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Episode 14: Do Yourself a Favor!

Summary

This week, Kelley Richey and Julia Avery introduce a new segment that will be recurring on the show where they share their recommendations for viewing, listening, and reading.

Introduction

“Do Yourself a Favor” is going to be a recurring segment in future episodes where Kelley and Julia share their viewing, listening and reading recommendations with “The Family”. Kelley has historically used the phrase, “Do Yourself a Favor” during conversations with friends and family to urge them to check out the latest movie or show she is obsessing over. The phrase has stuck and is now the title of the sister’s future episodes that are based around all of the latest in entertainment that the they are loving and want to share with everyone.

Kelley’s Recommendations

Viewing

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark HBO show title art

HBO describes I’ll be Gone in the Dark as a “six-part documentary series based on the book of the same name, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark explores writer Michelle McNamara’s investigation into the dark world of the violent predator she dubbed “The Golden State Killer,” the man who terrorized California in the 1970s and 80s and is responsible for 50 home-invasion rapes and 12 murders”. Kelley not only got really into the mystery and facts behind the attacks and murders, but she was extremely moved by the stories and focus on the victims of the Golden State Killer. The bravery and resilience of the surviving victims is inspirational, and reminds those who dig true crime stories of the impact of these crimes and cases on real, everyday people.

Perry Mason

Perry Mason HBO title art

HBO’s new take on Perry Mason is a fabulous and beautiful origins story of the “famed defense lawyer Perry Mason, based on characters from Erle Stanley Gardner’s novels”. HBO describes the show as “Set in 1932 Los Angeles”, Perry Mason is “Living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator, Mason is haunted by his wartime experiences in France and suffering the effects of a broken marriage. L.A. is booming while the rest of the country recovers from the Great Depression — but a kidnapping gone very wrong leads to Mason exposing a fractured city as he uncovers the truth of the crime”.

Kelley loves the way HBO was able to capture the era of the 1930’s through the artful use of real settings and locations that are genuine settings from that time period without relying on re-creating the city of L.A. through the use of CGI to set the stage. It was not overdone, the story has a noir-ish pace and tone to it and the episodes build upon your expectations and improves with every episode to culminate in an extremely exciting trial and conclusion.

Search Party

Search Party title art

Certified as 100% Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes, Search Party has delighted Kelley from start (season 1) to finish (season 3) and she is anxious for season 4. Rotten Tomatoes describes Season 1 of “Search Party,”: “Dory (Alia Shawkat) discovers that Chantal Winterbottom (Clare McNulty) has gone missing and she makes it her mission to find out the truth about what happened to the girl she once knew. Enlisting her friends, Elliott (John Early) and Portia (Meredith Hagner), as well as her boyfriend Drew (John Reynolds), they quickly become wrapped up in the mystery surrounding Chantal”.

This show is dark, funny, and a searing portrait of Millennials portrayed as vapid, self-obsessed, entitled and direction-less. Kelley felt like she knows several people who are scarily similar to some of the show’s characters, which made it even more enjoyable to watch.

Random Acts of Flyness

Random Acts of Flyness title Art

HBO describes its Random Acts of Flyness, as a “late-night series from artist Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty). The six-episode season explores evergreen cultural idioms such as patriarchy, white supremacy and sensuality from a new, thought-provoking perspective”.

“A fluid, stream-of-conscious response to the contemporary American mediascape, each episode of Random Acts of Flyness features a handful of interconnected vignettes, showcasing an ensemble cast of emerging and established talent. The show is a mix of verité documentary, musical performances, surrealist melodrama and humorous animation. Nance and his collaborators weave together such themes as ancestral trauma, history, death, the singularity, romance and more, creating a television show like nothing seen before”.

Kelley highly (get it?) recommends this show! Whether you are sober, not-sober, tripping, or not tripping, this show will make you feel like you are in a trance or dreamlike state, all while challenging your perceptions of tropes that apply to or describe the African-American lived experience.

Podcasts

My Favorite Murder

My Favorite Murder cover art

After initially criticizing the podcast when Julia first recommended it to her, Kelley has finally come to the realization that this podcast rocks! She has binged all of the episodes and even submitted her own “hometown murder” story to the site in hopes of having it read during a future mini-sode. When your childhood babysitter kills two people and your mom (who is friends with said murderer) drags you along to all of the hearings and sentencing trials, as well as weekly visits to visit her in prison, it seems like a story worth sharing.

Redhanded

These two lovely ladies from the UK put a forward-thinking and critical spin on the True Crime genre. They always present well-researched cases that are intelligently discussed with progressive takes on some familiar and lots of new cases. These ladies are what Kelley aspires to be like in the podcasting world and they are two of her favorite voices to listen to on a weekly basis.

