The cover of Nothing Feels Good

The Promise Ring’s Nothing Feels Good, 30 Degrees Everywhere, and Very Emergency

For whatever reason, I came to The Promise Ring too late, probably sometime around Wood/Water, which—as any P’Ring fan knows—was not the time to get into the band. But like so many people, I first fell hard for Nothing Feels Good, the group’s 1997 emo opus. And thus, when it was announced earlier this year that Nothing Feels Good was getting a fancy LP reissue, right alongside 30 Degrees Everywhere and Very Emergency, I knew that I was going to have to pony up for those new pressings. Honestly, I’m glad I did. All remastered and pressed onto stunning and vivid colored vinyl, all three records are essential additions to any former (or current) emo fan’s collection. Tracks like “Why Did We Ever Meet” sound better than ever, and even now—18 years after they were released—still hold up as solid pieces of exceptional pop songwriting. Now if The Promise Ring would just go on tour. [Marah Eakin]

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The List App

If the biggest challenge of launching a new social media app is getting people to take it seriously, then The List App has an extra hurdle to clear. Since it was co-created by B.J. Novak, it’s been nearly impossible for me to talk about it without someone bringing up WUPHF, one of many dead-end business schemes pitched by Novak’s Ryan Howard throughout The Office’s nine-season run. While WUPHF had trouble finding an audience outside of Michael Scott, The List App has shown great growth in just its few short weeks of existence. The app’s interface is similar to Twitter’s, and you follow other users who then populate your feed with lists of their own to be read, favorited, and re-listed. Its most enticing feature so far is the “open” list, which allows your followers to suggest items for your list, creating some crowd-sourced pieces that truly feel like a community endeavor. The internet loves lists, so it’s a natural draw for all sorts of entertaining people: There are some famous folk (B.J. Novak, of course, and his pals, including Mindy Kaling), savvy publishers (Mental Floss, in particular, does a great job of fleshing out its features here), comedians (Eliot Glazer, the real-life brother of Broad City’s Ilana, is killing it), and even some genuinely funny parody accounts (See: The user known simply as Dad). Full disclosure: The A.V. Club was invited to join The List App in its beta stage, and we took a shine to its intimate-feeling community rather quickly. Thankfully, as the app continues to grow, it’s retained its close-knit feel and continues to attract some of the funniest, kindest, and most thoughtful users in social media. The List App is more than just another digital distraction, it’s like brain trust of insightful people who actually give a damn. [Cameron Scheetz]

R40 Live

Rush has been an undeniable presence in the music industry for some 40 years, coming to the forefront recently with a general hat tip from pop culture. Be it a much deserved and overdue Rolling Stone cover or a “Tom Sawyer” shoutout from Mark Duplass in his popular HBO show Togetherness, it’s nice to see a band with an amazing longevity and the talent to back it get a few more pats on the back than usual from the zeitgeist. And fortunately for both those that have been with Rush since the beginning and those that are only now diving into the band’s extensive catalog, R40 Live offers a nicely packaged retrospective. Following Rush’s most recent tour, the CD, DVD, or Blu-ray (take your pick) takes listeners through two distinct sets—one focusing on mostly newer work, opening with the midtempo “The Anarchist” from 2012’s Clockwork Angels, and the other a throwback to the classics like “YYZ,” “The Spirit Of Radio,” and “Closer To The Heart”—and an encore, which ends with the song that started it all—1974’s “Working Man.” With an impeccable sound—stemming straight from Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart’s precision—and a broad swath of Rush’s career, it’s the perfect album to reminisce with or gift as an introduction to one of music’s most hardworking band. [Becca James]

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