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What's shakin', snake 'n' bacon*?

Happy April! I sure hope you made it through April Fool's Day unscathed; for some reason, my daughter thought it would be a hilarious prank to pretend she had to pee when we were nowhere near a public bathroom. (And she did it again the next day, which she called "April Fool's the Second.") 

Ready for stuff? Let's get into it!

* Shout-out to the rad Michael Kupperman. Have you read ALL THE ANSWERS? It's great!

What am I into right now?

A few things tingling my toenails:

TV: FX's WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS is a bloody masterpiece. I can't remember the last time a show made me laugh so hard -- I'll call crepe paper "creepy paper" from now on -- and Matt "Steven Toast" Berry can just glance a certain way and have me on the floor. Vampire documentary satire is the sport of the future.

MOVIES: Yeah, THE DIRT is a little trashy/silly/gross, but so was Motley Crue. (And apologies to the band, but I just spent forever trying to figure out how to insert umlauts on this thing, and I GIVE UP.) Anyway, the actor who plays Nikki Sixx, Douglas Booth, also played Boy George in a TV movie several years ago. It's on YouTube. When it comes to '80s music biopics, do what you feel. 

MOVIE TRAILERS: Jim Jarmusch's THE DEAD DON'T DIE (out June 24) has Bill Murray, Zombie Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, and who knows what else. ... Danny Boyle's YESTERDAY (out June 28) imagines a world where only one man knows songs by the Beatles, and holy moly, how much did this movie cost to make?? ...  And Penny Lane (yep, that's her name) directs the doc HAIL SATAN?, which follows a group of people who fight authority (and hope authority doesn't always win).

MUSIC: This week I went out to see Casey Neill, a singer-songwriter from Portland, Ore., who has been making great music for a long time. With an all-star backing band that included multi-talented Boston Red Sox organist Josh Kantor, he played a blissful and blistering set that included a cover of the Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" and the crowd-pleasin' "Riffraff." See him if you can, or at least listen to "Savages" for four minutes. That's a really good song.

COMICS: I know many of you have read Box Brown's graphic novels about Andy Kaufman, Andre the Giant and the history of Tetris. This week Box has a new book out called CANNABIS: THE ILLEGALIZATION OF WEED IN AMERICA, and it's a stimulating read about some very unsettling moments in American history.

WEBCOMICS: Joan Reilly's comic of how she's "Trying to Turn a Brain Tumor Into Something Useful" is so smart and well done. (I, too, have an "accountability buddy" who helps me get through projects. It's a great idea, particularly if you have trouble finishing things.)   

COMEDY: I saw a bunch of comedians this week, and Jordan Temple was a gold-star standout. Along with being a writer on THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, he wrote a play called HIDDEN FENCES (inspired by this flub) and hosts a weekly comedy show in NYC called "Too Many Cooks."  

KICKSTARTER: Director Hal Hartley has a new Kickstarter project where he'll send you restored versions of 1991's SURVIVING DESIRE and a couple short films. Hal does no wrong in my eyes, and he has already gotten more than $25,000 of his $60,000 goal. Keep doing what you're doing, Hal!

And YOU recommend:

A few things on your radar:

MUSIC: Herman is excited by new material from Secession's Peter Thomson. "He passed away a long time ago, so I thought all songs were exhausted," he says. "It's six new songs (some a bit rough) and four demos of released songs." He's particularly into the new track "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" and says "Touch" and "The Magician" are old faves. ... Longtime reader Gail is into this women's string quartet that covers rock/metal bands. "It’s surprising how well AC/DC’s 'Thunderstruck' translates!" she says. "If I had a professional office, this is what I’d play in the waiting room."  

BOOKS: Warren is excited about LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON: HOLLYWOOD MONSTERS AND THE LOST LEGACY OF MILLICENT PATRICK, particularly after hearing this NPR story. "The book tells the story of how she designed the fabled monster suit and how jealously took her legacy," he says. ... Leanne is reading THE WIFE by Meg Wolitzer. She says he hasn't seen the movie (with Glenn Close), but it's a worthy read so far.

FESTIVALS: Shout-out to Mark for sending me a cool wrap-up of his trip to the Treefort Music Fest in Boise. He loved a bunch of bands, including local duo Central City Music Company. (And Mark is being modest, but his own band, Idle Chatter, is pretty dang good, too. You can stream/buy his music on Bandcamp.) 

MISCELLANY: Longtime reader Tony Henderson has had a pretty weird couple weeks, thanks to the latest AVENGERS: ENDGAME trailer that had everyone speculating about the name "Tony Henderson." Tony has no idea what it means, either, but many years ago he did write a story for Pop Candy about his life as a background actor in Los Angeles. "Ironically, a YouTube video I posted for my article for you has been resurfacing because of the Avengers attention," he says. "Suffice to say, it's been quite bizarre." ... In other news, Bob S. wants us to know what happened to the kid from the "I learned it by watching YOU!" anti-drug ad in the '80s. I may call him if I ever need a home renovation.

