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Before we get to this newsletter's fruity center, it's business time:

a) A few of you told me last week's font looked teeny-tiny! I bumped up the size and hope it's easier on the eyes. 

b) Is this newsletter landing in your spam/junk folder? You may need to add my email address to your contacts/address book and/or mark this as "not spam." Here are more potential fixes

c) My favorite sunscreen is EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46. (This isn't an ad or anything, just my honest answer to a frequently asked question.)

What I'm into right now:

TV: Joe Swanberg's anthology series EASY is back on Netflix for a final season. If you only watch one ep, I suggest Episode 6 ("Blank Pages"), in which Marc Maron reprises his role as a skeevy Chicago cartoonist. Melanie Lynskey and Jane Adams deliver fantastic performances, as always. ... Don't forget that Season 2 of FLEABAG is now on Amazon Prime. It's wonderful! ... Also, last week's star-studded ep of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS made me squeal with joy. Catch up on Hulu -- and FX renewed it, thank goodness.
PODCASTS: Performers don't always want to talk about the past, but Anjelica Huston has been doing it lately, and it's FASCINATING. Read her Vulture interview and hear her interviewed on WTF. (She says she keeps in touch with Jack Nicholson, and he's doing well. By the way, where can I stream PRIZZI'S HONOR?)

MOVIES: WINE COUNTRY made me laugh so hard, and now I'll never be able to say the word "feedback" without singing. Shout-out to the great Paula Pell, who kinda steals the movie (and happens to be a fellow University of Tennessee alum. Go Vols.) ... This week I also watched ORIGIN STORY, Kulap Vilaysack's moving documentary where she traces her family history. The film illustrates how all families are different, and it's our differences that make us special -- and while that's a lesson most parents try to teach kids every day, it's something many adults could stand to learn, too! ORIGIN STORY is now on Amazon Prime.

MUSIC: I'm digging these new tracks Michael Stipe performed recently. Maybe a solo album is in the works? ... Also, former Breeders bassist Josephine Wiggs is poised to release a solo album, and it's not what you might expect. WE FALL is a beautiful record of experimental, ambient music that may soothe your mind and/or increase your productivity. Wiggs also calls herself an "amateur mycologist," and the record features cool photos of mushrooms she has found.

COVER SONGS: Singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur has been sharing some killer covers lately, from Talk Talk's "It's My Life," to Prince's "I Would Die for You" and "Diamonds and Pearls" to Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You." Peruse his Instagram for more.
Hey, I wrote a kids' book: WE MAKE COMICS is a digital kids' book I wrote (and Genevieve Kote illustrated!) that explains just how many different talents it takes to create comics. It features advice from some of the coolest folks in the comics industry -- Dana Simpson, Kate Leth, Kean Soo and Steve Hamaker among them -- and I hope it'll inspire young readers to tell their own stories. See it on, a kids' digital library available via subscription or for free in schools and libraries. I'm super-proud of this project and hope you and your family enjoy it!

And YOU recommend:

MOVIES: Joanne called the hotline to say she saw an early screening of BOOKSMART and loved it. "It's easily one of the best movies of the year," she says. "Smart, funny and heartfelt. I need to see it again with my bestie."

MUSIC: Herman recommends the Brooklyn band Barrie, particularly the songs "Darjeeling" and "Geology," which you can hear on their Bandcamp page.

TV: John likes an anime series called ONE PUNCH MAN, especially since its new season just arrived on Hulu. "It follows Saitama, "a hero for fun, as he tries to reconnect with humanity," John says. "He has become so strong that he easily defeats monsters with a single punch, and he has become bored." John adds that the first episode is a little strange, so give it a few eps to grow on you. ... Another reader just finished Netflix's DEAD TO ME and liked it. "You think you know what's  going to happen, but then by Episode 3, they reveal it, and you're like, 'What else can they do?'" he says. "Then all these onion layers start peeling off. I got hooked." ... Also, so many of you are into SNEAKY PETE on Amazon that maybe I should watch, too.

BOOKS: Leanne is reading THE PERFECT NANNY, a novel by Leila Slimani. The subject is dark -- it's about a killer nanny -- but Leanne notes that "it's a brilliantly written portrayal of a woman going mad" and a powerful statement on modern parenting.

MISCELLANY: A few of you sent me the New York Times' huge feature on Generation X. It doesn't cover a lot of new territory -- maybe it's more interesting to those who didn't live through the era -- though I appreciated the link to Dennis Cooper's 1990 chat with Keanu Reeves and this new interview with 52-year-old Evan Dando, who doesn't sound all that different from 20-something Evan Dando. ("We were really good buds until I slept with his girl," he says of Johnny Depp.)

