Yes, it has been a super long time. The summer weather has made me want to hide in my air conditioned house and watch TV and listen to music all the time… which is why I can write this post of all the stuff I’m digging.
My Discover Weekly on Spotify (I rejoined and so far it’s worth it) is usually full of boring white dude indie rock but it’s gotten a few things right lately.
I am not sure why this Australian band (mostly the PHENOMENAL Steph Crase) isn’t extraordinarily popular, especially as there’s a bit of a 90s indie revival happening with bands like Palehound and Ought. Summer Flake’s whole album, Hello Friends, is fantastic.
This was probably recommended to me due to my love of Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, as Collins is also from Chicago and writes very thoughtful, personal music.
My playlist this week was pretty disappointing except for this. 4 minutes of ambient/drone followed by something Angel Olsen-y wasn’t what I expected AT ALL.
That guitar line makes me so damn happy. I wouldn’t mind if this was just a touch more twee, but I’m a crazy person.
For pure twee, I turn to Martha, whose record is called Blisters in the Pit of My Heart (so effing cute). I LOVE how this song opens with a guitar and voice and then kicks it up during the chorus.
I’ve been into R.E.M. since I was about ten years old–I went to see them a few times in high school. But one of my favorite recent YouTube discoveries is live R.E.M. concerts from the early 80s–there are several high-quality ones available, I guess because they allowed professionals to come in and shoot them a lot when they were medium-level popular. My favorite is this one from Raleigh in 1982, as it not only includes “Ages of You” (!!!) but it led me to discover several posts about Raleigh’s hidden underground nightclub scene.
I’ve also decided Peter Buck was a total babe back then (above, far right; and below), and that really helps hold my interest when I’m listening to “Hyena” for the forty-fifth time.
At the end of the month, a few of their IRS releases are being reissued on LP! I’m definitely getting Dead Letter Office, but I’m not sure I want to buy Lifes Rich Pageant for a fourth time (CD, original LP, reissue 2XCD).
You guys, I tried so hard to make Jason DeRulo “Want to Want Me” last year’s Song of the Summer, but I guess it was just mine. Here are some other non-Beyonce pop songs I am into right now.
Clams Casino ft. Kelela
I like every single thing Kelela has ever put out or sung on. She’s playing Hopscotch this year (KINGDOM is also on the same show, OMG) so I hope to see her and be blissfully happy.
I always feel like Miguel is singing to me. “Hello stranger/it’s been a while since we last kicked it.” O RLY??
I haven’t listened to Freetown much yet, I was worried about Dev Hynes following up Cupid Deluxe. Thankfully this is fucking great.
You don’t have to believe ME that this track is fantastic–Pitchfork calls it “genius.”
I thought summer TV would be so good this year, but so far I’ve been mostly watching season 4 of The Americans that sat on our DVR for four months, major league baseball, and other stuff I’m late on like The Night Manager (LOVE), OJ Simpson: Made in America (even I am OJ-ed out but this is really interesting), and House of Cards (meh, everyone is an irredeemable piece of shit). The Bachelorette is very entertaining, although Katie and I both miss Chad a lot. And by Chad I mean Wells and Derek.
A few new things worth mentioning: HBO’s The Night Of, which I thought would have blown up the internet by now ala Serial or the first season of True Detective. I am guessing Bill Camp is this year’s Mark Rylance, where I will be obsessed with him winning every award ever for his performance. Maybe I can win him an Oscar! I watched the first two episodes of Roadies with Katie and will probably keep up with it because I like the music and Luke Wilson (RIP Enlightened). UnREAL is disappointing this season: it wanted to say something about race (like the show-within-a-show Everlasting), but dropped it completely and now everyone’s fighting and Everlasting’s drama has become a secondary thread. I suppose I will stick with it, but I will be fantasizing I’m watching old episodes of Top Chef on Hulu the whole time.
Probably the best thing I watched this summer was the livestream of Broadway’s She Loves Me, which ended a little late for old-lady-Melissa, but was wonderful from start to finish. I didn’t understand some of the reviews, which I think were unnecessarily hard on something that had never been done before for such a large audience. Plus I want to continue to support things like this, so it encourages other productions to do the same thing (coughcoughWaitresscoughcough).
Katie and I watched both The Intern and Jem and the Holograms last weekend and they were both shitty and I have nothing else to say since we livetweeted them both. I think we’re too young to ignore the problems of the former and 30 years too old for the latter.
Stuff I haven’t seen yet that I will eventually: season 4 of Orange is the New Black (I usually watch in the fall, I don’t know why), Hap and Leonard, Baskets (all ten eps on the DVR), new seasons of Casual and The Mindy Project (waiting til I’m sick or something) on Hulu, Horace and Pete. Plus all the other shit I’m really behind on, like Bojack Horseman. I am really feeling the peak TV thing. There’s so much to watch that I just get overwhelmed and end up watching nothing. Or baseball.
I haven’t been keeping track of this as much as I should.
“Understanding Hillary” by Ezra Klein: I am already in the bag for HRC but I found this portrait to be fascinating, especially how Klein dismantled the patriarchal views on listening. I am a terrible listener (like, so bad I am practicing and failing at active listening) but now I want to rule at it.
“The Myth of Millennial Entitlement was Created to Hide their Parents’ Mistakes” by Sarah Kenzior. I recently designed and facilitated a class on the multigenerational workforce so I have been reading articles for months. This is one of my favorites, because it really shows a different viewpoint. Personally, I think a lot of generational differences are a myth and have to do with age and the other generations’ comfort level of getting older.
“Drake, Chance the Rapper, and the Millennial Divide” by Lindsay Zoladz. I loved this article so much that I mentioned it in the above class I taught. There is such a wide range of values, even within generations, that making a sweeping judgement on them is insane. I also hold Lindsay’s viewpoints to be well-researched and true.
That’s it for me! What pop culture have you been enjoying lately?