Sean O'Neal, The AV Club

Sean O'Neal

The AV Club

Austin, TX, United States

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Past articles by Sean:

Why can’t I be a Cure fan like you?

Gwen Ihnat: The Cure didn’t exactly make a U-turn in 1987 with Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, but it was a hell of a reroute. The iconically mopey band, led by head goth/grump Robert Smith, all of a sudden had a cheerful horn section in “Why Can’t I Be You?” that threaded throughout the double album. And while its poppiness—and the smash success of “Just Like Heaven”—helped Kiss Me become The Cure’s… → Read More

Brad Pitt blasts off, Pennywise floats, and Downton Abbey reopens its doors this September

So many movies, so little time. Every week brings a new crop of them, opening in multiplexes and arthouse theaters across the nation, and arriving in increasingly high volumes on streaming platforms like Netflix. How’s a voracious moviegoer to keep up? That’s where The A.V. Club comes in. The first week of every month, we’ll be previewing all the major movies coming to theaters (or laptops or… → Read More

The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is manipulative fun, if not quite magic

The film aspires to a sort of philosophical musing on the nature of truth and illusion. → Read More

20 years ago, Rushmore took the soundtrack back to school

In 2017, actor and filmmaker Kentucker Audley created a video for Talkhouse where he married scenes from Wes Anderson’s Rushmore to a murderers’ row of vacuous ’90s pop hits from the likes of Smash Mouth, Blink-182, and Third Eye Blind. Mashing things up with “All Star” accounts for around 40 percent of all internet content, of course, so you’d be forgiven for having ignored it, or finding the… → Read More

Why does more Ghostbusters always provoke such anxiety?

Every rebooted franchise plays off our longing for the past—the implicit promise that it can make us feel just like we did the first time. We know, if only subconsciously, that this isn’t possible. Deep down, we resent it. It just won’t be the same, we say. We won’t be the same. Why can’t you just leave it alone? And this bitterness curdles into anxiety whenever someone threatens to try. → Read More

And now the inevitable, anticlimactic conclusion of Dan In Real Life 2

INT. SEWAGE TUNNEL Dan sloshes through the low tide of a thousand burst alien placentas, his leather duster flapping uselessly behind him—much like the distant memories of everything that happened prior to this scene. He is pursued closely by an army of reptilian hatchlings, their jaws gnashing in mindless, ravenous hunger—or possibly just a free-floating, vaguely defined rage. You can relate.… → Read More

Dirty Projectors, Deafheaven, and more albums to know about this week

Dirty Projectors’ Lamp Lit Prose calls to mind the band’s late-’00s peak, while Deafheaven reach higher on album No. 4, and Lotic softens their approach on debut Power. These, plus Pram’s first album in 11 years in this week’s notable new releases. → Read More

The Modern Lovers, Pere Ubu, and Blondie were ready to rip up 1976

To commemorate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100, Off The Charts revisits each year since it was established to spotlight songs and artists that didn’t make the cut, yet still made a significant impact. Years are chosen randomly and—to make it even harder on ourselves—rules for inclusion are that neither the songs nor albums they hail from can have landed on the Billboard 200. Selections are… → Read More

Bjørn Torske, Bodega, and more albums to know about this week

In this week’s notable releases, Byen finds nü-disco fixture Bjørn Torske blending more ambient textures into his playful sound, while Chicago footwork pioneer RP Boo gets melancholy, and NYC art-rockers Bodega debut with the lyrically stellar but musically weak Endless Scroll. → Read More

America, please don't follow Michael Moore into civil war tomorrow

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, the day when Americans briefly set aside their differences and come together to celebrate what a great nation this is to get sweaty, buzzed, and overfed in. It’s true that our union of uneasy cohabitation has perhaps never been more tested. There are marches in the streets. There are children being held in prisons down at the borders. Every day brings more news of… → Read More

At long last, Ned Flanders has received his own rap song

What Are You Listening To? is a weekly run-down of what A.V. Club staffers are streaming. Listen to these songs and more on our Spotify playlist, updated weekly with new stuff. → Read More

Welcome to TV's golden age of "What the hell did I just watch?"

Sunday night was the season finale of Westworld—an episode whose plot points I will not be spoiling here, because to do so would suggest not only that I actually retained them, but that I had some understanding of their significance. I’ve watched two seasons of the HBO sci-fi drama now and, while I’m mildly conversant in some of the things that have happened within them, were I to be cornered at… → Read More

Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard IS Danny Sexbang for Ninja Sex Party

“Danny Don’t You Know,” the new video from 1980s schlock-rocking comedy band Ninja Sex Party, practically begs for viral fame: It stars Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard as the younger version of even-pornier-named frontman Danny Sexbang, himself the musical alter ego of Game Grumps cohost Dan Avidan. It features a cameo from another popular YouTube gaming personality, Pamela Horton (who is not… → Read More

Nine Inch Nails, Kamasi Washington, and more albums to know about this week

Bad Witch is a thin, if rewarding, listen from Nine Inch Nails; while Kamasi Washington’s cinematic soul-jazz is more ambitious than ever on the awe-inspiring Heaven And Earth; and Gang Gang Dance turn in a somewhat too-impeccable sixth LP with Kazuashita. These, plus Martyn and The Orb in this week’s notable new releases. → Read More

Nick Cave to get half-naked, homoerotic statue in his hometown

A shirtless Nick Cave, his bad seeds swaddled in a loincloth, straddling a bucking stallion as he hoists a flaming torch could soon pop up somewhere besides the deepest recesses of your subconscious, unbidden but surprisingly not unwelcome, whenever you listen to “Stagger Lee.” The Guardian reports that this graven image may soon be made reality in the singer’s small Australian hometown of… → Read More

Nasir brought us at least one stone-cold classic Nas track

What Are You Listening To? is a weekly rundown of what A.V. Club staffers are streaming. Listen to these songs and more on our Spotify playlist, updated weekly with new stuff. → Read More

No matter what, Rupert Murdoch will just get even richer

While most of the nation is caught up watching the Mexican border with soul-sick revulsion, there’s been another big drama playing out in the papers that you might not have been following as closely: the epic pissing match over which enormous media conglomerate gets the privilege of throwing more money at Fox ruler Rupert Murdoch. Variety reports that the bidding war for Fox’s film studios and… → Read More

Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts CF, and more albums to know about this week

Melody’s Echo Chamber pushes its warped psych pop to new lands on Bon Voyage, while Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever debuts with the dreamy, mature Hope Downs, and Chromeo strikes the right balance on fifth LP Head Over Heels. These, plus Immersion and The English Beat in this week’s notable new releases. → Read More

It's 3 p.m., let's watch The Rock-afire Explosion rap about butts

It’s 3 p.m.! Let The A.V. Club briefly make use of the waning hours of your productivity with some pop culture ephemera pulled from the depths of YouTube. → Read More

In his new memoir, even David Lynch doesn’t try to get inside David Lynch’s head

“It’s impossible to really tell the story of somebody’s life, and the most we can hope to convey here is a very abstract ‘Rosebud,’” David Lynch writes near the very end of Room To Dream, marveling at the failure of the preceding 500 pages to truly capture him. This is the inevitable upshot of all biographies, of course, and especially true when it’s a subject—and storyteller—like David Lynch,… → Read More