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Pop Culture Resolution Suggestions

by Pat, Right behind you, Friday, January 03, 2020, 16:33
edited by Pat, Friday, January 03, 2020, 16:52

Building off of this...

In this thread everyone chime in with 2-4 recommendations you would give to someone when they ask you "What should I watch/read/listen to?" Ideally the suggestion pool is a mix of "best ofs" and more obscure gems most have missed. At the very least make sure your suggestions are ones you have enjoyed.

When we're done with the suggestion pool, folks can jump in and pick out their pop culture resolutions in another thread. Then we'll check in near the beginning of each month or whatever turns out to work best.

How about this for a category list. Folks can chose as many or as few categories as they like for their resolutions. If you don't have suggestions for all categories, that's cool too.

TV Shows
Music (Album or Singer/Group)
Books, Non-Fiction
Books, Fiction
Board Games

Using the resolutions tag for future reference



Board games we like

by Jamie @, Monday, January 06, 2020, 10:45 @ Pat

- Ticket to Ride - fun for a twosome or a larger group. Family friendly.
- Exploding kittens - Easy to pick up, quick to play, and so, so, fun. It'll be a gateway into the maker's other games (Bears vs Babies, Throw Throw Burrito, etc).
- Hanabi - Cooperative game with difficult conversation restrictions. Wonderful, but play only if your marriage is strong enough.
- Splendor - simple but engaging.
- Seven Wonders - Recommended for 3+ players but can be done with two. There is a two-person variant (Duel) that's not bad.
- Dominion - So many ways to set the game up you'll never have to play it the same twice.
- Carcassonne - A fun world building game. Pub friendly.
- Any of the "Exit: The Game" series - escape room in a box. One & done play.
- Pandemic
- If you like Risk, try Axis & Allies
- Betrayal at house on the hill - two games in one. First collaborative, then someone becomes the enemy and each side is given different missions. Many variants. This game takes a LONG time.


A few suggestions

by irishvol @, Music City, USA, Monday, January 06, 2020, 10:41 @ Pat

Books - Non-Fiction

FWIW - These recommendations are non-fiction works that almost read like fiction. While I like the longer, dense non-fiction as well (e.g. Hamilton by Chernow), I have a hard time recommending those to folks.

- Hellhound on his Trail (Hampton Sides)
- Destiny of the Republic (Candace Millard)
- The Lost City of the Monkey God (Douglas Preston)
- The Devil in the White City (Erik Larson)


A few of my favorites from 2019 (which seemed like a down year of music for me...). I know this wasn't exactly the directive of Pat's post - but seemed like a good place for a few suggestions.

- Sharon van Etten - Remind me Tomorrow
- Jenny Lewis - On the Line
- Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
- Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride
- The Highwomen
- Sturgill Simpson - Sound and Fury
- The Racontuers - Help Me Stranger

Looking back past 2019, after watching the Ken Burns Country Music series (which I thought was outstanding), I've gone back and revisited a good chunk of "old" country music. Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Dolly, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, etc. If you're interested, I think the official soundtrack to the series is a good place to start to get a taste of things - and then you can find the artists that you'd like.

I have also been looking back through Tom Petty's full catalog - beyond the singles - ever since he passed. He was really good at his craft.

Lastly, you can always count on me to recommend the old Memphis soul work. Booker T & The MGs, Sam and Dave, Al Green, and Otis Redding are all pretty accessible classics. If you want to dig a bit deeper, check out the Bar-Kays, the Mar-Keys, Rufus & Carla Thomas, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett and Albert King.


Lost city was good

by Turtlecrack, Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 17:25 @ irishvol

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Re: Memphis soul, the Stax-Volt Complete Singles (1959-1968)

by HCE, Monday, January 06, 2020, 11:04 @ irishvol

is a great place to start for anyone looking to dive in: 244 tracks from the famous and forgotten alike. It's well worth anyone's time--10 hours and 44 minutes, to be precise--to discover lost gems like Barbara Stephens' "The Life I Live."

I saw William Bell recently, when he was touring with this "Take Me to the River" experience thing:

The show was mostly pretty cheesy, but Bell did a 10+ minute version of "I Forgot to Be Your Lover" that damn near took the roof off the venue.


Great suggestion

by irishvol @, Music City, USA, Monday, January 06, 2020, 12:18 @ HCE

I've got that pegged as a spotify playlist. I will often fire it up at the beginning of the workday and let it run all day.


