This is what I hope will be a new weekly feature. I always want to write about what I’m enjoying but it’s never enough to fill a post. So, I will post about what I’m listening to (records, podcasts, equipment updates), watching (TV, movies, YouTubers) and reading (articles about pop culture, sports, news, fashion, whatever; maybe even some books). I’ve also included an “other” category, mostly so I can post about my non-SLLS hobbies, like gardening and baking.
Double Double Whammy, who put out three of my favorite records of 2014, recently released Eskimeaux’s LP OK. If every song sounded like “Broken Necks,” which is catchy and loud, I would probably enjoy it, and add it to my list of “good-but-not-great-pop.” But it’s so much more dynamic than that. Gabrielle Smith writes songs that build up and change and break down. The songwriting is SO spectacular.
Almost as exciting as discovering Eskimeaux is the new (vintage) record player my husband bought us and set up, replacing my 90s JVC piece of shit that never lifted the needle after an LP ended and had some belt damage, causing everything to be slightly too slow. For the cost of repairing that JVC, which we will do eventually (though who knows if the static arm can be fixed), we bought a lovely 80s Marantz. We plan to save up for a nicer new or vintage one (I want it to be wood), but until then, this is a great solution. Next up: new speakers!
Shannon told me about her new obsession with Younger during book club, and I watched six episodes on demand when PJ was at band practice this week. If you haven’t seen it, a 40-year old woman, who is in the process of getting a divorce and finding herself, goes back to work after 15 years, but in order to get a job, she accidentally pretends to be 26.
Younger has a great female cast (Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar), and talks about getting older in a very honest way. It’s a Darren Star production, so it’s fluffy, set in New York and has Patricia Field doing the costumes. It is, of course, not without flaws: everyone who is not in their 40s is 26 (not ever 27 or 25), no one talks about age with that much specificity in real life, and the love interest is cute, but bland, despite his tattoos (writers: tattoos say nothing about anyone anymore, we ALL have them). [I need to watch this. I hope it comes to Netflix so I can binge it. -K]
“From ‘Fancy’ to a canceled tour: A breakdown of Iggy Azalea’s demise” from the Washington Post. I have spent a year trying to ignore this woman, but sadly, like Adam Levine, she never really goes away.
Vox’s coverage of season five of Game of Thrones. Katie hipped me to this site’s awesome daily analysis of the most recent episode.
“Neko marks the anniversary of ‘Don’t Peggy Olson Me’ with a long-form essay on ‘Women in ______'” by Neko Case. A lovely personal essay about being put in a silo because of gender and finding your feminist voice.
“The delightful fruits of 90s nostalgia: My favorite women in rock are reuniting” by Annie Zaleski. A great companion piece to Neko’s essay by a music writer I really like, about the importance of growing up in a world with L7 and Babes in Toyland.
The Dissolve: Nashville. Each week, The Dissolve features one movie of the week, and writes several thought-provoking pieces about it: from friendship in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion to beauty in Grey Gardens to the cult of MacGruber (just see it!). It has been a fantastic way to discover classic movies that I may have missed or allow me to think critically about one of my favorites. This week, with Nashville, it is the latter. I saw Robert Altman’s piece-de-resistance in high school, after watching The Player, which I didn’t like at the time (must rewatch soon). I loved it–I listen to the soundtrack often (“I’m Easy” STILL kills me) but never thought about it with the amount of depth as this piece. I definitely plan to spend Saturday afternoon with Barbara Jean and the gang, with The Dissolve open on my iPad.
“Stop Trying to Sell Me a Smart Water Bottle” from Gizmodo. Your daily chuckle.
In the summer, all I want to consume are tomatoes, cantaloupe and wine. Likely all together. I have never been much of a gardener, and went into my new hobby slowly and with much trepidation. This is my second summer of growing tomatoes–last year was most a few cherry varietals, patio tomatoes (I don’t recommend as they were indeterminate and produced 1-2 at a time), one giant heirloom plant, and some San Marzanos that fell to blossom end rot. I got large buckets from Lowe’s in the spring because they are cheaper and fit more soil than the plastic tubs I used last year, which I would find toppled over whenever we had a rain storm. So I’m tending to two sungold plants, three sweet 100s and four romas, in addition to jalapenos, basil and cantaloupe.
Between the four roma plants, I have about fifty tomatoes growing, which is more than I had from all my non-cherry plants put together last year. I will use them primarily for my pizza sauce, which freezes well, and roasted tomato salsa (I subtract the vinegar and add fresh squeezed lime juice), which I hope to learn to can before I have to give everyone I know a jar and force them to eat it all within five days. [I want all of this! -K]
I made this with cherry tomatoes and basil from the garden. The dough (of course) and sauce are homemade too, but I used canned tomatoes for the sauce. Sadly, I am lactose intolerant and limit my cheese intake, but I did put some parmesan on top.
One of my mother’s friends bought a whoopie pie pan, then found it later and wondered what to do with it, so she gave it to me. I’ve had just two whoopie pies in my life (a chocolate-peanut butter gem from when Katie and I went to Pennsylvania, and a lemon-lemon one that my friend Nicole used to sell at her husbands record store; both were very memorable). I like to try new baked goods for my book club ladies so I used this recipe, and modified it by adding raspberries to the filling. They were complete perfection.
What pop culture have you been getting into this week?