Happy midterm season, Berkeley!
One thing I haven’t missed about UC Berkeley while I’ve been away is the fact that midterm season begins during the third week of classes and lasts to about a week before finals begin. In theory I could begin every newsletter with that line but I won’t, so as to not increase stress.
As we close out February, I’ve finally reached the point of being nauseatingly sick of my “new year, new me” playlist — so I’ve spent the past week away from Picks constructing a new March playlist. Spend Monday making your own. Since I have a head start I’ll lend you all a few recommendations to get your toes wet. “Seashore” by The Regrettes gives perfect punk vibes mixed with 1960s girl group vibes. I know, what a dream! “Blueberries for Breakfast” by The Mamas & The Papas and “Help Me, Rhonda” by The Beach Boys are some great throwback bops. My love and my light Lizzo released a new song on Valentine’s day called “Cuz I Love You” building more anticipation for her new album coming out in April.
This past week another trailer for the new Elton John biopic “Rocketman” dropped. I feel I should state this now while there is still time. I am already an Elton John fan but even if I wasn’t we can’t be bringing the same negativity toward fake Elton John fans as people did to bandwagon Queen fans after “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I, for one, am excited for this movie. And, yes, I do know that this is essentially the exact same as “Bohemian Rhapsody” — but hopefully sans an alleged abuser for a director. Elton John has songs with Eminem and RuPaul , respectively, and 2Pac samples one of his tracks in “Ghetto Gospel.” Spend Tuesday brushing up on your Elton John so you too can say you were a pre-biopic Elton fan. “The Bitch Is Back” and “I Want Love” are two of my current favorite Elton songs.
If you have forgotten already I am abroad in Dublin where I spend about 50% of my waking hours having my accent mocked in pubs. I say “like” an entirely appropriate amount, dammit! This has reignited my disappointment in my inability to do any accent successfully and reminded me of my favorite YouTube series, “Technique Critique” from Wired. Spend your Wednesday watching these oddly hypnotic 20-30 minute videos of a man picking apart the nuances of accents domestically and abroad.
Thursday is a great day to binge watch all seven episodes of “Dating Around.” I don’t think I’ve ever squirmed in disgust and delight quite as much as I did while watching that show. Think “The Bachelor” meets “Chef’s Table” meets New York City. I, for one, have been absolutely terrified of dating in my late 20s for as long as I can remember and this show definitely just stokes the flames on that one. Also relatively new to Netflix is the series “Dirty John” starring Connie Britton. The show is based on a podcast of the same name, which centers on the life of con artist John Meehan. The show is excellent but the story really excels in the form of a podcast and is the most satisfying foray into longform true crime podcasting I’ve ever heard! The network that produces the podcast is called Wondery; it also did a show called “Dr. Death” which awoke in me a fear of botched medical surgery I didn’t even know I had. Currently Wondrey has a show called “Over My Dead Body” which I’ve been following diligently.
Spend your Friday catching up on content from your favorite news source, The Daily Californian! This past week has seen our new slate of spring opinion columnists rolled out with columnists touching on everything from body positivity to living with myasthenia gravis. As for Arts, follow up on the reverie of Oscar night with some thoughtful culture shots about those categories that went unrepresented and all the best snubs of the season.
On Sunday, go check out the Berkeley Historical Society’s exhibit of national parks posters from the 1940s in “Ranger of the Lost Art: WPA Posters of the National Parks.” Art and national parks and the New Deal, what’s not to love?
Till next time,