This week: Billie Eilish’s new movie, Willie Nelson takes on Frank Sinatra, and Bradley Beal and the Wizards battle relevancy. It’s the Weekly Roundup!
It’s the the last week in February and coming off the apocalyptic week we just lived through in Texas, I’m ready to turn the page to March and give 2021 a fresh start. On the other hand, with March featuring the year anniversary of COVID, oh boy…
I am one of the lucky few who never lost power. My wife and I live next to a hospital and I believe that is the only reason. But our big time contributor Steven Strong didn’t have water for four days and most of my friends in Austin lost power or water for most of the week. This is a true humanitarian crisis. Climate change is real guys.
Let me take that again, climate change is here guys.
On a more celebratory note, we’re stocked with great MMH birthdays this week!
Feb. 22 – Frédéric Chopin
Feb. 23 – George Frideric Handel
Feb. 24 – Daniel Kaluuya
Feb. 25 – George Harrison
Feb. 26 – Erykah Badu AND Johnny Cash
Feb. 28 – Luka Dončić
Excited for Luka to finally turn 18. Excited for Daniel Kaluuya’s entire career. And my plan is to listen to each of these musicians on their birthdays, and it’s going to be glorious.
Music /// Willie Nelson “That’s Life”
On Friday, February 26th Austin’s Patron Saint, the great Willie Nelson, releases his second Frank Sinatra tribute album. I say ‘tribute’ and not ‘cover’ because it is a collection of standards popularized by Sinatra like “Lucky Be A Lady,” “Learnin’ the Blues,” and “Just in Time.”
Frank and Sinatra were close friends for many years and I love seeing Willie honor the late legend. In 1980 Sinatra opened for Nelson at the Golden Nugget in Vegas. Can’t believe it wasn’t the other way around!
Willie had his first dalliance crooning like Ol’ Blue Eyes on 2018’s “My Way.”
“My Way” pairs Frank’s easy swing—replete with horns, jazz piano, and upright bass—with a sprinkle of Texas country and a scoop of Willie’s signature pure, understated vocals. It’s not quite Frank, it’s not quite Willie, but it’s a tasty sound.
“That’s Life” will provide a timely opportunity to rediscover American classics while honoring one lost legend and appreciating a current one.
Music /// Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry
A little crossover and it feels so good! Over the last few years, Billie Eilish has stolen our hearts and taken her place at the head seat of the music industry table. She’s won five Grammy Awards, averages north of 51 million streams/month on Spotify, and the video for her last single “Therefore I Am” has racked up 129 million YouTube views in three months.
But unlike the pop stars of my generation—Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Destiny’s Child—that were built in a lab, Eilish wrote and produced her breakout album “dont smile at me” with her brother Finneas in their childhood home.
As Billie says in the doc trailer, “we made this album in a bedroom in our house, so really like anything is possible.”
While we all know and love Billie, but it is Finneas who produces all her music and is widely regarded in music circles as one the best producers of his generation. I am excited for people to get to know Finneas and learn more about the collaboration behind this championship duo.
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry comes out on February 26th and will be available to stream on Apple TV+.
Hoops /// Wizards at Clippers
Coming right out of the gate on this one, this game is on Tuesday! D.C. pays a visit to Staples to take on the LA Clippers. (They actually are playing a little Staples residency with a game against the Lakers tonight!)
After spiraling to a disastrous 6-17 start, the almost-Bullets have rattled off four wins in a row against the Celtics, Rockets, Nuggets, and Blazers. Not bad gang! At 10-17, the Wizards are 2.5 games out of the 8th seed (which is both amazing for them and really embarrassing for the East).
In his first game since being named an All-Star starter, Bradley Beal gave us full “what now?!” energy going 37-7-3 in Saturday’s tense win against Portland.
This year, Bradley Beal is putting up 33-5-5, his team is 10-17, and he is an all-star starter.
Last year, Bradley Beal put up 30-4-6, his team was 8-19 (through 27), and he was not selected to the all-star team.
The NBA’s weird. Or better put, as Josh said in a recent pod, a lot of these selections are for previous performance.
Mr. Beal is starting to get some help however. Over the win streak:
Davis Bertans: 17-5, 5.3 3PM on 58.1% shooting from deep
Rui Hachimura: 15-6, 2 STL, 5.5 FTA on 90% FT
Russell “Hustle & Bustle” Westbrook: 17-12-13
Meanwhile, the Clippers continue to give us every indication they are a championship contender. They are 22-9, tied with the Lakers for second in the West. They are second in offense rating behind the super Nets, first in FT%, first in 3PT%, and third in FG%.
After missing three games, Kawhi picked up right where left off with 29-5-4 in a convincing win against the mighty Jazz this weekend.
And while the NBA universe has cooled off on PG, following another poor playoff performance, he continues to play like the “boss” Zach Lowe says he is. He’s averaging a career-best 23.9 PPG and chipping in 5 boards, 4 assists, and stroking 47% of his threes, which is absurd considering the volume: 7.7 attempts/game.
If the Wizards can go 2-0 on this Staples swing, they will start raising eyebrows around the league. Meanwhile, if the Clips go 41-0 the rest of the regular season, no one will care. Wake us up when the playoffs start.