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Media Snacks 3


Made it to week 3 and that's all that matters


LISTENING


Spotify Playlist: 2024 (so far)


In my attempt to share more than podcasts in this what I’m listening to (audiobook next??) - Here’s a playlist of some of the songs I’ve been listening to this year. It’s been an interesting one of new finds and going back to old favorites I had completely forgotten about. I apologize to Nelly Furtado for not listening to I’m Like a Bird every day of my life because it’s officially a lifelong favorite.


Janelle Monet


Janelle was a consistent listen last fall with her latest release The Age of Pleasure. That’s not really stopped since then, but this year I’ve added a new/old one to my rotation. Make Me Feel is Janelle’s most popular song with ~150M streams on Spotify. Make Me Feel was my introduction to Janelle, and my love for her grew even more after hearing her interview with Trevor Noah on his podcast this past December. I love how albums can be the core to an artist's aesthetics and Janelle went from a super tech and cyberpunk look to an extremely natural and human one. 


Olivia Dean


My new Joy Crooks. A London-based soulful singer, both reminding me of Amy Winehouse, but each with their unique styles. I had heard a few songs by Olivia Dean in the past, but it was a live performance of Dive that caught my attention. Live vocal songs/albums have a special place in my heart and remind me of two moments in my life: The mostly live Brasilian artists my parents would listen to growing up and the You Me At Six live at Wembley Arena album my sister and I had in our shared car and listened to so often that we memorized the live band commentary between songs.


Voilà

It all started with a TikTok, which is just a perfect example of how the app is influencing music. It’s a fun way to discover new music (and general interests). Although I don’t have the app since I already spend too much time on Instagram, I enjoy it from afar via friends who send me links directly through text - I have the most curated feed. 


What’s special about this song is the differences heard between different versions on Spotify, even more so in seeing a young 14-year-old perform it. The joy in the girl’s eyes while singing this deep, heartfelt song about expressing yourself is different than what I feel and hear André Rieu and Emma Kok perform it, or Barbara Pravi. I watched and listened to this song over and over again, never forgetting the chills I felt from the first time.




READING


The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros


Since my attention span is the size of a pea I have not been reading a ton lately. My favorite hobby, however, is to place holds on books on Libby to deliver in a few weeks from now, and then that day hits I am not prepared, so I extend the wait time by another few weeks.


Fourth Wing was one of those books, and I couldn't accept the hold because I was still wrapping up another (re)read of Tale of the time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Well, I finally made it to the actual reading phase of my journey and enjoyed it. Fourth Wing has been popping up everywhere I turn, similar to a year ago with the A Court of Thorns & Roses series. I have yet to read that one, but maybe I’ll finally check it out on Libby (12 weeks from now). The main character does remind me of Tea from The Bone Witch, which is currently my favorite fantasy series. Headstrong and snarky women leads are kinda overdone, but they make sense in the way it builds tension and the enemies to lovers pipeline.


Fourth Wing is about Violet who wants to be a scribe, but comes from a military family background where her mom and older siblings are dragon riders. She has limited time to train to join the riders and is the weakest in her class; however, she continues to try and begins to shed some of that scribe comfort and mentality throughout her time training to be a rider. I find the character relationships interesting and love the dragon lore, but am not completely invested yet. With The Bone Witch - the second book is actually the one that solidified my love for it, so it may be the same with this one. We’ll see how the rest of the book shakes out.



WATCHING



Stargaze Ep.1 | Navigating the Universe of Representation | Paramount+

 

Okay, I’ll admit, I’m biased and this is totally a work plug. I am just so impressed by the amazing social team & our multicultural agency Worthi for capturing this conversation. Sonequa Martin-Green and Tawny Newsome are both so talented and I loved hearing about their experiences with their respective Star Trek shows.


What stuck out to me most about this is that it feels like a genuine conversation between them. To me, it doesn’t feel like a forced conversation on diversity and inclusion, which is honestly getting more and more cringe. Tawny gives credit to Sonequa for kicking off a new generation of Star Trek shows for the first time since 2005, but they don’t focus on the loaded questions of ‘how does it feel to be a role model to everyone that looks like you’ or ‘who has inspired you.’


The success of this video is a result of who was in the room when this was filmed. Tawny mentions in the interview how important it is to recognize who is telling the story, which is important for any type of media. Another moment I loved was when Sonequa spoke to a female producer giving her advice to keep asking questions. It’s difficult to feel vulnerable and how it spirals from what is expected from Black women to the feeling like you’re not deserving to be in the room. 


There were so many more nuggets of truths and I love these women!!


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