Happy Monday, Berkeley!
Welcome to the final Picks of the Week of the semester and the end of my tenure as its writer! We’ve been through a lot this semester, from the release of the first single from the Jonas Brothers in six years to the release of the second Jonas Brothers single in six years. Through it all, I’ve been working tirelessly to keep you updated on all things arts and entertainment, and I will continue to do so until the bitter end.
On Monday, check out the new Vampire Weekend album Father of the Bride. Those nostalgic for the Contra days will not be disappointed by the group’s new tracks, but I think we can all agree that these 18 songs won’t be enough to last us another nine years.
Tuesday, turn your attention to the hunk-pretending-to-be-pretty-boy Shawn Mendes, who just released a new single and video featuring his massive biceps. Mendes also sang this song on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend, which was hosted by Adam Sandler. Sandler’s triumphant return was a perfect one for those nostalgic for early 1990s “SNL,” with an opening monologue about him being fired all those years ago and a song in memory of his good friend Chris Farley.
Skipping ahead, Friday is a great time to check out a movie at one of Berkeley’s world-class theaters. If you want something sad and foreign, go see the French domestic drama “Dear Son” about a Tunisian family reeling after their son leaves for Syria to join a jihadi group. If you are looking for a comedy, go see the new Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen romantic comedy “Long Shot,” which will be playing at United Artists on Shattuck all week. More in the mood for a fright? Go see Icelandic thriller “Woman at War,” which is playing this week at Shattuck Cinemas, just a stone’s throw away from United Artists.
While writing this newsletter, I certainly threw out a lot of pieces of art to check out. So, in this final newsletter, I want to take some time to focus on giving some of the highlights a second (or 10th, in the case of Lizzo) mention. Miya Folick is one of the best artists I found while scouring Spotify for good recommendations, and “Stop Talking” and “Leave the Party” are two of my all-time favorite tracks. Lizzo’s new album Cuz I Love You is so fantastic I devoted 600 words to singing her praises. “Someone Great” reinvigorated my confidence in the romance comedy genre’s ability to be both hilarious and intentional. The articles that came out in February about crime fiction author A.J. Finn’s many deceits remain some absolutely jaw-dropping journalism. Finally, the Hulu show “Shrill” is a must watch, changing what diverse representation on TV means and looks like.
To round out this final newsletter, let’s take a moment to look at all the arts content from the past week and some of my favorites from throughout the semester. This week Areyon Jolivette closed out her weekly column with a shockingly poignant “SpongeBob” metaphor. Jackson Murphy reviewed “Booksmart,” dissecting its “manic pinball energy” and also publishing an interview with the cast and crew of the film. Finally, Salem Sulaiman gave a glowing review of Rico Nasty’s new album Anger Management.
This past semester has been packed with comprehensive coverage of all the arts news from the past few months. Some of the highlights that deserve a late read include Lauren Sheehan-Clark’s look into the future of gender-blind casting as London’s West End explores new ground. Also, take a look at Culture Shots by Areyon Jolivette and Malini Ramaiyer on the countless Ariana Grande controversies — or the coverage of this year’s Oscar controversies by our three brilliant editors about rehabilitation in Hollywood or the Bryan Singer allegations.
To end, thank you for spending the last weeks with me, and I hope you found some new favorite things, or were at least reminded of all the ways Ariana Grande has messed up this year.