Randall Colburn


United States of America

I'm currently a professional copywriter for an e-commerce juggernaut, but I also have extensive experience in pop culture journalism, arts coverage, grant writing, study guide creation, and social media. I've maintained social media accounts for Groupon, and have contributed short-form and long-form content to websites like Groupon, The A.V. Club, Consequence of Sound, Gaper's Block, and more.


The A.V. Club

Can the new wave of faith-based filmmaking transcend propaganda?

"A young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident." That's the synopsis provided by the gang behind Miracles From Heaven, a faith-based drama starring Jennifer Garner that premiered to packed houses last month. But that miracu

Mockingjay, Super Fly, and the evolution of the companion film soundtrack

In late September, Lorde released " Yellow Flicker Beat," the first single off The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 soundtrack. It's a moody piece, with warbling a cappella hums heralding the New Zealander's robust mezzo-soprano, a lightning-lit storm cloud that, even when buoyed by pulsing synths, can't help but signal an encroaching darkness.

Westeros collides with Bayside High in this Game Of Thrones recap mashup

Game Of Thrones' fourth season sailed through the Moon Door last June, leaving fans bereft of brutal death scenes to turn into squeamish GIFs. But the hit HBO series is back on April 12, and refreshers are in order to remember all the stuff that happened in between the impalements and eye-gougings.

What it's like to be a contestant on MasterChef

In entertainment, an awful lot of stuff happens behind closed doors, from canceling TV shows to organizing music festival lineups. While the public sees the end product on TVs, movie screens, paper, or radio dials, they don't see what it took to get there. In Expert Witness, The A.V.

Salute Your Shorts proved that a good ensemble doesn't need a protagonist

In 1992, the second season of Salute Your Shorts debuted and I felt betrayed. Michael (Erik MacArthur), the angel-faced every-kid, was gone, replaced by a smug schemer named Ronnie Pinsky (Blake Soper). I loved Michael. Michael was insecure and awkward and sort of a follower, just like me.

Owl City tries to transcend its twee-tronica roots on Mobile Orchestra

Many would say Owl City-née Adam Young-makes music for teen girls. They'd be wrong. Owl City makes music for pre-teen girls. A cursory scan of the lyric sheets on Young's previous three LPs reveal musings on bumblebees, fireflies, and shooting stars. It would be no surprise if Young's greatest influ

Surprise! Abandoned scary movie sets are scary

Horror benefits from an authenticity of place. An abandoned mental hospital just isn't scary if you can see a Sony Pictures studio tour passing by the windows. Take 2001's Session 9, for example, a slow-burning cult spooker that derives much of its uneasiness from its location: Danvers State Hospita

The missing ingredient in film's treatment of fast food workers

I was 14 when my dad drove me to McDonald's and told me to get a job. I was 17 when I quit, a day that was surprisingly bittersweet. I hated the job, but I'd made memories there-friends, enemies, jokes. I'd met my first love in the break room.

Food Writing

Raise a glass to saison, the farmhouse ale brewed to last through the dog days

Welcome to Gateways To Drinkery, where The A.V. Club offers an entry-level course on our favorite libations, and some suggestions on where to start drinking them.Saison (farmhouse ale)The lowdown: "Saison" sounds fancy-dainty even. It's nearly impossible to order one without indulging in even the li

Dope: It's now legal to get stoned in bars and restaurants in Denver

Just because we voted an orange, fluffy Demogorgon into office doesn't mean Election Day was a total bust: California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada legalized laws in support of recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, Colorado's been buzzing since they legalized it in 2014, and, believe it or not, the

The godfather of bacon novelty gifts explains his unlikely success

You've seen them. They're small presents tacked onto bigger ones. Stocking stuffers. You show them to the kids and share them on social media. They can be almost anything, these gifts, but what they have in common is that they probably came from Archie McPhee.

Which of these kitchen gadgets is best for makin' bacon?

Bacon's recent revival amongst the culinary cognoscenti invigorated the taste buds of pork lovers everywhere. It also inspired any number of innovators, who sought ways to create a better strip of bacon. Some wanted to make it less greasy, others crispier, and a few pioneers even considered bacon's

All the edible and nonedible ways leftover bacon fat can enrich your life

Bacon fat-the stuff left in the pan once you've got those pork strips nice and crispy-is flavorful as all get-out, not to mention endlessly versatile. Grandma didn't hoard those jars for nothing. Tossing the dregs in the trash isn't a good idea, since the grease will wreak havoc on drains, so it's worth it to figure out a use for it.

Buying Guides

Lube 101: Find the Best Lube For You

Lube grants a wide range of benefits in the bedroom, from adding comfort to granting a variety of new sensations. Its prime advantage, of course, is lubrication itself-by adding moisture and minimizing friction, it can make intimate activities of all types smoother and more enjoyable.

Groupon Feature Articles

Where To Get Your Oil Changed in Milwaukee

It's easy to take oil for granted, but if you neglect it for too long, you're in for car trouble (and a lighter wallet). Changing your oil on the regular ensures a longer life for your car and fewer visits to the mechanic.

