Review: Signal to Noise, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Before I tell you about Signal to Noise, go have a listen to this playlist of the songs and artists mentioned in the book. It’s a wonderful mix of everything from jazz standards to treacly mid-80s Mexican pop. Perfect.

Cover of Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-GarciaNow. The book. Signal to Noise is set in Mexico City in both 1988/89 and 2009. As a teenager, Meche is obsessed with music, a behavior she picked up from her father, an alcoholic failed musician and would-be writer. Her best friends are Sebastian, a tall and awkward bookworm, and Daniela, who dresses like a doll and would rather play with her Easy-Bake Oven. First Meche, then her friends, discover that they have the ability to do magic: hexes, glamours, and spells to get them what they’ve always dreamt of. But, as these things so often do, things go much differently than they hoped.

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Goofus or Galavant?

For months I’ve been looking forward to Galavant, a strange little half-hour medieval musical comedy series on ABC. On paper, it’s a good fit for the home of repurposed Disney properties and toothless family-friendly sitcoms. There’s even a version that would fit with some of the network’s soapier fare, like Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder–one that’s hinted at with some of Alan Menken and Glen Slater’s more ribald verses. (If everyone involved could agree on a pronunciation of Galavant, I’d be super grateful, btw.)

If done right, Galavant would work well as a companion to Once Upon a Time or Modern Family. But it is … not really done right, at least not in these first two episodes.

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Hello? Is This the Captain You’re Looking For?

Originally published in Infinite Unknowns for Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

If I were to say “Captain James T. Kirk” to you, what’s the first thing to pop in your head? Is it Shatner—or Pine, if you must, though most of what follows doesn’t apply to his turn as Kirk—with that green (yellow!) tunic, those smart black trousers, that rakish grin?

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True Detective: Vanishing Point

Reflecting on True Detective’s first season

Spoilers ahoy.

I’m tired today.

I stayed up too late last night to watch the first season finale of True Detective, the lush, loquacious portrait of Southern decay that held me in thrall all weekend, racing to catch up to the zeitgeist, if not the killer(s). I’m no stranger to late nights—nor to the toll of an extended media binge—but the seemingly endless spin of the HBO Go loading wheel (and the horrified contortions of my face once the show began) were more tiring than I had expected.

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