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The Hendrick Hudson Anchor

The Student News Site of Hendrick Hudson

The Hendrick Hudson Anchor

The Student News Site of Hendrick Hudson

The Hendrick Hudson Anchor

Recommendations of the Week: 2/25-3/2

Each week, the staff here at The Anchor give their recommendations on an album, book and movie to enjoy. Here are our recommendations for the week of 2/25-3/2.


Album- You Forget It In People by Broken Social Scene (2002)

Recommended by Francisco Aguirre-Ghiso

Photo Credits: Paper Bag Records

Few bands are so consistently underrated and so consistently influential as Broken Social Scene. The modern indie sound, popularized by artists like TV Girl, Clairo and Big Thief can be heavily attributed to the guitar and melody work of the Toronto-based “musical collective.” Broken Social Scene is one of the quintessential 2000s indie bands, along with other groups such as Interpol, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Arcade Fire. 

Their most famous album and their best starting point is 2003’s You Forget It In People, an eclectic mix of 90s alternative rock, ambient and pop. This album fuses the gentle ambient sounds of their first album with their skill in rock and pop instrumentation to create a tender, catchy and engaging album that has a knack for changing sounds/genres often and without warning. Highlights of this album include the drum-driven “Cause = Time,” the grand and memorable “Lover’s Spit” and the gentle, warm “Looks Just Like the Sun”.

 

Movie- Almost Famous by Cameron Crowe (2000)

Recommended by Francisco Aguirre-Ghiso

Photo Credits: DreamWorks Pictures

The truth is that Rock n’ Roll is no more than a specter of a movement now– a fragment of the revolutionary upheaval that crashed down upon American society in the 60s and 70s. Reduced to Urban Outfitters band tees and your uncle’s record collection, it’s a genre idolized by the older generation but mainly disregarded by the newer generation as simply an aesthetic. But what did it really mean to live through Rock n’ Roll, to see the bands at their peaks and feel the culture shift under your feet? 

Cameron Crowe could tell you a thing or two about that. As a teenager, the revered filmmaker and journalist got a job at Rolling Stone covering touring bands, and was promptly thrown into the jaws of the 70s Rock n’ Roll scene. Years later, he reflected on his experiences through his semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous, which chronicles how a teenage music critic, William, gets to know the fictional band Stillwater while joining their U.S. tour to write a cover story on their rise to fame. At the center of the film is the tumultuous relationship between the guitarist Russel and a groupie by the name of Penny Lane.

Crowe captured the spirit of Rock n’ Roll with such precision that watching Almost Famous feels like being transported to the 70s, but he also captured the troubling nature of groupie culture, where young women often end up being used by rock stars and discarded when the time is no longer right, leading to emotional damage and feelings of exploitation. Kate Hudson takes the spotlight of the film as the groupie Penny Lane, whose bold and carefree nature conceals deeper insecurities about her relationship with Russel and her place in Rock n’ Roll. It’s a careful critique of the culture of rock stars that balances a thin line between portraying all the glory and beauty of Rock n’ Roll while showing the pitfalls of the culture as well. 

But at its core Almost Famous is a celebration of the pivotal genre, a tour of 70s counterculture and a time capsule for future generations to look back and understand how the genre changed American culture forever. It all comes back to the music– fame can turn men against each other and relationships can be broken as quickly as they are started, but what William discerns by the end of the film is that it all comes back to the music– that the spirit of Rock n’ Roll still lives on.

 

Book-  The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

Recommended by Francisco Aguirre-Ghiso

Photo Credits: Alfred A. Knopf

Cormac McCarthy’s sparse and poetic writing style shines best in this 2006 novel, a post-apocalyptic tale of a Father and Son walking south in a ruined America, searching for warmth and safety in a hostile world. This is a particularly bleak book, where cruelty and cold-blooded behavior is the status quo and to remain sane and moral is a particularly difficult challenge. But through the “miracle of goodness,” the Father and Son remain good people who remain hopeful in a world where it seems the only relief is in death.

In classic McCarthy fashion, the novel is full of biblical implications and allusions, and the Son is referred to as a prophet of life and morality so much that he becomes a Christ-like figure by the end of the novel. The novel is also endlessly readable– I found myself unable to put the book down. McCarthy takes a quite simplistic plot, that of two people moving from town to town looking for supplies as they head south, and injects it with such poetry and nuance that every action feels like a deliberate step towards a more hopeful future. Even in the face of cannibals, war-mongering gangs and bitter hunger, the Father and Son choose to wake up every morning and continue their journey with fervor and resolve.

But the most impactful aspect of this novel is the relationship between Father and Son. The Father lives solely to keep his Son alive, and the Son loves his Father so deeply that you can’t help but tear up at the sincerity of their relationship. When you peel back all the post-apocalyptic layers, The Road is truly a story of parenthood– of the beauty and bravery of raising children, even in the face of all things evil. As the Father says in the first pages of the novel, “If he is not the word of God God never spoke.”


If you want to submit your own recommendations, contact Francisco Aguirre-Ghiso at [email protected]

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Francisco Aguirre-Ghiso, Managing Editor
Francisco Aguirre-Ghiso is currently a senior at Hen Hud. This is his second year writing at The Anchor, and currently holds the position of managing editor. He is also public relations officer for Tri-M Music Honor Society and plays Varsity Tennis. Outside of school, he likes watching movies, playing video games and listening to music.
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