READER UPDATE: Our friend Joey L. says he's touched by everyone who has donated and offered support while he receives treatment for depression. I'm glad he's getting the help he needs.

WHAT'S MISSING? What are YOU into right now? Share via email or text/voicemail at 929-515-1988. I'll throw you in a future newsletter!

VIDEO PREMIERE: Thomas Comerford's "Lord of the Flies"

I couldn't be happier to host this newsletter's first video premiere: a track from one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Chicago-based musician and filmmaker Thomas Comerford.  "Lord of the Flies" can be found on Tom's latest record, BLOOD MOON. Below, he shares the interesting story behind the video:

"I’ve been teaching a cinematography course for about five years and have accumulated all this film footage of lighting studies that the students have produced and shot. For these assignments, they were asked to choose still images from movies they loved and re-create them on their own with lights, costumes, props and 16mm film. Recently, when some former students told me they were fans of my music, I invited them to edit something together with all this footage; they also shot film of me performing." 

He adds, "The song is obliquely about being a monster, so I had projected onto me scenes from the movie THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, which has one of the original movie monsters, Cesare. There are other movie monsters in here, too, a few nightmares, a few shadow puppets and a few dead bodies, but also a love of movies and images and their making."

Wow! Enjoy this collaborative video by Tom and his film students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. You can see his upcoming tour dates over at


COMING UP: New shows/books/cool stuff

- George Clooney, Kyle Chandler and Hugh Laurie star in the miniseries Catch-22 (Hulu, May 17);
- FLEABAG nails its second season (Amazon, May 17);
- NAILED IT! returns with more crazy cakes (Netflix, May 17); 
- Dive into the retro miniseries 1994 (Netflix, May 17);
- The Spike-Lee produced SEE YOU YESTERDAY follows teens who travel back in time to save the victim of a police shooting (Netflix, May 17);
- SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ends its season with host Paul Rudd (NBC, May 18);
- PSYCHO GRANNY, qu'est-ce que c'est? (Lifetime, May 18);
- A little show called GAME OF THRONES ends (HBO, May 19);
- Wanda Sykes gets a NOT NORMAL standup special (Netflix, May 21);
- A live re-creation of ALL IN THE FAMILY and THE JEFFERSONS stars an insane cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell and others (ABC, May 22);
- THE WRESTLERS profiles, well, wrestlers (Viceland, May 22);
- THE NAME OF THE ROSE stars John Turturro and Michael Emerson (Sundance, May 23);
- VIDA returns (Starz, May 23).

- Keanu's back in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM;
- PHOTOGRAPH weaves a romantic tale;
- THE PROFESSOR stars Johnny Depp as a dying professor with nothing to lose;
- THE SOUVENIR stars Tilda Swinton and her daughter, Honor Swinton Byrne
- WALKING ON WATER profiles the artist Christo making art after the death of his wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude;
- THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR teen romance;
- Karen Gillan stars in the crime thriller ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW;
- A DOG'S JOURNEY tells the story of a sex-obsessed mime -- ha, just kidding! It's about a dog that goes on a journey. 

- Interpol releases a new EP today. I'm also excited about new records from The National and Josephine Wiggs.

- Top Shelf publishes James Albon's A SHINING BEACON.

May 17: Taj Mahal, Bob Saget, Enya, Craig Ferguson, Trent Reznor

May 18: Bill Macy (aka Walter from MAUDE), Mark Mothersbaugh, Tina Fey
May 19: Pete Townshend, Grace Jones
May 20: Cher, Jane Wiedlin, Timothy Olyphant, Busta Rhymes
May 21: Mr. T (pictured), Kevin Shields, Noel Fielding, Fairuza Balk 
May 22: Richard Benjamin, Bernie Taupin, Morrissey (he's 60!), Brody Stevens (R.I.P.)
May 23: Joan Collins, Jewel, Ryan Coogler
Now through May 31: Sign up to support me on Patreon at the $20+ level, and I'll send you THREE pop-culture pinback buttons designed by artist Jeff Dionise! I love this one so much I wanna marry it.

Thanks for hanging out!

Drop me a line anytime via email (just hit reply) or text/call me at 929-515-1988. Also email if you wanna send me things, advertise or hire me as a freelance writer/editor/speaker. Subscribe to this newsletter here, and follow/tag me on Twitter and Instagram.

I'm crushing your head,
Mrs. Roper

"I have a responsibility to kids, all the people who look up to me. ... I don’t wanna lead nobody down the wrong path, just to make money. I’m not a sellout."
- Mr. T

Copyright ©2018 Whitney Matheson. All rights reserved.

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