Kendrick Lamar brings us to life by dropping his new album DAMN., we can’t stop talking about 13 Reasons Why, and more from our binges this week!
1. 13 Reasons Why
Michelle was on this binge last week (and has already rewatched it?!?) so I know I’m behind. But I’ll reiterate her recommendation. Netflix’s new teen drama 13 Reasons Why is so well-crafted. It’s a compelling, emotional show about the high school experience. It thoughtfully reveals diverse perspectives, from the students to the administrators to the parents, without treading too heavily into “after school special” territory. Highly recommend for those emotionally ready to process intense situations (suicide, sexual assault, violence, drug use, and more).
2. The New Yorker’s Margaret Atwood profile
Rebecca Mead’s profile of Margaret Atwood is long, detailed, funny, and insightful. I highly recommend taking a half hour to read this beautiful piece and learn more about this brilliant writer.
3. A bunch of podcasts I’ve been meaning to listen to
I took a self-imposed podcast hiatus for awhile. I couldn’t stand listening to “voices” on the way to work and switched to music instead. Finally, I missed my podcast routine so I’m catching up on some of the great episodes I’ve missed. I recommend the following podcasts (any episodes) but here are the specific episodes I binged this week.
1. Podcast catch-up week
Lane recommended an episode of Switched on Pop to me earlier this week, and to both mine and her surprise, I had never heard this podcast. This set forth a curated binge of their various episodes and an immediate obsession with it. I was also behind on some other episodes including Jenny Slate’s episode of Off Camera with Sam Jones, three episodes of 2DopeQueens including the latest episode with Carrie Brownstein (always a fun binge), Serial Killers, You Must Remember This, and the latest episode of Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie podcast.
2. Comedy Central’s The Comedy Jam
I had heard about this show premiering a few weeks ago, but never gave it a shot until I saw Mark Duplass’ preview. The show consists of comedians, actors, etc. telling a story/joke that references a particular song, band/artist, etc. and then that performer proceeds to perform the song. Most of the time they are able to bring someone from the band or another notable point of reference to the stage with them for a brief duet. It sounds ridiculous, and it totally is yet I could not get enough of it. Mark Duplass’ performance in particular was one I revisited too many times than I’d like to admit. It’s charming, funny, sincere, and plastered with the typical indie dramedy aesthetic of any Duplass production. I couldn’t help but imagine this is what his character in Blue Jay would have done for Amanda (Sarah Paulson), so you know that made things worse for me. Other notable performances include Fortune Feimster performing the Dixie Chicks “Goodbye Earl,” Chris Hardwick performing Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Big Jay Oakerson’s singing Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” and more. This is everything I’ve ever wanted in my life-storytelling and singing. I’m not going to lie though, I was experiencing high levels of regret for “quitting” comedy, because I missed my shot at tearing up the stage. The Comedy Jam airs every Wednesday night at 10pm EST on Comedy Central.
3. Kendick Lamar’s new album DAMN.
This just dropped, so maybe it doesn’t qualify as a full binge. However, when it dropped before midnight last night I immediately put it on, turned the volume up in my headphones, and indulged in this fantastic example of why Kendrick Lamar is the king of hip-hop. The follow-up to his album To Pimp a Butterfly, DAMN. is just as prophetic as his other work, but it feels beyond necessary. There’s a sample of Geraldo Rivera’s critique of Lamar’s performance at the BET awards, mentions of Donald Trump, etc. A first class list of collaborators from U2 to Rihanna, DAMN. encapsulates the country’s anxieties, anger, diversity, strength, and culture. Personal favorite tracks are “LOVE.”, “DNA.”, “XXX.”, and “LOYALTY.”