The Filtered Excellence: April 17, 2020

Bob Geldof once asked us, “Where is the filtered excellence!?” It’s right here. Once a week we take a break from comedy to bring you this week’s picks of the best things to watch, the most interesting things to do, great things to try, the best picks to read, our favorite things to listen to and more.


WATCH THIS

Run. This new HBO series from the creators of Fleabag stars Merritt Wever as Ruby Richardson, who is living an uneventful life in the suburbs when she receives a text for her former college boyfriend Billy Johnson (Domhnall Gleeson). Her response has her dropping everything and heading to Grand Central Station to travel the country with him. When they re-connect, they embark on an emotional journey in which old feelings re-surface, secrets will be revealed and the realities of the lives they left behind quickly close in. Wever, a two time Emmy winner for her work on Nurse Jackie and Godless, is fantastic as Ruby, navigating feelings from bliss to guilt over her impulsive, life alternating decision. Gleeson is just as formidable as Billy, a successful life guru who initiates the reunion, but behind his confidence, lies of deep well of vulnerability. They have an incredible chemistry together and it keeps you rooting for them time and time again. Show creators Vicky Jones and Phoebe Waller-Bridge have struck gold again, putting together a show that sexy and smart, but also dark and suspenseful. It’s another strong show to come out of the HBO canon. Run airs Sundays at 10:30pm East on HBO. You can also to go www.hbo.com.

The Last Dance. Through the 1990s, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls ruled the NBA, wining 6 championships in 8 years, including two three peats. This new 10 part ESPN docu-series looks back at the 1997-1998 campaign with Jordan with looking to close out his Hall Of Fame career with yet another title. Featuring new interviews with Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr, opponents, sportswriters, broadcasters among many others, it shows the Bulls machine operating at full throttle, even as teams such as the Indiana Pacers and the Utah Jazz were looking end their dynasty. What really makes this series must see viewing is the never before seen footage of the team, on and off the court captured throughout the season by NBA Entertainment. It’s a remarkably candid look at a one of the all time great NBA teams coping with all of the pressures of being at the top of the sports mountain, lead by one of the best to ever grace the court. The Last Dance premieres this Sunday at 9pm Eastern on ESPN.

LISTEN TO THIS

Fetch The Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple. Over the past 8 years, Fiona Apple got together with her frequent collaborators Amy Aileen Wood, Sebastian Steinberg and David Garza to record songs that gives new meaning to the term ‘homegrown’. The sessions are the basis of Apple’s 5th album, and the results are simply stunning. Apple takes us on a musical travelogue that taps into her experiences with being bullied (‘Shameika’, ‘Relay’,), anxiety (‘Heavy Balloon’), and the many facets of her current state of mind (‘I Want You To Love Me’, ‘On I Go’). But the core of the album also deals with the ramifications of toxic relationships (‘Under The Table’, ‘Rack Of His’, ‘Cosmonauts’, ‘For Her’) and songs addressed to the new women in her ex’s lives (‘Newspaper’, ‘Ladies’). It’s Fiona Apple at her most incisive, biting, and introspective, anchored by a terrific band handling the complex musical arrangements accompanied every day household sounds, bells and even the resident dogs. This is what happens when an artist is giving the opportunity to be loose, uninhibited and completely free to express. Here is the first full true contender for album of the year, if not for the decade. Fetch The Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple is available now through Amazon, Apple Music, and major streaming services.

I Contain Multitudes by Bob Dylan. For his second surprise single in three weeks, Dylan takes a line from Walt Whitman’s ‘Song Of Myself’ to create a fractured hymn that references everyone from Mott The Hoople and The Stones, Anne Frank and Indiana Jones, William Blake and Edgar Allen Poe, to Beethoven and Chopin. Though it doesn’t have the length of his last single ‘Murder Most Foul’ (this one is a mere 4:36), it still carries the sound and feel of someone who has seen too much, done a lot more and is ruminating on its impact. No one is quite sure whether or not this sudden rush of new material will signal an album of original material, but some new Dylan is always better than none at all, and this song is exceptional. I Contain Multitudes by Bob Dylan is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming services.

Brass Against EP. The latest EP from this New York based horn-driven collective finds them moving away from amped up covers of politically charged songs into equally powerful original material. Powerhouse vocalist Sophia Urista and guitarist Brad Hammonds lead the charge throughout the three song set, proudly presenting material that can easily stands alongside their musical inspirations. As the weight of the pandemic begins to collide with the upcoming elections, this EP is poised to be one of a must listen to call to arms. The new EP by Brass Against is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming services.

 

Want more excellence? Read last week’s the filtered excellence.

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Earl Douglas is a writer/photographer based in New York City. A frequent contributor to The Interrobang, Earl is also Executive Director for the New York chapter of The Black Rock Coalition. Earl worked in radio for nearly two decades at WNEW-FM and XM Satellite Radio, which included being the on-air producer for Carol Miller, Scott Muni and Ron & Fez, and a contributor to Opie & Anthony. Earl has also independently published a number of books including Black Rock Volume 1, Urban Abyss, Mobile Uploads, and For Shimmy. His latest project is the photojournalism magazine PRAXIS, which is available exclusively through Blurb.com.
Earl Douglas
Earl Douglas
Earl Douglas is a writer/photographer based in New York City. A frequent contributor to The Interrobang, Earl is also Executive Director for the New York chapter of The Black Rock Coalition. Earl worked in radio for nearly two decades at WNEW-FM and XM Satellite Radio, which included being the on-air producer for Carol Miller, Scott Muni and Ron & Fez, and a contributor to Opie & Anthony. Earl has also independently published a number of books including Black Rock Volume 1, Urban Abyss, Mobile Uploads, and For Shimmy. His latest project is the photojournalism magazine PRAXIS, which is available exclusively through Blurb.com.