with Sasha Klare-Ayvazian and Charlie Rao – Happy MLK Day! Happy Inauguration Week! It’s a week of hope in America and that is something we’re all overdue for. To help us celebrate, we got Jeff Plankenhorn’s single release show, One Night in Miami, and Nets-Heat. Let’s go!
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! A joyous holiday over here as it comes with all-day, select NBA action. Also, a needed early year recoup day as we’re still nursing the holiday hangover. And of course, we celebrate a hero as deserving of a holiday as there is. Thank you so much, Dr. King. I was thinking about where MLK Day ranks in the “deserving of a holiday” power rankings (it feels a lot like the Jedi to Columbus Day’s Sith)? Feels like it’s right there in the Memorial Day, Labor Day, top tier.
To go from MLK Day on Monday to swearing in the first African American woman VP on Wednesday… not a bad 72 hours! I believe that Biden and Harris will bring the political boom and they’re definitely bringing the sonic boom with a killer Inauguration Day music lineup.
The inauguration starts at 11:30 AM ET on Wednesday. Gaga is singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and they got Jenny coming to their block for a ceremony performance.
Then at 8:30 PM ET, a special Celebrating America program kicks off hosted by Tom Hanks and featuring Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, and John Legend. Alright, POTUS! We’re here for it.
Music /// Jeff Plankenhorn “Murder of Crows” Single Release Show
Jeff Plankenhorn is an acclaimed singer-songwriter from Austin. On Friday, he is releasing his first single of the year “Murder of Crows;” a song that sounds like an outtake from Crazy Heart. “Murder of Crows” has a longing-bluesy verse featuring steel guitar that gives way to a soaring, major key chorus. American Songwriter premiered the song on Friday calling Plank a “slide guitar virtuoso” and sharing the eerie story behind “Murder of Crows.” To celebrate the release, Plank’s teaming up with Tony Kamel (Wood & Wire) for a celebratory Zoom concert.
The concert takes place at 8 PM ET on Thursday, 1/21. At this time, Plank is more concerned with raising his Spotify profile than squeezing dollars from livestream concerts, so to attend this show all you need to do is pre-save the song! How’s that for easy access?
Plank is drenched in talent and truly a good soul. He’s also a friend. When he and Tony are sharing new songs, talking songwriting, trading tunes back-and-forth, and throwing out zingers, it’s going to be a really fun night. Here is the FB event with all the details you need to attend.
Movies /// One Night in Miami
The multi-talented Regina King’s directorial debut One Night In Miami, released on Christmas, is a must-watch for any American; especially those interested in the intersection of pop culture and Civil Rights. It is the film adaptation of a play written by Kemp Powers, which debuted in 2013.
The film is a dramatization of a real event that took place in February of 1964, when Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), Cassius Clay, (Eli Goree), and Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) spent one night together in a motel in Miami after Cassius’ title fight victory over Sonny Liston.
Though the events of that night can only be recounted factually by those four inspirational Black men, Regina King’s imagination shines through. The script masterfully communicates both the individual gifts and struggles of these iconic figures while highlighting the infighting that can take place within oppressed groups. It’s an illuminating piece that personifies the needs and struggles of Black America and its leaders. It also offers key perspectives for how we as a society can move forward in a united manner.
I’m not the only one raving about the film, A.O. Scott of the New York Times agrees, “This is one of the most exciting movies I’ve seen in a long time.” As for non-media conglomerate critics, One Night In Miami received a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
I enjoyed this film within the confines of my sofa via Amazon Prime. It is also showing in cinemas all over Austin if you feel comfortable in crowds and prefer the luxury of a theatre. It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come.
Hoops /// Nets vs. Heat (Speaking of One Night in Miami)
Yeah, I mean the Nets… Had to be included. Watched the game Saturday night and honestly, it was pretty surreal watching those guys together (again). Very John Legend teaming up with The Roots for Wake Up! I will say, there was a possession late in the 3rd where KD had just hit X shots in a row and was cookin’, and Harden iso-ed, dribbled for 15 seconds, and threw up a contested step-back 3, and I was just like, “dude, hit your guy!” And then it went in and it was just like, “righhhhttttt.”
Guys, KD is averaging 31-7-6… In his 2013 MVP season, he averaged 32-7-6… Is he BETTER than he was before??! Listen, this is all I’m saying, if Tom Brady wins the Super Bowl and KD wins the MVP, we need to do some serious sports culture recalibrating around expectations for injuries and age.
So yeah, I just looked through the Nets schedule this week for a game to highlight. They play the Cavs back-to-back on Wednesday and Friday. Meh. Actually their most interesting game this week is tonight against the Bucks! Get it! But I didn’t want to cash in that early, so Sunday’s game against the Heat it is.
Speaking of, what’s up with the Heat? They’re 4-7, 21st in offense, and 24th in defense. Jimmy has missed 5 of their first 11 games and is averaging 15.5 PTS, down from 20 last season. And check this—this blew my mind—he is shooting 0% from three. :-O Maybe Jimmy should write a thank you to Kelly Oubre for distracting us because he is 0/7 from range to start the season.
On the bright side, Herro has risen to the challenge in his new starting role leaping from 13-4-2 last year to 17-7-4 this season. He’s also only shooting 30% from three. If that number trends closer to his 39% average from last year, he could become a 20-point/night guy.
This game takes place on Saturday, 1/23 at 6:30 PM ET. It is not nationally televised so you’ll need League Pass or a jaunt into the sketchy dark world of streaming.
MMH Spotlight /// NBA First Month Check-In
On Wednesday we’ll be dropping our NBA check-in video. Can the Nets make the finals? Who’s our favorite rookie? God, it’s good to have Steph back! All these health protocol postponements are getting insane… We’ll be covering all the first month’s headlines! Hosted by Chris Conner and featuring Cody Tannen-Barrup, Steven Strong, and Sasha. Look out for that Wednesday morning at 10 AM.