Somehow, it is already February, and Punxsutawney Phil wasn't the only familiar face we saw this week! We found creative inspiration from some old friends in both movies and music, as well as from fresh blood taking over their respective crafts. And while we luckily avoided the snow storms in the Northeast, it didn't keep us off the ice altogether. Keep on reading to find out what made the cut for Volume 58!
The only certainties in life are death and taxes. Well that, and the Jackass franchise. The highly anticipated, much-delayed Jackass Forever finally hit theaters this week, and the latest installment of the franchise appears to deliver as usual. While the usual gang is looking older, it doesn’t stop them from performing the same outrageous stunts that they’ve been doing for the last twenty years. They might not be the most thoughtful films, but there is something delightfully communal about Jackass, and the comedy that it provides. Jackass Forever reminds of our younger years, watching with friends, when maybe we weren’t supposed to be. At one point, the “don’t try this at home” disclaimer was directed at us, and while we’ve matured a lot since then, that doesn’t mean we still don’t get a kick out of Jackass. King Penguin favorite Eric Andre even joins the fun this time around, and we can’t wait to see what Johnny Knoxville and Co. put the comedian through. Most of all, we’re excited for some truly escapist, mindless comedy to enjoy this weekend.
Pam & Tommy
While we’re on the topic of throwback entertainment, we’ll turn your attention to our second pick of the week, Pam & Tommy. The 90’s-inspired miniseries genre adds another chapter this week with the new Hulu drama that has people buzzing. People have been excited about this show since the initial set photos of Lily James and Sebastian Stan went viral, as their transformations into character are pretty remarkable. Pamela Anderson (and, to an extent, Tommy Lee) are probably still household names, although a lot of people might forget why. Creator Craig Gillespie, of I, Tonya fame, has the pedigree to make a series like this successful, and he gets to work with a loaded cast. Aside from James and Stan, Seth Rogen and Nick Offerman are sure to offer comic relief, as should Taylor Schilling and Andrew Dice Clay. Everything from the haircuts to the outfits seem incredibly on point, at least in the trailer; hopefully the show can live up to its hype.
Rex Orange County - “Keep It Up”
We’re still always on the lookout for upbeat jams that can get us through the dark days of winter, and this week, one of our favorite indie/pop artists delivered with a new single. Rex Orange County put out “Keep It Up,” and it checks all the boxes we’re looking for in a new weekday tune. There’s a really fun intro with strings before the beat kicks in, and then it settles into a nice groove. The keyboard and bass parts provide great accents throughout the track, and overall it provides a nice vibe for your workday. It’s pretty easy to stop paying attention and just keep this song on loop, which isn’t a bad thing (trust us, it happened to us this week). And most importantly, the lyrics are exactly what we’re looking for. The song is inspiring, pushing you to keep your head up and keep chasing what you want in life. We rely pretty heavily on music to get us going creatively, so it was very exciting to stumble on this gem this week. Hopefully, it can spark something in you guys, too!
Big Boi & Sleepy Brown - GQ Most Iconic Tracks
GQ does a really cool series where they have artists go through their most iconic works, whether they’re actors, directors, or musicians. This week, they brought on Big Boi and Sleepy Brown, and it was awesome. The two Atlanta rap legends broke down some of Outkast’s biggest hits, which means they took a look at some of the biggest rap songs of the last thirty-ish years. Big Boi was half of the iconic rap duo, while Sleepy Brown was their producer and unofficial third member, so the two artists had a lot of insight into what made the group so successful. They talked about the inspiration for the sound and the lyrics, as well as where the group was in their career when they released certain tracks. We got awesome insight into aspects of production we wouldn’t have thought about, like how they recorded live instruments to get a more unique sound, and how they developed weird lyrics and phrases that embedded themselves into Outkast’s lyrics. It’s easy to forget how much creative energy goes into something like “Roses” or other Top-40 rap, but clearly, there’s a ton of work behind quality music, no matter the genre. Outkast were innovators, and Big Boi and Sleepy Brown are two incredibly important figures in the history of rap – whether you’re a fan or not, it’s worth checking out this video.
Max Verstappen - Red Bull F1 Ice Track
After growing up in New England (and leaving), we can’t say we miss driving through the snow. But this week, Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen took the opposite approach. Fresh off his title, Verstappen and his partners at Red Bull hit the ice to give his car a test drive on the GP Ice Race Circuit. They outfitted his F1 car with special tires to grip the track, and had him drive around with Ice Speedway racer Franky Zorn. The result was an electric minute-and-a-half of hairpin turns and snow drifting, and we really have to respect how hard he hit the track in such difficult terrain. We’re currently in the gap between the actual F1 season and Drive to Survive, so we were pretty grateful for some racing content. It’s a fun bit from the Red Bull production team, too, to even think of getting Max out on the ice. The donuts at the end of the video were a nice touch, too, and the overhead angle was sick. We have to guess that Verstappen didn’t have to dust the snow off his own car, but we’re still impressed by how he drove through the elements.