Fourth wall, advice, and sing-a-longs

Hello and welcome to a weekly rundown of popular culture detritus. 

I missed the last two weeks due to life being, well, life. 

Here’s what I’m loving this week:

Television: Just two words: She. Hulk. Or is that one hyphenated word? Or will you not find it if I don’t use the full title, She-Hulk: Attorney At Law? However you refer to it, I have excellent news. All episodes are out so you can binge it as you wish (though I liked the week-to-week savoring), and it is oh so very worth it. My comic book nerds friends tell me it is true to the source text. And I daresay the season finale is the most perfect 35 minutes I’ve seen on television recently. It was definitely the most delightful 35 minutes of my week.

Podcasts: I was so happy to wake up Wednesday to see the first episode of the new season of Don’t Ask Tig had dropped. On this pod, comedian Tig Notaro has celebrities on to offer advice to people who write in with a variety of problems. The banter always makes me laugh, and Notaro has such a calming voice that it’s just a pleasant podcast to listen to. 

Friday Morning Soundtrack: This week’s album was Sara Bareilles’ debut album, Little Voices. I completely forgot how much I love this album—it’s a no skips for me. It was a good thing I was in the journalism lab alone because I occasionally belted out lines like “can I hold you?” (from City Lights) and “set me free/leave me be” (from Gravity). That album is just a perfect sing along album right in my range.

Pop Culture Lesson of the Week: I’ve been wrapping up a music unit with a different pop culture class, and the tail end of that unit focuses on sampling in popular music. While we tend to associate sampling with rap or hip hop, it shows up in other genres as well—even country. I send them to the website Who Sampled, where they can look up their favorite songs and see how many samples are used. My favorite sample to play for them is “Pastime Paradise” by Stevie Wonder—most years the kids lose their minds—but this semester I couldn’t be there when they watch the clip from the documentary “Copyright Criminals” that shows how Coolio used Stevie Wonder’s music in “Gangsta’s Paradise.” My hope is always that they end up listening to “Songs in the Key of Life” in its entirety.

Do you have a favorite use of a sample? 

What are you watching and listening to that’s worth your time?

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