I’m officially four weeks into this! Let’s get started.
Album of the week:
I have always had a fondness for alternative hip hop, because I love hearing the genre in all its forms and I can appreciate experimentation. That is all to say, I’ve been a fan of De La Soul since the first time I listened to them. This week, I have been listening to exclusively rap music and no album was better than De La Soul’s most recent project. and the Anonymous Nobody… is a great piece of work both as concept album and as a alternative hip hop album. De La Soul tackles anonymity and what it means to be a nobody. They also do so with some of the most adventurous sounds in hip hop I have heard any time recently. It comes with some great features like David Byrne from the band, The Talking Heads. Damon Albarn from the Gorillaz and even the trip hop group Little Dragon makes an appearance on this record. Some tracks, like the one that Little Dragon is on, are so unconventional to what makes a hip hop song today. It’s refreshing to hear, it really is – you should absolutely give the album a listen. De La Soul has not lost a step since their fantastic debut in 1989.
Song of the week:
Why not stay with De La Soul? Some weeks I just like to let the track speak for itself, and that’s what I will do here. Here’s “Pain” featuring Snoop Dogg:
Television episode of the week:
Okay, maybe I was wrong when I thought that movies were going to be the strongest
category from week to week – because television has definitely been the strongest every week. This week though, Deadwood takes the cake. The episode was “E.B. Was Left Out.” It had every aspect that I love about Deadwood. It highlighted the relationships between characters while simultaneously allowing them to exist on their own – a task so many TV shows and movies even really struggle with. Al Swearengen’s character development has been some of the best on a television show that I have ever seen. He has so many different aspects to him – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Above all though, he’s alive and I greatly appreciate when writers can bring their characters to life. Not to mention how great the direction has been on the show, or even the acting. I tweeted this once, but it bears repeating: Ian McShane is masterful as Al Swearengen. Episode in and episode out, he’s flawless.
Movie of the week:
Another down week for movies watched! That should change next week, but I did see one this week – last night actually – that really grabbed my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed. Theo and Hugo is a French film released this year. It takes quite a bit of inspiration from films from the French New Wave of the 1960s (especially Cleo From 5 to 7). The writing reminded me of Truffaut’s writing in Breathless. The directors, Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, also employed a lot of the techniques and themes pioneered during this era too. The film was a fantastic love story full of fear, anger, and hope and I would absolutely recommend it to fans of French New Wave style filmmaking.
Piece of writing of the week:
I recently started reading short stories from BJ Novak’s collection of them titled One More Thing. Novak is a hilarious, endearing, and charismatic writer. This week I read No One Goes To Heaven To See Dan Fogelberg. Novak explores what heaven might be like in this story and it’s a wonderful read. It’s also really funny. Novak wrote quite a bit for the American version of The Office (he even played Ryan too) and you can hear his voice from his work on that show shine through here. I am sure this is not the last time I will discuss Novak’s work in this section, because I still have quite a bit left to read in his book. I would highly recommend it so far (I actually don’t even think the story I read this week was his best one).
I will see you next week, where I will be updating from Ohio!