The start of a new year can always be a little tough. New goals, new routines, new stresses. Our Friday Five this week really helped lighten our mood, and helped us find some creative inspiration, even in surprising places. These were the movies, shows, music, and highlights that got us through the week, and pushed us to keep our eye on the prize. So sit back, relax, and try to find some inspiration from Volume 55!
We’re taking things in a bit of a different direction with our movie recommendation this week, but the film we were most inspired by creatively has to be Sing 2. Sure, it might be an animated musical about singing animals, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun for adults, too. It’s a really fun sequel to the first Sing movie (which we recommend as well), but seems to focus more on the music and choreography than the first. The soundtrack is great, and features a lot of U2, because Bono has a starring role. Now, on top of all the music, the animation is really what spoke to us as creatives. Not to spoil things, but the last twenty minutes of the film is basically just a full-on rock/pop space opera, and it is incredible. There are fully choreographed musical numbers that the animators had to then bring to life with the characters of the film. It is stunning, creative, and mind-blowing in what we think of as possible in the realm of animation. Currently, you can either see Sing 2 in theaters or rent it from the comfort of your couch. The price tag is pretty high ($25), but if you’re looking for a light, fun watch this weekend, you could do much worse.
The Righteous Gemstones
We love recommending good comedies as part of the Friday Five, because they always help us get through the week. And good news for everyone, a gem (pun-intended) from HBO is finally back for a second season! The Danny McBride-created Righteous Gemstones is a truly hilarious satire about a family running a megachurch that is absolutely worth a watch. The cast is loaded, with McBride, John Goodman, Adam Devine, and Edi Patterson leading the way. This season also welcomes Eric Andre and Jason Schwartzman into the mix, and we are especially excited to see what Andre can add to the mix. Righteous Gemstones is an impressive balancing act between sophomoric, sometimes dumb comedy, and really smart jabs at an entire industry, and hopefully they can keep that going in the second season. Beyond the punchy satire, the first season also brought us the viral song “Misbehavin’” and we have to imagine there will be some similar magic this time around. If you haven’t watched the first season, that means you get even more comedy to catch up on. Admittedly, the first few episodes were a bit odd, but definitely stick through it - the pay-off is worth it!
The Lagoons - Daybreak
One of our favorite indie acts has a new album, and it’s the perfect vibe to get us through some of the winter blues. The Lagoons, after having put out some singles last year, finally released their full new record Daybreak. It is truly 28 minutes of chill, which we could use as things ramp up to kick off a new year. There’s a great, toned-down remix of their most well-known song “California,” which somehow sounds more stripped down than the original, despite probably having more layers going on musically. “Heard It On The Radio” is also a pretty great jam, with a really catchy intro that turns into a nice steady beat. So far, we’ve been able to just keep Daybreak on repeat while zoning in on our work, but we’re excited for all its other uses. Next up, we’ll probably try and cruise around with the windows down, imagining it’s the summer. Especially if you’re in cold weather, we highly recommend Daybreak to lighten the mood and bring relaxing, summer vibes to whatever your week has in store for you.
The Stand-ups Season 3
We love stand-up comedy, and Netflix just dropped a whole lot of it for us to watch. The Stand-Ups is back for a new season, which means we have six new half-hour specials from up-and-coming comics to fill the void of seeing live comedy. In the past, some pretty big comics have gotten their first big break-throughs as part of the series (like Nate Bargatze and Taylor Tomlinson), and we expect this season will be no different. Melissa Villasenor has already made quite a name for herself on SNL, so it’s fun to be able to see what she can do on the stand-up stage. And Mark Normand has been all over our social media the last few months, so we’re excited to get to see his full act. If you need a laugh this week, you’ve at least got six comics to check out. And if, somehow, you’ve missed the other two seasons – that’s nine full hours of comedy to enjoy! Whether you watch one episode or all 18, you won’t regret putting your life on pause for a minute to check out The Stand-Ups.
Ja Morant Block
There are few things that Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant can do at this point that would shock us… and yet, he dropped our jaws once again with his block against the Lakers this week. We just can’t stop watching the replay. The audacity it takes to go up and try to catch a lay-up is mind-blowing. He just jumps so freakin’ high – his head is basically at the rim. Morant is having a career season, and has led the Grizzlies into championship contention this season. And while we aren’t surprised that the former Murray State star and 2nd overall pick has made the leap, his feats on the court are still awe-inspiring. He was already an unbelievable athlete, incredibly confident, and definitely the future of the NBA – and now he makes defensive plays like this! That’s really all we can say about Ja and this block. Now we’re going to go watch the replay on loop for the next couple hours.