Features

Keeping Up (Vol. 28)

by Darren Paltrowitz

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

birdandbee_rayguns_150MUSIC: The Bird & The Bee – A duo comprised of Inara George and Greg Kurstin –- both veteran L.A. songwriters –- The Bird & The Bee serves up tropicalia-influenced electro-pop. First making waves with unique singles “Again & Again” and “Love Letter To Japan,” the group has an underground buzz going with its not-yet-released Hall & Oates covers disc. No, not kidding. No matter where you stand regarding Daryl Hall and John Oates’ legacy, this is some recommended listening. Fingers crossed it sees the light of day with a public release soon. (thebirdandthebee.com )  

BOOK: William Knoedelseder / I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak & High Times In Stand-Up Comedy’s Golden Era – In the last column, And Here’s The Kicker –- a collection of interviews and advice from comedy writers –- was spotlighted. While also a book about comedy, I’m Dying Up Here is less amusing as it recaps the Los Angeles stand-up scene in the 1970s through the early 1980s. Focused on the crew of regulars at The Comedy Store and The Improv, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Robin Williams, Richard Lewis, Elayne Boosler and Andy Kaufman are among those discussed at great length. However, only a small number of the regulars have become household names since then, and this book helps to explain why that is the case. (andheresthekicker.com)

FILM: Outsourced – This movie came out over three years ago, being a recent discovery of mine via Roku. But its premise –- a Seattle corporate worker being transferred to India as part of outsourcing –- is just as relevant now as it was then. In spite of the mentioned premise, this is a very funny comedy with some elements of romance. All the while, viewers get to see some parts of Indian culture not regularly seen in television or movies. (outsourcedthemovie.com )

TOOL: Slacker Radio – Regardless of where you stand in the argument of music being free, there are a number of websites and services enabling users to listen to music at no cost. Slacker Radio is one of them, only requiring a user to sign up for its free service before creating a customized radio station. Other sites like Pandora and Last.fm provide similar services but varying catalogs, as dependent on agreements made with record companies and rights holders. So if you find that Slacker doesn’t bring you the best artist recommendations possible, you may try another site. But the idea is that you can listen to the music you want online while the artist(s) in question receive some compensation. (slacker.com)

ARTICLE: Jeffrey Tang “How To Defeat Burnout And Stay Motivated” – Written by the editor of the blog “The Art Of Great Things,” Jeffrey Tang, this piece is a one-off for Zen Habits. Tang begins with clarification about the commonly-given advice “Do what you love,” stating how few people actually take it to heart. In short, this is all advice about rejuvenating oneself when things get tough. Most of this is transitioned into how such can be applied within self-employment, which may not be for all of this column’s readers, but it never hurts to re-evaluate where your career is and where it ought to be. (zenhabits.net/2009/10/how-to-defeat-burnout-and-stay-motivated)

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...

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