Here’s what we think is all that for February 2017!
First up is: Anderson .Paak. No, that isn’t a typo. This guy is legitimate and if you haven’t already heard of him, you will. He just announced that he’ll be opening for Bruno Mars on his upcoming European tour… which should tell you everything you need to know. He’s a multi-hyphenated performer (singer, songwriter, drummer, pianist, producer, etc.) that dips his toes into and blends all my favorite musical genres: jazz, soul/r&b, hip-hop, funk, and… and… all of the genres) with a thoughtful seamlessness.
Here is his Tiny Desk performance. If this doesn’t hook you, then move along.
If it does, then also check out his latest album (Malibu) which is smooth, poignant, and so funky.
This past summer, when my brother was working in Nashville, he recommended The Quaker City Nighthawks. And he was right to do so. If you like the Counting Crows, Cary Hudson, Sturgill Simpson, Creedence Clearwater Revival, or Skynyrd, then get ready, cause you’re gonna love these guys. Their second album El Astronauta is a little more polished, which is neither good nor bad, but notable. Some great stompers here. Since they only have two albums, it is easier to work your way through their catalog, but it is on my list of things that you should do.
Speaking of cool, multi-hyphenated gentlemen, isn’t Donald Glover killing it right now? His television show Atlanta is a certifiable hit. He’s going to be donning ‘Lando Calrissian’s’ cape in an upcoming Star Wars movie. And AND his musical alter ego ‘Childish Gambino’ released a new album (Awaken, My Love!) that is sure to be an instant funk classic. Give it a listen. You will love it. I promise. There are some serious, deep vibes on this one… so approach with caution.
As I said on the playlist, I am really rocking Galactic’s Into the Deep and in particular, “Dolla Diva”. I like both versions on the album. Erica Falls sings the song like it was written for her. I mean, I am seriously wearing this one out.
I’ve mentioned Teachers before, but their second season just started and it is just getting better. Which is pretty amazing considering how high they set the bar the first season. Everyone should watch it: teachers, people who love kids, people who hate kids, anyone who likes brilliant, sharp comedy should watch it. We need more shows written, produced, and starring women. Speaking of starring (and I mean starring) an old Second City gal-pal of mine Kate Lambert is slaying it as Ms. Watson. Teachers airs on TV Land on Tuesday at 10/9 C.
Son of Zorn: This one is a little slow burn, but the fish-out-of-water trope is applied quite craftily here. Especially if you love Tim Meadows, relationship comedies, and the old He-Man cartoon series of the 80’s. The premise is bonkers, but got repeated laughs from us. And all the animated-Zephyrian culture stuff is top notch. Give it a shot if you are looking for a solid 22-minute program.
Taboo: I have a real penchant for historical costume dramas. Costume dramas starring Tom Hardy? Goodness, yes. It’s dirty and historical, in all the best possible ways. I’m guessing the casting notice that went out for this was: “Weathered, ruddy. Natural teeth a plus.” It’s a BBC production broadcast here on FX. The art department kills it and I bet it cost a lot of money to produce. It also looks miserable to film in, but so good to watch it on our couch.
Riverdale: I was so skeptical about this show, and was proved so wrong. Which, I love when that happens. Do you like Twin Peaks? And Gossip Girl? Do you have a nostalgic fondness for the Archie comic source material? This show might be the perfect show. And the pilot belongs in ‘The Pantheon of Television Pilots’. Archie’s hair is my only qualm, but everything else? Solid. It’s the most CW show to ever CW on The CW. It’s so good that it trumps my ban on shows based on comic books in our household.
The Mick: I really like this show. It’s everything the Uncle Buck reboot wanted to be. Turns out, when Kaitlin Olsen isn’t trying to out-asshole four other people on It’s Always Sunny, the shtick shines with no hint of it becoming tiresome. It’s brilliant. And she’s lobbying pretty hard to become one of our generations top physical comedians. The supporting cast is great and the writing is top notch. Watch it.
I know you will be totally shocked- but, there is nothing really new on my watch list. Bub and I are watching our same ol’ shows. We are currently looking for a new show that we can watch together when our regular shows go on break but, we only watch a limited amount of tv together. I am keeping up with the Bachelor and Nick… Nick… Nick. Bless him. And let me tell you, dear reader, if he picks Corinne’s crazy ass, he deserves her!
And also too, I have been binge-ing on TLC shows. The folks at TLC have really gotten out there on a limb with some of the pilots they have produced… The Putmans, very interesting- the kids grew up, got married and had their own kids… and never moved out of moma and daddy’s house… yes. And Brother Husbands… yes, yes. And then, there are some great ones too- My Big, Fat Fabulous Life– love me some Whitney and Babs. And I also love Out-Daughtered. I love a show about a gaggle of kids!
I mentioned last month how I’ve been working my way through the Complete Works of Elizabeth Gaskell (a Victorian Jane Austen-type). What I didn’t realize was that I was working my way chronologically through her catalog, which is silly in retrospect, but still amazing to see a writer evolve. I just finished her third book Ruth and, y’all… it was great. Like 4/5! Which is high praise. I woke Josh up from my hooting in laughter during a particularly comedic, barbed exchange between characters. I actually deeply saw myself in two of the characters, which doesn’t often happen. If you’ve gone through all the Austen catalog (or if you are a fan of studied, thoughtful, heartbreaking stories of manners and morals) then check out Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth.
I am dead on arrival on this one.
I’ve been busy catching up after my holiday travels/travails. Lots of wrapping up old, unfinished projects. I haven’t been looking for extra things to do. I’ve been getting things done, versus looking for things to do, so that is nice. BUT when I have gotten a hot minute to chill, and when Josh is en manse, we’ve been playing Overcooked on our Xbox (also available on PlayStation). Even people who aren’t “video gamers” will enjoy this game. It is an adorable, co-operated game where you make your meeples prep, assemble, and serve food. Which wouldn’t sound fun if you were in the food industry, but this game isn’t about this. This game mainly excels because it facilitates conversation, strategy, and teamwork between its players. Learning how to work better as a team? Who couldn’t use it. Plus the meeples are adorable.
Another fun thing that you can do is check out our pal Sheila’s new blog: Damn’d Spot. You’ll remember Sheila from here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Her awesomeness could not be contained by merely guest posting here and on Ravelry. We knew it would happen sooner or later. She has started a true crime AND knitting blog; which would sound incongruous, unless you knew Sheila– in which case it is perfect! If either true crime, knitting, or both of those things interest you (or, you are simply a fan of pinpoint writing), then check out: Damn’d Spot.
Cleaner Pro: Ever since I got a smartphone, and merged all my contact books together (from every email account) my Contacts section of my phone has been a mess of duplicate entries and frustration. Every time I would edit my contacts into a master list would just create another duplicate entry when updated against the cloud. This has been going on for years. I had given up on having a clean phonebook until I remembered that there is an app for everything. Including one that merges all of your duplicate contacts together- taking all profile pics, addresses, phone numbers, and any information entered into any field in your contacts, and put its together. And it’s free! Find it in your app store.
I have become slightly obsessed with this farm game, Township. I never played all those games like this when everyone was playing these and I will flat out tell you that I have deleted friends for repeatedly sending me requests for lives. I am careful not to connect my games to Facebook. But, this farming game is fun!
It is a great fun thing to do!
Ok. Anything we missed? Is there something we should be watching (or reading?!!)? As always, let us know in the comments!