TV Diary

Still catching up on some TV shows I watched awhile ago.

With Love

With Love is a show on Amazon Prime that revolves around an extended Latinx family and various love stories within it. Each episode takes place on a different holiday so you’re moving quite a bit through time from episode to episode. It made it a little hard to invest in some the characters and relationships, but I thought it was cute. It’s apparently been renewed for a second season. I’m not sure where they will take it from here as it felt pretty self contained, but I guess I’ll find out eventually.

Julia

For the most part I enjoyed Julia on HBOMax. Sarah Lancaster did a great job of playing Julia. I also really enjoyed BeBe Neuwirth as her best friend. It was interesting to see how the show was created, though I have no idea how much of this is fact versus fiction. I did feel at times like Julia was too whiny, and I really could not with her husband. I feel like I always heard that they had this great relationship and that he was so supportive of her. And eventually by the end of this season he had come around and seemed to be more on her side, but good lord what a man baby whose little feelings are hurt because he got forced into retirement and now his wife is having success. Hopefully there will be less of that in the next season.

Heartstoppers

This was a cute adaptation of a series of graphic novels about two teenage boys exploring their sexuality and falling in love. I never read the books, but from what I gather from people online it was an extremely faithful adaptation with literal shot for shot recreations of some of the illustrations. I gather people were really happy with it, which as you know when people have strong feelings about a book is really hard to do. I also heard a lot of queer adults saying that they wish that they had had something like this when they were growing up, so it’s good that kids these days do especially given all the efforts to legally and otherwise try and stuff LGBTQ+ people back in the closet. I don’t think I connected with it as strongly as other people, which is fine. It was not made for me, but I’m really happy that it seems to mean a lot to the people it was meant for.

Ghosts (British Version)

The hit CBS sitcom Ghosts was actually adapted from a British sitcom that is available on HBOMax. They’re pretty fairly equivalent. I think I like the lead actress in this version better than the CBS one, but I also like the actor who plays the husband better in the British version so I guess it balances out. Same with some of the ghosts. There was a joke about not eating rice krispies until they’re dead (i.e. no longer making noise) that I still cannot stop laughing at, and that I mention every time my husband eats rice krispies. Solid bit that.

We Own This City

We Own This City is a show created by David Simon based on a true story and book written by former Baltimore Sun and now Baltimore Banner reporter, Justin Fenton. A lot of critics and people of course compared this to The Wire, which it’s not and isn’t meant to be because it’s not The Wire. They seemed to be mad about that. I thought the show was fine, but I wasn’t upset that it wasn’t The Wire. As someone who read the book and lived through all the news coverage while it was happening the show didn’t have much to offer me other than the way it portrayed the story that I already knew really well. The show was way too convoluted presenting the story jumping around in time with sometimes only very subtle clues as to what year you were in. I could sometimes barely figure it out and I have to think that anyone coming to this story cold would have to be confused a lot.

Under the Banner of Heaven

Speaking of shows based on books, Under the Banner of Heaven is an adaptation of the book by John Krakauer about a murder and a crazy Mormon sect. Again the show was fine, but it in no way did the book justice. I remember loving this book when I read it and finding it super compelling. I didn’t want to put it down. I did not feel anything like that for this show. I could very easily have stopped watching it at any time and not felt like I was missing anything.

First Kill

First Kill is a new teen vampire show where the vampire and vampire hunter fall in love. It’s of course reminiscent of things like Buffy and Vampire Diaries, but it’s also very heavily based on Romeo and Juliet with the families of the two girls warring and telling them they need to stay away from each other. It was in no way actually good. It does have Elizabeth Mitchell in it though, so that’s a bonus. However most of the acting is pretty terrible or the writing is or maybe both.I still binge watche the stupid thing in two days.

Last Week Delight

Hello from the beach. I will have actual beach delights for you in next week’s post, but for now let’s look back at what was giving me joy last week.

