New year, new pop culture: coming in 2018

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I had very high hopes for 2018. Maybe it’s my own fault for having them, but those hopes were almost immediately dashed by Logan Paul. YouTube idiots aside, however, there’s going to be some great stuff this year, and I promise it’s worth getting your hopes up.

Let’s start with films. Early Man, the latest animated film from the team behind Chicken Run, Wes Anderson’s (also animated) Isle of Dogs, and the highly anticipated Deadpool 2 seem to be holding things up on the more light-hearted end of the spectrum. Damien Chazelle, acclaimed director of La La Land and Whiplash, will be returning towards the end of the year with The First Man, a biopic about Louis Armstrong. Horror fans will be delighted to see Jamie Lee Curtis return to the Halloween franchise, and fans of Sylvester Stallone and boxing are undoubtedly excited to see Creed 2.

To no one’s surprise, there’s also a lot of superhero movies on the way in 2018. The Jason Momoa led Aquaman film will be sure to make a splash (sorry), but there’s also the animated films, Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse and the Tom Hardy Venom film to look forward to. And let’s not forget the most important superhero event of the year, no, the decade. That’s right: The Incredibles 2 is on its way June 15. Oh, Avengers: Infinity War also happens this year. No big deal.

Music is looking good for this year, too. Outside of the typical pop affairs, you can expect great entries from lesser known acts like folk-americana duo First Aid Kit, indie sensation Lucy Dacus, and veteran rocker Jack White. For the air guitarists amongst you, Joe Satriani’s What Happens Next drops Jan. 12, and for the more pop-oriented, Owl City’s Cinematic comes in June. There’s plenty of hearsay surrounding everyone from Courtney Barnett to Selena Gomez and My Bloody Valentine (no, I’m not kidding, they still exist), but there’s sure to be some exciting stuff coming our way.

But what about here in St. Catharines? There’s plenty happening this month to see in the new year. Warehouse is hosting concerts from rockers Teenage Head, the synth-heavy The Rain Within, and indie delights The Kents. They’ll also be hosting a sad occasion: the final concert for St. Catharines’ own indie rock treasures The Morning Dwellers on January 19. It’ll be tough to see them go, but their final show will most certainly be one for the ages. Brock’s GoLive group have also put together a concert on Jan. 17, which will bring together a fantastic selection of local talent.

There’s plenty going on elsewhere in St Catharines too: the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre will be screening a variety of films, including Rite of Passage, a documentary about the Sex Pistols’ ill-fated U.S. Tour in 1978; and Afghani animated film, The Breadwinner. They’ll also be hosting dance artist Zata Omm, an Abba tribute act, and country singer/songwriter Gord Bamford. On Feb. 1, Classic Albums Live will also be putting on a performance of Queen’s A Night at the Opera, and the Centre will also be hosting a run of The Vagina Monologues. Mahtay Cafe will also be hosting a number of interesting events, including folk-pop singer Piper Hayes on Jan. 14, the more experimental Supernatural Buffalo on Jan. 28, and regular open mic nights on Thursdays as always.

This year has probably already gotten you down, with the horrid weather, and some drama already mounting. Some things are just plain awful. But that doesn’t have to be all you get out of this year; if even one of the things on this list excites you, or there’s something else you know you can look forward to, note it down, and make sure you don’t miss it, and know that there’s always something good just over the horizon. Even during exams. I promise.

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