Archive for the ‘Reality Bites’ Category


I’ve wanted to listen to more from The Roots ever since I was exposed to them on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  But as typically happens, I’m listening to other things instead.  So this seemed like a good opportunity to check them out (based on Samantha Irby’s rave below).

One of the best things about this recording (and The Roots in general) is Questlove’s drumming.  In addition to his being a terrific drummer, his drums sound amazing in this live setting.

Erykah Badu sings on the album but Jill Scott (Jilly from Philly) who wrote the part, sings here.

It starts out quietly with just a twinkling keyboard and Scott’s rough but pretty voice.  Then comes the main rapping verses from Black Thought.  I love the way Scott sings backing vocals on the verses and Black Thought adds backing vocals to the chorus.

Midway through the song, it shifts gears and gets a little more funky.  Around five minutes, the band does some serious jamming.  Jill Scott does some vocal bits, the turntablist goes a little wild with the scratching and Questlove is on fire.

Then things slow down for Scott to show off her amazing voice in a quiet solo-ish section.  This song shows off how great both The Roots and Jill Scott are.  Time to dig deeper.

[READ: November 1, 2020] Wow, no thank you.

This book kept popping up on various recommended lists.  The bunny on the cover was pretty adorable, so I thought I’d check it out. I’d never heard of Samantha Irby before this, but the title and the blurbs made this sound really funny.

And some of it is really funny. Irby is self-deprecating and seems to be full of self-loathing, but she puts a humorous spin on it all.  She also has Crohn’s disease and terribly irritable bowels–there’s lots of talk about poo in this book.

Irby had a pretty miserable upbringing.  Many of the essays detail this upbringing.  She also has low self-esteem and many of the essays detail that.  She also doesn’t take care of herself at all and she writes about that.  She also doesn’t really want much to do with children or dogs.  And yet somehow she is married to a woman with children.

From what some of these essays say, it sounds like she is married to this woman yet somehow lives an entirely separate life from the rest of the house.  It’s all rather puzzling, although I suppose if you are already a fan, you may know many of the details already. (more…)

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[WATCHED: October 10, 2012] Close Personal Friend

While I was browsing Coupland’s bibliography on Wikipedia I saw this movie: Douglas Coupland: Close Personal Friend.  There is no information on Coupland’s site about it and there is precious little information about it anywhere else, frankly.  However, it has been uploaded to YouTube!

It’s a 24 minute film made for commercial TV.  It was made in 1996 and is very much of that time.  I’m not sure if Coupland was working on Girlfriend in a Coma at the time, but ideas in the film inform that book as well.

Basically it has Coupland, looking very clean-cut and smart–suit, skinny tie, hair parted hard–sitting in a white chair (a rounded chair that swivels–very “futuristic” looking).  He is sitting in front of  a white  background so his chair disappears from time to time (I’m willing to accept that that could just be the effect of a poor video transfer though).

There is an interviewer who asks him puffball questions, because it’s basically a chance for Coupland to talk about the his views of the late nineties and the future.  For instance: Do you consider yourself a citizen of the late 20th century?  (That’s just a weird question).  She asks him what the two dominant activities will be 20 years from now (which would be 2016).  His answer? Going shopping and going to jail.   Not too far off.

Coupland has always been concerned with the future (or more specifically, the millennium–I’m not sure how he has wrapped his head around the 21st century).  As I mentioned about his short story yesterday, he is very like-minded with Vonnegut about the state of humanity as we reach the millennium.   So he talks about lot of different topics including: individuality (and how we have lost it–he talks about a flock of birds seeing a group of people and finding them indistinguishable); the idea of not having a life–this was interesting, because as he points out even 20 years ago (1976), that expression would have been meaningless; consumerism; the uselessness of pop culture (how reading about Burt and Loni uses brain cells that could have been used to cure cancer).  And how technology can dehumanize us. (more…)

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