What we'll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
It’s Friday and we’ve got time travel on the brain—with Outlander we’ll be heading to 1700s Scotland and in honor of Mary Ellen Mark, we’ll be taking a trip to 1984 Seattle. Throw in a feminist revenge fantasy novel, a doc about women drawn to amateur porn, and a solo album from a member of one of our favorite girl groups and it’s clear why we’ve been waiting all week for this.
Based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, Starz’s Outlander follows the time-traveling trials and bodice-ripping tribulations of World War II nurse Claire Fraser who gets thrust into the 1700s (with a romantic interest in each era, naturally). The show wraps up its sexy first season on Saturday and it’s getting dark, real dark. With Claire’s 1740s love Jamie being trapped and tortured by his arch nemesis Black Jack Randall (portrayed by the very actor who plays her 1940s husband), we are waiting with baited breath to find out what will become of this time-hopping triangle.
This week we lost one of our era’s most influential photographers, Mary Ellen Mark, so we’ll be revisiting this 1984 documentary, a cinematic version of her stark and moving work. Always interested in capturing those living a hard-knock life, Mark left her mark on this film, which follows nine homeless teens on the streets of Seattle, including Tiny, a 14-year-old prostitute.
Sarai Walker’s Dietland starts out harmless enough with the small and simple goings-on of protagonist Plum Kettle, a woman who believes her life will begin once she’s skinny. But then Plum meets a stranger who teaches her to embrace her fat and the book quickly becomes a revenge fantasy the likes of which every feminist has entertained—an underground militia group called Jennifer is dropping rapists out of helicopters and burning down frat houses. Plum is involved even more than she knows while the rest of us get to simply enjoy it guilt-free.
As one-fourth of La Luz, the Seattle all-girl surf-rock band, Shana Cleveland’s already been in heavy rotation around here. But with her solo album, we get a softer side of the excellent guitarist—quiet songs made tender by her gently warbling voice, a lovely mix of top-notch fingerpicking filled in with just the right amount of cello, clarinet, handclaps, and tambourine.
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