I am a self-admitted homer; I think my friends and family are awesome, and try to trumpet their achievements as loudly as possible. Do I do this in order to bathe in some kind of reflected glory? Yes. Does that mean I’m an insecure twat whose momma didn’t pay enough attention to him? Yes. Yes, it does.
Still, you can’t deny the following amazing bits of culture:
1. Gideon Productions’ off-Broadway play ADVANCE MAN.
My brother Sean, my sister-in-law Jordana and longtime inner-circle-sage playwright Mac Rogers have a psychological sci-fi thriller running at The Secret Theater right now, and it’s going gangbusters. Here’s what NYTheater had to say:
“Jordana Williams’ direction is nothing short of fantastic.”
“Sean Williams is brilliant-”
“After seeing the first marvelous show in Mac Rogers’ Honeycomb Trilogy, I am eagerly awaiting the next two in the series…”
Culture Capitol: “…a perfect entertainment to ring in 2012.”
New Yorkers or people soon to be in New York – it runs until January 29. Buy tickets here.
2. THE OBAMAS by Jodi Kantor.
Our old friend Jodi covered Obama for the New York Times during his 2008 campaign, and then pulled off a rarity – got a great book deal on a complicated subject that is actually making the publisher money. It couldn’t happen to a nicer person (along with her husband Ron and her daughter, who helped make Lucy’s dinosaur pictures for the Jartacular!)
Yes, there’s controversy. It won’t please everybody. Jodi may not get a holiday card from Michelle Obama. But it’s a massive achievement.
3. People You May Know by Greg Humphreys.
My old roomie, who many of you know, love, and have danced to, has a new album out, and it is STRONG. The first few tracks show a Tin Pan Alley jazz side we haven’t seen from the Home Phries before, and the rest is vintage Greg. His voice is aging the opposite of normal – heading into a new clarity, gettin’ better every song.
4. Strangers – hosted by Lea Thau on KCRW.
The former curator of the decades-excellent spoken word series The Moth has a new show on KCRW, and if Lea’s doing it, it’s going to be riveting. It’s about “the strangers we meet, the strangers we become, and the ‘strangeness’ we might overcome” and you need to add it to your podcasts.
5. Duke Sucks: A Completely Evenhanded, Unbiased Investigation into the Most Evil Team on Planet Earth” by Reed Tucker and Andy Bagwell.
Sure, Will Blythe wrote a beautiful tome about the Carolina-Dook rivalry that remains on display wherever I happen to live, but a true down-and-dirty detailed analysis about exactly why Klown Kollege of Durham is so loathsome? It’s one of those ideas you can’t believe didn’t exist already.
either Andy dunks it, or I block him, dependin’ on who’s tellin’ the story, 1991
Reed and Andy – purveyors of the spot-on Tar Heel Bred, Tar Heel Dead podcast – break it down for you fellas, and it’s just oh-so-satisfying. Oh yeah, and some dude you know might have written the foreword. Buy it here so you can get it when it drops next week.
6. Will Hyphenated Last Names Ever Be Cool? by Tessa Ellen Valentine Blake.
Yes, the wife is back on the Huffington Post and got the cover story again!
The subject therein is worthy of a whole other blog, so I’ll leave it for now, but if you like her style – AND YOU SHOULD, SPORTS FANS – please click the red button with a heart logo that says “FAN” next to her name, won’t you?
suffice to say I already have a heart logo for her