I proclaimed my love of sorghum syrup for Marissa's "ringing endorsements," so in the spirit of sharing, here are some more:
I really like movies that won't shut up in my brain, so consider me baffled by Greta Gerwig's Barbie, ostensibly a two-hour commercial for toys masquerading as a feminist treatise. I didn't expect to cry? Or laugh at a Stephen Malkmus joke? But mostly I didn't expect a parallel between Barbie and Mad Max: Fury Road, my favorite movie of all time. Among the many themes that shook me in Fury Road was its multi-layered intersectionality: how feminism encompasses not just fighters and lovers as opposites, but working in tandem. That felt especially true in one of the last scenes between Barbie and Ken, where they both confront constructs of self and the systems they inhabit — no spoilers, but it immediately called to mind the relationship between Capable and Nux in Fury Road, in the empathy she showed the war boy who was literally born into a toxic masculine environment. Does Barbie solve patriarchy in doing so? Or even the movie's own matriarchal utopia? No, it's pretty down-the-middle feminism. Still! I'm thinking about it.
The Deadly Class comic book series ended perfectly, in my opinion, with uncertain futures for its cast of teenage assassins — each student (who didn't die) got their own unresolved cliffhanger, leaving the chaos to our imagination. So I wasn't sure what to think of a fourth collection that took these kids into adulthood, dealing with the horrifying trauma of their youth and, perhaps, the inevitable outcomes. Consider me satisfied, however, in how Rick Remender and Wes Craig weave the current cultural climate — particularly, American tribalism and commercialism — into where these stories intersect and a conclusion that's earned.
OK, yes, the motorcycle stunt, but the train sequence that follows somehow eclipses that outrageous spectacle in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One. For the last 30 minutes, I gripped my seat and kicked my feet like a little kid. Movies! Still have that magic.
The Last Archive is a podcast that takes a long and winding road around history and how its consequences speak to us now. My old pal Ben Naddaff-Hafrey is currently hosting the third season where he's dug in sideways to Raymond Scott's pre-AI-terror generative music machine and Ursula K. Le Guin's Native American reckoning via sci-fi novels.
And now for some shameless self-promotion, my very own Barbenheimer (as Marissa suggested): I brought GWAR to the Tiny Desk and it's as silly and dumb as you'd hope for; I published NPR Music's annual roséwave playlist — six hours of bops, bangers and ballads for your summer soundtrack.
Sonic Youth, "Death Valley '69 (Live)"
Maral, "setar rock"
Nyarons, "Doze Off"
Vagabon, "Can I Talk My S***?"
Lethal, "How Will I Sleep?"
GWAR, "The New Plague"
So Hideous, "Bright Black Beach"
Panopticon, "Cedar Skeletons"
Matthew Shipp, "The Intrinsic Nature of Shipp"
Fay Victor, "Breezy Point Ain't Breezy"
Not Waving, "Fool"
Yussef Dayes (feat. Venna & Charlie Stacey), "Black Classical Music"
Chief Adjuah, "Xodoan Iko - Hu Na Ney"
Mary Jane Dunphe, "Stage of Love"
Swansea Sound, "Keep Your Head On"
Infant Island, "Aurora"
jaimie branch, "take over the world"
P.G. Six, "I Have Known Love"
Ashley Bathgate, "Emily Cooley: Assemble"
Grails, "Sad & Illegal"
Dungeon Serpent, "Necroscope"
Gridlink, "Coronet Jupiter"
Odz Manouk, "Arevordik"
Maggot Heart, "Looking Back at You"
Florry, "Drunk and High"
Claire rousay (feat. Helena Deland), "Sigh in My Ear"
James Brandon Lewis, "Precious Lord"