A week that will begin in March and end in April. Also, a week where I will start in a child-free marriage and end as a father. I don’t mean to make this a personal open, but with a life event such as this, you can’t help but do just that. On April 2, my wife and are having our first child, Fiona.
She is supposed to arrive on 4/21 (the day we lost Prince), but Courtney is dealing with gestational hypertension so they’re pulling the baby right at the beginning of ‘term’ (37 weeks). While this has been a stressful and challenging adjustment, I take great pride and glee that Fiona will now be an Aires – creating a little family flock of birthdays with Courtney (3/29), Fiona (4/2), and me (4/6). Love Aires.
This is to say, I may take a hiatus from the Weekly Roundup for a time. It makes me sad because I love this column, but spending time with Fiona will make up for it. 😉
There are so many good songs about having kids. I wanted to highlight two:
In 1991, Eric Clapton’s four-year-old son died after falling from a 53rd-floor window in New York City. He wrote “Tears in Heaven” in the wake of the tragedy. It’s a perfect song. It’s heartbreaking–but it’s a perfect song.
Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
I will spend my entire life in awe of our species’ abilities to distill the vastness of the human experience into a four-minute song.
“Hey Jude” is credited to Lennon and McCartney but this sonic icon was written by Paul. In 1968, John Lennon left his wife Cynthia to be with the Japanese artist Yoko Ono, with whom he was having an affair. Weeks later, Paul McCartney went to visit John and Cynthia’s five-year-old son Julian to comfort him. He wrote “Hey Jules” to help Julian through the separation. The song was later changed to “Hey Jude.”
Music /// Haim Women in Music Pt. III
Women in Music Pt. III actually came out in June 2020. However, wanting to represent on the last week of Women’s History Month, this felt like the right time to discuss my favorite album of the last year.
I adore this album. I fell into the album through the irresistible, laid-back SoCal steamer “Gasoline.” Man, naming a song about wanting a man to move faster “Gasoline” with a chorus:
I wanna get off
But you’re such a tease
Throw the keys
Back to me
Go on and kick off your boots
In the passenger seat
This whole album is so wonderfully indie. It was like they were about to make a pop record–the writing is deliciously catchy–but the producer smoked a huge joint right before mixing it and made a War on Drugs record.
Months after discovering “Gasoline” and “3AM” and digging deeper and deeper into this song mine, neither remains on my list of favorites! “The Steps,” which they performed at the Grammys this year, is a convertible cruiser about empowerment.
On that note, the Haim sisters have said much of the record speaks to the misogyny they have experienced as women in the music industry. “Up From A Dream” has a radio announcer-like verse melody that gives way to a satisfying, but masterfully understated chorus.
I’m not sure what else to say. Check this record out! Fantastic songs with delightfully satisfying lyrics and messages of women’s power. Like the unmissable Fleetwood Mac inspired “Leaning On You” whose hook asks
It takes all that I got
Not to fuck this up
So won’t you let me know
If I’m not alone
Leaning on you
That’s how you write ’em, folks!
Oh lastly, I would be remiss not to say in true MMH crossover magic, three of the videos for this album were directed by the great Paul Thomas Anderson!
Movies /// Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong comes out in the U.S. on Friday. Am I waiting with bated breath? No. Does this seem like the biggest movie in the cultural zeitgeist this week? Sure does. Godzilla vs. Kong is the 36th Godzilla movie and the fourth in the last 10 years. Though I was surprised to hear that Godzilla vs. Kong is actually tied to 2017’s Kong: Skull Island (which I actually thought was an enjoyable, humor-filled, self-aware ride especially everything with John C. Reilly) and 2019’s Godzilla: King of Monsters (which I did not make it through).
The movie is directed by Adam Wingard who hasn’t done anything I’ve heard of and stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Kyle Chandler, many of whom return from Godzilla: King of Monsters.
The film has a 74% Rotten Tomatoes score, so they’re doing something right. Wenlei Ma from news.com seems to cut to the heart of the monster, “All your senses will be so overwhelmed by the visceral action and the forceful, metallic synth score that trying to make sense of the idiotic story is about 74th down your priority list.”
Godzilla vs. Kong premieres in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday, March 31. I do not recommend going to a theater. I also do not recommend watching a film that’s selling point is larger than life action on a laptop or small TV. If you’re riding for Godzilla this weekend, I do recommend doing what my friends did with The Two Towers last week: getting a white sheet and a projector and setting up a backyard viewing replete with Christmas lights, good beer, and in my case, our friend’s brand new outdoor pizza oven.
Hoops /// The NBA Trade Deadline
Cody covered the deadline in a wonderful edition of the Rebound this morning. But with a moment of such importance in the life of an NBA season, I wanted to chime in with my favorite move, least favorite move, and the buyout boys.
1.) Cody didn’t address the buyout bigs. San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge pulled a fast one and took his talents to Brooklyn after teasing the NBA world with an expected move to Miami. Meanwhile, after being benched since February 12 in favor of big man of the future, Jarrett Allen, Andre Drummond was set free and is now headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Two big names, two small impacts? As The Ringer‘s Zach Kram pointed out, the Spurs were 5.2 points BETTER with LaMarcus on the bench. Meanwhile, Drummond is shooting 51% at the rim this year, which is not good for a guard, much less a 6’10” center.
I do love player movement and I think these moves are fun. Can Drummond help swing a couple of regular-season games with both LeBron and AD sidelined? Maybe! And as someone who watched both Blake Griffin and Aldridge at their peaks–and they were significant peaks!–from a basketball history perspective, will I perk up if we get a moment with Kyrie, Harden, KD, Blake, and Aldridge on the court together? Yes, I absolutely will!
However, where do I think both players will be in the waning moments of important playoff games? Rooting on their teammates from the bench.
2.) I believe most impactful move in terms of swaying the finals is Rajon Rondo going from the Atlanta Hawks to the Los Angeles Clippers, which feels a little crazy to say for a player averaging 4 PTS and 3 AST. But as Cody so aptly put, 6 months ago he was the third-best player on the NBA championship team.
I don’t know where the Clips are at. Who is their emotional leader? It’s not Kawhi. Maybe PG is trying to be? But if I was his teammate I wouldn’t buy into any rip razzle until he shows out in the playoffs. They even lost their teams Flavor Flav, Montrezl Harrell, to their crosstown rival.
Rondo can give them that. He has edge. He has dog in him. I do believe if Rondo was on their team last year they do not blow the 3-1 lead to the Nuggets. They also need playmaking! Their best creator is…Kawhi? They have no one averaging more than 5 AST. Long live #PlayoffRondo!
3.) The Celtics of Boston. Oh boy. Oh sweet lord protect me. These are the names I have heard rumored with the Celtics since the beginning of the season:
- Myles Turner
- Victor Oladipo
- Harrison Barnes
- Aaron Gordon
- Andre Drummond
This is who we have gotten:
- Evan Fournier
- Mo Wagner
- Luke Kornet
Oh yeah, and we lost Gordon Hayward, who went to Charlotte in a “well he won’t have any pressure on a blah team” that currently has a better record than the Cs.
I’m not entirely sure what to say at this point. We’re going to get bounced in the first round. Our team is not good. Evan Fournier is not the answer. I think this is a really big offseason for Danny. Really big.