Jamie York is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks, Volume 9
Monday, May 21, 2012 - 02:12 PM
The OTM staff choose a few of our favorite things. Please, please leave us comments below and enjoy.
Sarah Abdurrahman: The season finale of Saturday Night Live featured a really nice send off for my favorite cast member, Kristin Wiig, so I am picking this video of her teaching Seth Myers how to flirt as “flirting expert” Rebecca Larue:
Bob Garfield: My children have been hectoring me for years to watch "The Wire, Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights" and a few other worthy programs. I've refused, on the grounds of being terrified of getting too involved, leading inexorably to a catastrophic time sink. "I like movies," I say. "They last 93 minutes. Then they're over."
Alex Goldman: Not many musicians have the breadth, depth, or bona fides of a guy like Jim O’Rourke. Droning experimentalist, free jazz improviser, one-time Sonic Youth member, member of the avant-rock group Brise-Glace, one half of the post-rock duo Gastr del Sol, musique concrete-ist, consultant on the movie School of Rock, the guy’s got some serious range.
But in the late 90’s, O’Rourke released a triptych of albums for the Chicago record label Drag City - Bad Timing, Eureka, and Insignificance - that turn his musically adventurous eye toward pop, folk and rock music. The result are albums that have the signature uniqueness of Jim O’Rourke compositions, but are almost a bridge to his more outré compositions. The middle album, Eureka is probably the one I find myself coming back to most, finding something surprising and new every time. But hey, if you like this stuff, dig a little deeper. O’Rourke’s is so prolific, his oeuvre is nearly bottomless.
Chris Neary: The Johnny Carson documentary that’s been airing on PBS stations is worth a watch. It’s very nicely put-together, and it gives you a nice sense of who Carson was without beatifying him as a man. It does beatify him as a persona on Late Night, however, and I don’t quite buy that. Watching the clips of his show, I thought that right now - with Letterman, Colbert, Leno, Fallon, Ferguson, Conan and Stewart – is the real golden age of late night.
Katya Rogers: I’m extra tired on this rainy Monday morning because my husband and I were up late watching the first season of The Killing. By the way, we didn’t manage to finish it so no spoilers please (producer Alex Goldman who just tried to ruin it for me by telling me that “everyone agrees that the ending sucked.” Thanks Alex).
Whatever, even if the ending does suck I’m enjoying the dark, depressing, constantly rain-drenched murder mystery. I wrote in an earlier staff pick how much I loved another non-HBO series “Damages”. In fact, there’s a lot of really solid tv viewing to be had out there despite the doom and gloom predictions about the collapse of the television industry’s business model. And if you found that sentence at all interesting you should check out our show this week; we’ll be dedicating the entire hour to television.
PJ Vogt: Ann Patchett, State of Wonder. We interviewed the book critic Laura Miller awhile back, about the Pulitzer committee not awarding a fiction prize this year. Jamie York had the foresight to ask her for book recommendations, and this was one of them. It was great – an adventure-filled page-turner with nice writing that takes on enough big ideas to not just feel like empty entertainment calories. (Although I’m fine with those too). Not to go all fourth grade show-and-tell on this, but I would recommend this book for people who like stories about doctors, the Amazon (the river basin not the bookseller), mysteries, love, and miracle drugs.
Jamie York: I know, I know. You only get to watch one languorous Thai film in which a dying man is visited by a series of ghosts - some of which have taken on the form of an ape. I hear you. Well, in my humble opinion your best bet is a beautiful film I saw over the weekend, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives. I loved Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s last two movies, they’re often described as having a “deliberate” pace and yeah, punctuation comes less from shit blowing up and more from people talking. But they do require and reward your patience. And you won’t feel like you got emotionally mugged. Uncle Boonmee is a spiritual in the most literal sense.
In that spirit I also heard this over the weekend and it struck me as a musical equivalent to what I liked most about Uncle Boonmee.