It’s been a rough week, friends. Heck, it’s been a rough year. I know that many of you, like me, are still reeling from the US Election results.
Even though I’m Canadian, I woke up last Tuesday full of hope. I went upstairs, made coffee in my sun-filled kitchen and declared to my Mom, “today looks like a great day to elect a Female President!” Well, unless you’ve literally been living in an underground bunker Kimmy Schmidt style, you know how the rest goes. Wednesday morning I woke up shaken and teary eyed like I’d just been through a terrible breakup.
My heart still feels heavy, but the show must go on. I’m working on finding a balance between awareness about what’s happening in the world and self-care. This means engaging in media (books/music/podcasts/art) that makes me feel empowered and inspired. If you’re in need of some post-election inspiration or just some good ole’ distractions, here’s what I’m loving this week.
1. Kali Uchis
Karly Loaiza, known professionally as Kali Uchis, is a Colombian-American singer-songwriter, record producer and music video director. I stumbled across one of videos while browsing through a friend’s Instagram late one night and was promptly drawn in by her blend of R&B, pop and sultry Amy Winehouse-esque sounds. But it’s Kali’s self-directed videos that really sealed the deal for me. Kali’s created a dreamy, pink hued visual world that’s part California bad-girl, part Francesca Lia Block. She’s exactly what I didn’t even know I needed. Make sure you watch her videos for I Know What I Want and Loner.
Kali is tough, sassy and exactly the kind of friend you want to invite to your next breakup – Presidential or otherwise. Also, these song lyrics and gifs are everything.
2. Tribe Called Quest: We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
If there’s one good thing that came out of last week, it’s this album. A Tribe Called Quest have created the perfect soundtrack for the Trumpocalypse. Filled with their signature wit and bounce, We Got it From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service is political without being overly dark, mournful without feeling sad (RIP Phife) and just a damn good album all around. With songs like “We the People” and “The Donald,” ATCQ will make you want to fight the power and dance around your bedroom. ATCQ’s performance on SNL and their new video for We The People are giving me life this week.
There’s a reason why critics have called this movie “visually mesmerizing” – it’s absolutely stunning. Moonlight is about a young man coming of age in a disadvantaged Miami neighbourhood while grappling with his sexuality. I won’t say too much because you should really just go and see it, but know that it lives up to the reviews. It’s both timely and timeless, and one of best movies I’ve seen in a long time.
A legal drama come mystery set in LA that has a distinct California Noir, Veronica Mars vibe? Yes, please. Starring Billy-Bob Thornton as a brilliant yet downtrodden lawyer who decides to take on a major corporation, this binge-worthy show is perfect for when you feel like ‘fighting the man.’ Also, the visuals are amazing. Thornton’s character lives at The Ocean Lodge (the seaside motel I stayed at the first time I visited LA) and drinks at Chez Jay. Think lots of palm trees, gritty motels and moody neon (like the scenes below.)
(Just when I thought I got Los Angeles out of my system for the time being, this show has once again fuelled my Californiaphilia. Sigh.)
5. Diane Guerrero’s memoir, In The Country We Love
Diane Guerrero stars in two of my favourite shows: Orange is The New Black and Jane the Virgin. But it wasn’t until I heard her interviewed on NPR that I knew much about her story. Diane’s parents were deported when she was 14, leaving her in the USA to finish high school and basically fend for herself. In the Country We Love: My Family Divided is a memoir about her experiences. Given the current political state in the US, this book is more relevant than ever. I’m listening to the audio book & am really enjoying Diane’s soothing and animated voice.
What are you reading/watching/listening and loving these days?