Hope everybody’s staying safe and healthy! I’ve been holed up in New Hampshire spending quality time with family, which I’m so grateful for.
First, welcome to all the new subscribers! Just a reminder, this is a digest week, next week we’ll be back to a packaging deep dive.
Over the last month or so, my media diet has been borderline excessive. The good news is I have some new favorites to share across books, music, movies, TV, and podcasts.
On to the digest...
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Books: I’ve had the privilege of reading quite a bit over the last month, including one of the more enjoyable business books I’ve ever read - This is Not a T-Shirt by Bobby Hundreds. Bobby Hundreds (Kim) co-founded the streetwear brand The Hundreds back in 2003 with his best friend Ben, and has grown it into one of the most iconic streetwear brands in the world. The book chronicles their origin story and touches on the trials and tribulations of building a brand in a fickle market. Between their widely read blog, their online presence and their retail locations, the book is a treasure trove of lessons on building a community across multiple channels in an evolving commerce landscape. It’s also just a fun read, with tons of background on the rise of streetwear and sneaker culture.
Music: Call me old-school, but I still like my music in albums and love finding one I can run through all the way without skipping tracks. I recently came across a new classic in Lucky Daye’s Painted. Daye is a singer/songwriter from New Orleans with a crazy background story. He was raised in a cult that did not allow secular music and as a result, only listened to church hymns and nursery rhymes for the first eight years of his life. He’s been catching up on popular music ever since, and the byproduct is this debut, which was nominated for four Grammys. His voice sometimes reminds me of another singer from New Orleans, Frank Ocean. The entire album is amazing, but a good place to start is the second track, Late Night.
Movies: Leigh and I watched 10 movies in March, more than we’ve ever watched in a single month before. My personal favorite and one that I’ll definitely rewatch was I Heart Huckabees. There is so much to love about this movie, and for me it was a combination of the premise, the cast and the score that make it so great. The movie centers around a married couple, who label themselves Existential Detectives that help their clients search for the meaning of life. The detectives are played by Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman, while their clients include Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg, Jude Law, and Naomi Watts. The casting is perfect, bringing out the best (or close to the best) in all of them. Jon Brion’s score matches the light, curious tone and ties it all together perfectly.
TV: Along with the rest of the world, we watched Tiger King and found it crazy and hilarious, but one of our favorite shows that we’ve revisited in the last month has been Schitt’s Creek. My parents have been watching it for a few years, and we’ve watched scattered episodes with them here and there. If you’re looking for a light comedy with short episodes, look no further. The show was conceived by Eugene Levy (Jim’s Dad from American Pie) and his son, Daniel, and follows a rich, pampered family’s fall into poverty when their video rental empire goes bottoms up. Both Levys star, along with Catherine O’Hara (Kevin’s mom from Home Alone) and Annie Murphy. It is laugh-out-loud funny.
Podcasts: The quarantine has brought out the best in Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo at The Ringer. Over the last few weeks, they’ve launched a new podcast called The Redraftables where they’ve gone back to 1996 and redrafted every draft through the early 2000s based on how the players’ careers turned out. This is exactly what I’m looking for out of The Ringer, as Simmons is at his best when he’s riffing on NBA hypotheticals. Russillo is the perfect co-host, bringing a sense of reason when Simmons goes off the handles. If the NBA isn’t your thing, I also loved their Tommy Boy Rewatchables episode, which went deep on Farley, Spade and the rest of the 90’s SNL gang.
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