What we’ll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
From legends (Chrissie Hynde, Ruby Dee) to newcomers (first-time novelist Ariel Schrag), this weekend is packed with work from impressive women.
More than 30 years into her music career, Pretenders front woman Chrissie Hynde has finally made a solo album and it was worth the wait. For Stockholm, the “Brass in Pocket” singer teamed up with Björn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John, and pulls out the guest star punches with appearances by Neil Young and John McEnroe—yes the tennis great and long-aspiring rocker (he’s married to Patty Smyth)—among others. But of course it’s Hynde’s searing voice, one of the most recognizable in rock ’n’ roll, and her witty, thorny lyrics that put this album at the top of our weekend listening.
Adam, the debut novel by the graphic novelist and TV writer Ariel Schrag, is about a California teen who goes to live with his older sister in NYC, where he experiences the lesbian and transgendered community she’s entrenched in. Schrag takes a daring leap, having her titular character fall in love with a lesbian and pretend to be a trans boy to inspire reciprocated feelings. This can’t end well. But Schrag’s storytelling prowess and ability to create humor and authenticity where other writers would only uncover stereotypes, makes getting to the end a truly enjoyable coming-of-age story especially poignant for this age we’re in.
This week we said good-bye to Ruby Dee, a prolific actress and fierce activist, whose actions were just as effective in the roles she chose, as they were in her off-screen fight for Civil Rights. Watching (or re-watching) 1961’s A Raisin in the Sun, in which she reprises her onstage role, about a black family’s experience in the south side of Chicago, is the just one of many ways to honor her legacy.
Spring’s most anticipated finale is finally here and all of our burning Lannister-Khaleesi-Baratheon-Stark questions will be answered (while we play our favorite TV drinking game: “Somebody died! Bottom’s up”). Even Jon Snow says, “It leaves a lot open” though, so who knows how satisfied we’ll be. Luckily we’ll likely be good and drunk by the end, which comes with its own satisfaction of a weekend well spent.
If Hillary’s laying the groundwork for a bid for the presidential nomination, her new memoir Hard Choices is a pretty good next step. The dense book is an account of her four years as Secretary of State—the crises she faced and, well, the hard choices she had to make when it came to winding down wars, dealing with a global financial emergency, threats from North Korea, and more. The book’s Benghazi chapter is the most anticipated, and, truth be told, we might just read that one first.
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