Friday Five, Vol. 49
Well the holiday season is officially upon us, so naturally we had to kick this week off with a little Hanukkah celebration! Whether you were looking for easygoing entertainment, tense thrills, or motivation to get off the couch after a long Thanksgiving weekend, we've got it all!
Kurstin X Grohl: The Hanukkah Sessions 2021
It’s officially Hanukkah, and while there are a lot of great Christmas songs, there’s not a ton of quality music for the Festival of Lights (a problem Adam Sandler famously addressed). But the Foo Fighters are here to change that. Sort of. David Grohl and Greg Kurstin are once again doing their “Hanukkah Sessions,” where they cover a different Jewish artist for each night of the holiday. The Foo Fighters are constantly making appearances on the Friday Five, and it makes sense - beyond great music, they just put out great, creative, fun content. Their cover versions of the songs have obviously been fantastic, but it’s the production that really stands out on these videos. Grohl went disco-era Miami for a Barry Manilow cover, the duo used super cheesy 80’s effects for Van Halen’s “Jump,” and they used a great, gritty filter for a tribute to The Ramones. Plus, changing the lyrics of “Blitzkrieg Bop” to “Hey! Oy! Let’s Goy!” definitely got a laugh out of us. We’re excited to see what other classics get covered for the remaining nights, and hope that this is an annual tradition that will live on for years to come.
If a gritty, suspenseful, gruesome drama is more your speed after a relaxing Thanksgiving, head to Showtime and check out Yellowjackets. The show is essentially a Lord of the Flies remake with a female cast, and it has gotten rave reviews so far. The basic storyline is that a high school girls soccer team must survive in the wilderness after a plane, and naturally, chaos and tribalism ensues. However, the show jumps forward to the girls as adults, and rehashes the events from that perspective – and shows the ramifications of the events on their lives going forward. It is definitely an intense show, and you’ll probably need a palate cleanser after watching each episode. But Juliette Lewis and Christina Ricci headline an electric cast, and with new episodes still coming out, you can either get caught up live, or save it for a thrilling binge around the holidays. Either way, you are going to want to check out a show that has people buzzing (sorry).
The Power of the Dog
Keeping you on the edge of your seat, but maybe with a little less violence, is Netflix’s brand new The Power of the Dog. Jane Campion’s new film looks like it shares a lot of DNA with There Will Be Blood, and that’s rarely a bad thing. It is definitely headlined by it’s acting, as Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, and Kirsten Dunst all look spectacular. Every year, Netflix has made a run at an Oscar with a few original hits, and this could definitely be a contender to win the streamer’s first big award. While the movie is more of a slow burn western, skipping the shootouts to spend more time with quiet, biting conversations, it’s absolutely worth a watch. Everything else on the movie calendar cleared out for this weekend, so it leaves you plenty of time to curl up by a fire (or a space heater) and check out this Academy Award contender.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concert
If you’d rather something a little more upbeat, our new music this week should be right up your alley. Admittedly it is actually kind of “old” music this week… but it’s still a new record, and that’s what counts! Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band released a live album recorded at a legendary Madison Square Garden concert in 1979, and it really rocks. Some of the tracks (and accompanying videos) hadn’t been seen or heard since that night, and they definitely don’t disappoint. There’s a great version of Jackson Browne’s “Stay” that really stands out, as Browne, Tom Petty, and Rosemary Butler all make an appearance. That wraps up an incredible run on the album, as Springsteen rolls through “Thunder Road,” “Jungleland,” “Rosalita,” and “Born to Run” all in a row. You can feel the energy through the speakers, and the crowd is electric, which makes you want to get up on your feet. Springsteen still puts on a great show, but he was doing something truly special back then, and it’s awesome to get to hear just a little piece of that today.
14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible
If you want to get uplifted and inspired this week (or just get motivated to burn off your Thanksgiving calories), then we have the documentary for you. We love extreme sports and aspirational stories, so Netflix’s 14 Peaks really spoke to us. The doc follows one man attempting to climb the 14 highest mountains in the world in seven months. The previous record? Seven years. The views and vistas are absolutely stunning, although we did get very cold just looking at the footage in the doc. It’s pretty easy to forget just how dangerous and risky these climbs are, and how brave and skilled you have to be to undertake the journey. 14 Peaks reminded us a little bit of the plot of the unfortunate Point Break remake – though this true story is definitely superior. There are dire stakes in the documentary, but it’s much lighter fare than some of the other selections on our list this week. If you’re looking to find comfort in an awe-inspiring true story, then look no further!