  • Amos Lee rescues a bird. Amos Lee is currently on tour (well he just got COVID, so not currently but you know…). I don’t remember what city he was in early last week, but he found an injured bird by the steps of the venue and sought out advice on social media for anyone who could help rescue it. I don’t know if anyone helped him or not with where to take it or they found it on their own, but he shared a video of some people in his crew helping to get it into a box and then they drove it to a wildlife rescue where he dropped it off. Then a few days later he shared the post from the wildlife rescue releasing it back out into the wild all better.
  • The Great Pottery Throw Down. I’ve written about the Great Pottery Throw Down before, but it’s back for a new season. The normal host, Siobhan McSweeney, broke her leg and wasn’t there for most of the season, but the Ellie Taylor, who you may recognize as Sassy from Ted Lasso stepped in to replace her temporarily. I liked her better and wish she would stick around, but oh well. It’s just such a lovely show. Even more good natured than Great British Bake Off because there is no Paul Hollywood smarm. There was one episode where the person I was rooting for the most just really knocked it out of the park and it was just so delightful to watch. I was so happy for her. I still have one episode left to watch, and I’m kind of saving it for a day when I really need a pick me up.
  • Uncle Davids. Kimberly Adams who is reporter for Marketplace and now one of the co-hosts of the Make Me Smart podcast shared a couple years ago during the height of the pandemic how her Uncle Davids had gone viral on Instagram with the creation of sculptures in their backyard during the pandemic back when she was guest hosting on the podcast. I’ve been following them since then, but whenever they post it brings me a bit of joy. They are two gay men in their 70s both named David who’ve been together since 1989 and were married in 2015. They are so positive and have so much love to share with the world. They are the kind of people we need more of. They call all their followers niblings and always send their love or wishes to them and say AND THAT EXCLUDES NO ONE. Sometimes they just livestream sitting around their fire pit. It’s all just such a nice cleansing moment from the horribleness of the rest of the internet. @david.k.north on instagram if you want to follow too.
  • Graduation countdown. I was in an online board meeting for work the other night. Most people were attending the meeting in person, but I still chose to Zoom in as did the student rep on the board because she had COVID. I could see a marker board behind where she was sitting where she was keeping a countdown of days until graduation, and made me really happy for her. What an exciting time for everyone who is getting ready to graduate.
  • Cheetos and Cap’n Crunch. I love Cheetos and Cap’n Cruch, but I only allow myself to eat them on vacation because they are terrible for you. So my husband ordered me some in our grocery pick up for our vacation this week. Since the Cap’n Crunch was buy 2 get 1 free on the largest size he did that, so I got three huge boxes of Cap’n Crunch. However, he didn’t pay attention to the size on the Cheetos and got a tiny back that only had a couple of servings in it. I was amused by the juxtaposition of how much Cap’n Crunch there was compared to how few Cheetos. But not anymore because then out of nowhere my friend who is cat sitting for me this week texted me on Friday and said you like Cheetos right? I said yes, and when she came to get the lowdown on all the cat’s medications on Friday night she showed up at my house with 4 party sized bags of Cheetos. I’m definitely going to run out Cheetos or Cap’n Crunch any time soon.
  • Beach vacation. In a dizzying 48 hours we backed out of our beach vacation to stay home with our sick cat, but then after I talked to the vet more we decided it was probably okay to go away for a week. So far, so good. Hopefully that continues to remain true until we get home. I’m still worried, and feel guilty for leaving her. I’m trying to enjoy the vacation as much as possible though, and I know she is in good hands.
  • And now it’s time for my musical joy. I love the song “Roll with Punches” by Dawes. I heard it on my way to work on Friday morning and it felt very fitting for the last few years when it seems like the punches just keep coming and I keep having to find a way to keep dealing with them. It felt like the perfect song in the moment I heard it.

Last Week Delight

It’s time once again to see what’s been bringing me some little delights in the past week.