Flour's Joanne Chang On Her New Cookbook and the Best Baking Tools

Before her sticky buns sent the pastry world (and Bobby Flay) spinning, Joanne Chang graduated from Harvard with a degree in applied mathematics and economics. Now, as the owner of Boston's Myers+Chang restaurant and the ever-expanding Flour Bakery + Cafe, the renowned baker regularly puts her education to good use.

The Most Decadent Seafood Dishes in Sin City

Las Vegas's reputation for sin and excess extends to its culinary scene, where celebrity chefs from around the world flock to indulge their most decadent whims. Las Vegas seafood restaurants, especially, are known to serve dishes every bit as glitzy as the Strip itself, and we've compiled some of the best ones right here.

Is the Board-Game Cafe the Future of Gaming?

Mobile gaming may be forecasted to make around $22 billion this year, but a growing number of gamers are finding their way back to pre-digital forms of entertainment. No longer feeling confined to the basement, these proud geeks have found a new home: the board-game cafe.

5 Iconic Mexican Dishes and Where to Get Them in San Jose

Being smack-dab in the California coast, San Jose is close enough to Mexico to reap some of its tasty cuisine. Gourmet and street-food dishes central to Mexican culture can be found at countless San Jose Mexican restaurants, though it's the following eateries that elevate the classics to another echelon.

A Slice for Any Occasion: Where (and When) to Get Pizza in Kansas City

OK, so there's no such thing as a " Kansas City pizza." But this is indisputably a good thing, as it frees a KC pie to take on any number of forms: wood-fired, Neapolitan, New York style, you name it. With such wondrous diversity, there's bound to be a pizza to accommodate every situation in your life.

What Sacramento Concert Venue Best Matches Your Personality?

The way you listen to live music reveals a lot about your personality. If you're loud and rowdy, you'd probably prefer not to be cooped up at a cabaret table. On the other hand, a raucous mosh pit likely sounds awful to someone who prefers to slowly sip cocktails.

How to Fit Five Milwaukee Brewery Tours Into One Day

Once the landmarks have been photographed, the museums browsed, and statues hugged, there's no greater way to get to know a city than to drink its beer. That goes double for Milwaukee, a city that was once dubbed the the "beer capital of the world."

Concert: Eight Times Heavy Metal Made Us Laugh | Chicago Music | Groupon

Sometimes, metal can be a drag. The darkness, the self-seriousness, the preoccupation with death and destruction. On the surface, Atlanta's Mastodon look like just another band of bearded buzzkills, what with their concept albums about Moby-Dick and Rasputin. But a closer look reveals the band's fierce intelligence and wicked sense of humor.

Groupon Copywriting Content

LG 25" Class 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor (Refurbished)

Any price comparison is to a new, nonrefurbished product price. LG 25" Class 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor (Refurbished) Ideal for graphic designers, photographers, and other professionals who value screen real estate, this 25" monitor has a rectangular screen to accommodate a multitude of windows.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Set with Wii U Console, GamePad, and Mario-Themed Wii Remote Plus

Set Contents 32GB black Wii U console Wii U GamePad Wii U AC adapter Wii U GamePad AC adapter HDMI cable Sensor bar Wii U GamePad cradle Wii U GamePad stand Wii U console stand Mario Wii wheel Mario-themed Wii Remote Plus Mario Kart 8 game disc Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Set Nintendo's Wii U combines a console capable of full-HD gameplay with an innovative controller that has its own screen.

Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition for Xbox 360

Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition It begins at the idyllic Royal Palms Resort on the tropical island of ..., where a zombie apocalypse has turned the visiting tourists and hardened locals into blood-splattered denizens of the undead.

Shun Japanese Damascus Style Set of 3 Knives with Block

Contents 8'' chef's knife 6.5'' serrated panini knife 4'' paring knife 11-slot bamboo knife block Shun Japanese Damascus Style Set of 3 Knives with Block Shun's proprietary VG-Max steel is what sets these kitchen knives apart from their sharp-edged contemporaries.

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum for Women (3.4 Fl. Oz.)

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum for Women Rich and Luxurious Anchoring this sumptuous fragrance is black orchid, a luxury ingredient that's custom grown and very rare. Along with woodsy notes at the base, the orchid offers a dark earthiness that's offset by sweet, creamy notes of vanilla and citrus.

Consequence of Sound

Consequence of Sound
Modern Classics: The Decemberists - Her Majesty The Decemberists

Welcome to Modern Classics, an ongoing series where Consequence of Sound's staffers and contributors discuss albums within the last 10 years that may now be looked upon as a "modern classic." Today, Randall Colburn's celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Decemberists sophomore album, Her Majesty The Deccemberists, and how its humane nature separates it from the rest of Colin Meloy's celebrated catalogue.

Consequence of Sound
Welcome to Your Life: 10 Essential Coming-of-Age Films for Twentysomethings

It seems like every new film festival cycle offers an endless supply of coming-of-age stories, usually centered on wayward teenagers or developmentally stilted twentysomethings. It's that second category that we're thinking about of late, what with Lynn Shelton's continually delayed finally hitting theatres this week.