YOUR TURN: Tell us what you're into via email or text/voicemail at 929-515-1988, and I'll share your recs in a future newsletter. And hey, thanks to those of you who have been forwarding this email to your co-workers!

THE WEEK AHEAD: Notable release dates


CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND ends its series run (April 5, CW)
- THE TICK returns to Amazon Prime (April 5)
- Wyatt Cenac delves into more PROBLEM AREAS (April 5, HBO)
- CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA whisks back (April 5, Netflix)
- Netflix unveils the nature-filled doc series OUR PLANET (April 5)
- Cinemax delivers WARRIOR  (April 5)
- Brie Larson stars in/directs the film UNICORN STORE  (April 5, Netflix)
- HBO premieres an adaptation of Richard Wright's NATIVE SON (April 6)
- The sublime KILLING EVE returns (April 7, BBC America and AMC)
- Lena Waithe's THE CHI starts Season 2 (April 7, Showtime)
- Adult Swim premieres LAZOR WULF (April 7) 
- I'm so ready for Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell in FOSSE/VERDON on FX (April 9)  

Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche lead Claire Denis' space thriller HIGH LIFE (April 5)
- Zachary Levi transforms into SHAZAM! (April 5)
- BILLBOARD tells the story of a cartoonist who inherits a struggling radio station (April 5)  
- Emilio Estevez directs and stars in THE PUBLIC, a film about a standoff at a public library (April 5)
Mike Leigh helms the historical drama PETERLOO (April 5)
- Terry Gilliam finally delivers THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE with Adam Driver (April 10), but consider watching LOST IN LA MANCHA first.


- Priests unleash THE SEDUCTION OF KANSAS (April 5)
Weyes Blood unfurls TITANIC RISING (April 5)

- THE WISDOM OF WONDER WOMAN by Signe Bergstrom includes quotes from comics, TV and movies (April 9)
- Russell Brand shares his thoughts on MENTORS: HOW TO HELP AND BE HELPED (April 9)

- Don't forget the long-awaited Criterion Channel launches April 8!

April 5: Roger Corman, Jane Asher, Mike McCready, Sterling K. Brown
April 6: Ram Dass, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Rooker, Black Francis/Frank Black, Paul Rudd, Zach Braff
April 7: Bobby Bare, Francis Ford Coppola, John Oates, Janis Ian, Jackie Chan
April 8: Vivienne Westwood, Julian Lennon, Donita Sparks, Biz Markie, Robin Wright, Patricia Arquette, Emma Caulfield, Katee Sackhoff, Ezra Koenig
April 9: Jean-Paul Belmondo (pictured), Marty Krofft, Dennis Quaid, David Gordon Green, Gerard Way, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Kristen Stewart
April 10: Anne Lamott, Brian Setzer, Q-Tip, David Harbour, Charlie Hunnam, Michael Pitt, Mandy Moore, Haley Joel Osment, Daisy Ridley
April 11: Joel Grey, Louise Lasser, Vincent Gallo, Tricia Helfer

* I'm still developing this this "new releases" section. Let me know what you think.

Well, Chris in Cleveland -- aka "BIG BUSINESS" -- had the time of his life last weekend when he went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn. In one magical night, he met Simon Le Bon (pictured with Chris), basked in the glows of Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson ... the list goes on. 

"I thought the highlight of the show was The Cure," he tells us. "They did 'A Forest,' which I thought was the best song of the night. Robert Smith is so confident on stage, and the music just sounded perfect."

HBO will air the induction ceremony April 27.
Jodi G. had a blast at last week's Jenny Lewis concert in St. Paul. If you see her on tour, grab your tickets soon -- many shows are selling out!

See ya next week!

That's it for now! As always, you can see the archive and/or subscribe here. Get in touch via email (just hit reply) or text/call me at 929-515-1988. (I leave a different automated message every weekday.) And if you enjoy this newsletter, help spread the word.

If you'd like to send me mail, please email me for my best address. Would you like to advertise, offer giveaway items or hire me as a freelance writer/editor/speaker? Just email. I'm game.

Give a hoot and hang the DJ,
Woodsy Owl

"By any accepted standard, I have had more than nine lives. I counted them up once, and there were maybe 13 times I almost and maybe should have died." 
- Hunter S. Thompson

"Dancing on flick knives, dancing a stiletto groove / Dancing our nine lives away, dancing in the Louvre ..."
- Bauhaus, "Dancing"

Copyright ©2018 Whitney Matheson. All rights reserved.

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