Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Two very different albums and some delicious dumplings

Walter Martin, Arts + Leisure

When The Walkmen splintered in 2013, most of the players seemed to have solo careers already prepared: Bassist and keyboardist Walter Martin quickly released a sweet, mellow album aimed at children called We’re All Young Together, which gathered big-name friends like Matt Berninger and Karen O. He’s just followed it up with what’s ostensibly a set for grown-ups, Arts + Leisure, though this one might appeal to young’n’s as well—it’s similarly sweet and plainspoken. Imagine The Walkmen drained of all tension, relaxing on the lawn and singing about their favorite artists, from Michelangelo to John Singleton Copley. It’s charming as hell. [Josh Modell]


Trader Joe’s Thai shrimp gyoza

As anyone who’s ever been to a Trader Joe’s knows, the store does frozen foods right. Sure, some of its iced-over options are duds, but there are also some real winners. One of those is the store’s Thai shrimp gyoza, or dumplings, if you prefer. A blend of shrimp, ginger, cabbage, cilantro, and some other stuff, these dumplings feed me on the reg. Probably too often, if I’m being honest. (Seriously. I buy, like, three bags at a time, just in case I ever get too close to running out.) I got a steamer a few years ago, and it’s easy as hell to heat up some water, put these things in the basket on top, and wait 10 minutes. Served up with Trader Joe’s equally tasty gyoza sauce, and you’ve got a nice and easy after-work dinner. They’re refreshing, feel slightly healthy (probably because of the shrimp), and while more expensive than TJ’s pork dumpling option, are relatively inexpensive, considering you’re talking about shrimp. They’re delicious, I promise. Try some. [Marah Eakin]


Snowing, That Time I Sat In A Pile Of Chocolate: A Retrospective


A few years back, in an AVQ&A, I declared Snowing’s Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit EP to be a perfect 7-inch, and it’s a claim I stand by. Although its band members started a myriad of great projects after Snowing’s 2011 breakup, the band has sprung back to life for a single reunion show this April. Along with that comes That Time I Sat In A Pile Of Chocolate: A Retrospective, which sees Square Of Opposition excavating some Snowing rarities and remastering them. The collection sees the Emotional Bullshit EP packaged alongside some of the band’s best later songs, such as “Scherbatsky” and “Big Weed,” two tracks that pointed toward a new direction for the Pennsylvania four-piece. It’s an essential look at a band that was beautifully combustive, and even five years later the music feels as exciting as it did the first time around. [David Anthony]

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