Pikus’s Picks: some things that are making me happy this week
- Zack Fox’s parody of Gal Gadot’s “Imagine”: This past week, Gal Gadot pieced together a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” roping in a whole host of celebrities to sing performatively into their phones in the name of fostering togetherness in times of crisis. And it kind of sucks. As put by New York Times critic Jon Caramanica, “In times of crisis, some think it’s enough to throw something slapdash together, serve it to the world and hope it heals some people. But that’s just not how things work.” Instead, I would recommend comedian and musician Zack Fox’s parodic response, a similarly star-studded Instagram compilation of Eric Andre, Jak Knight and Thundercat, among others, solemnly rendering rap classic “Slob on my Knob.” If you’re trapped in close quarters with your younger siblings, though, maybe watch with headphones.
- Harry Styles’ Tiny Desk concert: NPR’s Tiny Desk has hosted a lot of star power this past year. Included among the illustrious musicians who have stopped by the NPR music office over the past few months are Taylor Swift, Lizzo and Coldplay, to name a few. This past week, NPR Music gave the world yet another video of a hugely famous artist performing at a very tiny desk: Harry Styles’ 20-minute set released last week allows listeners to engage with Styles on a more intimate level, the small space giving a cozy new feel to Styles’ music. Whether or not you’ve been a fan in the past, I highly recommend putting aside a bit of time this week to be serenaded.
- Neil Young fireside sessions: Like many musicians, seasoned singer-songwriter Neil Young has started filming and releasing concerts for the general public in lieu of live concerts. Connecting with audiences remotely, Young and his wife, Daryl Hannah, posted a six-song set to the Neil Young Archives. Soothing, comforting and filled with flannel, Young’s first set features both classic chart-toppers such as “Sugar Mountain” and deeper cuts such as “Little Wing.” Young and Hannah plan to release subsequent sessions, but have not yet specified a date. Another pre-recorded concert that I really loved from this week: Chris Thile’s cover of Wilco’s “Radio Cure” as a part of the Live from Home concert series, which you can watch more of here.
- Pitchfork Isolation Check-In: I’ve found this to be a really good resource over the past week for keeping updated on all of the virtual happenings in the world of music. Pitchfork has compiled what is both a list of events to come and a diary of events in the past, simultaneously promoting artists’ virtual ventures while giving listeners something to do. Whether you’d rather tune into livestreams, watch pre-recorded videos or just browse playlists, the Pitchfork isolation check-in is a great resource for keeping your finger on the pulse of music and hopefully feeling a bit less isolated as well.
- Some other new albums that you should check out this week: “3.15.20” (Childish Gambino), “C’est la Vie” (Mustard Service), “Skuba Sada 2 (Deluxe)” (Sada Baby), “LESS IS MOOR” (Zebra Katz).
More from The Rice Thresher
Just as Rice students have found new ways to cope amid the general chaos, our professors have found themselves in the same unprecedented moment in history finding ways to muscle through their daily tasks: conducting research, teaching courses and attending to any children in need of attention.
I can’t drive to see my friends. I watched “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” earlier this week. I am living in the same house as my mother. My entire life feels like a bad rerun of my junior high years right now, so imagine my excitement when I discovered a more positive relic of my past: the return of indie garage rock outfit The Strokes after a seven year hiatus. “The New Abnormal” and its callbacks to early 2000s garage rock sound like they belong on a cassette mixtape while still managing to seem fresh. The album will delight listeners, even if they are coping with the pandemic marginally better than myself.
I went to my first concert in college, first semester freshman year in September 2016. My high school friend Eric Shi came with me to see James Blake downtown at the House of Blues. There, under lights filled with haze and concertgoers way older than us, we listened to Moses Sumney over the chatter of the crowd. Eventually, the lights dimmed, and Blake took the stage. When the bass hit on “Limit to Your Love,” I knew I was hooked for a lifetime.