It's 10:27, Central Time, on Wednesday evening. I'm sitting in my bed in a Carmichael Towers single; I'm grateful for the free housing that being a Summer RA guarantees, but at best the room is a little cozy. It's nice during thunderstorms, which we've had more than a few of this summer, but occasionally this room feels oppressively small. A blanket, a comforter, a copy of the most recent New Yorker open to a piece I'm attempting to read, and my MacBook accompany me. And my first edition Chromebook that I use almost exclusively for watching Netflix is playing the third season of "Girlfriends Guide to Divorce" in the background. (Girlfriend's guide to divorce is a show that used to amuse me, similar to "Grace and Frankie", but that I now find slightly intolerable. We'll see if it gets any better).
I'm having trouble typing tonight -- I've already spelled *guarantees* and *occasionally* wrong and let autocorrect work. But welcome to the first edition of my Weekly Content Column, where I write about cool content (podcasts, books, movies, TV shows, music, etc) that I've consumed in the past week.
We live in a world so utterly filled with content that it's probably literally impossible for someone to consume all of the music in a certain genre in their lifetime. So we've gotta pick and choose and then talk about what we chose.
Without further ado, this week's content:
- Friends From College (Netflix). I binge watched this series (8 episodes I think?) in about two and a half days. This show is a delight. I don't think it was critically acclaimed or anything, and I generally think response has been somewhat lackluster. But it's got a stellar cast, enough drama to keep you a healthy level of involved, and some funny moments that had me laughing to myself alone in my small, compact, tiny dorm room. My favorite character is probably the naive Max or whoever Kate McKinnon plays when she guest stars for an episode. It's freaking Kate McKinnon.
- Louis CK's "2017" (Netflix). I watched this for the third time last weekend when I convinced my friends to endure it with me. I love Louis. His opening in this special isn't as strong as Louis fans are probably used to, but his comedy is as poignant and disgustingly observant as ever. He has a way of making you chortle by saying absurd things, and also making facial expressions that suggest we're all kind of in on an inside joke. The feeling of being in on the joke while he makes incredible (often horrid) observations about human behavior is evidence of Louis CK's genius, and in this special, I think he tackles particularly relevant things that people generally don't want to discuss. I'm talking abortion, religion (and the dominance of Christianity in the Western tradition), suicide, and seems to question his sexuality at the end of the show. It's compelling and hilarious.
- French Montana's new album 'Jungle Rules' (Spotify, iTunes, etc). There are some bangers on this album, but that's almost exclusively because Montana employs features who are much more talented than he is. Take him off the album, and I guarantee you it would go platinum. Spotify keeps running these ads on Twitter that say something to the effect of "French Montana's summer takeover" and I guffaw every time I read that. The only thing he's taking over this summer is the "30 summer albums from forgotten stars you didn't realize were released in 2017" chart that Pitchfork will put out in 30 years.
- "Summer Bummer" by Lana Del Rey with Playboi Carti and ASAP Rocky (Spotify, iTunes, etc). THIS SONG. RIGHT HERE. Usually rap features have a great way of feeling entirely out of place on pop/alternative songs. But Lana and the boys somehow integrate seamlessly on this phenomenal track. Also, her forthcoming album 'Lust for Life' is out this Friday, July 21st. She's been trolling the shit out o her Twitter fans after someone claimed it leaked.
- Ariana Huffington on The Ezra Klein Show (available from Vox or Apple Podcasts). This episode is really old. I didn't listen to the Ezra Klein show from its inception, so this week I've been going back and listening to the old episodes I missed. He has some stellar guests (Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Tyler Cowen, etc.) but the majority of these old podcasts I hadn't heard were before the 2016 election. Which is surreal to listen to. How naive we all were. Anyway, this episode was the first time I had heard Ariana Huffington speak, and she's charming and also has a Greek accent that surprised me at first. I clearly almost knew nothing about this woman if I was surprised by something that a quick Internet search could have turned up. Both Ezra and Ariana are brilliant, and Ariana doesn't believe in death as a thing. Which is kinda cool.
That's it for this week's content round up. If you think of a piece of content that you think I should experience, feel free to email it to me at tarin(at)independent storm.com and I may write about it next week.