My five fave finds of the week.
1) Armistead Maupin's The Days of Anna Madrigal
Just finished the latest from Armistead Maupin and I loved every bit of it. I'm one of those people who like Maupin's later stuff even better than the original Tales of the City series. (My fave Maupin novel is The Night Listener, partly because it features a spot-on description of the emotional toll of writing when the main character talks about "the grueling self-scrutiny that fiction demands.")
The Days of Anna Madrigal has all of Maupin's signature charms, including his keen critiques of contemporary culture. (At one point, 92-year-old Mrs. Madrigal has her first sip of Kombucha. She remarks: "I'm afraid that's a taste I won't have sufficient time to acquire.")
My favorite part of the book involves a backstory love affair. In these chapters, Maupin gets especially poetic, writing about red and green lights that "were blinking like lost pieces of Christmas" and a hand that "landed on his shoulder, firm as an accusation, warm as a caress."
2) The collages of Ian David Baker
I was familiar with Baker's photographs, especially the iconic Alex at the Kensington Pool Hall, 1984. But I'd never seen his collages, which feel like romantic dreams.
3) Mirror Talk's "Don't" video
There's a biopic in the works about the relationship between David Bowie and Iggy Pop, but my new favorite band, Mirror Talk, has already nailed the concept in the gender-bending video for "Don't."
I've been playing Infatuation, the new EP by the band, all week, especially "Too Late To Start." If you like R&B-influenced synth pop (i.e. anything New Wave, British, and cool from the '80s), you gotta check them out.
4) Million Dollar Nerd's Twitter
@MDNerd's twitter feed is full of LMAO graphic takes on pop culture. I love the warning in the twitter profile: "Full Frontal Nerdity."
5) Katy B's Little Red album
It's only February, but this might be one of the best dance albums of the year. The tracks are grounded in the soulful, electro-house of the '90s, and Katy B rides the beats like ol' school divas Lady Miss Kier and Joi Cardwell. So far, the album has only been released in the U.K., but it's worth trolling the internets to find a copy. Below is my fave song, the off-kilter "Sapphire Blue," produced by the amazing Jacques Greene.
See ya next week!