Just started a new Netflix series; 3 episodes in: excellent

by Ken Fowler, Monday, January 06, 2020, 06:34 @ Pat

It’s called Breaking Bad. It’s about a high school chemistry teacher who finds out he has inoperable lung cancer, so he decides to start cooking crystal methamphetamine. The first few episodes are fairly humorous and follow the contretemps of the protagonist and his sidekick as they seek to rid themselves of competitors in the drug trade.


What an amazing premise.

by Chris @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, January 06, 2020, 07:01 @ Ken Fowler

I'd be curious to hear how that plays out.

"F--- everyone who isn't us."


Let the offseason posting begin...

by IrishGuard, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 18:45 @ Pat

TV Shows
The Last Man on Earth (RIP)
Silicon Valley
The Wire
I Think You Should Leave
Party Down

The Death of Stalin (completely absurd and completely hilarious, plus you get Michael Palin, who is probably my favorite comedian of all time)
Freddy Got Fingered (everyone should see it once just to see how long they can last before turning it off)

Music (Album or Singer/Group)
Paris (the band, and I think, the album. Fronted by Bob Welch, ex-Fleetwood Mac--think Glen Frey singing for Led Zepplin.)

Books, Non-Fiction
From the Holy Mountain
In the Footsteps of the Master (fascinating travelogue through British Palestine in the early 1930s)
Shipping Out (technically an essay). It's here,

Books, Fiction
Confederacy of Dunces
The Great Divorce
The Hemingway Thief (By Shaun Harris, my roommate in Keenan)

The History of Rome

Board Games
We play a game in my family where every person gets the same number of paper slips as there are players. Everyone writes a sentences on the top slip of their paper stack, then passes the stack on to the next person. The next person reads the sentence, places that slip on the bottom of the stack, then on the blank top slip, draws a picture of what the sentence says. They then pass it all on. The third person looks at the drawing, places it on the bottom of the stack, then has to write a sentence describing the drawing. The process repeats until the stack comes back around to the player with whom it began. Basically a version of telephone, and ends up with people crying with laughter every time.


There's a Cranium version of that game

by BPH, San Diego, Monday, January 06, 2020, 14:18 @ IrishGuard

Places to visit - Ski/Snowboard destinations

by Mark, SBN, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 20:06 @ IrishGuard
edited by Mark, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 20:09

Over the last 10 years I've made an effort to visit quite a few ski resorts ...

Beaver Creek

Park City
Deer Creek*

Jackson Hole
Grand Targhee

Sun Valley

Big Sky

Squaw Valley
Alpine Meadows
Sierra at Tahoe

Whistler Blackcomb
Lake Louise
Kicking Horse

St Anton am Arlberg

Hakuba 47
Hakuba Happo-one
Hakuba Goryu

Anyone need any recommendations in this space ... I can share my experience.

(The last 3-4 years, I've managed to get ~30 days out snowboarding/season mostly in Tahoe, but also on a few trips to other places as listed above)

"2020 ... Let's win it all ..."


We need a few more movies and books

by Pat, Right behind you, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 12:44 @ Pat

I’ll add Booksmart, which I finally got around to watching. It was excellent.


Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

by irishted, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 10:51 @ Pat
edited by irishted, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 15:50

If you liked the strange 80s film and are open to watching a 10-hour Netflix series of the same muppets, give this a chance.

It’s really an amazing fantasy epic and an astonishing technical achievement. The voice actors are incredibly strong too (Simon Pegg, Mark Hamill, Taron Egerton, Awkwafina, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader are just a few—the collection of talent here is impressive).

Note: not really for little kids despite the premise. These muppets are cruel to each other.


Meet the Feebles cruel?

by IrishGuard, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 11:34 @ irishted

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More like PG-13 cruelty.

by irishted, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 11:48 @ IrishGuard

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by PAK, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 15:45 @ Pat
edited by PAK, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 15:54

In no particular order:

  • Justified - I'd watch Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins read the phone book at each other.
  • The Leftovers - One of the great meditations on grief, loss, and faith ever televised.
  • Fargo - Great stories and great actors. Every season has its own charms.
  • The Good Place - One of the great meditations on moral philosophy ever televised.
  • Watchmen - Lindelhof's follow-up to The Leftovers is an exploration of race, fascism, anti-fascism, and power.
  • The Mandalorian - This might be the best Star Wars property ever. It's a love letter to the first trilogy and its roots in Kurosawa and the spaghetti western, while simultaneously exploring some of the more obscure corners of Star Wars lore (that final scene hints at so much!!!).

