New Here?
About Carl L.

Carl Laamanen graduated from Grove City College in May 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and Spanish and from Texas Tech University in May of 2013 with a Master's degree in English. Currently he spends most of his time lamenting the state of mainstream cinema, playing disc golf, and geeking out over obscure vocabulary words. Follow along with his random ramblings about music and movies @carltastic77.

Contact Carl L.

Author Archive

    Finding Faith: Top Ten Albums of 2015

    It’s that time of the year again, time for another top ten albums list. The more of these I write, the more I realize how futile it is to attempt to pick ten albums to represent the year in music. This year the task was made even harder by the launch of Impossible to Say, […]

    New Music: Josh Ritter’s Sermon on the Rocks

    Sermon on the Rocks, the new offering from Josh Ritter, opens with the slow-burning, apocalyptic “Birds of the Meadow,” a song aiming for prophecy that repeats the refrain, “Fire is coming, fire is coming.” These are the words of those who stand on street corners bellowing through megaphones: hellfire and damnation, intoned by Ritter in […]

    We All Have Our Own Bunkers: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Law, and Grace

    Warning: some spoilers ahead, but no major plot developments, I don’t think. It’s hard to tell with sitcoms, especially one in the 30 Rock vein. Netflix’s newest “original” show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, very quickly won me over with its blend of goofy characters and cultural commentary. From the mind of Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt […]

    Farewell to Parks and Recreation

    Earlier this week, Parks and Recreation concluded after a remarkable seven-season run. While other outlets have covered the show’s legacy in far greater detail than I can provide (check out Uproxx and Grantland for that), I wouldn’t feel right if I missed this opportunity to eulogize a show that has meant so much to me […]

    Music for a Turbulent World: Top Ten Albums of the Year

    2014, like many of the past few years, found me going through a number of transitions: moving to a new state, making new friends, starting at a new school, etc. As usual, music kept me company on long car rides and helped me persist through the emotional up and downs of starting over again. Alongside […]

    David Bazan’s Latest, Bazan Monthly Vol. 1

    Back in September, I finally attended one of David Bazan’s living room shows, after years of missing out. He did not disappoint. Lit by flickering candles, with a cool fall breeze blowing through the room, the erstwhile Pedro the Lion entertained not just with great music, but with his trademark self-deprecation and unflinching honesty as […]

    The Gaslight Anthem Got Hurt

    In the trend of recent conversation pieces, Blake (B.I.C.) and I bring you a discussion of The Gaslight Anthem’s newest album Get Hurt. Carl: First off, how do you feel about “break-up” albums? Intense emotional pain and torment have produced classic albums like Blood on the Tracks, but more often than not I find “break-up” records to […]

    New Music: Propaganda’s Crimson Cord

    Welcome to Blake (B.I.C) and Carl’s review/conversation about Propaganda’s newest release, Crimson Cord. We exchanged some emails over the course of a few weeks and arrived at a few conclusions about the album, but also dug deeper in questions of hip-hop and Christianity and how the two intersect. Carl: So, what do you think about […]

    New Music: The Hold Steady’s Teeth Dreams

    “So maybe [anxiety]’s just a part of who we all are, and always were. My worry now, though, is that we are starting to nurture these neuroses of ours, and treating them like pets. That can’t be a good thing.” –Craig Finn, in The Independent I don’t often remember my dreams, yet for some reason, […]

    The Hold Steady and Their Hoodrat Jesus

    “Tiny little text etched into her neck, it said, ‘Jesus lived and died for all your sins.’” If you listen to The Hold Steady, you notice that Jesus shows up in strange places. He is etched in a neck tattoo, chilling with the Father in a character’s drug-induced hallucinations, and in the embrace of “young […]

    A Slightly Belated List of the Best Music of 2013

    I apologize for the lateness of this “year-end” music list. Hey, good music never goes out of style, right? At the end of every year, I find myself scrambling in an effort to listen to every “important” album that came out during the year just in case I missed the “best” album of the year. […]

    “Just a Reflection of a Reflection”: Arcade Fire’s Rendition of Kierkegaard’s Reflective Age

    “There’s an essay by Kierkegaard called The Present Age that I was reading a lot that’s about the reflective age. This is like in [1846], and it sounds like he’s talking about modern times. He’s talking about the press and alienation, and you kind of read it and you’re like, ‘Dude, you have no idea how insane […]