Completely stealing a page from Kottke (as I did 20 years ago), here is what I have been consuming lately.
Vampire Weekend, Father of the Bride: The group I deemed as “lousy” when I first heard “Cousins” stuck with me as my musical tastes headed more towards accessible, poppy stuff versus dark, insightful stuff. The latest album is really just lovely, if not completely feeling like a lost Paul Simon record (with pop-ins from people like Sting and other late 80s-early 90s artists). There’s enough here to keep me interested right now. (A)
Barry: My wife and I caught up on this show over the past week or so. I really enjoy it. It’s not a comedy but is definitely funny and the half-hour format is refreshing in a world of hour-long dramas and giant commitments. (A-)
Too Funny to Fail: The Life and Death of The Dana Carvey Show: Jeez, this was a slog. I love Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell and respect their work, but everything around this show read to me as: cis white guys using their privilege to the point where they landed a primetime network show and did whatever they wanted for 7 weeks. Again, glad we got Ste(v/ph)en out of it – this truly launched their careers – but the rest felt like it could have been covered in 30 minutes. (D)
The Greatest Generation podcast: I fully admit I have been dipping back into this show, which is a Star Trek DS9 recap/comedy show, over the past several weeks in an effort to find a familiar voice in my podcast queue. But I need to share a story. I found this podcast, as many did, via an Ars Technica article years ago - and came to enjoy it. It became a part of my routine. I stuck with it through all of TNG, and into DS9. Then I went to see the live show in Denver last year and found it to be, for me, a huge turn-off. I don’t know what it was, but the super childish humor and the like just… made me reevaluate why I was listening at all. So I gave it up. And now when I do listen, it’s not by subscription, and I skip all of the opening parts – it’s just too much junk. I long for a podcast that this is not. (D)
Synecdoche, New York: On a whim I checked to see if this Kaufman movie was available on a streaming network and it was – it’s on Netflix right now. It’s one of my favorite movies because it’s so befuddling and beautiful and messy and confusing and weird and uplifting and meta. The subject matter is not easy nor perfectly clear, but it is a vital reminder that we are here for such a short time and who we are is something we construct, and who we surround ourselves with is such a big influence on us. (A+)