Middleditch & Schwartz
Get ready for an evening of wild-yet-intimate improv comedy with Jean Ralphio from Parks and Recreation and Richard Hendricks from Silicon Valley—except they won’t be playing those characters because that was TV and this is real life. IRL, Ben Schwartz and Thomas Middleditch are maybe even funnier than their fictional counterparts! These two mumbly, bumbly comic geniuses share a hilarious history of playing off one another via longform improv and tender full-body spooning.
(Tues, April 21, Netflix, $8.99 per month, free trial here) SUZETTE SMITH
Six years after Rebecca Solnit added a few new words to the lexicon of sexist experience in her smash-hit essay collection Men Explain Things to Me, the longtime writer and activist is out with a new memoir about her formative years in San Francisco. In Recollections of My Non-Existence, Solnit gives the Beats the drubbing she felt she couldn't give them back in the day, tells the stories of the people and places that inspired her writings, and compares the violence women faced then to the violence they still face today.
(Now Available, ebook and audiobook, MultCo Library w/ card; Hardcover, Powell's.com, $26) RICH SMITH
Fetch the Bolt Cutters
You still listening to that new Fiona Apple that came out on Friday? Good. Keep listening to it. If you haven't listened to it yet, there's no time like the present, really. As author Bess Kalb best put it: "Fiona Apple was waiting for the entire world to descend into restless melancholic rage and then once we all started pacing our kitchens in our underwear in the middle of the night she was like, “You’re ready.” So... yeah. You're ready. Go ahead and just hit the "loop" button on whatever player you've got it cue'd up on now, too.
(Now Available, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc.)
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me
Speaking of the New Yorker's Bess Kalb, her ability to tweet good is dwarfed by her ability to memoir, as Nobody Will Tell You This But Me aptly, hilariously, and poignantly shows. A book that Kalb built from every voicemail and text message her grandmother Bobby ever left her, Nobody Will Tell You This But Me charts the physical and emotional journeys that four generations of women went through—including escaping pogroms in 1880 and fighting the power in the 1970s—to arrive at Bess, who leaned on her grandmother for support and wisdom when she moved to Los Angeles to make people laugh, and to make her dreams come true.
(Now Available, ebook and audiobook, MultCo Library w/ Card; Hardcover, Powell's.com, $25.95)
Horizon Zero Dawn
As the self-quarantine continues and the hours stack up, a lot of people are finally putting a sizable dent in their "I've been meaning to play that" list; and if you haven't gotten around to Horizon Zero Dawn just yet, you are in for one of the best gaming experiences of the last five years, and one that justified the purchase of a PS4 for millions of people. A beautiful and satisfying blend of classics like Metroid Prime, Monster Hunter, and The Legend of Zelda, Horizon is set in a post-apocalyptic
wasteland verdant wilderness where machine animals roam the earth, and humankind has gone back to its tribal, pre-technological existence. You play as Aloy, a rebellious daughter discovering the truth about herself and the world she was born into. The developers use a gentle hand on the story, the voice acting is just right, and the gameplay? So good.. Because it's just over three-years-old, it's cheap to pick up new—and if you did get it new back then, it'll probably feel that way when you revisit it now.
(Now Available, PlayStation Store, $19.99)
Go Thrifting with Princess Nokia
New York-based Boricua rapper Princess Nokia’s studio debut 1992 Deluxe is beyond impressive: With her malleable flows and tones, Nokia’s gritty hip-hop is made refreshing by its progressive, empowering lyrics. Identifying as a bi-sexual “Tomboy,” skater, and feminist, Nokia melds her influences of gothic punk and hip-hop while honoring her Afro-Latina heritage and celebrating femmes of color. On YouTube, her highlights include various insightful Q&As, footage from her visceral live shows, and an endless stream of visuals that’ll turn you into an instant Stan. JENNI MOORE