Never Rarely Sometimes Always
We’re living in an emotionally draining time, and Never Rarely Sometimes Always is as sobering as it is affecting, so be your own judge as to whether you can handle viewing it right now. But if you have the bandwidth for it, you should allow this film about abortion access, misogyny, friendship, and the desperation of recognizing your own powerlessness to envelop you. Whatever you’re imagining this film to be like given its subject matter, you’re probably wrong—far from an in-your-face political film, it’s a tonal masterpiece, one that steeps the viewer in its significance rather than bludgeoning them with it. We can’t ever fully understand the experiences of other people, but if you’ve wondered what it’s like to be a pregnant teenage girl in a country that’s hostile to abortion rights, watching Never Rarely Sometimes Always is probably the closest you’ll get.
(Now Available, 48hr rental VOD, $19.99) BLAIR STENVICK
Give Yourself a Haircut
A lot of us are floating right around the month-long mark in self-quarantine, and either through restlessness, or inability to just handle whatever's been happening to that mop atop your skull, you might be considering just grabbing those kitchen scissors, squinting at your reflection, and going to town. The impulse is understandable... but don't do that. If you're going to cut your own hair, first you need to order legitimate hair-cutting shears (they're usually around $20) and then, while you wait for them to arrive, pore through this pretty comprhensive Cosmopolitan roundup from a couple weeks ago (they knew what was comin'), where they've not only suggested the best equipment, but grabbed only the best YouTube self-hair-care tutorials for all types of hair. And hey, look at it this way: Even if you do fuck it up... we're probably not coming out of quarantine for awhile anyway, so what the hell. It'll grow out, right? Right!
(Your Bathroom, Seriously, Be Careful, You Could Lose an Ear or Something)
Fight COVID, Play Games, Read Comics, Be Humble
Today is the last day to get in on the latest bit of Humble Bundle goodness, a drive to raise money for the organizations out there directly responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Humble Bundle has raised millions in the short time it's been around, and this latest deal of theirs is a doozy: for $30 you get over $1000-worth of PC video games and ebooks, with game titles including Undertale, Superhot, Hollow Knight, Brothers, Broken Age, Agents of Mayhem, and much more, as well as book titles including Locke & Key vol. 1, The Boys vol. 1, Saga vol. 1, Criminal vol. 1, Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass and so, so much more. You don't have to only pay $30, either. You can go over if you're feeling a little more generous. But either way—you'll be helping people who need that help and helping yourself to an instant backlog of amazing content.
(Now Available, Humble Bundle.com, $30 minimum)
Last week, a man who became known and beloved for telling us all we could lean on him, left us at the age of 81 due to heart problems. Bill Withers' voice was unique, it was comforting, and for anyone who heard it and came to rely on its calming influence, it was essential. "Lean on Me" was his biggest hit, but digging into his discography revealed so many more rewards: "Who is He (And What Does He Mean to You)", "Use Me," "Ain't No Sunshine," "Grandma's Hands" (which got sped up by Teddy Riley to become the basis for "No Diggity" decades later), "Lovely Day" (which somehow has about 3000 less y's in its title than it should)... it's a hell of a legacy he left. In 2009, filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack made a documentary about the man's life and his impact on music. The documentary is only available through AppleTV/iTunes currently, but it's more than worth the $3.99 rental fee, if only to spend a little more time with the man.
(Now Streaming, AppleTV/iTunes, $3.99)
Samantha Irby is one of the best essayists, memoirists, bloggers, funny-as-hell-people-using-words-'n'-such currently working, and her latest collection Wow, No Thank You is finally on shelves. Of course, those shelves aren't browsable by us right now, and the reading she was set to give at Powell's today isn't happening, but the book is still there, and you absolutely should grab a copy and join her on a raw, hilarious, and unflinchingly honest trip into her 40s, with plenty of other (mis-) adventures along the way.
(Now Available, ebook & audiobook at MultCo Library, free w/ card; trade paperback, Powell's.com, $15.95; Audiobook narrated by the author, Audible.com, $28, free 30-day-trial here)
Live Wire Radio! House Party
The only way this could be even more perfect is if Kid 'n' Play were actually hosting Portland's world-famous live 'n' local public radio variety show. That might still happen, who knows, but the tried and true (and charming-as-hell) team of Luke Burbank on hosting duties and Elena Passarello doing the announcing present the latest episode of their "socially distanced" special edition of Live Wire!. This week's guests include music by jazz vocalist Jimmie Herrod performing an original piece from his Manhattan apartment, comedy from Brooks Wheelan, and a talk with Shea Serrano, The Ringer contributor and author of Basketball (and Other Things) who would very much like you to read his most recent book, Movies (and Other Things).
(Now Streaming, LiveWireRadio.org, free, all ages)
man force of nature known as Bam Bam Baklava won't be in Portland tonight as planned, but if this security-sockin, mic-rockin, walking thunderclap in emcee-form is still sort of a mystery to you, take the time to check out a video or two, and then, then: let this man teach you how to make an absolute beast of a chicken parm, straight out the pages of his annotated guide to eating well, Fuck, That's Delicious. He raps, he cooks... Action Bronson: Renaissance Man.