut album “When We Were Friends,” and in anticipation of their next album, “Waiting to Spill,” they released their first single from the project. The song, called “Growing/Dying,” effortlessly weaves together immersive guitar solos with powerful vocals and lyrics that truly encapsulate the feeling of being stuck in one place and making the decision to grow into a stronger version of yourself. This track serves as the perfect opener to what is sure to be an extraordinary album.


TV Show: “Teen Wolf” (2011)

In preparation for the spooky season, I’ve been indulging in one of my favorite shows from high school: “Teen Wolf.” The show is about a teenager who becomes a werewolf, which, surprisingly, alters the trajectory of his future. Starring Tyler Posey, who remains as dreamy and charismatic throughout the six seasons of the show as he is in the first episode, It’s both campy and nostalgic, scratching the itch in my brain that craves poor CGI, teenagers running on all fours like wolves and Dylan O’Brien (pre-Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” (10 Minute Version) short film). 


Book: “Goodbye Days” by Jeff Zentner (2017)

My taste in books has been described as masochistic, and “Goodbye Days” by Jeff Zentner is no outlier. When I enter a bookstore, I ask for a book that will leave me blubbering and sobbing for days after finishing it — and then the store clerk usually gives me a strange look as she hands me a book and tells me this will be the one to break me. “Goodbye Days” focuses on Carver, nicknamed Blade by his friend group “The Sauce Crew,” who is burdened with guilt for sending a text that ultimately leads to his friends getting into a fatal car crash. Blade spends the final month of his summer attending the funerals of his best friends as senior year and college applications loom over him. To find closure, Blade plans “Goodbye Days” with the parents who lost their children in the car accident. This book crushes your heart and soul as you navigate the new and empty world Blade is plunged into as he is blamed for the deaths of his best friends. 


Movie: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” dir. by Stephen Chbosky (2012)

My Culture Corner wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a movie that found me when I needed it the most during my sophomore year of high school. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is for anyone who just wants to feel like they belong somewhere, as viewers experience the main character, Charlie, navigating the daunting environment of high school. This movie left an impact on me that no movie has been able to compare to since. Logan Lerman and Emma Watson star in this film and give extraordinary performances as characters with deep layers and dark secrets. (Content warnings: suicide; sexual abuse)


Written by: Maya Reihanian — arts@theaggie.org