“Better Days are comin’!” We got National Kazoo Day, musician birthdays galore, Ant Clemons and Justin Timberlake, Freaks and Geeks (???), Lakers vs. Sixers, and the Marvel stories we’re dying to see. Ring dem bells, it’s the Weekly Roundup!
Just me, or does something feel different this week? Maybe this is what it felt like in Middle Earth after Frodo destroyed the ring. Thursday is National Kazoo Day. Let’s make the most of that one.
Big week in music birthdays!
Today Alicia Keys turns 40 today! Happy Birthday Lellow!
Eddie Van Halen would be turning 66 on Tuesday. RIP
Mozart’s birthday is Wednesday.
And J. Cole turns 36 on Thursday.
Hard to think of a collab I’d rather see.
Music /// Ant Clemons feat. Justin Timberlake “Better Days”
On Friday Ant Clemons dropped his new single “Better Days” featuring Justin Timberlake. Tbh I didn’t know Clemons before this, but after digging in, I’m loving the effective brevity of (the 1:54) “4 Letter Word” and the firecracker pulse on “Freak.” The two artists debuted “Better Days” as part of Celebrating America on Inauguration night and the single followed two days later.
In “Better Days” Ant and Justin take us to a packed church on a hot day, replete with full choir and gospel drum breaks. The 6/8 anthem includes one of my favorite studio vocal performances from Timberlake; his singing is rich and full—a preferred style to his breathier sound. And with that being said, Ant Clemons might be the best singer on the track.
Pumped to follow Clemons’ career and hopeful these kinetic crooners connect again, for now, I’m just glad to have this certified fresh banger with a message that couldn’t come at a better time.
Movies /// Freaks and Geeks comes to Hulu
Has there ever been a more star-making show? Freaks and Geeks really is the 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder of TV. It stars James Franco, Jason Segel, and Seth Rogan (who’s not even a central character). As well as Martin Starr and Linda Cardellini who have been in a ton of stuff and I’m just realizing both made it into the MCU. (Starr as the teacher in Spider-Man, and Cardellini putting in work as Hawkeye’s wife!)
Even Shia LaBeouf and David Krumholtz get in on the action in small roles! And then, of course, Freaks and Geeks is the coming out party for showrunners Paul Feig and Judd Apatow.
Yes, I know this is not a movie! And do I feel bad stepping outside the metaphorical MMH Orlando Bubble? Yes, I do! But this show premiered in 1999 and this collection of people have defined comedy for the last two decades. So for the cinephiles out there, go see where it started.
It’s also a great show! Freaks and Geeks takes place in 1980 and follows Lindsay Weir and her group of upper-class freaks and her little brother Sam and his crew of geeks. Regardless of era, anyone who was on the outside will relate to this realistic high school depiction. The show only lasted for one season, 18 episodes, but it packs a lot in. Great writing, hilarious, painfully real situations, and Dungeons and Dragons!
If you’re still unsatisfied with my film history research case for putting this under the MMH umbrella, Jason Segel’s recurring drummer storyline is pitch-perfect. Moreover, 70’s rock plays a central role in the show and it’s a ball to hang with that music.
Freaks and Geeks has not been available on streaming until TODAY when it premieres on Hulu. Can’t recommend this journey enough! They were so young!
Hoops /// Lakers at Sixers
On Wednesday at 7:30 PM ET, we have a battle of titans, a battle of #1 seeds, the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers are 13-4 and clinging to the top seed in the West by a hair with the resurgent Clippers sharing the podium at 13-4 and the early season darling Jazz nipping at LA’s heels at 12-4.
Meanwhile, after the Sixers vanquished their top seed rival Boston Celtics in back-to-back games last week, they are 12-5 and have a little more breathing room at the mountain top with the 9-6 Bucks and Pacers both 2 games behind them.
As many predicted, Doc has been effective as the Embiid Whisperer. A little reminiscent of Farmer Hoggett turning Babe into a contest-winning superstar. And with Joel posting career highs in PTS (27.7), FG% (.554), and 3P% (.405), surely “that’ll do Joel.”
After beating the Celtics, Doc told Sports Illustrated, “[Embiid’s] just more talented than even I knew. I knew he was extremely talented but he has so many more gifts. You know, off the dribble, he can make his spots. One of his weak points I guess was post passing and he’s been phenomenal in that this year.”
Ben Simmons’ offense development has stagnated, but he continues to be a two-way monster. He is second in the league in defensive plus/minus (Marc Gasol still putting in work at 36 is number one). And the 76ers as a team are 8th in the league in defensive.
Not to be outdone, the Lakers have the best defense in the league. They are allowing 103.9 points/100 possessions. A full two points stingier than the second place, aforementioned, Utah Jazz.
We should get some Embiid on Davis action, Simmons on LeBron, which is always must-see TV. The game will likely come down to who stars in their support role between Schroder (career-high 3.9 REB) and KCP (career-high .556 3P%) and Harris (career highs in FG%, 3P%, and FT%) and Seth Curry (career-high 16.5 PPG)?
And we get a reunion! This will be the first time Danny Green and Dwight Howard will play their former team since winning the championship. I’m sure Bron and AD are DYING to see Dwight.
Nate Mondschein is a big comic and MCU buff. After falling in love with WandaVision, Nate is ranking the Marvel stories he would most like to see on the big screen. Fantastic Four? Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom? Daredevil and Echo? Uncanny X-Force? Tune in on Thursday at 10 AM CT to find out!