Time-Suck Friday, Take 2

Gumby Man My Brain HurtsI swear, actual content will reappear very soon (I feel like there’s an unwritten rule that after you acknowledge a lack of posting x amount of times, your blog is on its way to a premature death. That’s not going to happen here–really, truly).  I’m a bit of a stressball today, with a welcome but unexpected rush writing gig and the anticipation of a completely bonkers amount of things to get done next month. But here are some things that I loved on the internet over the last couple months, and I think you will, too:

  • On April 2nd I went to the very last LCD Soundsystem show at Madison Square Garden, and basically spent my summer-vacation money to do so. I can tell you now I don’t regret it one bit. Partly because I was there with friends who shared this band with me as the soundtrack to the last five-odd years. There was a lot of Planet Emo going on in our little section of the stadium, plenty of compulsive hugging and biting back tears. But also: the band was incredible. It was the first time I saw them perform live, and I’m just sad that I never managed to see them earlier. To be honest, I really only fell in love with them last spring, when the throbbing base of “Dance Yrself Clean” jerked me out of my ongoing Alpine funk. I spent weeks listening to that track on repeat, wanting to dance in the street. Sometimes, all it takes to fall truly in love with a band (or, for that matter, a person) is that one little push. And then you’re done for. In honor of the band’s passing, Pitchfork published an exhaustive look at every song LCD ever recorded. It’s a fascinating, dynmaic biography of the band, tracing its evolution with videos, clips, and excerpts of interviews with that slovenly bad-ass, James Murphy. Don’t read it all at once, if it’s too intimidating. But dip a toe in–you won’t be sorry.
  • A study in contrasts: I encourage you to read Truman Capote’s seminal “The Duke in His Domain,” a 1957 profile of Marlon Brando for The New Yorker that just hints at the eccentricity to come. Then check out the 1979 interview in Playboy with Lawrence Grobel, in which the interview is forced into impressive contortions to get the actor to talk about anything but the plight of the Native American people. It’s fascinating to see how much (or how little) he transformed over that 20-year period.
  • I’m fairly new to podcasts, but boy howdy do they make a slow work day sped by. I highly recommend: How Did This Get Made?, in which some very funny people disect some very bad movies; Extra Hot Great, in which three former heavyweights of TWOP look at all things pop culture, including a trivia round and an evolving canon of great TV; and Firewall & Iceberg, in which HitFix TV critics Dan Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall delve into the high-and-lowlights of this week’s television offerings.
  • DOCTOR WHO! Is back this Saturday! I…well, I really think it’s a show you dig or you don’t. And I say this as someone who thought I wouldn’t like it (evidently, I was wrong), that if you have any inclination towards British wit/culture and a willing suspension of disbelief, you should give it a shot. And if you’re already a fan, you should check out Sepinwall’s interviews with Matt Smith, Karen Gillen, and Alex Kingston.