This is Staff Picks, a monthly round-up of what staff at The Capital City Weekly and Juneau Empire are reading, watching and listening to.
Every month we’ll recommend our favorite music, movies, TV shows, podcasts and books.
These are our January picks.
What we’re listening to
Ben Hohenstatt, arts and culture reporter, “You Must Remember This” (Podcast): This podcast is written, produced and narrated by Karina Longworth. It’s a well-researched dive into the forgotten or hidden stories from 20th century Hollywood. The debauched, often tragic tales of stars of yesteryear are always gripping. Longworth is currently in the midst of a fact-checking series on the infamous catalog of early Tinseltown scandals, “Hollywood Babylon.”
Ben Hohenstatt, arts and culture reporter, “Listen the Snow is Falling” by Galaxie 500 (Song): This pick is inspired by the past week’s onslaught of snow. It’s my go-to song whenever there’s significant snowfall. This nearly 8-minute epic is a relatively faithful cover of a Yoko Ono deep-cut followed by minutes of searing guitar noise. It’s one of my favorites by this essential, ‘90s shoegaze band.
What we’re reading
Kevin Baird, reporter, “The Proud Highway,” by Hunter S. Thompson (Book): This is a collection of Thompson’s letters and sundry writings he wrote from 1955-1967. The letters are written to friends, family, editors, creditors and more to create an autobiography about a starving writer who eventually finds his stride reporting for national magazines. It chronicles his life in the Air Force, his travels in Puerto Rico and South America, and his time working on the book, “Hell’s Angels.”
Alex McCarthy, reporter, “The Outsider,” by Stephen King (Book): I nearly impulse-bought this in an airport last year, and somehow my girlfriend read my mind and got it for me for Christmas. It’s fast-paced from the start, with a brutal crime quickly leading to a dramatic arrest. We quickly learn that something is amiss, as it appears the murder suspect was in two places at the same time, leaving him obviously innocent but obviously guilty. It’s a page-turner, drifting seamlessly between murder mystery and supernatural thriller.
What we’re watching
Angelo Saggiomo, digital content editor, “You” (Netflix series): Order a pizza, grab a bottle of wine and binge this guilty pleasure on a cold, snowy weekend. This psychological thriller, which first aired on Lifetime, follows a New York bookstore manager who (quickly) falls in love with a customer and becomes obsessed with her. “You” is another example of how awful social media can be, especially when used for nefarious reasons. The guy is a real creeper, and things go from zero to crazy really fast.
Kevin Baird, reporter, The NFL Playoffs (televised sporting event): The Seattle Seahawks fell to the Dallas Cowboys, and that’s heartbreaking. However, the Wildcard Philadelphia Eagles comeback win over the Chicago Bears was the best playoff game I’ve seen in years. The “double doink” field goal attempt by the Bears was icing on the cake — a bizarre finish indeed. The conference championship round is this weekend. So kick back with a cold beer or two or six and enjoy. This is football at its best.