Quick Hits Edition 9: Parts Unknown

TV: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

I am an unabashed Anthony Bourdain fanboy and his new CNN project Parts Unknown continues his legacy of blending ethnic food porn with beautiful on location camera work, social commentary and Bourdain’s signature snark. Parts Unknown in many ways seems more focused on telling stories about the exotic locales and their people than just the food, which is alright with me. Bourdain on a diet is still a good thing. Not to mention in the Quebec Episode the amount of fois gras and maple syrup he eats, with Martin Picard, would kill a lesser man.

PodCasts: Star Talk Radio

Astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson is this generation’s Carl Sagan. He has taken a big personality, booming voice, and a way bigger brain and created an educational, funny and just plain interesting podcast where Tyson and other scientists(Phil Plait, Bill Nye, etc) talk about different topics when it comes to space, science and science fiction. He also brings on such podcasting stalwarts as comedians Eugene Mirman, Chris Hardwick, Sarah Silverman, and Sara Vowell, as well as many different special guests(Alan Rickman, Anthony Bourdain, Morgan Freeman) who get off topic in a good way. If you like science, space, physics and fun this is the podcast for you.

Movies: The Place Beyond The Pines

Ryan Gosling is approaching Steve McQueen type heights with this role as a motorcycle stunt rider turned bank robber but this movie branches out to be much much more. The Place Beyond The Pines unfolds as a multigenerational story about families on either side of the law and how tragedy effects people in unexpected ways. Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendez, Dane Dehaan and Ray Liotta round out an interesting cast.  After Derek Cianfrance’s first major release Blue Valentine showed Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling as a couple in a doomed relationship we see a sleeker yet bigger story in The Place Beyond The Pines. I highly recommend this film as a counter point to The Fast and Furious 6, since it has some great chase scenes but also a story that has more than Vin Diesel grinning like a retard* and flexing.

Music: Random Access Memories-Daft Punk

I have never really been a huge fan of Daft Punk, they have been a little too electronic for my tastes. So upon listening to their new album, Random Access Memories, I feel like they have created an electronic take on the pop album that really does some great things. Get Lucky is the single that everyone has heard a billion times by now but there is at least 4 more tracks that do what Get Lucky does so deftly, great electro-pop/acid jazz/soul. Instant Crush with Julian Casablancas may be my favourite on the album, with synthed out loops, playing Casablancas’ trademark low-fi  guitar sound through the electronic sensibility of Daft Punk. Overall I am just a big fan of this album it can be played ambiently or in headphones, check it out.

*Sorry retards, comparing you to Vin Diesel is totally unfair.