Lotic
Photo: Matt Lambert

The album to listen to

Lotic, Power

“Lotic’s debut full-length, Power, comprises many of the same whirring spikes of anxious electronic sound that blast through 2015’s Agitations and Heterocetera EPs. But rather than aim darts at the listener, Lotic (who uses they/them pronouns) offers a path through the barbs, leading the audience right back to themselves. Gaps narrow along the way: between art music and sex jams, between masculinity and femininity, between Lotic’s birthplace of Houston and their adopted home of Berlin.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The movie to watch

Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade, the directorial debut of comedian Bo Burnham, has been made with a bone-deep and clear-eyed understanding of [middle school], and just how hard it can be for all but the most adaptive and impossibly popular. But the commiserative insight comes with an accompanying gust of warmth. What makes this coming-of-age film special is that it’s at once harsh and humanist: a perceptive, realistic comedy about tweenage life that’s also rich in compassion, that scarcest of junior-high commodities.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The comedy special to watch

Jim Gaffigan: Noble Ape

“If a husband and father of five kids is suddenly faced with the potential death of his life partner and is able to incorporate cancer, brain surgery, difficult rehabilitation, and unthinkable terror into a reliably funny set of observational comedy, there’s an artistic triumph in that. For anyone expecting the genially self-deprecating purveyor of shame-eating and beleaguered beta-male jokes to lay bare the raging confessional comic within, Noble Ape won’t give you what you’re looking for. Jim Gaffigan is Gaffigan, here and, it would appear, always, his food bits now peppered with details culled from his family’s new reality.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The video game to play

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Switch and 3DS

“There’s a lot of charm in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Like its hero, the game is short but full of pluck and surprises. Half of it is played as Toadette, who proves just as capable, only with delightful mushroom pigtails. Stages from Super Mario 3D World are recreated for the Toads to traverse without the benefit of jumping. The most promising surprise, though, is how Nintendo transformed a popular genre that had become all too steeped in darkness and hand-wringing seriousness into a family-friendly affair without losing any of its edge.”
Read the rest of our review of the original release here.

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The podcast to listen to

Inside The Disney Vault, “Treasure Planet (2002) with Patrick McDonald

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“This super casual podcast is dedicated to analyzing each Disney animation release in chronological order, and has been on this mission for some time, as the feature discussed this week is buried in the back half of the studio’s catalog. Treasure Planet was a box-office bomb upon its release in 2002, but the hosts nevertheless have mostly kind things to say about the steampunk-in-space adaptation of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.