Updated: Apr 9, 2021
We were chasing all kinds of simple pleasures with this week's Friday Five. From the buzz of a runner's high to peaceful sunsets, and every type of relaxing beer in between, we've got you covered. So before you embark on whatever you've got planned for this weekend, be sure to run through some of our favorites from the week - they might just inspire you.
There’s a familiar buzz in the air this week, and it’s not just the bird and the bees coming to life for the spring. The Masters is finally here, and after a shorter-than-usual layoff, the sports world is once again focused on Augusta. We can’t help but get excited for four days of big drives, clutch putts, and the soothing sounds of Jim Nantz’s play-by-play. Even non-golf fans clear out their calendar for Masters Sunday, in case they get the chance to witness history. And even if they don’t, at least it’s a good excuse to crack open a few beers and hang out on the couch all day.
The Barkley Marathons
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young tells the story of what can only be described as the “Fight Club” of ultramarathons. The secretive race is a grueling, 100+ mile affair in the backwoods of Tennessee, masterminded by Gary Cantrell and his friend “Raw Dog.” In the first 25 years of the cult-like race, only 10 competitors managed to successfully cross the finish line, and it very quickly becomes clear why. The documentary follows the runners competing in the 2012 Barkley, tracking them on their journeys through treacherous terrains and superhuman feats of endurance. While you get the climactic highs and devastating lows of a great sports movie, the interviews (especially with Cantrell) are also hilarious, as are some of the more obscure traditions that accompany the race. While maybe we aren’t ready to run an Ultra of our own, we have definitely already scoured the internet for more details on The Barkley Marathons, and isn’t that the true sign of a great documentary?
Jungle - “Keep Moving”
A good weekend playlist needs songs that just absolutely groove, and Jungle’s “Keep Moving” has you covered. We’ve had it on repeat all week, and it’s mostly because it’s too infectious to not play over and over again. The track has fueled several dance breaks from work, so it could certainly get a group going once a couple of drinks are poured. The intro moves from strings to electronic to lo-fi, before settling in on a funky bassline that drives the rest of the song. Jungle’s higher-pitched vocals keep with the retro vibe, while a lot of the effects on the track bring it into 2021. And we could all use a little reminder to “keep moving” every once in a while. So as the weather warms up and you start to build out your soundtrack for the summer, there are worse places to start than with this Jungle track.
There are few simple pleasures better than a great sunset -- just ask Kenny Loggins. But Krutik Thakur, a 19 year old photographer, takes things to another level. He stages fun scenes with models that use the sun as a character or an attainable object. He’ll have his models moving the sun around the sky, or maybe putting it in the basket on the back of their motorcycle. There’s even a shot of someone being roundhouse kicked by the sun! He utilizes silhouettes and shadows to make all of his scenes possible, and very simple “graphics” allow him to turn a cool sunset shot into even more of a story. On top of just really cool, often funny sequences, Thakur also takes his followers behind the scenes to show how the magic happens. As fellow artists that like to keep people in the loop, we really enjoy how he lets people in on the secret. We could spend hours just scrolling through his feed, and we definitely recommend you do the same.
One Shining Moment
We’d be remiss if we didn’t give one final shout out to March Madness, which wrapped up on Monday, and specifically the famous “One Shining Moment” montage that closes out the tournament every year. Of course, it gives us the opportunity to celebrate the shocking Baylor upset in the final, as the Bears took down previously unbeaten Gonzaga in a game that wasn’t ever close. We also get to relive the Jalen Suggs buzzer-beater from the Final Four, which we’ve had on loop by itself all week. But beyond that, the video reminds us of all the crazy upsets, dunks, and shots that quickly blur together in a hectic month of basketball. It’s just three minutes of pure emotion, showcasing all the highs and lows that come with the tournament every year. And of course, the song itself is an absolute classic, both catchy and goosebump-inducing. While the video is for the Men’s Tournament, we also just want to throw a quick shout-out to the absolute chaos of the Women’s Tournament as well, which featured a ton of nail-biting finishes and a surprise Stanford championship. So go say your final goodbyes to the college basketball season like nature intended: With “One Shining Moment.”