  • Visiting my family. I haven’t seen my family since June of 2021 in those brief shining days when we thought COVID was going to be over. I canceled going to see them for Christmas because of the Omicron surge, which was the right call since several of them did in fact get COVID over Christmas. My parents were flying to my sister’s in Massachusetts for Easter and my niece’s birthday, so we decided to go up. Unfortunately my husband didn’t get to go because he had to stay home with our sick cat, but I’m glad I at least still got to make the trip. It was nice to see everyone for a few days.
  • Good traffic. Having made several trips to New England by car last summer in horrendous traffic, I’m happy that for the most part I didn’t hit much traffic on either my drive up or back. Partly it’s because I’ve gotten smarter about my routes, but also I left early enough that I avoided most of the worst of it. It was just starting to get bad in Maryland on that stretch of 95 that only has 3 lanes instead of 4.
  • Toll by tag. I really like the places where they’ve switched to toll by tag, and you can just keep driving while cameras scan you from overhead. It’s so much nicer than having to slow down for toll booths even when you have an EZPass and don’t have to completely stop. It’s nicer than even in places like parts of Delaware where they’ve separated out a couple of lanes for EZPass holders where you don’t go through a booth if you’re not paying cash because even then you have to make sure you’re getting into the correct lane. And of course for people paying cash you don’t have to worry about having money on you. You just get to drive and pay later. I wish they would switch everything to toll by tag.
  • My sister’s family apparently watches Wheel of Fortune on the regular so we watched a few episodes while I was there. One night they were telling me how the contestants always say stuff like I’m married to a fantastic person and we have two fabulous children, and they were joking that they wanted to go on and say something like I’m married to a horrible person and we have terrible children. Then the episode started an a contestant literally came on and said I’m divorced from a wonderful man who gave me two great children. I’m guessing he wasn’t that wonderful if you’re divorced. We were all dying laughing. I was crying I was laughing so hard.
  • Spectacularly losing at Sorry. I was playing a game of Sorry with my parents and my niece. I have never seen anyone lose as spectacularly as I did in one of the games we played. I had three of my pieces in the safety zone and then managed to draw three backwards 4’s in a row and had to take every single one of them out, and then every single one of them got Sorry’d and wound up back in Start where they ended the game. I didn’t like losing, but if you’re going to lose might as well do it as big as possible.
  • Return of the inappropriate ice cream man. It got marginally warm last week, and the ice cream man that comes by my house showed up for the first time this season. I say it’s the inappropriate ice cream man because 90% of the time he’s coming around at like 10 pm. Seems sketchy to me. He got a new song on his truck this year too. At first I thought it was a different truck, but it was the same old truck with a new song. I’ve never actually gotten ice cream from him because mostly it’s too late. He sometimes sits right outside forever because there’s a little place he can pull over right across the street. One day I was trying to nap and he was just sitting there and keeping me a wake forever, so I finally decided I was going to give up and actually get some ice cream. Right as I walked up to the truck he drove away. And I’ve never tried again.
  • Progress at work. I don’t know if it will amount to anything in the long run, but something I’ve been trying to promote at work for years now seems to finally be getting a tiny bit of traction with some faculty members.
  • Cat waiting at the bottom of the stairs for my husband. Whenever my husband goes upstairs or doesn’t come downstairs in the morning when I come down our cat gets very concerned about him. She will just sit at the bottom of the stairs staring up at him. She doesn’t follow him up or go looking for him, she just waits there until he comes back down again.

And now it’s time for some musical delights.

  • The first weekend of Coachella was this past weekend. As much as I love music I have zero interest in ever going to Coachella or pretty much any music festival except the Newport Folk Festival. I do like that I can sometimes watch some of the sets being streamed from them though. Last night I stayed up late to watch Maggie Rogers’ set.
  • I continued to listen to music on my old iPod on my trip. Here’s some more things I found in this little archival delight.I kept hearing these U2 songs that I did not know and didn’t ever remember buying. Then it dawned on me they were all from that U2 album that Apple forced on everyone. I totally forgot about that.
  • I hadn’t heard the song “Little Miss” by Sugarland in a really long time and forgot how much I like it. It’s a shame that after they took a hiatus as a band for awhile while they both went off and did some solo things that by the time they got back together country music was firmly entrenched in bro country and had no room for a mostly female fronted duo. I don’t even know if they’re still together or if they broke up again after that return album sort of crashed and burned even though I loved it.

