Wishing a very happy #MillenialFriday to you all! Welcome back to another addition of "The Best Things I Saw This Week". For those of you that are new, this is just a list of things I've been enjoying lately and I'd like to recommend to you. Some are topical, some I'm way behind on. I hope you enjoy!
Swimming – An Album by Mac Miller
Overshowed by Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD, but not to be outdone, Mac Miller also released his fifth album last Friday. The sounds of summer don’t typically ask for such a somber album, but Miller comes through with a great execution. It is now news to no one that Miller recently split with superstar girlfriend Arianna Grande, and the aftermath has been just as public as the initial headline. Shortly after their break-up Miller was arrested for a DUI, only to be followed by the, yet again, very public engagement of his ex.
The result we get is Swimming. This is not your run-of-the-mill break-up album. This isn’t emotional collapse. It is an attempt at reconstruction. The typical “break-up album” shows the artist at the peak of their pain. They are wallowing in it. What they are feeling, what cuts like a knife, is what we feel as the listener. While there is no doubt that Miller has been hurt, he has no intention of reveling in it. This is an album about a guy who is not okay trying to convince us he is. He didn’t stew in the pain for an album. He is trying to put himself back together, and it isn’t always working. This is a much more honest view of his struggle. No one wants to help the guy who won’t help himself. But, no one knows what to say to the guy who says he’s fine even though he doesn’t believe it just yet.
That being said, it is a Mac Miller album, so we get some jams and great lines. Sonically, we have soft piano and sweeping synths. Miller comes across as much more of a musician than just a rapper. Stand out tracks include the single, “Self Care”, “Dunno”, and my personal favorite “2009”.
While we are talking music...
Freaking Out by A R I Z O N A
This is a very good electro pop song that I am shamelessly promoting. Listen to it. Love it. It goes on during your next pregame. Until then, also check out the band’s debut album Gallery.
If Mac Miller’s Swimming is somehow the yin, then Brockmire is very much the yang, at least to start. The Hank Azaria, IFC passion project follows Missouri-born, disgraced baseball announcer Jim Brockmire as he begins his climb back to the top. Brockmire looks to return to his success without relinquishing any of his vices. He gets drunk, does drugs, and calls baseball games. He isn’t a hurt man still licking his wounds. He’s ignoring them. It is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen, and I’ve never seen anything like it.
Azaria is absolutely brilliant as the titular character. He speaks in sweeping monologue that is never-ending and hilarious. He is unforgiving in his antics. The closest comparison I can think of is Eastbound and Down if Kenny Powers was a worse guy. The cast is rounded out with another all-star performance from Amanda Peet and straight-man Tyrel Jackson Williams. The three make for a dynamic trio that plays off each other and the young Williams anchors. Azaria is certainly the star, but his lunacy only exists in reality because of Williams. If you are reading this and are thinking this show is about a troubled man (Azaria) who finds his saving grace (Peet) you’re sorely mistaken. Her issues run just as deep, and they’re what make the interactions between Azaria and Peet so hilarious. Two seasons have been released with a rumored two more in the works. With a total episode count of 16 and a half hour run time, much like Azaria you can burn through Brockmire on your next binge.
Season One is available on HULU and Season Two is on IFC.com.
HUJI is the most recent “greatest app ever”. For those of you in the know I’m sure this is not at all news to you. For the others, this is a big reveal. I’m sure you’ve all seen the recent trend on Instagram of the light spotted photos with the date in the bottom right corner that reads like a digital clock. That’s HUJI. It is a very simple app. It takes filtered photos designed to look like they were taken by a disposable camera of the same name. That’s all there is to it. The pics look artsy and the colors pop. You can get a flash of light on a random photo to make it look faux candid. It’s a lot of fun and adds an air of instant nostalgia to memories you are trying to preserve. I love it. It is a popular trend on Instagram, and they make for great photos. Check it out.
And there you have it folks! Like, comment, share, take pics, listen to music, binge watch, celebrate weekly.