Consequence of Sound
Quiz Show Isn't An Indictment of Television

Quiz Show was lost in the crowd, impeccably dressed and reeking of prestige at a party thrown by punk kids. At the 1994 Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Picture alongside Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Forrest Gump, innovative films that, in some cases, were a direct response to the monocled aristocrats of yesteryear.

Consequence of Sound
11 Memoirs Inspired by Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous

RealLife is a monthly feature where Consequence of Sound staffers join forces with a diverse cadre of writers to share personal stories inspired by one legendary album. This month we're tackling Rilo Kiley's swooning More Adventurous. Some of the stories may be inexorably linked to the album itself; others may just share its themes, tone, and atmosphere.

Consequence of Sound
Album Review: CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

How many songs have I ruined with too many spins? Too many. Most, probably. You could say it's my fault, that I scrubbed the sheen away myself. But then there are those outliers, those songs that persevere, retaining their resonance no matter how many times I sing along.

Consequence of Sound
Live Review: Pixies, Cults at Chicago's Riviera Theatre (2/9)

Cults is a band. They are from New York. They are young and attractive. They have long hair that, slick with sweat and product, tumbles dramatically over their faces. They made a song that was in an iPod commercial. Cults' music is pretty and pleasant and a perfectly fine thing to sway to.

Consequence of Sound
Album Review: Moonface - Julia With Blue Jeans On

"Set fire to my music," Spencer Krug sings on Julia With Blue Jeans On, "It wasn't much good anyway." If he's serious, that explains a lot. Moonface, a moniker Krug attributes to his solo work, repeatedly redefines itself to such an extent that you'd think the songwriter were trying to make you forget his last effort.

Consequence of Sound
Ranking + Dissected: Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson is in many ways our Kubrick. I'll hear an argument that there are better movies from other directors, and I'll even entertain the notion that there are better directors. However, like Kubrick and Hitchcock before him, you get the sense that every single shot in a PTA film has been carefully thought out and constructed.

Consequence of Sound
Film Review: While We're Young

Noah Baumbach wrote and directed Kicking and Screaming when he was 26, and his youth played no small part in how human and relatable that film's pack of post-college rascals came to be. Artists are almost always best attuned to the culture, mannerisms, and ennui of those their own age.

Consequence of Sound
How to Break the Fourth Wall

The idea of a "fourth wall" began back in ancient days (pre-1950s) when theater was the primary source of entertainment. It is "the space that separates a performer or performance from an audience," an imaginary barrier that allows the audience the chance to observe the actions on stage or, nowadays, the story in a movie or TV show.

Spectrum Culture

Los Campesinos!: No Blues

Rating: Los Campesinos! are not twee. Okay, they were a little twee on Sticking Fingers into Sockets, their debut EP. But even then, amidst all that talk of Cherry Aid and fizzy drinks, frontman Gareth Campesinos! couldn't stop himself from shouting, " It's my party and I'll die if I want to!"

Gaper's Block

A Fever Dream Come True: Chicago's Dream Theatre Company Finds Its Audience

Feature Mon Jan 18 2010 Most theater companies define themselves by what they want. Jeremy Menekseoglu, artistic director of Chicago's Dream Theatre Company, knows exactly what he doesn't. No fourth wall. No superfluous roles. No poor roles for women. No living rooms. No boundaries of realism.


Theatre Tue May 25 2010 "If someone understands a story," a character mutters during one of the more tedious stretches of Bertolt Brecht's 1918 play Baal, "it's been told badly." TUTA's production isn't told badly, necessarily. In fact, for its first hour, Baal is sloppy, riotous fun. But then it just keeps going.

Theatre Zarko performing @ Next Theatre Company

Theatre Zarko: Puppet Symbolist Theatre is exactly that. Combining puppets, surrealism and unique storytelling, Theatre Zarko aims to provide Chicago with a broader vision of the art form of the puppet by creating a venue for experimental puppet theatre and eventually opening a school of puppetry arts.

Redmoon Theater's

Theater Fri Sep 10 2010 Illustration by Chris Burnham I've never really read comics. Not as a kid, not as an adult. One might think that would undercut my immersion into Redmoon's latest, an outdoor spectacle in the windows of the Museum of Contemporary Art's façade, but the remarkable thing about The Astronaut's Birthday is the warm Technicolor cloud of nostalgia it leaves in its wake.


Theatre Sun May 09 2010 There's plenty of crazy talk in Stringberg's modernist chamber play, The Ghost Sonata. Discussions of insanity, asylums and madness abound in this story of a wide-eyed student's descent into a hellish Stockholm apartment, but Max Truax's fearless production for Oracle Theatre does the masterful job of making Strindberg's batty, and at times impenetrable, language fresh, raucous, and most importantly, accessible.

Chicago Dell'arte's

Theatre Fri Apr 09 2010 Isn't there a stage adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby that runs more than eight hours? Yes, there is. Who thought that was a good idea? Someone who knows it's near impossible to capture the passion, heart, and depth of an epic novel in a couple hours, much less onstage where your resources are that much more limited.

Student Study Guides