Last Week Delight

I am so not feeling this post right now, but I’m hoping writing it will make me feel a little better. My cat is still sick going on 12 days now. She went back to the vet Friday and the vet said she thought it was due to a reaction from the rabies shot she got, but she’s not getting better. Even with the anti-nausea meds the vet gave us she’s still vomiting anywhere from one to three times a day. She’s off at the vet getting tests done and wasn’t allowed to eat this morning, so I’m super sad and stressed thinking about her being stuck there starving, stressed out, not feeling well and not understanding why her humans are subjecting her to this torture. Also, we’re supposed to be going to visit my family for Easter on Thursday, but it’s looking increasingly likely that I’m going to be going solo and my husband is going to stay home with the cat. I’m really not looking forward to making the drive by myself. Anyway enough whining. Let’s get to the good stuff.

  • Taharka Brothers Ice Cream. Taharka Brothers Ice Cream is a local Baltimore ice cream distributor. They have a few shops at markets in the area and sell to lots of restaurants and local grocery stores. You can also order ice cream to be delivered. The only draw back of that is that you have to order 8 pints, which is a little excessive. However, they do monthly special flavors and several times in the last six months or so I have really wanted them, so I’ve gotten a friend to split the 8 pints with me. So we each just get 4 pints instead. We just got another order this past week because I really wanted their banana pudding and chocolate chip cookie dough special flavors. And you can’t beat their honey graham, which is happily one of their always flavors. It’s so good.
  • Sunday Walks. I know a lot of people adopted walking outside with friends early on in the pandemic, but that’s not something I ever really did. It’s only been since this past February that I started doing that on the regular with the same friend I split the ice cream with. At some point in February I hit one of those particularly rough pandemic lows. I hadn’t had any social interaction in awhile because the weather was too cold to do outdoor activities and I think even my online game night was canceled that week, so I was like I need to get out of this house and talk to someone that isn’t my husband. So I asked my friend if she wanted to meet up for a walk on Sunday afternoon and now we’ve pretty much done a Sunday afternoon walk every week save for the weeks when one or the other of us has been out of town.
  • Side of Rice at Ekiben. My husband and I got dinner from Ekiben on Thursday night. It’s not his favorite unlike everyone else in Baltimore, but it’s literally steps from our house and it was raining so I suggested we just do that for dinner. I ordered him a side of rice and was very amused by the description “Side of Jasmine Rice. A really good option if you want 2000 of something for only $2.”
  • Long Shadow. After days and days and days of nothing but rainy weather it was finally sunny for a little while on Friday including my morning walk. When I was coming home at one point the sun was at my back and it created the longest shadow of me I think I’ve ever seen. It stretched almost down the entire block. I enjoyed watching my long, tall shadow self bopping along.
  • TV Binge. I enjoy a good TV binge, but it’s been a long time since I’ve watched a show that I just wanted to sit down and keep playing episodes of. I don’t even remember the last show I did it with it’s been so long. I spent a good portion of this weekend binging the show You’re the Worst and it was nice to get sucked into a show again for a little while.
  • New Yorker Salt Box Article. The New Yorker had an article about Baltimore Salt Boxes and how a movement to create them into community art pieces brought them to new life. As I said on social media when I shared this, usually when Baltimore is featured in a national news article it’s about something terrible. It’s stuff like this that makes Baltimore a great city despite its many problems, so it was really nice to see something positive about the city for a change.

And now for your musical delights.

  • Sunday night we finally used our season tickets to the Hippodrome five shows into the season. The show was Pretty Woman: The Musical, which was fine but nothing anyone really needs in their life. However, at the very end of the show there was a part where the whole cast was out on stage and they all hit this note together and the power of it made me tear up. That communal joy in live music and performance is something I have missed more than anything in the past two years and it was so great to experience it again in that little moment.
  • I heard this song on my way to work one day last week when I very much needed the message it was providing. I didn’t know what the song was, so as soon as I got to work I looked up the radio station’s playlist to find out what song I had been listening to. I could have guessed for a million years and never guessed that it was by Weezer. So that was a delightful surprise in and of itself.

