Beyond Now: A Virtual Fundraiser for PICA
PICA is an absolute good for this community, and for anyone who values art in all its forms, and wants to make sure they're supporting creative acts and local arts. With over 30 artists sharing new performance, video, and visual works, as well as conversations with creators, dance parties, and more, this three-day fundraiser features contributions from Ahamefule J. Oluo, Allie Hankins, Ilana Harris Babou, Francesca Capone, Morgan Ritter, Libby Werbel, Eiko Otaka, Miranda July, Linda Austin, and many, many more. It all starts today, and culminates in a special livestream on Saturday. Pay the stream a visit, and if you can, literally pay the stream to help keep the arts alive in Portland.
Harry Potter Reads Harry Potter to You
Now this is comfy-couch quarantine content done right: Spotify, the once spunky music-streaming upstart that is now a media juggernaut and podcast empire all-in-one, is using its power for good with Harry Potter at Home, a star-studded read-along of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Those stars include Harry himself, Daniel Radcliffe, as well as Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Hermione Granger (Noma Dumezweni), David Beckham (Mr. Sporty Spice), Dakota Fanning (what the hell, that's a Twilight star!) and many more, with special guests sure to pop up before the last chapter of Harry's first Hogwarts adventure is done.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Earlier this week we talked about the impact on television made by writer/producers Garry Marshall and Norman Lear, but they weren't at all the only giants in the '70s making consistently groundbreaking TV. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Now streaming, Hulu) premiered in 1970 with a pilot script from writer/producer James L. Brooks, whose name you might recognize from other successes such as Taxi and an animated program called The Simpsons. Of course, Brooks had a headstart like almost nobody else in television, because his star was one of the best and most beloved actors the medium ever saw. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the sitcom equivalent of Phil Jackson getting to coach Michael Jordan. And while classic TV makes for great binge-watching in ways both completely intentional (but often very much not), The Mary Tyler Moore Show is a great lockdown go-to because Mary's work, Brooks' writing, and the chops of the ensemble cast that filled in around her (Ed Asner! Ted Knight! Betty White!) wasn't just top-notch for the time, it's still ahead of the game even now.
Pickathon Presents: Built to Spill
Hopefully you've been checking in daily with Pickathon's response to COVID-19 trying to squash everyone's outdoor festival fun, and enjoying the gems from their vault on a regular basis. Today's gem (premiering at 1 pm on YouTube) is one of those uncut kind—a 2018 performance from the Woods stage by Northwest indie-rock heroes Built to Spill. Are they the best thing to ever come out of Boise, ID? After watching this set, you can make one hell of a case for that statement being irrevocably true.
The latest burst of jazz-flavored drama from Oscar-winning writer/director Damian Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) isn't lighting up a big screen (because that doesn't really happen anymore unless you've got one of those fancy projector setups in your house or whatever), it's on Netflix. Debuting this past Friday, The Eddy seems like it should be a kind-of-chill slice-of-life about a guy (Andre Holland) running a jazz club in Paris and trying to be a good parent to his estranged daughter (Amandla Stendberg). But because it's Chazelle, it's also a crime-drama about an exile from the States just trying to stay relevant musically while ducking shady underworld types coming after him, that plays out its eight-episode run like an actual jazz ensemble giving its players a lot of room to solo.
It Was Good Until it Wasn't
R&B used to be one of the most tried & true genres of music, a place you could go to and just know what kind of soothing, soulful vibes you'd find. But in 2020, R&B is one of the most fluid genres of music around, redefining itself with standout releases by adventurous young artists almost every month. The latest vanguard is Kehlani, who has definitely been around for a minute—she helped the Biebs on his last tour through Portland, in fact, but couldn't get him for a guest spot on It Was Good Until it Wasn't. No disrespect to Justin's increasingly irrelevant hesher-lookin-ass, but Kehlani didn't need him on this one. Especially not when she's got guests spots from Masego, Tory Lanez, Jhene Aiko, Lucky Daye, and James Blake.