The Damage Report With John Iadarola

The Damage Report cover art

Kelley takes refuge in the news reporting done by The Young Turks Network. Her daily source of news comes from The Damage Report with John Iadarola, whose love of board games, politics, nerdy things and world-outlook is an almost mirror of her own. His matter of fact delivery and often frustrated view of the current state of the world speaks to Kelley and gives her the most knowledgeable take on world news she has been able to find anywhere.

Hello Somebody with Nina Turner

Hello Somebody cover art

Hello Somebody: by Nina Turner, The Hell-Raising Humanitarian!

For those who are not familiar with who Nina Turner is or why she is so incredibly inspirational, never fear, Wikipedia is here! “Nina Hudson Turner (born December 7, 1967) is an American politician and professor from Ohio. A member of the Democratic Party, she was a Cleveland City Councillor from 2006 to 2008 and an Ohio State Senator from 2008 until 2014″.

“She was the Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014 but lost in the general election, garnering 35.5 percent of the vote. She was later a surrogate for Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign. In 2016, she was also offered the role of vice presidential running mate by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein but declined. In 2017, Turner became president of the Sanders-affiliated group Our Revolution. On February 21, 2019, Turner was named a national co-chair of Sanders’s 2020 campaign“.

Her new podcast, Hello Somebody is described by Stitcher as “a powerful podcast that brings together some of her most influential and inspirational friends, as well as everyday people doing good work on behalf of social justice and human rights. The show will touch on fierce themes from perseverance to resistance, Nina and her guests will share, ignite and conspire for better”.

Kelley feels like this podcast is a breath of fresh air that offers inspiration, challenges apathy, and is a rousing call to action for progressives the world over.

Books

The Nickel Boys

The Nickel Boys cover art

According to Wikipedia, The Nickel Boys “is a 2019 novel by American novelist Colson Whitehead. It was based on the real story of the Dozier School, a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and had its history exposed by a university’s investigation. It was named one of TIME’S best books of the decade. It is the follow-up to Whitehead’s 2016 novel The Underground Railroad, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.The Nickel Boys won the 2020Pulitzer Prizefor Fiction. Judges of the prize called the novel “a spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption.” It is Whitehead’s second win, making him the fourth writer in history to have won the prize for fiction twice”.

While this story is sad and difficult to read at times because of the themes of child abuse, racism, sexual abuse, etc., this is an important story that is well-written and a quick read. This is a book that should be on everyone’s list of books to get around to reading.

Music

Emancipator

Emancipator

Emancipator: Wikipedia describes “Douglas Appling, better known by his stage name Emancipator”, as “an American producer and DJ based in Portland, Oregon. He launched his music career by self-releasing his debut album Soon It Will Be Cold Enough in 2006 while he was a college student”.

El Michels Affair

El Michels Affair

El Michels Affair:  is “an American funk and soul group founded by New York-based musician Leon Michels. Michels played with Soul Fire Records house band The Mighty Imperials before forming his own ensemble in 2002″.

Genre: ‎Funk, soul, hip-hop, jazz

Arms and Sleepers

Arms and Sleepers

Arms and Sleepers: “is an ambient/trip hop duo consisting of Max Lewis, and Mirza Ramic. The band was formed in 2006 and has since released a handful of albums and EPs, including Bliss Was It in That Dawn to Be Alive, an EP released in 2006; Black Paris 86, an album released in 2007; and Matador, which was released in November 2009″.

Rose City Band

Rose City Band

According to Thrill Jockey, Rose City Band: “started purely as a recording project, with Johnson’s role mostly obscured for the self-titled debut album. Released with no promotion in the style of private press records, it was a liberating act, a focus on music without any expectations”.

Khruangbin

Khruangbin

Khruangbin “is an American musical trio from Houston, Texas, with Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald Ray “DJ” Johnson Jr. on drums. The band is known for blending global music influences, such as classic soul, dub and psychedelia”.

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels

Kelley is loving the newest album from Run the Jewels, RTJ4. Killer Mike (fellow Bernie Sanders supporter) and El-P do not fail to deliver on their newest release.

Michael Nau

Michael Nau

All Music states that “Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Michael Nau crafts reflective indie rock tinged with folk, psychedelic, and vintage pop influences. He’s known for leading the like-minded projects Page France and Cotton Jones from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s before beginning to record under his own name in 2016″.

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Washed Out

Washed Out

Mellow and sensual Washed Out Returns for another win with new tracks like Too Late!

Ernest Weatherly Greene Jr., known professionally as Washed Out, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer”.

