Maron//Season 1//Episode 4//Dominatrix

Written by Sivert Glarum & Michael Jamin
Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait
Originally aired May 24, 2013

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I’ve begun to notice that Maron can sometimes feel disappointing because of its failure to live up to the caged wisdom of WTF. In some ways the podcast is like the dream girl you meet on the Internet and Maron is more like what happens when you move in together. Marc is pretty relentless about thrusting himself into awkward, dubious and strangely plausible scenarios. Sometimes he forcibly extricates himself only to discover that the damage has already been done while elsewhere certain situations simmer on the back burner with no clear resolution in sight. Late in “Dominatrix”, Marc’s father tells him that he has to “let it go.” Marc is a guy who pathologically clings to the things that cause him pain (not unlike a masochist…), while also being self-aware enough to realize he’s doing so. These two instincts, for self-preservation and destruction, provide the psychological framework for Maron and a neat metaphor for the BDSM practices Marc is introduced to this week.

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Mud (2013)

Written & Directed by Jeff Nichols

MUD

Shotgun Stories (2007) and Take Shelter (2011) director Jeff Nichols returns with a coming-of-age tale set in his home state of Arkansas. Mud captures Nichols signature blend of religious allegory and social realism and is equal parts mystery, thriller and family drama. Two young boys attempt to help a strange man unite with his long lost love only to discover that appearances can be deceiving. The film sets about to capture some of the fleeting epiphanies of adolescence that slowly blossom into convictions as the raw sensitivity of youth recesses into the tanned hide of adulthood.

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Libby’s First Mixtape//streets & deserts//May 2013

Libby’s First Mixtape is an ongoing series of music mixes I make for my younger sister, Libby. The genesis of the series dates back to roughly 2005. Since then I’ve been putting these mixes together on a 4-6 week basis, give or take. Listen along via Spotify through the link at the bottom of the post.

I’d been sitting on this one for a little while waiting for Libby to digest play::pause::stop. Unlike that mix, the sequencing here happened quite effortlessly. I’d been collecting some older gems to break up the ceaseless flow of 2013 tracks and the result is an inverse of how I normally like to structure my mixes. This one starts at a crawl and builds up to mid tempo Southern rock before exploding in the second half with electric cuts from CHVRCHES, Marnie Stern and David Bowie. It is one of those happy coincidences that “streets & deserts” plays like a quick overview of late 60s and early 70s  musical textures and their post millennial proteges with an outlier or two thrown in for good measure. This ain’t chemistry class after all.

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Mad Men//Season 6//Episode 8//The Crash

Written by Jason Grote and Matthew Weiner
Directed by Michael Uppendahl
Originally aired May 19, 2013

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Fittingly, the densest, most stimulating episode of Mad Men this year was also the most baffling and headache inducing. It was the kind of thing that is surely going to get a lot of attention for good and bad reasons. I imagine it’s already spawned countless GIFs (pronounced like the peanut butter brand, apparently) that couldn’t possibly capture the full sensory experience of “The Crash,” and where it fits within the aesthetic and emotional universe of the series. I’m going to do my best here but admittedly I’m still reeling. It all starts with a car…

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Game of Thrones//Season 3//Episode 8//Second Sons

Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Originally aired May 19,2013

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It’s been a quiet week in Westeros. Almost too quiet. The series is plodding forward, taking a self-conscious break from the physical drama leaving. Ultimately the slow pace of “Second Sons” left me feeling a little unfulfilled. I’m fine with a series that quietly broods for a while before erupting into violence (The Sopranos was famous for this and Boardwalk Empire gets better at it with every new season). Ideally, silence ought to produce more tension so that important moments feel hand tailored to deliver a satisfying emotional result. “Second Sons” explores, in somewhat monotonous detail, the repressive nature of royal unions. It contains a few moments that really payoff and maintains the series’ high level of production both behind and in front of the camera but overall feels like filler; something to idly think about while the show takes a two week vacation for Memorial Day.

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