Thursday, January 28, 2016

Watchin' Stuff Lite Vol. 13

Well, it's been close to two years since I last posted anything on this blog. But, I've missed it recently and figured I'd stop by to drop a Watchin' Stuff Lite on you all. Here's a list of ten songs and shows that have kept me occupied over the course of our time apart.

#1: Heavy (When I Need It) - Sleater-Kinney. This is my very favorite band. Last year they released their first album in ten years, No Cities to Love. If you missed it, I suggest you acquaint yourself, stat, because it was one of the best albums of 2015. This is one of the bonus tracks from said album.

#2: Broad City. This show is now coming up on season three and if season two is any indication, we're in for a roller coaster come mid-February. Broad City is honestly one of the funniest, ballsiest shows I've seen in a very long time. Throughout the run of the show thus far, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are unapologetically blunt, crude and generally unladylike and I love every minute of it. If you have yet to let this show into your heart, get your shit together and go watch it.

#3: He War - Cat Power. Every time this song comes on in my car I have to replay it two or three times until I can move on, it's that good.

#4: Transparent. This is another great show that has already completed two seasons, so, as you can probably tell by now, I'm not addressing anything terribly new. However, this is one of the few shows over the last two years that have truly stuck with me as something I can legitimately recommend. This show, if you haven't heard by now, follows Jeffrey Tambor's character, Maura, and her trials and tribulations as a newly out trans woman with three of the most selfish children of all time. Tambor is fantastic and his supporting cast is equally fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that it even includes the one and only Ms. Carrie Brownstein. Go give it a watch on Amazon instant or wherever else you can find it.

#5: Second Skin - The Gits. I discovered this song by the Gits fairly recently, though I've been aware of the band for a while. Unfortunately, even though the Gits were a pretty great early 90's Seattle-based band, their success was abruptly abbreviated by the murder or their lead singer, Mia Zapata. Despite this tragedy, in their short time together, they were still able to put out a few gems like this one.

#6: Master of None. This is a more recent watch of mine. Though I wouldn't call Master of None one of my new all-time favorites, I will say, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Aziz Ansari's contribution to the new abundance of self-written shows about comedians living their lives (ala Louie and Maron), Master of None is pretty much what you would expect from Aziz Ansari. It's funny, it's charming and it's lighthearted when addressing not-so-light topics.  Overall, it's enjoyable and I'd suggest stopping by Netflix to check it out. It's a quick watch.

#7: Pedestrian at Best - Courtney Barnett. It's cool, take a listen.

#8: Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Definitely one of my top three network sitcoms of the last five years. If you are holding out on this one because you're not so sure you'll be into it (like I was for a while) I would highly recommend giving it a watch to make sure. Expect to see a lot of Andy Samberg being Andy Samberg, but in the best way possible. If you're not a fan of him, however, the rest of the fantastic cast might just make up for him with their flawless portrayals of some great characters. Gina (played by Chelsea Peretti) and Captain Holt (played by Andre Braugher) being two of my personal favorites. It's basically just a very well executed classic cop sitcom with a more modern feel and I love it.

#9: Blackstar - David Bowie. We lost a great one a few weeks ago and luckily for us he was thoughtful enough to leave us all a little love note before he departed. This is the title track off David Bowie's final album and it does everything I had hoped it would.

#10. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I've always enjoyed the liberal comedy-meets-newscast format used most notably in the past by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, but I never watched their shows as religiously as I have Last Week Tonight. Perhaps it's the fact that it's on HBO or because the weekly episodes are less daunting to keep up with than episodes on the daily but I have yet to grow tired of this show. In fact I'm very excited for John Oliver to return to his desk after hiatus. He and his writing staff never cease to impress me with their wit and creativity. And no matter my level of interest in the topic of the episode I am always equally entertained. This show really just checks all the boxes in terms of what I look for in my programming and I would like it to come back now, please.