Genres: Chillwave, Synth-pop, Dream pop, Lo-fi music

Check Out Kelley’s Spotify Playlist

Julia’s Recommendations

Viewing

Queer Eye

As described by Netflix, “Grab some tissues! An all-new “Fab Five” serve up hip tips, emotionally charged makeovers and heartfelt reveals that bring out all the feels.”

This show hits Julia in ALL the feels. It is a beautiful representation of people from very different ways of life, together, to better impact someone else. It is sweet, inspiring, emotional, and heartfelt. Whether you are gay, straight, male, female, etc., Julia highly recommends this viewing for the condition of the heart.

Down To Earth

This show was surprisingly refreshing and unpretentious. Before binging the entire season, Julia wasn’t sure what exactly to expect. Down to Earth turned out to be a humbling and invigorating journey that sheds light on many cultural, health, and climate issues. Julia is now obsessed with Zac Efron and is excited to see what he does next!

Podcasts

Small Town Murder

Small Town Murder is a true crime podcast that takes its listeners on a wild and hilarious ride. James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman, comedians and co-hosts, take on outrageous murder cases from small towns. They dissect the town and learn what makes it tick, providing the perfect set up for the small town buffoonery that takes place later on in the story. They do an incredible job of setting up the scene for the stories and are skilled at making everything surrounding these murders, funny.

Julia discovered Small Town Murder while on a work assignment in Afghanistan. It was the comic relief she wanted and needed. Two years later, and it is still a favorite!

Crime In Sports

Crime in Sports is another hilarious podcast that James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman have created. “Two comedians take an unmerciful and hilarious look at athletes who have lost big games…with the law! Crime in Sports does the research, and finds the funny in the world of sports true crime.”

Disclaimer: While the title of the podcast alludes that it is meant for the sports fan crowd, it is not the case. This show really is for everyone; one does not need to have any interest in sports to enjoy this podcast.

Books

Our Time Is Now

Celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams offers a blueprint to end voter suppression, empower our citizens, and take back our country. A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack. Abrams would have been the first African American woman governor, but experienced these effects firsthand, despite running the most innovative race in modern politics as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. Abrams didn’t win, but she has not conceded. The book compellingly argues for the importance of robust voter protections, an elevation of identity politics, engagement in the census, and a return to moral international leadership. 

Our Time Is Now draws on extensive research from national organizations and renowned scholars, as well as anecdotes from her life and others’ who have fought throughout our country’s history for the power to be heard. The stakes could not be higher. Here are concrete solutions and inspiration to stand up for who we are—now.”

Music

Getter

Getter’s album “Visceral” is almost always on repeat for Julia these days. It is the type of album that generates unique and new felt experiences each time it is played.

Genre: EDM, Trap Music, Electro House, Hip Hop, Dubstep, and Riddim

Joji

Joji is a Japanese singer-songwriter, record producer, author, and former Internet personality, YouTuber, and comedian. Joji and Getter are known to collaborate with electrifying results. The song “On My Way Out” is the perfect example of this. Joji consistently generates truly unique and captivating music and is another artist heavy on Julia’s music rotation.

SZA

SZA is an American singer, rapper, and songwriter who debuted in October 2012. Her work has been ramping up and has been featured in many collaborations with other artists. Julia LOVES the song that she performed with Kendrick Lamar for “The Black Panther” movie, “All The Stars.”

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is beyond talented, a visionary and prolific. Julia can’t decide which album of Kendrick’s is her favorite, so plays them all on her frequent music rotation.

The Weekndu

The Weeknd is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. He began his recording career in 2010, anonymously uploading several songs to YouTube. His new album, “Blinding Lights” is quickly becoming a favorite of Julia’s.

Etta James

Etta James was an American singer who performed in various genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel. Her album, “At Last!” is Julia’s favorite of hers.

Nina Simone

Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. The songs “Put a Spell On You” and “Sinnerman” are Julia’s top two favorite songs by Nina.

Otis Redding

Otis Redding was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music and a seminal artist in soul music and rhythm and blues. “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay” are Julia’s top two favorite songs of his.

The Delfonics

Whenever in the need for a smooth pick-me-up from some super smooth guys, Julia likes to listen to The Delfonics. Julia recommends the song, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”, to people who are new to The Delfonics. It’s pretty much perfection.

Fahr and Tapp

Fahr and Tapp is made up by two musical South Carolina guys that are ushering in a new era of “Good Times.” One of the band members, Daniel Tapp, is actually the husband of one of Julia’s close friends! Julia asks that you give their new album, “Joy.FM”, a listen in support of Independent Artists!

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