LISTENING

On the 18-hour journey homeward bound from Maine, I listened to 4 Spotify playlists: 1) all of Nirvana, 2) all of Sleater-Kinney, 3) an amalgam of Riot Fest artists I was curious about, 4) Angel Olsen’s MY WOMAN.

Y’all already know about my Nirvana obsession and my deep enjoyment of Sleater-Kinney. The amalgam of Riot Fest artists was okay, but I’m going to talk about Angel Olsen’s new album MY WOMAN because everybody else is. Just listen to it. It’s not for everyone and certainly some Angel Olsen fans will not like it as it’s a departure from the stripped-down guitar and vocals of Strange Cacti. It’s time’s like these I’m thankful when I come to an artist after several years of them producing music – you’re not holding them to some standard but able to absorb all their work at once. I personally like the Wall of Sound sensibility of MY WOMAN. Really the only thing I dislike is that the energy and intensity in songs like “Shut Up Kiss Me” are few in the album on the whole. But it has it’s merits regardless. I think my favorite album to listen to while driving around in the summer is Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Well MY WOMAN may become my favorite album for walking around the prairie sidewalks in summer.

 

WATCHING

This film – Black Widow (Rafelson, 1987) starring Debra Winger and Theresa Russell – popped up on my Netflix recommendeds (I think maybe because I watched Working Girl a week ago). Anyway, it’s strange because I did not expect to enjoy a film from the 1980s (there are very few 1980s American films I’ve found good, exceptions being 9 to 5 [Higgins, 1980], but also maybe I just haven’t watched too many). Black Widow starts out kind of slow and the pacing within the first to mid-second act is not the best it could be for a psychological thriller. However about halfway through the film, when Winger’s character (the FBI agent) begins pretty much stalking and befriending Russell’s (the black widow), the intensity increases dramatically. And the ending, although somewhat predictable, did surprise me. Would recommend.

 

READING

I began reading a non-fiction book: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. I’m only one chapter deep. So far it’s interesting, but it seems a bit heavier on the personal narrative side as opposed to the ecology side, but I guess that’s what it’s about, just not what I expected. But it is very interesting. And I think helps cement my belief that I was correct in not going into graduate school for science because reading about her joy of learning about plants and doing experiments and poring over data and having to get grants, I’m like “yeah I would not enjoy that.” I’m excited to see where the book leads.

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