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July 2018 Playlist: The Top 65 Tunes of the Month
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OK – I know this is technically from 2017 but I watched it this year (and Season 2 is most likely coming out this year) so just go with it.
Amy Sherman-Palladino’s newest creation is incredibly creative, clever and unique. As a borderline unhealthily obsessed Gilmore Girls fan, it was so exciting and refreshing to see ASP take on a new project with a new heroine and cast of quirky characters.
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If the fast-paced dialogue is too much for you in Gilmore, I would suggest trying Maisel out. It arguably works better and more naturally as the whole show feels like a play and is centered around comedic stage performance. The theatrics, repartee and slap stickesque dialogue work so well and it is truly unlike any other TV show out there.
And not to mention, it’s fun to see ASP be able to let loose a bit with language and content as this is not a network but streaming service show.
Check out The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Goys Podcast episodes (also know as The Gilmore Guys)!
God bless the Fab Five. This show came like a breath of fresh air, and what a brilliant idea it was to reboot the show adding progressive nuances and a lot more raw emotion.
I cried non stop this episode. This was the first time a woman was nominated and while Mama Tammye was the unforgettable star and subject of “God Bless Gay,” it became more about her relationship with her son and about faith and acceptance and it was just so beautiful and moving to watch. This show does such a great job of addressing relevant, poignant issues of our day (police brutality, homosexuality and the church, etc.) in a way that is so open, honest, non-judgmental, and dualistic. This show was what 2018 needed.
This year I’ve gone a little podcast crazy and one of my absolute favorites has been Dax Sheppard’s Armchair Expert. He interviews actors, musicians and other experts in their respective fields and is able to really dive deep into their childhoods, their formative years and their career’s arc in a way that is unfiltered, natural and humorously touching.
And while hearing the stories of his guests is the main purpose of the show, it’s such joy to also learn more about Dax who is so earnest and transparent as he shares his own stories of the past, beliefs of the present, and hopes for the future.
You’ve probably seen the trailer for this everywhere – the indie film festival darling that currently has 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Eighth Grade does an incredible job at invoking the unease in its audience that we all felt at some point or another in our middle school bodies.
Elsie Fisher was the perfect choice as the protagonist in both her appearance and candor. A pretty face hiding behind acne and insecurity; a sensitive, kind soul hiding behind a defensive apathy. It’s Josh Hamilton though who plays her father that will bring the tears. His earnestness and unconditional love for his daughter will warm your heart and make you want to be the person your father sees in you.
The music choices and use of social media were also very natural and relatable. You will get second hand embarrassment for sure, but you will also laugh so much and be so grateful those years are behind you. Burnham knocked it out of the park.
I believe I first discovered Leon Bridges when I was a Lightning 100 (Nashville’s Independent Radio Station) intern and they had put “Coming Home” on regular rotation. I immediately dug his throwback sound and voice, and also loved the fact he was a native of Fort Worth, Texas where I grew up.
I was a bit wary of a follow up album from him, and boy was I proved wrong. I sometimes get nervous when an artist’s branding is too good – that they will get trapped in a certain image and sound. But as his debut Coming Home was more mid 50’s to early 60’s inspired, this sophomore album felt more mid 60’s to early 70’s – mixing some more Wonder in with the Cooke. It didn’t feel like a new direction for Bridges, just the natural next direction for him. I genuinely dig every song and it’s an album for all ages.
I read Gillian Flynn’s precedent to Gone Girl last summer and was completing gripped by the twisted story and vivid characters. I knew the series would be stellar when I heard Flynn would be a contributing writer on every episode, it was going to be executively produced by Amy Adams and Jason Blum (Get Out), and was going to be directed by the magnificent Jean-Marc Valleé (Big Little Lies, Wild, Dallas Buyers Club).
The series is a slow build but I love that it’s patient with its revelations. It gives you time to really get wrapped up in the haunting images and incredible acting & directing. And the show was perfectly cast. Adams just gets better and better as we dive deeper into her demons, and the young version of her character Sophia Lillis (It) does an incredible job of tying in Camille’s past trauma with her present dark state. Patricia Clarkson portrays the controlling mother figure perfectly – almost adding a tiny bit of comedic relief as we witness her insanity.
This was my favorite series to watch unfold this year. Just avoid watching by yourself and right before bed….
…I’m not kidding.
This movie is based on two books: Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction and Tweak.
Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff depicts the journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. I started crying five seconds into this trailer. I’m so excited to see two of my favorite actors from very different mediums and stages of life on screen together. We already know how good Chamalet is at breaking our hearts but I think people forget how serious and compelling Carrell is in a dramatic role. I think he’s one of the funniest actors of all time, but he is also so impressive when you leave Michael Scott at home and watch him on the big screen portraying a serious character.
Florence Welch is by far one of the most impressive performers I’ve seen live. Her performance at Bonnaroo in 2015 was electrifying. She ran threw the crowd bare foot singing at full voice. It was insane!
In addition to her commanding presence and haunting vocals are her powerful themes and lyrics. This album touches on spirituality, childhood, and addiction. I can’t get over the opening lyrics of “Hunger”:
At seventeen, I started to starve myself
I thought that love was a kind of emptiness
And at least I understood then the hunger I felt
And I didn’t have to call it loneliness
And I love how she talks about happiness not being an interesting emotion in “No Choir.” Ceremonials is still my favorite record, but this one really resonated with me more than her 2015 release did. Florence is a force of nature and I hope everyone listens to it as much as they listen to Drake’s album (yawn).
I used to feel a bit meh about the Golden Globes. It felt like a mediocre pregame to The Oscar’s. But in recent years I’ve found the Oscar’s to be a bit of a snore and too serious whereas the Globes are more laid back and fun – and not to mention it’s awards for both TV and Film in one night.
But this year in particular was especially enjoyable. It had so many great moments from the overarching Time’s Up theme to Oprah’s incredible speech after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, to Nicole Kidman’s sweet words for Keith Urban in her speech as she accepted Best Performance by an Actress In A Miniseries, to Tom Hank’s carrying a tray of drinks to his table. I loved how Seth Myers opened the show with “Good evening ladies and remaining gentleman.” Great. Night.
The Liturgists is hosted by Science Mike, a Christian-turned-atheist-turned-follower of Jesus who writes about science and faith, and Michael Gungor, a composer & songwriter and 1/2 of Gungor. The Liturgists Podcast has created a cultural movement by bringing together perspectives that are usually isolated in the media. They host experts and talk openly about social and psychological topics through the lens of progressive and non-judgmental spirituality.
This year they introduced new guests William Matthews and Hillary McBride and they have each been such an impactful addition. William is known around the world as a singer/songwriter and popular recording artist (Bethel Music) who’s songs are sung in churches all over the world. Hillary is a PhD candidate who’s clinical work and expertise include mental illness, trauma, women’s relationship with their bodies, interpersonal neurobiology, attachment work, sex, sexuality, gender and more. She in particular has added such an intelligent and fresh perspective to the show. Not to mention, the show needed a consistent female voice.
You will not find a more honest, unfiltered, and welcoming podcast out there that engages in the pressing topics believers and non-believers are all too often afraid to.