Okay, but seriously, just imagine what the future could entail for the Gravity Falls characters. Stan and Ford out at sea, visiting all kinds of places on their way. The two of them arriving at the arctic sea anomaly and almost immediately being attacked by a gigantic, Kaiju sized monstrosity which they barely manage to avoid being eaten by, the boat almost being capsized by the water turbulence were it not for their swift sailing maneuvers. The two of them laughing because that was terrifying but amazing. Ford recording what they find in a new journal/log, but one which completely eschews the dark, secretive, insidious nature of the old journals.
This new journal is something that he and Stan create together, something which he makes without the obsession that led to the old journals. Stan and Ford calling Dipper and Mabel back home when they make stops, and regaling them with tales of their adventures, Ford telling Dipper all about the creatures and other anomalies they’ve found out in the arctic ocean. Stan checking up on the new Mr. Mystery, to see how he’s handling being the boss and to ask how things are going between him and Melody, just being a fatherly figure to Soos in general. Dipper and Mabel going to their first day back at school, and one of Dipper’s old bullies tries to give him shit again, thinking he’ll amuse himself by tormenting his old victim, not expecting the middle finger he gets in return, and certainly not expecting the punch to the face he gets when he attacks Dipper in retort. He isn’t prepared for the screeching battle cry of Mabel as she sees what’s happened and rushes in to give the bully a punch to the face herself. They both get in trouble for it, but it was SO worth it. Bullies quickly learn that neither of the Pines twins are to be messed with. Dipper and Mabel exploring all over their hometown to try and capture some excitement in their mundane suburban home. They explore old, abandoned buildings, traverse that nearby cave that they were always curious about, use their skills from Gravity Falls to track down what little supernatural activity lies in Piedmont. Maybe, just once or twice, they end up getting caught on private property and getting in trouble with the law, but shh, nobody needs to know about those incidents. Stan and Ford arriving back at the Shack with beards and long, straggly hair full of lice, more new scars than they can count, rough, weathered hands, a fair few new aches and pains, and smelling like the sea, yet both of them being happier than either of them has been in years. Stan sitting in his chair for the first time in a long time and just being content to be back home. Stan seeing how successful the Shack is under Soos’ management and being really fucking proud of him. Stan, Ford, Soos, Melody and Abuelita all eating dinner together in the kitchen as the twins tell the other three all about their time away. Ford moving all of his equipment out of the basement, because he’s had enough of slaving away in the dark, so any and all future research is done upstairs, with sunlight and more often than not company. Dipper and Mabel counting down the days til their next summer a couple months before they go, Stan and Ford not so secretly doing the same, both of them looking forward to seeing the kids again and having the house be filled with their presence once more. The kids coming back to Gravity Falls, and Jesus when did they get so big, what is this some kind of growth spurt? Everyone having a nice summer full of adventure and fun but without any more trauma inducing demon harassment (although judging by the backwards message at the end it seems Bill isn’t gone forever, but GODDAMN IT I WANT THEM TO HAVE A NICE HAPPY SUMMER WITHOUT HAVING TO GO THROUGH ANY OF THE TRAUMATIC HORRORS THEY WERE FORCED TO ENDURE IN THIS ONE).
a/n: i’m sosorry for the short chapter but i haven’t written much else yet :oo i have to write like crazy today oops but hope you like :) though you’re probably going to hate me for a filler chapter i’M SORRY
The three of them were sitting at a table inside a small village cafe, drinking from wide, steaming white cups. It was raining, as usual. But the cafe had decent heating, although the same couldn’t be said for its music taste.
It’s been a long-running joke amongst the POZ staff that Zack has no knowledge of musical history. That’s understandable, though: it can be intimidating to work your way through a long-established band’s large back catalog if you don’t know where to begin. Start Today is a new weekly column aimed at giving Zack (and you) an entry point into those essential artists’ catalogs. No more excuses: start today!
This week’s subject: venerable California punk legends Bad Religion.
Who are these guys? Formed in 1979, Bad Religion are one of the O.G. SoCal punk rock groups. Combining the breakneck speed of skatepunk with aggressively intellectual, politically charged lyrics courtesy of Dr. Greg Graffin (an Anthropology professor in his spare time), pop melodies and soaring vocal harmonies (the trademark “oozin ahhs”), Bad Religion created a sound all their own, one that’s become a template for everyone from NoFX to Anti-Flag. Unlike virtually all their peers, they’re still making vital, exciting music worth listening to today. And guitarist/co-songwriter Brett Gurewitz remains one of the most important figures in the punk scene today as the owner and founder of Epitaph Records, a label he originally created as an outlet for his own band’s music.
Where to start? Over the last 35 years, Bad Religion have released sixteen studio albums, along with a handful of EPs, compilations, live discs, and even a Christmas album. Remarkably, most of that material falls in the “very-good-to-excellent” category – Bad Religion might be the single most consistent punk band as far as songwriting goes. Still, there are a few distinct eras of Bad Religion, and each has its highlights.
The Early Years: The period spanning 1982’s debut How Could Hell Be Any Worse? through 1985’s Back To The Known EP was a formative one – the band was still finding their sound and learning how to write proper songs, and the recordings are shaggy at best. Recommended: No essential albums here, though a few songs from this era remain fan favorites today (we’ll get to that later).
The “Golden Age”: Bad Religion’s sterling five-album run from 1988’s Suffer to 1993’s Recipe For Hate established their reputation as one of the US’s great punk bands; had they disappeared in 1993, they’d still be remembered today. You can’t go wrong with any of these albums, but for my money, the best of them is 1990’s scorching statement-of-purpose Against The Grain – it’s a 34 minute, 17-track declaration of warfare, one band taking a stand against a world slowly being consumed by willful ignorance, magical thinking and oppressive small-mindedness. Recommended: Against The Grain
The Atlantic Era: Nirvana’s mainstream breakthrough in 1991 launched a feeding frenzy amongst the major labels, as they rapidly signed any underground act with the potential to generate a hit. So, in 1993 Bad Religion got a shiny new contract and a big promotional push from Atlantic Records. The result was the band’s best-selling album to date, 1994’s gold Stranger Than Fiction. Clearly influenced by grunge’s slower tempos and characteristic stop-start songwriting, a few tracks here now feel dated, but for every miss, there are two or three essential cuts. Unfortunately, the same forces that carried Bad Religion to a major label pulled Gurewitz away from the band, as running Epitaph suddenly became a full-time job. The remainder of the band’s tenure on Atlantic, running from 1996’s The Gray Race to 2000’s The New America, marks a period of diminishing returns. Recommended: Stranger Than Fiction
The 21st Century: 2001 saw a major upheaval for Bad Religion. Their contract with Atlantic completed, the band returned to Epitaph; simultaneously, Gurewitz returned to the band. And when a chronic injury forced drummer Bobby Schayer into retirement, the band brought young, mega-talented Brooks Wackerman into the fold. The changes injected new life into the band just as they needed it, and the impact of those moves is apparent on 2002’s steamroller of an album, The Process Of Belief. Since then, the band has churned out consistently solid work, up to and including 2013’s True North. Recommended: The Process Of Belief
All of that said, while Bad Religion have a number of start-to-finish-great albums, they aren’t really an “album” band – they don’t write concept albums (I’m ignoring 1983’s Into The Unknown here, and you should too), and while they generally do a fine job of sequencing their records, there’s not much lost by picking and choosing individual songs. Here’s a playlist of ten essential Bad Religion tracks that span the band’s career. Start with these, then dig into the albums above for a fuller picture of one of punk’s longest-tenured titans.