Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

What to listen to, play, watch, and read this weekend

Photo: Bao Ngo

The album to listen to

Mitski, Be The Cowboy

“On her new album, Be The Cowboy, Mitski puts a wall between herself and her newfound fame by channeling the character of what she has called ‘a very controlled, icy, repressed woman who is starting to unravel,’ using that persona as a conduit to understand, and sing about, her strange new reality. Sometimes the line between character and artist becomes blurry—‘I need somebody to remember my name / After all that I can do for them is done,’ she sings on ‘Remember My Name’—but that’s kind of the point.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The podcast to listen to

Fuhmentaboudit!Beers With(out) Beards: Women In Beer In NYC

“This special episode [was] recorded just prior to Hop Culture’s Beers With(out) Beards Week, a first-of-its-kind lineup of events celebrating the women who work in… New York’s prosperous and still-burgeoning craft beer scene. Grace Weitz of Hop Culture, Jess Tabac of Brooklyn Brewery, Heather McReynolds of Guinness, and Anne Becerra of Treadwell Park discuss the pervasive assumptions about the industry that stymie would-be brewers, and how more visibility will inspire more women to see themselves as candidates to influence the business.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.

The video game to play

Overcooked 2

Overcooked 2 is at its best in the flesh, when the gently rising sense of collaborative panic really starts to kick in. ‘Onions!’ you might find yourself screaming, largely unprompted. ‘Dishes! Do them! I will!’ you get back in reply, the rest of the meaning coming across through a sort of frenetic, bonding telepathy. None of it makes sense, but you’re so far down in the co-op zone that it hardly matters. The sequel’s greatest victory might be making all of us as adorably crazy as itself.”
Read the rest of our thoughts on Overcooked 2 here.


The movie to watch

Crazy Rich Asians

“Plotwise, Crazy Rich Asians assembles its story from familiar rom-com building blocks… But what’s revolutionary about Crazy Rich Asians isn’t the story it’s telling, it’s who gets to tell it. This is Hollywood’s first Asian-American-centric studio movie since The Joy Luck Club 25 years ago, and the first mainstream American rom-com to feature an East-Asian-American lead. The film’s detailed exploration of Singapore’s rich and famous ensures it always feels unique, even when its story starts to get a bit familiar. Crazy Rich Asians has substance, but most importantly, it has style.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The book to read

Ling Ma, Severance


“While technically post-apocalyptic fiction, Severance shares as much with Then We Came To The End, Joshua Ferris’ meditation on the failure of an advertising agency, as it does with The Walking Dead; [Ling] Ma plays with voice, alternating between the first-person singular and plural to show how easily an individual comes to identify as part of a collective and how hard it is to have that group fall apart. But, like 28 Days Later, it uses the end of the world to examine what is really important.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The comic to read

Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins, Black Badge #1


“Just a few short months after their previous project, Grass Kings, came to a close, Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins return with a new story. Grass Kings was an excellent if sometimes understated comic, emotional and intimate. In the first issue, Black Badge hints at some of the same strengths. It follows four young men into danger, though it isn’t clear at first why they’ve crossed into territory that poses a threat to their safety. What becomes clear only when they’ve disappeared into the forest is that these kids—just on the cusp of adulthood—have been sent to do something by adults who are taking advantage of their assumed innocence to infiltrate and go behind enemy lines.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The show to watch


“Having already sent up the nuclear family and science fiction, Matt Groening turns his eye to Medieval times for his first Netflix series, Disenchantment. The Simpsons and Futurama creator reunites with Josh Weinstein and Bill Oakley for this fantasy parody, which could be described as ‘Game Of Thrones as recapped by Homer Simpson’ (we know, ‘The Serfsons’ did it already). It’s a fitfully entertaining yarn, one that gets entangled in overlong episodes, a meandering plot, and an existential crisis that mirrors that of its main protagonist. But the game voice cast—which includes several Futurama regulars—helps keep this genre-skewering adventure on course.”
Read the rest of our review here.


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