Smart ladies love lists, Pop-culture-a-go-go, February 5, 2016

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Every week, I post what I have been listening to, watching and reading lately.

Listening

I have been spending an inordinate amount of time listening to music lately, mostly for Off Your Radar, a newsletter (via tiny letter), which I am honored to be a part of. Each week, one of the fifteen writers suggests a record that maybe didn’t get as much attention as it should have, writes about their experience with it, and the other writers listens to it and writes their own reactions to it.  The first one was my selection, Standard Fare’s The Noyelle Beat. We only promoted it for about a week and it got over a thousand subscribers, which makes me think that people really want to (re)discover music, and also that they love reading smart criticism.

I’ve been listening to the next selection, Gang Starr’s Moment of Truth, but also the next four that have been selected. We try to be positive, which has already trained me to listen to music differently. I spend more time with music and can’t really make snap judgments, like I often do for this feature (which, don’t worry, that’s coming up next).

When I heard the strong synth sounds of “Quiet Americans,” I knew I would add Jet Plane and Oxbow to my pile of Shearwater LPs.

AHHHH SO GOOD. Plus, from the look of this video, I would like to think Jonathan Meiburg is as obsessed with “Johnny and Mary” as I am.

Also this Beverly song:

The new Frankie Cosmos:

And how AMAZING is this video-game inspired clip from KING??

Watching

I haven’t posted as much about Crazy Ex Girlfriend as perhaps as I have wanted to, although I really want people to watch it; however, the show is moving in a really interesting direction. As Rebecca has more and more distance from her former life in New York, she is becoming sadder as her self-awareness increases, but hasn’t yet hit rock bottom. Even as the cringe factor (and amazing songs, BTW) continues each week, the show’s greater focus is slowing creeping in: Rebecca is becoming a self-actualized woman. It’s so fantastic to see such a feminist story on television.

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Did you see Grease Live on Sunday? I was trying to finish up our SAG fashion recap post, but I kept being drawn in by the presentation, which was so lively and fun and full of direction we hadn’t seen on any of the previous live musicals. Twitter was also a good time–gifs were popping up in our timeline, and everyone from celebrities to TV critics to normal folks were tuning in. Can Vanessa Hudgens be in more stuff now? Kthanx.

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I also watched some movies! During the snowstorm two weeks ago, we watched Mad Max: Fury Road, which was probably the perfect time to revel in a movie that felt so hot and dry (I swear that wasn’t meant to sound dirty but I am not removing it because it is accurate). I enjoyed it, especially the visuals, but because of all the praise that was heaped on it, I expected to feel a deep connection to it that never came. Oh well, they can’t all be Brooklyn, I guess. We also spent some time in the cold with Fresh Dressed, a great doc about hip-hop fashion, which wasn’t all new information, but the graphics and interviews are worth a watch. Jemaine Clements’ dark-ish rom com People Places Things (a terribly bland title that had nothing to do with the story) arrived on Netflix instant, and my husband forgot about it exactly as he said he would. If you are looking for a sweet little movie while you are waiting for the next batch of Sundance indies to hit theaters, give it a try. Lastly, Sicario is a very well done movie with a pleasantly diverse cast where nothing happens the way you think it will. RIYL: The Hurt Locker, Syriana, Traffic.

Reading

Unearthing the Sea Witch. Did you know Ursula from The Little Mermaid was inspired by Divine? Howard Ashman was from Baltimore!

All the Pretty Pandas Bachelor season 20 recaps. My interest in The Bachelor was brought on by two things: my friend E, who is a really smart feminist who loves the show (“Hey, maybe its viewers aren’t all bad…”) and seeing Sharleen on The Amy Schumer Show. She was sarcastic, self-aware, and made fun of the show. If there were other women like that on the show, I wanted to watch them. Then I told E about Sharleen’s interview and she mentioned that Sharleen HAS A BLOG where she recaps the show and points out producer interference and shit that is a little fucked up. SHE IS RECAPPING SEASON 20!! She apparently has some kind of a life (wtf?) so she’s a week or two behind but I love this crap and if you watch the show, you would too. Though if you watch The Bachelor and read this blog you probably already know about Sharleen’s blog, so shame on you for not telling me about it. She does recaps on Flare too, where she also writes about culture. AND she was a guest on last week’s Here to Make Friends.

The Problems with Food Media that No One Wants to Talk About. I have long been a consumer of food media, despite being a rather picky eater. This said so much of what I have thought for years (dismissing ethnic food places serving quality ingredients without haute cuisine markups as “cheap eats,” too many shitty cookbooks and bad recipes online).

Winona, Forever. ANOTHER Hazlitt long read, though this one has footnotes! This beautiful piece discusses the versions of celebrities we hold to our hearts versus the actual truth.

What pop culture have you been getting into this week?

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