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Let's pretend we're in Antarctica,

Ahoy! How's your week? I guess I could open with some observations about the slimy heat or how I loathe deodorants that smell like flowers and/or spices (and they ALL DO), but lemme dare to give ya some Dolly-style straight talk instead:

Summer can be ROUGH. The struggle to find affordable child care is real (for me, anyway). My heart goes out to all of you in similar situations, waking up crazy-early and staying up late and taking extra gigs to get it done. I don't think life without art is worth a cent, but at the same time, I understand how sometimes movies and concerts and podcasts have to take a backseat. It's all OK. 

Whew! That feels better. Anyway, you're stunning, and let's put our wigs on and scoot ahead:
What I'm into right now:

TV: I've seen the first two eps of VERONICA MARS' new season. I'm in it all the way, although -- and lordy, this is gonna make me sound like a Cranky Old -- I'm a little startled by the blood and gore and language and skin! This ain't UPN VM, and I'm very down, just a tad jostled. Kristen Bell always rules. Ryan Hansen is the secret sauce. Love Chrissie Hynde's version of the theme song.

MUSIC: What started as a reader recommendation has migrated to this section: Huge thanks to Jeff L. for sending me a link to Girl in Red's "Dead Girl in the Pool," aka the outsider's song of the summer. "
Pretty much everything Girl In Red has released from her Norwegian bedroom over the last 18 months has been a revelation," he tells me, adding that this track "might also be the best Smiths song since 1987. ... It’s almost as if the girlfriend woke up from her coma and wrote it all down."

TRAILER: This Linda Ronstadt documentary is gonna rule. Not only is it packed with righteous women (Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt), how great will it be to sit in a cool theater (or a warm bed) and listen to THAT VOICE for an entire movie?

READING: I enjoyed this interview with Merge Records co-founder Laura Ballance. ... Please Kill Me's Alan Bisbort wrote about Elliott Smith, who would've turned 50 in August. ... Molly Langmuir profiled Jia Tolentino. ... Tyler Coates wrote about how "Action Figures Are Just Dolls That Kick Ass." ... And of course I took a gander at Indiewire's list of the "100 Best Movies of the Decade."

I went to the Quimby's reading last weekend on a steamy Sunday night and was THRILLED to meet newsletter/Pop Candy fans Richard (left) and Julian. Julian hails from New Zealand and was celebrating his 50th birthday! He knows lots about kiwis (both the birds and the fruit).

Anyway, this week I posted an audio version of me reading my MOVING FOREWORD essay on Patreon. It's available to supporters at every level (as little as $2/month). 
And YOU recommend:

TV: Paul recommends the Hulu miniseries DAS BOOT. "Going in, I wasn’t expecting a remake/sequel/reboot of DAS BOOT to pass the Bechdel Test, but it very much does with flying colors," he says. "Incredible suspense and fantastic international cast." ... And Gabriel is digging LAST CHANCE U over on Netflix. Get into it!

PODCASTS: Big thanks to Joey O. for letting us know that Michael Stipe was a recent guest on the GOOPFELLAS podcast, "talking about everything from his diet to masculinity to Patti Smith to his giant beard," he says. "It’s a really outstanding conversation that only really references R.E.M. matter-of-factly in passing here and there." 

MUSIC: Ellie A. wrote to me about the L.A.-based band ASHRR. "I stumbled on them via social media and love their ‘80s vibe!" she says. "They have an excellent cover of 'Cities In Dust' by Siouxsie and the Banshees." ... And Steve in Birmingham has "Redesigning Women" by The Highwomen on repeat. "The video is pretty cool, too," he adds ... and he's not wrong. Hey there, Wynonna.

NOSTALGIA: Shout-out to longtime reader Hal E. for telling me about his friend Kevin's blog. my friend Kevin's blog, Postmodcast. "He loves sports, but occasionally he takes a break to write about BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS," he says. "This week, he got to interview Judy Norton-Taylor from THE WALTONS, and they discussed her time on BNS. It's pretty great."

EVENTS: Our pal Craig Shemin tells us he and his wife (Muppet performer Stephanie D'Abruzzo) are hosting a double feature of the two SESAME STREET feature films (FOLLOW THAT BIRD and ELMO IN GROUCHLAND) at the Museum of the Moving Image July 28. Learn more here, and note there will be "prizes for lucky audience members!" 

MISCELLANY: Josh emailed to say he bought the New Wave Tarot Deck I mentioned. (He added that if he had pierced ears, he might've invested in these John Waters/Divine earrings, too.)
AND HEY: Don't forget you can share your recs anytime at 929-515-1988, where I try to leave a new outgoing message every day. Email me at I'll put your suggestions in a future newsletter.

Releases worth noting:

- THE BOYS brings the comic to life and looks like a blast (Amazon, July 26);
- ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK bids farewell (Amazon, July 26);
- HBO premieres the intense drama SHARE (HBO, July 27);
- The Alfred-focused series PENNYWORTH offers a GOTHAM prequel (Epix, July 28);
- David Spade gets a late-night series, LIGHTS OUT (Comedy Central, July 29);
- FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL gets the series treatment, courtesy of Mindy Kaling (Hulu, July 31);
- And Sherman McDaniel stars in the new star-studded variety/sketch series SHERMAN'S SHOWCASE (IFC, July 31).

- ONCE UPON A TIME ... IN HOLLYWOOD brings Leo and Brad and Quentin together at last. Drink every time you see a close-up of someone's feet.
- Richard Dreyfuss is an ASTRONAUT;
- MIKE WALLACE IS HERE profiles the reporter;
- And Jeff Goldblum stars in THE MOUNTAIN.


NEW MUSIC: Violent Femmes have a new record out today. Today also marks the release of Soundgarden: Live from the Artists Den.

July 26: Darlene Love, Mick Jagger, Betty Davis, Helen Mirren, Sandra Bullock, Kate Beckinsale, Iron & Wine
July 27: Norman Lear, William Eggleston, Bobbie Gentry, Yahoo Serious, Juliana Hatfield, Maya Rudolph
July 28: Jim Davis, Sally Struthers, Gerard Casale, Jimmy Pardo
July 29: Jenny Holzer, Ken Burns, Geddy Lee, Wil Wheaton, Stephen Dorff 
July 30: Sid Krofft, Buddy Guy, Peter Bogdanovich, Kate Bush (pictured), Richard Linklater, Laurence Fishburne, Lisa Kudrow, Terry Crews, Tom Green
July 31: Geraldine Chaplin, Daniel Ash, Bill Berry, Wesley Snipes, J.K. Rowling 
Aug. 1: Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Michael Penn, Chuck D, Demian Bechir, Dean Wareham, Sam Mendes 

MY BAD: Last week I made the Mother of All Errors when I posted a photo of Jeff Ament instead of birthday boy Stone Gossard. Forgive me, but I gotta say, I was inspired to know so many of you examine this newsletter closely enough to notice! From here on out, all errors are 100% intentional.

Before we go, please enjoy my classic '80s Putt-Putt face. If you have a retro pop-culture-y photo you'd like to share with the class, feel free to email it ( or text it to 929-515-1988. You may see it in a future newsletter! 
So glad you could make it!

I welcome greetings and salutations at all hours of the day and night. Also email me if you wanna send me stuff or hire me as a writer/editor/speaker/carpenter. (I'm a terrible carpenter, though.)

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Your genie in a jumpsuit,
Holly Pelegrino

"I never want to bore the public."
- Chrissie Hynde

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