Five Shows About Music You Should Be Watching
Dave: Maybe you’ve heard of Lil’ Dicky (you know, the rapper). Maybe you have and you thought “dick-joke joke-rap, I’ll pass.” But whatever you think (or don’t think) about Lil’ Dicky (aka Dave Burd) this show is a triumph. The semi-autobiographical series chronicles Dave’s life as he rises through the entertainment industry without ever being understood by it (he thinks Kanye, they think Lonely Island). Along the way, it delves into his childhood, early career in advertising, and the lives of the strange characters in his orbit. It is at once funny, real, meaningful, sad, inspiring, and outrageous, all while staying grounded. We should all be talking about this more. And the more you do know about Lil Dicky coming in, the bigger surprise it will be.
2 seasons available to stream on Hulu
Atlanta: Ok, so lots of people are talking about this show, and damn right! For the uninitiated, the plot synopsis runs something like this: Driftless college dropout insinuates himself as a manager of his cousin’s rap career. But the plot is almost besides the point, because the show is really a series of expositions on American life that are darkly funny, sometimes absurd, sometimes touching, and all-to-real. Despite a relatively few episodes (only three seasons have aired since the show’s debut in 2016), the show launched the careers of many of the creators who seem indispensable today. Where did Lakeith Stanfield come from? Atlanta. Where did Zazie Beetz come from? Atlanta. Brain Tyree Henry? Is this a trick question…?
Season 3 is currently dropping on FX (also on Hulu). 4th (and final season) is set to come out in fall of 2022
High Fidelity: The movie with John Cusack and Jack Black was so awesome wasn’t it? As record store geeks and (sigh) emo fans, we ate it up with a spoon. Our hot take: the Hulu reboot is better. High Fidelity the series, also based on the Nick Honrby novel, casts Zoey Kravitz in the John Cusack role as the emotionally-challenged owner of a barely-above-water independent record store ruminating on past break-ups. Everything that made the original movie enjoyable is here. The relationship drama is raw and it’s filled with great music. But the style and approach feel more fitting. The story is better served by the longer format. And the cast is delightful. Da’Vine Joy Randolph steals the show as Cherise, the rough equivalent of Jack Black’s Barry. (We’d sign up for a series just about her.) More people should be talking about this one, because, tragically, it has been canceled after one season. Maybe Zoey Kravitz can resurrect it as she becomes a full-blown mega star? We can only hope.
1 season available to stream on Hulu
Treme: David Simon’s follow-up to The Wire doesn’t get near enough love, and we don’t understand it. It is an unvarnished look at life in the eponymous New Orleans neighborhood (the oldest African-American neighborhood in the U.S., according to some sources) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As in The Wire, Simon uses the small stories to build the big ones, giving you a view of race, class, political and corporate corruption through the lives of the individuals who live it. And like The Wire, it can be difficult viewing. But it is fun, too, because unlike The Wire, Treme is filled with a host of incredible local New Orleans musicians playing a broad range of genres. It’s a few years old now (the last season concluded in 2013), but the issues it raises are as relevant today as they were a decade ago. We should all be talking about it.
4 seasons available on HBO MAX
Girls5Eva: If, like us, you’re in severe 30 Rock withdrawal, you will be overjoyed at Tina Fey’s new project. It follows a re-united 2000s girlband as they try to resurrect their careers in the present day. The show packs in the 10-jokes-a-minute, delivered expertly by a capable cast that includes Sara Bareilles and Busy Philipps. The music is hilariously believable, thanks to Fey’s husband Jeff Richmond. And it is silly silly silly. It’s everything you’d want from Tina Fey.
Season 2 currently dropping on Peacock
So no more of this "uhhh...I just don't know what to watch next". These. Do these ones.
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Also in Blog: Deep Cuts
How do you organize your records? Alphabetically? By Genre? The way you organize your records can have an impact on how you enjoy them. So, as your collection grows, think about how you think about your music, and organize accordingly. Here are some popular strategies and the pros and cons of each.
Decorating with album art. It seems like a no brainer. You like albums. You like art. Albums have art. Just put the albums up on the wall as art, right? So why can it feel so weird?
You wouldn’t think twice about hanging a painting you like. But album art isn’t just album art. It’s the brand of the artist. It’s where the artist sits in the culture. And where that culture meets politics.
When it’s on your wall, that Fleetwood Mac record says you buy your vinyl at Crate and Barrel. That Bob Marley record says I hope you brought rolling papers. That Gang Starr record boasts you know way more about hip-hop than you actually do. That Steve Reich record says you are either an insufferable aesthete, a charlatan, or likely both.