Second all of these

by Pat (Moco), South Bend Tribune Ad Design Studio, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 07:06 @ PAK

I’ve never actually seen The Leftovers but heard good things, and the rest are excellent recommendations.I would also add:

Jack Ryan: Ridiculous plots but addictive fun to watch.

Peaky Blinders: Gangster show on Netflix based in Birmingham, England in the 1920s-1930s. Very very good, great cast.

The Expanse: Probably the best sci-fi show out since Battlestar Galactica.

Altered Carbon: Another sci-fi recommendation from Netflix, also very good.



by nedhead, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 15:19 @ Pat
edited by nedhead, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 19:16

We are in the age of amazing podcasts!

Revolutions: Haiti (but Bolivar, Mexico also amazing!)
The Ancient World: Bloodline (should have already listened to History of Rome)
Dan Carlin: Mongols
The China-Africa Project
History of Byzantium (starts at the fall of the western Empire)
China History Podcast (stories, he's not great at the broad history strokes)
China Econ Talk (start at Peter Hessler interview; an episode on the fall of the Soviet Union was fascinating)
Serial, White Lies+all the other smug NPR stuff
Edit: how could I forget Caliphate, which left me crying on the bus.

TV Shows
American Horror Story
The Expanse (technically I haven't watched this yet, waiting to binge)
Black Mirror
BoJack Horseman
Better Call Saul+Breaking Bad
Stranger Things
The Good Place (just starting it now)


Needed podcast suggestions thanks!

by Turtlecrack, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 18:24 @ nedhead

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Some ideas

by OGerry @, Maine wilderness, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 14:40 @ Pat
edited by OGerry, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 17:07

TV Shows
The Good Place (I'm late to this party, but love it)
Hap and Leonard
Derry Girls

Heavy Trip
Amazing Grace, Aretha Franklin
Hail, Caesar! (my godson claimed it was the most Catholic of the Cohen brothers movies; I was rewarded in the re-watch)

L'Heritier, Nigra Sum
Day of Wrath, Skin Tirade

Books Non-Fiction
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens (my doctor recommended this to me during our annual date)
Sebastian Junger, Tribe (a former student and current Navy SEAL recommended this to me)
William Strauss, The Fourth Turning (I picked up this recommendation here)

Books Fiction
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Linnea Hartsuyker, The Half-drowned King
Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
Marilynne Robinson, Lila (or Gilead if you haven't read that first)

Ear Hustle
Stay Free: The Story of the Clash

Out of the Park Baseball (I always have this on my computer for when I'm in meetings)


Fuck yeah on hap and leonard

by Mike (bart), Saturday, January 04, 2020, 15:49 @ OGerry

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I tried to pepper the list

by OGerry @, Maine wilderness, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 12:29 @ Mike (bart)

with some things that have garnered little chatter. I'm surprised Hap and Leonard falls in that category, but there it is.


My recs

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 11:24 @ Pat

TV: Rectify

Movies: I rewatch The Apartment every December. Saw Little Women yesterday and enjoyed it way more than I anticipated (Credit to Gerwig and Ronan, who is quickly becoming the best actress of her generation)

Music: Lord Huron

Books, Non-Fiction: The Warmth of Other Sons

Books, Fiction: Grief is the Thing with Feathers

I would also recommend finding a new sport to get really into. Streaming gives you so much cool stuff and euro sports are great if you have early rising kids.


Same here w/r/t Little Women.

by oviedoirish @, Oviedo, Florida, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 13:30 @ HullieAndMikes

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Thanks, but the last thing I need in my life is more

by Bill, Southern California, Friday, January 03, 2020, 19:51 @ Pat

Pop culture. No offense intended.


Odd, you never struck me as much of an E! man, Bill

by KGB, Belly o. the Beast, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 14:23 @ Bill

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broadly defined

by Pat, Right behind you, Friday, January 03, 2020, 20:54 @ Bill

There is a section on art as we have a few subject matter experts here. I included a book that teaches you how to eat food that may or may not be poisonous among other things and the name of an excellent modern classical composer.

One of the goals of this is to encourage folks to dip into things where they needed just a little push or encouragement. Hopefully this is more than just "watch this funny TV show". But there's a place for that too.

Of course, you are free to skip all this too.


Say Nothing, Patrick Keefe.

by Publicola, Friday, January 03, 2020, 19:00 @ Pat

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Say Anything, John Cusack

by Greg, 'dena, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 09:57 @ Publicola

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glorious (n.) - amazing and inspiring so as to fill an observer with awe; see, e.g., John Parr's hair in the "Man in Motion" video


Say Something, Just Timberlake

by Chris @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 10:45 @ Greg

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"F--- everyone who isn't us."


