What we’ll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
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This weekend is rich in new memoirs to read, from both an ’80s icon and a rising political superstar, but when we’re not found book (or Kindle) in hand, we’ll be catching up with Kristen Wiig, Lauren Ambrose, Karen O, and more.
As lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O can go from sweet songstress to banshee in several seconds flat, but her first-ever solo album is a modest version of her usual intensity. The 14 tracks on Crush Songs are mostly softly sung, strummed by O on an acoustic guitar; they’re nearly all under two minutes—fleeting, like the crushes that inspired them. As we quiet into fall, O’s lo-fi musical meanderings are a fitting soundtrack for the transition.
Ever since Wendy Davis hit the floor of the Texas Senate in her pink running shoes, filibustering for nearly 13 hours to save the state’s abortion clinics, we can’t get enough of her. The gubernatorial candidate’s new memoir Forgetting to Be Afraid, details her rise to political fame—from single motherhood in a trailer park to Harvard law school to Fort Worth city council—revealing her own history with abortion and her mother’s fight against postpartum depression. In addition to being a good read, it’ll hopefully help Davis get elected as the first Democratic governor Texas has seen in more than 20 years.
Yes Deliverance Creek (airing Saturday, 8 p.m.) is based on a Nicholas Sparks book, and yes, it’s got all the trappings of a sentimental goopfest, but sometimes we just want to tune into Lifetime and indulge our secret love of schlock. What makes this one worthy though, is its star Lauren Ambrose, who we’ve seen way too little of since her career-making role as the youngest Fisher ended with the Six Feet Under series finale. In this she plays a Civil War widow, running a ranch and raising children on her own, with an outlaw brother and a sister who’s helping the Underground Railroad. It’s a pilot in the guise of a movie, one we’ll not-so-secretly be happy to see picked up.
Ever since Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader laid to rest their long-time SNL runs, we’ve missed our weekly dose of their genius comedic skills. And while The Skeleton Twins isn’t a full-blown comedy—more like a familial love story—it’s the perfect showcase for the natural chemistry these two stars have. Playing twins with a dark side who are reunited after ten years of estrangement, Wiig and Hader prove their talents go well beyond Gilly and Stefon, and with an intimate ability to make one another laugh these two are endlessly watchable.
Sheila E. might have been engaged to Prince, as her new memoir The Beat of My Own Drum reveals, but that’s just the tip of her awesomeness iceberg. The singer, drummer, and percussionist has been performing since she was five, getting her start alongside her dad, percussionist Pete Escovedo. In the ’80s she formed a professional and romantical partnership with Prince that greatly influenced them both. She dishes on that as well as the adoption of her niece Nicole, who’s now the daughter of Lionel Richie. Turns out her life is just as intriguing as her talent.
This time master documentarian Ken Burns has his sights on one of our political history’s most famous families: The Roosevelts. The seven-part series (airing Sunday at 8 p.m. and each subsequent night through September 20) focuses not only on Teddy, who determinedly pushed the Pure Food and Drug Act through as well as social welfare legislation, and Franklin, whose New Deal altered our country forever, but on Eleanor too, a figure nearly as influential as her husband. It paints the picture of a woman who took the First Lady position out of the realm of wife, and turned it into a platform for actual change.
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