New Music Friday: Texas Moon by Leon Bridges and Khruangbin

Last year Fort Worth based artist Leon Bridges and Houston based band Khruangbin joined forces and put out an EP called Texas Sun. This year they’re back with another joint EP, and it delights me to no end that it’s called Texas Moon. Leon Bridges soul and Khruangbin’s dreamy psychedelic rock sounds blend perfectly together. I vote that they should put out an EP together every year. Next year’s can be called Texas Noon. I’ll let them have that idea for free. I think “B-Sides” is probably my favorite track off the new EP, but that’s been out as a single for awhile so it doesn’t feel very new. Thus I’m going to highlight my second favorite track, “Mariella”. Take a listen to this and then go treat yourself to both EPs.

TV Diary: Sit-Com Edition

There are a number of new sit-coms that debuted midseason that I’m really enjoying. Some of these shows stretch the definition of sit-com, but they’re all 30 minute comedy-ish shows so that’s how I’m classifying them for the purposes of writing about these shows.

Grand Crew

Grand Crew is my favorite of the new sit-coms. It’s a great hang out comedy about a group of friends. It reminds me of some of the things I loved about Friends. Instead of hanging out a coffee shop they hang out at a wine bar called Grand Cru. Nicole Byer is probably the biggest name in the cast along with Echo Kellum who plays her brother in the show, but it’s a real ensemble comedy. It’s funny. I like the characters, and I just really enjoy hanging out with them every week.

Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary is the show that has gotten the most press out of all the new sit-coms. It’s about an underfunded school in Philadelphia. It’s a workplace ensemble comedy. Janine is sort of the main focus of the show, played by Quinta Brunson, who created it. She’s a new teacher who is still full of energy and wanting to do the best for her students despite a system designed to beat you down. There are also another new teacher, a long-term sub, and the older teachers who are still trying to get things done but are also more resigned to the system they’re stuck in plus the laughably ineffective principal. It’s both funny but all too real. It’s in a mockumentary format, which is not my favorite, but there have been some really hilarious looks towards the supposed cameraman that have almost made it worth it.

Pivoting

I would have said Pivoting was my least favorite of the new network sitcoms, but I feel like a handful of episodes in it’s starting to find its footing a little bit more. The last couple of episodes have had at least one thing that made me really laugh out loud. The premise is a group of three friends who are reevaluating their own lives after the death of the other woman who was a close part of their friend group. Eliza Coupe is a reluctant mother who loves her kids but doesn’t know what to do with them and decides to scale back on work to spend half days with them. Maggie Q plays a successful doctor who decides to quit her job to work in a grocery store. Jennifer Goodwin plays a dissatisfied wife and mother who decides to try and have an affair with her personal trainer. There’s some good comedy here and think once the show gets to develop the characters a little more beyond the summary note they used to sell the show it will get even better.

American Auto

American Auto is another workplace comedy. It stars Ana Gasteyer as the new CEO of a car company who has no experience with cars and came from work at a pharmaceutical company. It’s created by the same people who did Superstore and is sort of the opposite of that show in that instead of focusing on the people out on floor it’s focused on the people in executive suite. It has its moments, but at this point it’s probably my least favorite of the shows. It’s still a solid comedy though and I think again it has the potential to get even better as the writers figure out what makes each of the characters really tick, which an take a little bit for sit-coms.

Sort-Of

I’m really happy that the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast alerted to me this as they were correct that I never would have found it otherwise. It’s a Canadian show available on HBOMax. It’s not something HBOMax is ever going to recommend to you. It’s my least favorite thing about every streaming service is that they basically only allow you to see like whatever 10 shows they are promoting and their algorithm decides you would like. There is really no way to easily browse their full library of content and find the more obscure stuff unless you already know about it and do a search for the title. Sort-Of is centered around trans woman, Sabi, who is a Pakistani-Canadian trying to come out to her mother. She is also the nanny to two kids. She makes the decision to move to Berlin with her best friend, but stays back to help out after the mother of the kids she nannies for gets in an accident and winds up in a coma. It’s a really great show with lots of interesting relationships. I’m not sure if it will get more than these short 8 episodes, but I do hope so.

