Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

What to listen to, read, and watch this weekend

Neko Caso
Photo: Emily Shur

The album to listen to

Neko Case, Hell-On

“On her last album, 2013’s The Worse Things Get…, Case adopted a more experimental, sprawling musical style, and we see some of that in the saxophone and rhythmic scat-like vocals on ‘Halls Of Sarah,’ and in the extended instrumental outro of ‘Curse Of The I-5 Corridor.’ This time around, however, Case’s restless exploratory impulses are contained within relatively conventional song structures, with much more compelling results. The majority of Hell-On consists of genre-resistant songwriting best (if rather narrowly) described as chamber pop, with hints of Case’s various musical incarnations over the decades sprinkled throughout.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The book to read

David Sedaris, Calypso

“David Sedaris is now 61, and his latest collection of essays meets aging and death head-on. Despite a whole industry telling you otherwise, there are few joys in hitting middle age. Sedaris has always written darkly comic material, but in Calypso he doesn’t try to find humor when discussing topics like his sister’s suicide or his mother’s alcoholism. Sedaris is more introspective than he’s ever been, skipping from humorous insights about growing up as one of six children to paragraphs that see him trying to understand why his sister killed herself.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The TV show to watch


“[In a] whirlwind of an opening, we meet the members of House Of Abundance, including the imperious Elektra (Dominique Jackson) and ambitious Blanca (MJ Johnson), whose rivalry is at the core of Pose. When Blanca feels the need to secure her legacy, she establishes her own house, the House Of Evangelista. Elektra makes her displeasure known with exquisite elocution and intermittent trouncing of the newcomers, led by her former disciple. These dance-floor battles are frequently the most breathtaking moments of the show, but Murphy’s latest onscreen feud is a clean fight; the house mothers trade plenty of barbs and disdainful looks, but their competition is equally marked by a grudging mutual admiration.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The movie to watch


“What rescues Upgrade from fading into the static of an overstuffed genre market is not only the comedic dynamic between Grey and STEM, but also some seriously impressive special effects—including a thrilling highway car chase that looks like it came from a film 10 times this one’s budget—and [director Leigh] Whannell’s eye for dynamic, Wachowski-influenced action, which contrasts nicely with the dingy world-building from production designer Felicity Abbott.”
Read the rest of our review here.


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