Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

Marika Hackman — “Drown”

Much of the music I’ve been listening to lately has been extremely energetic and synth-y and wonderful, but every once in a while I need to dive back down into the heart’s depths so well expressed in the best acoustic singer-songwriting. Marika Hoffman’s “Drown” brings to mind Laura Marling and Sharon Van Etten, with its intense poetry and swift verses that come to a smoking halt at the chorus. “I’d choke on you if I could — maybe I will,” Hackman sings, her voice low and soft. “So I’ll drown in your mind, I will. I know I will.” While Hackman’s drowning, so are we. — Angela Lashbrook, Editorial Apprentice

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Liz Prince

I’d always been a fan of Liz Prince but I rekindled this love last month after reading her wonderful, funny, and eerily relatable graphic memoir Tomboy. While at Comic Con, I bumped into the Top Shelf booth and impulse bought two of her other books: Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed?, which is perhaps the warmest series of relationship comics — the endearing honesty keeps it from feeling too cutesy — and Alone Forever, which chronicles her single life, ranging from disastrous OkCupid dates to hilariously awkward attempts to pick up cute guys at punk shows. Her comics are charming and self-deprecating and I can’t stop going back to them. — Pilot Viruet, TV Editor

Ariel Pink vs. Madonna

I’ve read Stereogum every day for the last five years, and this has got to be my favorite headline ever: “Ariel Pink Dissed By Grimes, Dismissed By Madonna.” A big part of my being tickled by this well-crafted nugget of clicky goodness stems from the fact that I have a perverse love of bizarre celebrity beefs. Madonna dismissing Ariel Pink’s big-headed, misogynistic claims (“I’m partly responsible for that return-to-values thing”) of appearing on her forthcoming record sort of made my shitty week, even though I would be curious to hear what “Round and Round” would sound like with the Ray of Light treatment. Madge manager’s shaderific response is above. Ariel Pink, just stop already. — Jillian Mapes, Music Editor

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My Darling Clementine from the Criterion Collection

Its DVD and Blu-ray release this week via the Criterion Collection gave me a much-needed push to finally see John Ford’s My Darling Clementine, and it is a stunner. This 1946 take on the Tombstone legend is no ordinary, rip-roarin’ oater; it’s quiet, contemplative, even mournful. Many of the Ford hallmarks are there: the folksy sense of community, the themes of shifting masculinity, and a sturdy ensemble (though it’s a little shocking to see charming old coot Walter Brennan in such a malevolent role). But he’s less interested in gun-slinging than in the psychology of Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda, square-jawed perfection), Doc Holliday (Victor Mature), and the title character (Cathy Downs), and the love triangle (or perhaps square, with Linda Darnell’s Chihuaua) they inhabit. Ford thwarts expectation at every turn—I can’t get over the eerie silence that accompanies the shoot-out at the OK Corral—to create this remarkably thoughtful and introverted picture. And Criterion’s ace HD transfer beautifully captures the dark corners of Joseph MacDonald’s magnificent “Western noir” photography. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor

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— Elisabeth Donnely, Nonfiction Editor

alisonRory Hichney’s Tomorrow Your Heart

I’m hooked on Tomorrow Your Heart—a weekly radio show hosted by Rory Hinchey, focusing on ‘60s girl groups and female-fronted bands. It’s a nice curation of American and Euro girl-pop sounds, beyond the usual suspects. — Alison Nastasi, Weekend Editor

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Hot Wings and Hot Football 

I am not the biggest football fan, but I am a pretty big hot wing fan. (I mean, I watch the 49ers out of solidarity.) So, I was happy to read that chicken wings are making a comeback in New York City. They never went away in the rest of the world, though. All of us — my dad and brother included — have been chomping away at three inches of fried, buttery goodness while yelling at sports on television for years. You can even throw them at the TV when Kaepernick gets sacked (or throws a TD, if you’re an awful person). — Shane Barnes, Editorial Apprentice

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Finding out Amy Brenneman and Amy Landecker aren’t the same person

I watched the pilot of Transparent when it was first released months ago. Then I watched The Leftovers. Then I watched the rest of Transparent. The whole time I was watching Transparent, I kept thinking, “that actress who doesn’t say anything on The Leftovers, Amy Something, is KILLING it with all the dialogue on this show.” But then I paid closer attention to the opening credits of Transparent, and my certainty about actresses named Amy, and perhaps my certainty about just about everything, got quite a shaking. “I thought her last name began with a ‘B!'” I proclaimed, likely waking up my roommates and pet roaches. “What’s going on?!” Well what’s been going on is quite simple: they’re different actresses. And they’re both having quite a moment, each with their own excellent roles. But then, you probably knew that. Now, pardon me while I go watch Cate Blanchett’s stunning performance Fool’s Gold. — Moze Halperin, Associate Editor