Somebody Somewhere

Somebody Somewhere is an actual HBO show that is currently airing is about halfway through its first season. It’s about a woman who has returned home to her small town in Kansas to help take care of her dying sister, and who is now staying there after her sister’s death dealing with the rest of her family and figuring out her life there. She reconnects with an old friend from high school who runs sort of an underground gay choir in his church and he convinces her to join. It too has some really good characters and relationships, and I’m happy HBO has already announced there will be another season.

The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window

This Netflix show is a sort of parody of the movies like Gone Girl and the Woman in the Window starring Kristen Bell. I gather from some friends that perhaps it gets better or at least people were happy enough with where it went by the end, but I really just did not like the first episode at all. I saw some headline to the effect of that it’s a mysterious comedy that is neither mysterious nor comedic and that felt true to what I saw. I don’t think I am going to spend my time watching any more of it, but you can at least know that some people I know liked it better than I did.

New Music Friday: Title Track Edition

Good Morning Gorgeous by Mary J. Blige

Let’s get crunk cause Mary’s back! I’m not going to lie. I totally chose to write about this song today because I really wanted to use that lyric as my opening line. I’ve not seen it done, but I’m sure 8 million other people have used that line in a similar way whenever Mary J. Blige does something new since the song “Family Affair” came out. Anyway, if you hadn’t figure it out yet, Mary J. Blige is indeed back with a new album today, her first in five years. It’s called Good Morning Gorgeous and it’s a lot about learning to love the parts of you that you hate and trying to build yourself up. The title track is my favorite song off the album, so that’s what I’m sharing.

Dreamland by Amos Lee

I wrote about “Worry No More”, the first single off of Dreamland, Amos Lee’s new album, when it came out last year. I’ve been looking forward to this album for a long time. He actually finished recording it right before COVID happened and decided to wait to release it. It’s finally here, and I am in love with it. I was trying to decide which song to share off it, but then I wanted to write about the Mary J. Blige album too and hit upon the theme of the title track. So I’m sharing the first song off of the album, “Dreamland”. Like Mary J. Blige’s album, this one is also very thematic in that it’s a lot about trying to overcome depression and anxiety. I think we can all relate to that on at least some level at the moment even if it’s not something you chronically struggle with. An excellent album for these times.

Fun with Cassette Tapes

My husband found a container of cassette tapes that belong to me that I did not even know I still had. I have no way to play these cassette tapes as I have not gone full circle hipster and started listening to cassette tapes again as I gather the cool kids are doing these days for no reason that makes any sense to anyone who lived through the cassette tape era the first time. I had a good time looking through what I found. It was a fun trip down memory lane before these all go in the garbage.

I have no idea why I would have still been holding onto these cassettes when I really stopped listening to cassettes in the early 2000s. I do not remember seeing these any time past my childhood, but apparently I hung onto them for some reason. I mean “Barbie and the Rockers” is a real banger so really it only makes sense.

I also had a number of cassingles. Kids ask your parents. Cassingles were one of the awesome things about cassettes that did not carry over into the CD era. You used to be able to buy the hit single off an album on a cassette with just it and a B side song for way cheaper than you could buy the album. Then when CDs came along you were forced to buy the whole album if you just wanted a single song at least until Napster came along. Again kids ask your parents. I do not even know what some of these songs are.

Kids these days will never understand how we used to wait to hear a song that we wanted a copy of on the radio and then record it. All the better if you managed to get the song clean from start to finish without the DJ talking over the beginning of it or missing the first few seconds from when you hear it come on to when it starts recording. These two cassettes were recorded from a year end countdown of the best songs of 1987. My family used to listen the countdown and record the songs we liked. I have some of these from several different years. You can see that one of my parents started it, and I took over at some point in the process based on the little kid handwriting.

I’ve been a maker of mix tapes/CDs/playlists my entire life. Obviously it’s way easier to make playlists now, but cassettes again were definitely better in this regard than CDs. You could tape over things you didn’t want anymore like I obviously did on this one tape. There was also the mixed media era where cassettes were still a thing but CDs were starting to take over and most people had stereos that had both cassette recorders and CD players in them. That was the prime time of making mix tapes before the digital era where you could easily record songs from CDs onto a mix tape. It also made it easy to borrow your friends CDs and copy them onto a cassette like I obviously did with this They Might Be Giants album. And obviously you don’t want to waste the rest of the tape, so why not make a mix tape on the B side.

