It's the longest weekend of the year, so luckily the Friday Five has plenty of content to keep you entertained and inspired. There are fast cars, big laughs, rock legends, and more, all part of Volume 97!
Ken Block's ELECTRIKHANA
The Hoonigans have made a number of appearances on the Friday Five, but none have hit so close to home. Ken Block's latest masterpiece involved the Hoonigan Media Machine shutting down the streets of Las Vegas so that he could rip around in an all-new electric Audi. Watching Block tear up such familiar territory is really cool, and we like the innovation of making it electric -- both from an engineering standpoint, as well as the eventual sound design of the video. The glow of The Strip, and all the scenery that comes with it, accentuate the daring street moves of Block behind the wheel. We can definitely appreciate anyone willing to take the risks that Block does, especially for a creative endeavor, and we love that Block is still pushing the envelope after 10 successful Gymkhana videos. We will watch Block cruise around any city, any time, any place. Just sign us up.
Warren Zevon on Letterman
We're going to follow up one groundbreaking performance with another -- only this one is a throwback. 20 years ago this week, musician Warren Zevon took the Late Show stage one final time, making his last public appearance while battling terminal lung cancer. David Letterman devoted the whole episode to Zevon, who was one of the comic's favorite musicians, in a truly staggering move. What followed was an incredibly deep, philosophical, and somehow funny conversation about the meaning of life (and death). Zevon was able to match the quickness of Letterman with ease, and dispensed with some great advice along with some very funny jokes. He then followed up the interview with a stirring three-song performance, accompanied by Paul Schaffer and the house band, that we could listen to on repeat. It's impressive enough that Zevon was able to push himself through a whole performance, but to still sound as good as he did is really beyond belief. If you aren't familiar with Zevon's work, you should get familiar -- and this is a great starting place.
Marcus King - Spotify Singles
Zevon isn't our only musical pick this week, but there is definitely a bit of a theme. Marcus King feels like an old soul musically, and he sticks to big rock and blues sounds, which we pretty much always enjoy. We suggest checking out all his music, but King just put out a Spotify Singles recording we've been playing all week. The EP kicks off with an incredible cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, adding a super funk guitar riff and some killer horns. The intro itself has some wild instrumentation, and then King's vocals come in and the song gets going. King's voice is pretty amazing, and he's got really remarkable range to go with his song-writing and guitar-playing. There are big horns and guitar parts that stand out on the other single on the album, which is a re-recording of King's own track "It's Too Late." The vocal runs there are impressive, too, and we are in awe of how he manages to switch tones. This album might only be seven minutes long, but it'll definitely get you bobbing your head and tapping your feet at your desk before the runtime is over -- and don't worry, it doesn't get old.
Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?
We were really just playing the hits this week: Great driving, bluesy rock music, and now, stand-up comedy. This week's special is one that comes from one of our favorite comic actors who isn't known for his stand-up, but is clearly comfortable in the medium. We've loved Chris Redd since he burst on the scene in Popstar, and his work over the years on Saturday Night Live was terrific. He went from raising the bar on SNL's digital shorts back to the stage, and it's fun to see him in this new light. The special is a pretty straightforward, traditional special, but Redd's delivery and cadence are very unique. He's super animated on stage, and his facial expressions alone could give us fits. Redd is a rising star in the comedy world, and we'd bet a lot of money that this won't be his last special. While there aren't any other specials to go back and watch after this hour, there's plenty of old work to check out -- including Popstar, which was (thankfully) just added to HBO Max, too!
If there aren't enough laughs for you there, Netflix just put out an entire 10-episode season of a star-studded comedy for you to take in this weekend. Blockbuster is a new workplace comedy set at the last remaining Blockbuster Video, which is ironically (or not so ironically) on the world's biggest streaming platform. The cast is led by Randall Park, Melissa Fumero, and JB Smoove, who is one of our all-time favorites. Behind the camera, the writers/creators have credits on Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Superstore, so there's a lot of great comedy pedigree going in. There are also younger actors like Tyler Alvarez who should get the chance to break out from this show, too. Hopefully Netflix can turn around its shaky run of original scripted content, because we've been waiting for the project for a while -- so maybe it's the start of a new Netflix hot streak.