Say what again. Jules Winfield

by hlewis, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 09:34 @ Chris

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You might want to read Ed Moloney's review

by Bryan (IrishCavan), Howth Castle and Environs, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 07:31 @ Publicola

That’s interesting

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 06:00 @ Bryan (IrishCavan)

I haven’t read the book yet and can’t speak to the factual disagreements but I do think Moloney goes way overboard in making some sort of distinction between the muddy waters of American journalism and in Ireland/England/Europe, as if the industry everywhere hasn’t always been awash in people flitting between media and business/government jobs (not even getting into the hilarious idea that working in media is in itself indicative of any skepticism of establishment principles, let alone those at play in the Pentagon).

Did Keefe work on Irish policy while in government? Anti-insurgent messaging or policy? Everything else is pretty well backed up, but Moloney commits the same sin he’s decrying by just leaving this hanging.

More broadly, considering the economics of the profession, everybody is gonna have to get more comfortable with journalists having spent time in PR or such professions, unless having our news solely delivered by the independent rich (and all of their ideological priors) is somehow better.


Read both!

by Publicola, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 09:14 @ Bryan (IrishCavan)

Moloney basically admits much of his critique reflects a disagreement on journalistic first principles. While I'm more sympathetic to Moloney's understanding of journalism, I think Keefe explains most of his choices in ways that I find defensible. And Keefe explicitly addresses some of the general criticisms Moloney makes. I'm sometimes persuaded by Keefe's explanations, sometimes not, but I think he's more transparent about his perspective and his judgments are more carefully qualified than Moloney suggests.

But, as with most things, it would be a mistake to read only one book on the matter or to confuse journalism with history.


Whatever you say, say nothing

by PasadenaDomer @, Friday, January 03, 2020, 21:50 @ Publicola

Fascinating read and a reminder that The Troubles are still simmering just below the surface.


My reading list for the proverbial desert island:

by HCE, Friday, January 03, 2020, 18:40 @ Pat

Ulysses, The Name of the Rose, and Midnight's Children. As for more recent fare, I think Marlon James is a genius who has yet to write his masterpiece, though A Brief History of Seven Killings comes pretty damn close. I've probably banged the drum for Hilary Mantel enough in previous book threads, but the last book of her Thomas Cromwell series comes out in March, so now is the perfect time to read the first two--her Cromwell is my favorite literary character this side of Leopold Bloom and Quentin Compson. Speaking of Quentin, I think Absalom, Absalom! is the great American novel, while To the Lighthouse is my favorite British novel.

As for music, Miles Davis. I know jazz isn't everyone's bag, and the board's jazz fans are already well acquainted with him, but it's worth noting just how deep and diverse his catalogue is, particularly in the Prestige and Columbia days, when every record he made was essential listening. IMHO, no one in popular music crafted more masterpieces than Miles.

I'm way behind the film and television zeitgeist these days, but watch Fleabag.


I’m game

by Turtlecrack, Friday, January 03, 2020, 17:57 @ Pat
edited by Turtlecrack, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 06:06

Name of the Wind
Way of Kings
Tale of Two Cities
Shadow of the Wind
Blood Song
Ready Player One
Brothers Karamazov
Anna Karenina
Three Musketeers
Skinny Dip

The Wire
The Watchmen
True Detective
Arrested Development
30 Rock
Clone Wars
Avatar the Last Airbender

The Witcher 3
Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
Dragon Age
Mass Effect
Planescape Torment
Knights of the Old Republic
Baldurs Gate


Co-sign on Shadow of the Wind

by HCE, Friday, January 03, 2020, 18:44 @ Turtlecrack

That whole series is great fun, even if the last book gets a bit gruesome.


I missed that the third came out. Thanks!

by Turtlecrack, Friday, January 03, 2020, 23:55 @ HCE

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jumping right in

by Pat, Right behind you, Friday, January 03, 2020, 16:52 @ Pat

TV Shows
30 Rock
The Americans

Hell or High Water

Music (Album or Singer/Group)
The National
Max Richter

Books, Non-Fiction
How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North

Books, Fiction

Start Here
The Allusionist

Board Games
Ticket to Ride


Saw Caamp here last week.

by KGB, Belly o. the Beast, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 14:34 @ Pat

They did 3 "homecoming" shows at the smallish theater along the main strip on campus. They're granola-crunchy in a predictably Portlandia sort of way, but they have a handful of killer songs. Really fun show.

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