It was also fun to make mix tapes for or with friends. I found several mix tapes that friends made for me. One of my high school friends made the “Music for A Broad” tape for me and sent it to me while I was studying abroad in London during college. I still love the play on words in that title. I also found several tapes made by and with one of my oldest friends. Two of them would have been made in 8th/9th grade. The third was made the summer before I went to London when she came and lived with my family outside Chicago for the summer. I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom and making it together off of our CD collections. What strikes me looking at these now is how few contemporary to the time songs there are on them. We definitely got into the music of our parents in middle school. I blame/thank the awesome music teacher we had in 8th grade. We did a whole big thing on the history of rock and roll that I still think about probably more than any other thing I used in school. I mean I learned math and reading and stuff, but I put that to use without thinking about it. I still analyze songs in my head like she taught us. And she introduced us into some really good music.

I did also have a small selection of for real cassette albums that I didn’t copy off of someone else’s cassette or CD. This is not all of them, but just ones I had something to say about. I also think that the majority of my real purchased cassette albums were stored in a cassette carrying case that was covered in acid washed jean material because I bought it in the 80s and thought it was really cool. My sister sent me a photo of it at my parents house a few years ago. I think it’s probably in the garbage now.

That Madonna True Blue album is the first cassette I can remember owning that was my very own and not something that was my parents’ that I listened to. My grandparents gave it to me for Christmas and I remember being disappointed because the Madonna album I really wanted was the one that had “Material Girl” on it. I didn’t even know there was more than one and that I needed to specify in my Christmas list. The other Madonna tape is only notable because of the way it smells. It always had this odd smell to it and I didn’t know why until literally a few years ago when someone on a podcast I listen to mentioned that they had been scented with incense. It still has that smell even after all these years. The Baywatch soundtrack was given to me by a high school friend as a total joke because my friend group and I used to what we would have said was ironically watch Baywatch together every night one summer. I think we secretly enjoyed it.

That’s a pretty good representation of the kinds of stuff that was in this treasure trove of cassettes that is soon to be making its way to a landfill. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this trip down memory lane with me.

New Music Friday: Dawn FM by The Weeknd

I didn’t really want to write about The Weeknd’s new album Dawn FM because no one needs me to tell them about The Weeknd, but it’s really what I’ve been steeped in this week. I thought I might write about the new song by Lucius, but I’m not super in love with it and just didn’t really have anything to say about it. I’m not really in a writing mood today, so I’m not really going to say that much about Dawn FM either. Plus lots of people much more knowledgeable than I am have said much more intelligent things than I could say about it right now. I highly recommend a listen to the Switched on Pop episode about the album. I’m just really loving it’s 80s vibes and it’s interesting concept album with a trip through Purgatory listening to the radio with a DJ voiced by Jim Carrey. It’s groovy. I dig it. The end.

New (To Me) Music Friday: Seventeen Going Under by Sam Fender

It’s the first Friday in 2022 and I’m back with a new to me song that is not really a new song at all. The song came out back in July 2021 and the album of the same name came out in October 2021. It’s also his sophomore album so he’s been around. I however first heard of Sam Fender and the song “Seventeen Going Under” on New Year’s Eve when there was a profile of him in the Washington Post. He’s apparently very big in the UK, but I had never heard of him until that article. I’m really glad I read it and listened to his music because I love it. The article kept saying about how people compared him to Bruce Springsteen, which I don’t get so much musically other than some of the horns, but I guess more lyrically in the things he’s singing about. Sonically he reminds me more of The Killers, which I guess is fitting since he is apparently opening up for them on their UK and Ireland legs of their upcoming tour. I have tickets to see The Killers in the fall COVID gods willing and I’m a little bit bummed that he won’t be opening for them on their US tour too. In case you like me had not heard of him, now you have.