Somehow, it’s already going to be May. But before you cue the Justin Timberlake memes, we’ve got one more Friday Five to cap off April. This week, there’s a little bit of everything: comedy, drama, action, suspense, and a musical performance to pull at your heartstrings.
Nathaniel Rateliff Tiny Desk Concert
We’re back to the NPR Tiny Desk, highlighting another great set, and another great at-home set-up. This week, we haven’t been able to stop listening to Nathaniel Rateliff’s NPR set, performed from an old cafe that has been transformed to fit a whole band, and even a string section! Rateliff plays some of his recent work, which is much more stripped down than the live album we previously featured on Friday Five. His sound works perfectly with the vibe of the Tiny Desk series, which aims to give artists the chance to perform smaller, more intimate versions of their work. Rateliff’s performance is incredibly raw and soulful, amplifying the emotion that already comes through in the album versions of the songs. While you could definitely work with this in the background, there’s really only one way to get the full effect of this performance. Just pour yourself a big drink (whiskey, maybe?), sit back, and let the music wash over you. You won’t regret it.
Mare of Easttown
No one does Sunday night television quite like HBO. After a little bit of a hiatus, the network is back with its latest prestige drama, the seven-episode limited series Mare of Easttown. HBO’s latest dramatic installment stars Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, who puts on a stunning Philadelphia accent to play the lead murder detective in a small Pennsylvania town. It’s just two episodes in, but Mare has everything you could ask for in a detective show. The town has an incredibly lived-in feeling, with familiar characters and an impressive attention to detail. Coming from a small, east coast town where everyone knows everyone, we can relate! The show also does well to avoid some (but not all) of the soapiness that comes with this type of small town murder mystery. Overall, it has been very compelling, with cliffhangers that make it hard to wait a whole week between episodes. So if you’ve been looking for a new show, make sure you get caught up before Sunday night, and then join in on the mystery!
While Mare of Easttown is all about nuance, we can’t help but also love some good, old-fashioned, shoot-em-up action. And this weekend we’ll get it, as Without Remorse drops today on Amazon Prime. We’ll pretty much watch anything Michael B. Jordan is in at this point, and now he gets to star in a Tom Clancy adaptation? Sign us up. Add in the fact that it’s written by Taylor Sheridan, who penned recent classics like Sicario and Hell or High Water, and we couldn’t be more in. Without Remorse appears to be the perfect way to kick off Summer Blockbuster season. There’s revenge, explosions, a mysterious super spy/soldier kicking ass; it checks off every box. In the trailer alone, Michael B. Jordan interrogates someone in a burning car. Sometimes you just need a loud, flashy action movie that doesn’t require a lot of thought, and this could be it. While we might not be seeing it in movie theaters, we’ll be sure to make some popcorn and turn our speakers up to full volume when we tune into Without Remorse this weekend.
KALEO - Surface Sounds
It seems like the music release calendar has slowed down a bit, but one new album we’ve been jamming to recently is KALEO’s Surface Sounds. As always, KALEO brings a cool blend of rock and a whole bunch of other genres, mixing in indie, electronic, and pop sounds to heavy drum and guitar parts. There’s also a pretty good range of moods, as you get the rock guitar riffs on songs like “Alter Ego” and “Skinny,” alongside the slowed down, acoustic “I Want More.”
This is another album that can work at pretty much anytime, for whatever you’re getting up to this weekend. It could play in the background while you’re working, provide some energy to spring cleaning or a workout, or soundtrack the start of a night out.
Jack Black Captain America
We are very rarely left speechless by one of our Friday Five selections, but Jack Black just about did it last weekend. If “Jack Black plays Captain America in a Speedo” isn’t your brand of comedy, then maybe you can skip this one. But for everyone else, it is truly something special.
Though he’s a bit older than the average Tik Tok user, the legendary comedian has apparently found a new outlet during quarantine, and it is incredible. He has always been a pretty physical comedian, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he has fully leaned into it, dancing around and cosplaying as a slightly out-of-shape Avenger. But beyond the visual gags, the production value and editing is impressive, and adds to the humor. There are special effects, costumes, and legitimate action sequences. We’re going to stop here, because nothing else we can say will truly do the video justice. The Avengers movies may be done (at least for now), but Jack Black has stepped up to fill the void.