Keeping Up (Vol. 9)

by Darren Paltrowitz

Here are another 5 quick picks for you, the loyal reader:

methadones_riot_150MUSIC: The Methadones / 21st Century Power Pop Riot – Cover albums tend to polarize serious music listeners.  Some fans may look at them as a band’s excuse to not write new material, while other fans enjoy hearing interpretations of tracks that inspired the musicians.  In this case, the Illinois-based Methadones – led by ex-Screeching Weasel member Dan Schafer – take on songs of the 1970s and 1980s, mostly of the power-pop, glam, and punk rock varieties.  Fans of Cheap Trick, Elvis Costello, and Joe Jackson ought to take note and look at this wrongly-overlooked 2006 release. (myspace.com/themethadones)

BOOK: Angela Nissel / The Broke Diaries – Unfortunately, this is yet another title that I am a few years behind the curve on.  Angela Nissel is now known as the co-founder of online hip-hop community Okayplayer.com and as a contributor to sitcom Scrubs, but things were not always so rosy for her.  In The Broke Diaries, Nissel hilariously recounts her days as an economically-struggling student at the University of Pennsylvania.  You are bound to find yourself sympathizing with the author – the book is a collection of her blogs entries from this era – but are bound to feel good at the book’s end in realizing her current successes. (angelanissel.com)

COMEDY: Drinking With Bob – While briefly living in Queens, I noticed a show called Drinking With Bob as I browsed through the menu of my DVR.  I set it to record thinking that the title alone made it worth it.  The weekly show -- unfortunately still only carried via Time Warner Cable in Queens -- features a combination of rants, skits, and music videos, as overseen by writer, producer, and overall mouthpiece Bob Thompson.  Fortunately, the rants of Thompson can be viewed on the show’s website, and are absolutely recommended for anyone who has ever found Lewis Black or Denis Leary entertaining.  (drinkingwithbob.com)

FILM: The Wrestler – As confessed in an earlier column, I find enjoyment in modern-day professional wrestling.  Say what you will, but its combination of athletics, choreography, dramatics, and production tend to be a whole lot more interesting than most sporting events.  The Darren Aronofsky-directed takes a different look at the medium, focusing on the life led by a post-prime, over-the-hill wrestler.  Mickey Rourke plays the title character and in the process takes enough abuse that you can barely separate the acting from reality.  This was probably the best movie that I saw in 2008, and it would be a shame if it remained on limited-release. (foxsearchlight.com/thewrestler)

ARTICLE: Adam Pash “Popular Medical Myths Put To Rest” – Oftentimes it takes getting ill to get a person concerned about their health.  In this series of articles from the British Medical Journal – as summarized and linked by Adam Pash  for Lifehacker – readers are given insight into some long-believed health tips that are believed to be bogus after all.  Some may dare to disagree with the assessment of these factoids as “myths,” but personally I would prefer to believe that eating at night is not contributing to my waistline, and that reading in dim light is not harming my eyesight.  (lifehacker.com/5122460/popular-medical-myths-put-to-rest)

As always, if I’m missing something that’s worthwhile and deserving of column space, please reach out with an e-mail: darren.paltrowitz@gmail.com.

In the meantime, stay tuned for another 5 picks...

[Previous Columns]

All content © The Daily Vault unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article or any portion thereof without express written consent of The Daily Vault is prohibited. Album covers are the intellectual property of their respective record labels, and are used in the context of reviews and stories for reference purposes only.