Image: Allison Corr

The book to read

Lockwood (Photo: Grep Hoax)

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Patricia Lockwood, Priestdaddy

“The memoir is centered around a nine-month period when Lockwood and her husband, Jason Kendall, lived with her parents after Kendall underwent an expensive eye surgery for rare advanced cataracts. Lockwood’s re-immersion into her wacky parents’ lives serves as a jumping-off point for examining the formation of her artistic aesthetic—and as an opportunity to flex her comedic muscles. There’s a great deal of pleasure in her line-by-line writing; the author can describe even a seminarian’s ordination ceremony in a colorful, unexpected way, her prose dyed with bizarre sexuality, religious eroticism, and slapstick timing. Lockwood churns out oddball imagery at a breakneck pace, and she, luckily, has a lot of material to work with… Even when not mashing up sex and religion, Lockwood’s metaphors are tactile and evocative, her poignant turns of phrase shining that much brighter for being placed within all the dick jokes and knocks to Catholic fanfare.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The comedy special to watch

Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

“[Chris] Gethard’s stated aim is not to persuade. But, in this 90-minute monologue about depression, therapy, the pursuit of artistic fulfillment, and the healing power of Morrissey, there is the feeling that somewhere, somehow, someone is going to stumble upon Career Suicide, and it’s going to make them feel less alone. It’s going to be as powerful to them as the songs of The Smiths—which Gethard sings, a cappella and in a first-rate Moz impression, throughout Career Suicide—are to the man onstage. Those songs have a lot in common with Gethard’s comedy: They articulate intense and often ineffable emotions, they’re brazenly candid, and they’re packed with great jokes. Because Morrissey is damn funny, and so’s Chris Gethard.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The album to listen to

Perfume Genius, No Shape

“The whole record is diverse, sexy, and, for lack of a better word, feminine; throughout, one can detect traces of the buried influence of Kate Bush, who seems to have become the primary inspiration for the last generation or so of non-guitar-playing singer-songwriters, from Joanna Newsom to Julia Holter, Grimes to Zola Jesus. [Mike] Hadreas’ early output as Perfume Genius consisted of little more than piano and lo-fi vocals, but on his fourth album, he sets out to create a different sense of intimacy.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The podcast to listen to

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Big Grande’s The Teacher’s Lounge

“What often makes a comedy podcast special is its skill in constructing a fully realized world, and season two of Big Grande’s The Teachers Lounge pulls this off with remarkable flair. The show is a behind-the-scenes look at the fictional Hamilton High School as told by four of its teachers… There’s an almost competitive nature to the group’s improv work, but this way of playing off each other does a lot to propel the show forward. Their enthusiasm to get the joke out or spearhead a new bit makes an episode go from zero to 60 with hilarious urgency, each cast member seamlessly folding new information into the conceit… Nothing is off-limits when it comes to pulling listeners even deeper into the wild world they’ve created.”
Read our full review and about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.


The video game to play

TumbleSeed

Unlike Spelunky or The Binding Of Isaac, which temper their steep demands and arcana-filled worlds with the familiarity of traditional video game mechanics like jumping or shooting, TumbleSeed is a beginner’s nightmare from top to bottom. Inspired by an obscure arcade game called Ice Cold Beer, you play it by manipulating a slope in the middle of the screen and rolling around a little ball. Just getting the ball to go where you want it to without accidentally flinging it into a pit takes plenty of practice, and that’s not even considering the array of predators that chase you around the randomly assembled mountain you’re trying to climb. But even while struggling to learn how to properly play the game, it’s easy to catch glimpses of devious, inspired design.
Read more of our thoughts on TumbleSeed and about the other games we’re playing this weekend here.

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The movie to watch

The Lovers

“Azazel Jacobs’ The Lovers is set in the sort of unremarkable, average, suburban America that is rarely depicted in American movies in anything but a negative light, usually as a place where dreams go to die. So one of the unexpected virtues of this small, thoughtful film is how it resists treating these surroundings as soul-crushing or as a symbol of the failure of middle-class mores, all while telling a story about disaffection and the yearning to escape—a ballet of ordinariness that uses a nostalgic, waltzing score (by longtime Jacobs collaborator Mandy Hoffman) to reveal the internal melodrama of middling lives and longings.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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