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Greetings from Sweat City!

Well, hi there
 I hope your life has been full of good news and weird surprises. Tonight I'm seeing the comedic stylings of John Early, and I think it'll be just the medicine I need to get through this hectic week of cold showers and clanging repairmen. (There was a gas leak in my building, and it's taking forever to fix.) But anyway! Let's get back in a groove ...
What I'm into right now:

TV: I'm still loving POSE, which belonged to Angel and Lil Papi this week. If you haven't seen it, binge Season 1 on Netflix. (Admittedly, I'm not super-into AMERICAN HORROR STORY and some other Ryan Murphy babies, but this one is a standout.)

MUSIC: Elvis Costello compiled a stellar list of 500 essential albums. Some of his choices are surprising; for instance, he picks The Replacements' ALL SHOOK DOWN (not LET IT BE or TIM), and his favorite R.E.M. records are RECKONING and GREEN. He also includes lots of classical albums, and five Tom Waits records make the cut. ... On a sorta related note, Rob Sheffield pulled together an A+ album guide to The Kinks. Play it loud!

MOVIES: I found SIR DRONE on YouTube the other day. Directed by Raymond Pettibon, this 1989 flick is a DIY rock 'n' roll time capsule and features Mike Watt and Mike Kelley as a couple young guys starting a punk band.

PODCASTS: My baseball knowledge could fit in a thimble, but I still dig Rhea Butcher's baseball podcast, THREE SWINGS. Part of the reason I like it so much is Rhea mixes her sports knowledge and enthusiasm with an honesty and empathy rarely heard from traditional sports journalists (or fans). In fact, her last couple eps open with monologues about how she's been feeling sad lately. We can all relate, and yet who the heck else has the guts to open a sports podcast this way??

COMICS: Fantagraphics published its hardcover two-volume TREASURY OF MINI COMICS years ago, but I just got my hands on 'em and am in mini-heaven. ... Also, this week AMERICAN SPLENDOR podcast SCENE BY SCENE WITH JOSH & DEAN talked to the inimitable James Urbaniak about what it was like to play Robert Crumb in the movie.

TRAILERS: I know it's time for ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK to call it a day, but I'll still be bummed when it goes.

READING: A friend passed me this essay about John Wayne and "the art of problematic artists," which is something a lot of us have been considering lately. ... I also enjoyed reading 
Mitch Horowitz's piece about "The Man Who Helped The Beatles Admit It's Getting Better."

MISCELLANY: How great is VHS Girl? She reproduces classic VHS covers as affordable paintings (often with a humorous twist). Browse and buy her stuff on Etsy.
And YOU recommend:

MOVIES: Craig is watching SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE on Netflix, as are many of you. (I need to see it!)

TV: Joanne wants us to catch YEARS & YEARS from Russell T. Davies on HBO. "It covers so much in the first hour and will give you all the feels," she says. She adds that HBO's EUPHORIA is giving her "major SKINS vibes."

MUSIC: An anonymous reader sent this Cure video from the new concert doc and recommends the Leonard Cohen exhibit at the Jewish Museum in NYC. ... Kevin recommends Pronoun’s new album. "Lyrically, it’s a breakup album, but musically, I find it uplifting and earworm-y, and I love her unique vocal approach," he says. ... And 
Natasha loves the new Mark Lanegan track "Playing Nero." "It's the best kind of brooding, somber, swoon-worthy new wave -- very reminiscent of Billy Idol's 'Eyes Without a Face,'" she says. Count me in.

BOOKS: Craig is also working his way through Richard P. Feynman's SURELY YOU'RE JOKING, MR. FEYNMAN!.

AND YOU? Share your pop-culture recommendations via email (just hit reply) or text/voicemail via my hotline, 929-515-1988. Leave your name, and I'll put you in a future newsletter!
VIDEO PREMIERE: J Travis' "Battle Scars"

I've known and admired Jason Travis for years: Along with being a rad musician (formerly of the band Sealions), he's a talented photographer and visual artist. (I've been lucky to have him snap most of my headshots in the last decade or so, too.)

Jason just released a new batch of songs under the name J Travis, and he says they're heavily influenced by his roots in '90s power pop. Today I'm thrilled to premiere the video for his summer-themed track "Battle Scars," which he shot on a '90s camcorder in Venice, Calif. It features an amazing skateboarder named Myriah, co-founder of the "empowering and inclusive skate sisterhood" Grlswirl.

"'Battle Scars' is all about survival instincts and going anywhere you want to go," Jason says. "Myriah started skating when she was 11 years old. She tells me how strong it makes her feel and how it's brought her closer to the community. She says, 'I find happiness in this, and I’ll skate until the day I die.'"

I adore this song and video! 
Stream/buy Jason's new album, BRAIN DELAY, over at or via Spotify, Apple, etc. Tell him I sent ya.

Oh, and this Polaroid looks like it was taken in 1976, but it's actually me with the aforementioned Jason Travis at South by Southwest in 2009! I wish I still had those sunglasses.

Releases worth shoutin' about:

- Netflix debuts the anime series 7SEEDS (Netflix, June 28);
- Sidle up to RAMY YOUSSEF: FEELINGS (Netflix, June 29);
- Fred Savage hosts the TV recap parody series WHAT JUST HAPPENED??! (Fox, June 30);
- Alan Cumming leads CBS' INSTINCT (CBS, June 30);
- Miniseries THE LOUDEST VOICE tracks the life of Roger Ailes (Showtime, June 30);
- I'm gonna gobble up 30 FOR 30: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE HUNGRY, which profiles hot dog eating champs Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi (ESPN, July 2);
- And aw yeah, STRANGER THINGS is back, so I'm gonna play New Order's "Elegia" on repeat (Netflix, July 4).

- YESTERDAY imagines a world without the Beatles;
- The doc MAIDEN follows a kickass all-female sailboat crew;
- And OPHELIA re-imagines Hamlet.

- Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick deliver the Stephen Hawking graphic biography HAWKING;

June 28: Mel Brooks, Kathy Bates, John Cusack, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mike White 
June 29: Robert Evans, Gary Busey, Richard Lewis, Bret McKenzie 
June 30: David Alan Grier, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lizzy Caplan
July 1: Jamie Farr, Debbie Harry, Fred Schneider, Dan Aykroyd, Andre Braugher, Pamela Anderson, Missy Elliott, Sufjan Stevens
July 2: Polly Holliday, Larry David, Jerry Hall
July 3: Tom Stoppard, Vince Clarke, Tom Cruise, Yeardley Smith 
July 4: Eva Marie Saint, Kirk Pengilly
'Til the end of the world,

Shout via email (whitmath@gmail) or text/call my hotline at 929-515-1988 to leave recs and hear my wacky messages. Please email if you wanna send me stuff or hire me as a writer/editor/speaker. Subscribe to this newsletter here, and follow/tag me on Twitter and Instagram. (If this email is landing in spam/junk, try this.)

Blowing noses and blowing minds,
The Log Lady

"I'm very shy, so I became very outgoing to protect my shyness."
- Don Rickles

"Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to."
- The Smiths

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Also, check out my humor essay in the book MOVING FOREWORD, and see me read from it July 21 at Quimby's Bookstore in Brooklyn. If you come, please say hi!
Copyright ©2019 Whitney Matheson. All rights reserved.