During the summer months, I tend to disconnect from my usual rabid TV and movie watching in favor of spending more time outdoors. With a few notable exceptions (hi, Orange Is The New Black!) I mostly stayed away from my television screen over the past few months. Now, after a summer of opting out, I'm ready to dive back into the world of pop culture. So, I guess it's a good thing there's so much awesome new stuff hitting the screens, airwaves, and pages right now, huh?
Read: The Bone Season
I've been on a fantasy tear lately with my book choices, devouring both The Rook and Life After Life in a matter of weeks. Both excellent books, by the by, if you're on the hunt for a few good ones. After I closed the last page of The Rook, I found myself sad that I had no other escapist novel lined up.
Then along came The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon. The 21-year-old (great, now I feel like a slacker) is being heralded as the next J.K. Rowling with this book about a clairvoyant girl in the not-so-pleasant future — the first of seven in a series. Now, I love me some Harry Potter, so if this book is even half as good, it's safe to say I know what I'll be reading over the course of the next decade.
Watch: The World's End
Not to be confused with the Pirates of The Caribbean movie with the similar name, this comedy stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as part of a group of buddies who go on an epic drinking binge, the final destination being the titular pub, only to arrive and find there's some sinister sh*t going down in their hometown. I've been following these two witty Brits ever since their first movie with director Edgar Wright — the brilliant zombie movie send-up, Shaun Of The Dead. This is the third movie from the trio, after 2007's Hot Fuzz (also hilarious), and is said to be their take on the sci-fi genre.
I have a soft spot for dry British humor, and I thoroughly enjoyed both of the other films in this so-called Cornetto Trilogy, so you can bet I'm lining up at the movie theater as you read this. There's just something about the way Pegg and Frost banter, mixed in with the absurd plot twists and the surprising heart these movies display, that just gets me every time. I can't think of a better way to spend my lazy Sunday then watching these two down a few pints and save the world.
Play: The North Mississippi Allstars
When it comes to music, I am the opposite of a music nerd. I don't listen to the radio all too often, so I'm usually the one listening to a song that everyone else grew sick of two weeks ago. Which reminds me, have you heard this "Blurred Lines" song? It's really catchy! Basically, it's rare for me to "discover" something before the rest of my friends. NPR to the rescue!
On a recent early morning car ride, I was listening to Weekend Edition, lulled into a haze by the dulcet tones coming from my car stereo, when I was jarred awake by the electro folk-funk sounds of The North Mississippi Allstars. The brother duo of Luther and Cody Dickinson draws inspiration from folk and the blues for their music, but throws in surprising twists like an electric guitar or harmonica solo. They played a few samples from their new album, World Boogie Is Coming, and I was riveted by the sound. I can't really describe it, but I felt exhilarated listening to it. It was unlike anything I had heard before, in the best possible way.