I went to Jupiter for the first time in a long time last week and was reminded at just how fucking good its warm baked olives are. They’re $4 so you basically have no excuse not to try them. — Ellen Cushing
There’s a Japanese YouTube channel called “Cooking with Dog” (a disclaimer wryly notes: “It’s not what you think!”) that is at first hilarious and “WTF”-eliciting, but once you settle in and get used to a dog narrating recipes in a heavily Japanese-accented voice-over, you realize there’s some actually delicious food to be made. — Lenika Cruz
Apparently I’m two and a half months late here, but this Rolling Stone profile of Taylor Swift is a super-insightful look into how and why she's managed to mine and commercialize her particular brand of teenage-girl pathos. — E.C.
I'm looking forward to these upcoming live shows:
Jan. 19 — Kowloon Walled City @ Hemlock
Jan. 21 — Quicksand @ The Regency (I <3 Walter)
Jan. 23 — Gojira @ The Fillmore
Jan. 24 — The Walkmen @ The Fillmore
If I make it to all four, it will be a miracle. — Kathleen Richards
I’ve been spending the last few weeks catching up on last year’s best-of albums; here are a few I’m loving so far:
Killer Mike — R.A.P. Music
Andy Stott — Luxury Problems
Mac DeMarco — 2
Like most people in the universe, I saw and loved Django Unchained, but — again, not uniquely — the love I felt was a distinctly queasy one: Quentin Tarantino is, obviously, an incredibly exciting filmmaker, but there’s something sort of viscerally uncomfortable about a white filmmaker making a fetishistically violent, occasionally very jokey film about the intensely-violent, not-at-all-jokey period of American history that was slavery. Anyway, after I saw the movie I found two separate conversations (the first is a podcast led by a pair of white academics and cultural critics, and the second is a blog dialogue between two black men; they’re both spoiler-heavy, so check them out after you’ve seen the movie, which you definitely, definitely should) that did a great job of articulating exactly what makes this movie both so intellectually compelling and emotionally complicated. Highly recommended. — E.C.
Currently watching Bones Brigade on Netflix. Even though I wasn't a skater, my brother was, so I grew up knowing all those names: Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, Rodney Mullen. We watched Future Primitive until the tape wore out. It's fascinating to discover the backstory, and crazy to see how young those guys were when they achieved such success. It's a well-done, surprisingly moving doc.
Also finally watched Last Days Here about Bobby Liebling, the lead singer of Pentagram. The turnaround of this guy's life eclipses Anvil's story, IMO. Totally engrossing. — K.R.
The rumor that David Lynch may be working on a Twin Peaks revival probably, sadly, isn't true, but it makes me happy people are still talking about the show. Seasons 1 and 2 are available for streaming on Netflix. — Whitney Phaneuf
Somehow over the holidays, I got suckered into watching a couple episodes of American Horror Story: Murder House. I won’t go too deep into my initially “meh” reaction to it and my subsequent (and reluctant) conversion to fandom, other than to say: the series is indeed insanely scary and includes all the standard horror tropes (a mental hospital, possessed houses, gratuitous sex, eugenicist Nazi scientists, exorcisms, aliens, serial killers, torture, school shootings). But even if you have no interest in the show, it boasts one gem that even the series’ critics consistently praise: the title sequence (done by the same guys who designed the Se7en and The Walking Dead sequences) and its accompanying music. A totally demented mix of industrial and dubstep that burrows into your psyche, the title sequence theme is probably one of the most fantastically terrifying pieces of music I’ve ever heard. There’s an interesting backstory to its development you can read about here or you can watch the openings (for both seasons) for yourself. — L.C.