The Weekly Special: The Weekend Edition team’s top picks for the week
What a year, huh? Today is the last day of June and we feel like we can’t believe half the year is over already, but we’re also surprised it’s not December. Ah 2020, the shortest, longest year of our lives. A lot has happened already this year (and continues to be happening) and it’s pretty easy to become overwhelmed with the constant influx of news and information. The Weekend Edition has been with you every step of the way and we’re not going anywhere – we’re here to guide you through our new normal as well. One thing is for certain – 2020 has been a time to pause and reflect. We are embracing this time of reflection and using it to discover and engage with new things – and we’re taking you on that journey with us. Each week we’re sharing with you the books, music, TV shows, podcasts, food and more that The Weekend Edition team is enjoying and learning from, to take them from our homes to yours. Here is volume four of The Weekly Special – The Weekend Edition team’s top picks for the week.
August, the world’s oldest living golden retriever
Fair warning – if wholesome dog content makes you very emotional, you may want to make sure you’re alone before you read this (although the image has probably already given it away and you might be crying already). I am a big fan of Facebook content that highlights pooches in general, but senior dogs have a very special place in my heart. This week I stumbled upon August the golden retriever, who has recently celebrated her 20th birthday – making her the oldest living golden in the world! Sweet Augie had already been re-homed twice before she ended up at The Golden Retriever Rescue Southern Nevada at the ripe old age of 14. As the average innings for a golden is about 10–12 years, the chances for her adoption were pretty slim (I’m not crying, you’re crying). Against the odds, adoring couple Jennifer and Steve snapped her up and have been giving her an incredible life for the past six years. She celebrated the big two-oh with her siblings, Sherman, Belle and Bruce – and of course, there was cake. You can read a little more about this precious angel and her rescue story here. Now, all we need is a magic elixir that makes dogs live forever. I’M FINE.
Georgia Brooker, digital media specialist
Acid for the Children – Flea
How great is it when you find a book that’s so good that you can’t put it down? On the flipside, how frustrating is it when you find a book that’s that good, but you barely have time to pick it up? Such was my issue with Flea’s Acid for the Children. So, in an effort to continue reading at the pace I wanted, I downloaded the audiobook with the intention of supplementing my reading with some listening from time to time. To my sheer delight I found that Flea himself narrates his memoir and suddenly the audiobook took over as my primary form of consumption. Flea’s words are honest, vulnerable, whimsical and poetic – he is incredibly (and surprisingly) eloquent – and his animated voice makes them even more meaningful and enjoyable. You don’t have to be a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan to enjoy this book (if you’re not familiar with Flea, he is the iconic often-nude bassist and co-founder of the band) – in fact, the band starting is actually where the book ends. Instead, Acid for the Children is a deeply earnest coming-of-age memoir of a wide-eyed young man with a huge heart who doesn’t always make the best decisions. Flea’s storytelling is positively endearing – it will keep you hanging on every word and make you want to give him the warmest hug. You can hear and feel his elation in memories of triumph, his tears and sorrow when reflecting on moments of sadness, his undying passion for music and his friends. His sound effects add depth that could never be achieved in written word and at times he even sidetracks from the physical pages of the book, recalling little side tales that missed the final edit. I know audiobooks aren’t for everyone, but this a guaranteed good time. Acid for the Children is available on Audible and Google Play.
Chrisanthi Demos, managing editor
Star-studded remake of The Princess Bride
If you’re anything like myself, you most likely consider Rob Reiner’s 1987 fantasy-adventure film The Princess Bride the absolute height of comedy. You’ll also be pleased to hear that during lockdown a bunch of celebrities have come together in the name of charity to recreate the iconic flick. Director Jason Reitman is behind the star-studded project, who thought it would be a nice way to keep busy during isolation. The homemade film, which will be shown in chapters on streaming service Quibi, was created to help raise funds for World Central Kitchen, an American charity that provides fresh meals to those most vulnerable during the pandemic. So, who are the famous faces that are involved? The inconceivable A-list line-up includes the likes of Josh Gad, Common, Tiffany Haddish, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Garner, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Pine, Jack Black, J.K. Simmons, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Taika Waititi, David Spade, Jon Hamm, Zoey Deutch and Zazie Beetz. Standouts of the snippets I have seen so far is Diego Luna as Inigo Montoya, power couple Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner gender-swapping the roles of Buttercup and Wesley (as well as their corgi who hilariously plays the role of a feral rodent) and David Oyelowo taking on the role of Prince Humperdinck, riding a golf cart as his horse. Chapters are now streaming on quick-bite platform service Quibi, but if you just can’t be bothered to make a Quibi account (you can trial the platform for free for two weeks), expect pieces to pop up on social media. Jason Reitman has already been posting behind-the-scenes pics on his Instagram, including a peep at Fred Savage reprising his role as The Grandson, 33 years later.
Sara Weckerle, editorial assistant
Mordechai by Khruangbin
Seeking some sun-kissed sounds to help liven up your life? Houston, Texan three-piece Khurangbin has returned with Mordechai, a new full-length album featuring ten tracks of the trio’s signature psychedelia-infused funk. We last heard from the group back in February when Khruangbin teamed up with Leon Bridges for the phenomenal collaborative Texas Sun EP. On Mordechai, the group expands its sound further and further, mixing elements of jazzy psychedelia and Thai and Persian funk with the likes of Japanese city pop, surf-rock, soul and R&B. While previous releases have been largely instrumental, Mordechai finds the band now weaving vocals into the mix, adding a gorgeous new thread to Khruangbin’s already vivid tapestry. The group pivots from English to French and Spanish across the record, showcasing a host of global influences that help add layers and textures to the record’s whole. My personal favourite tracks are the irresistibly groovy ‘Time (You and I)’, dreamy sun-dappled number ‘So We Won’t Forget’ and peppy Spanish-influenced ‘Pelota’. So, if you want to put your mind in a more positive headspace, open the windows, let some light in and allow Khruangbin’s sparkling sounds to fill up the room. Listen here.
James Frostick, assistant editor
Ethical Fashion Podcast with Clare Press and Simone Cipriani
The term ‘fast fashion’ is thrown around a lot. Do you really know or care where your clothes are made? Or do you just see something on Instagram and buy it without giving it a second thought? We’re all guilty of it. Sustainable fashion journalist Clare Press has teamed up with UN officer Simone Cipriani to kick off the brand-new Ethical Fashion Podcast as part of the UN’s Ethical Fashion Initiative, with episodes dropping weekly. Just one has been released so far – What is the Future of Fashion Weeks?, which is about reimagining the fashion world’s ‘business as usual’, focusing solely on how fashion-week events can change and if they even have a future. Simone believes that fashion has adopted the language of sustainability and ‘green’, but often it’s a form of camouflage aimed at hiding the reality. It delves into how consumers are bombarded with images and faces of influencers who don’t speak about how garments are made or the impact on people’s lives or the planet. While COVID-19 has changed things already, the future is still being written – and it’s interesting to hear Simone and Clare chat to some of fashion’s biggest names about how major events can be reformatted in a completely new way to better celebrate design, art and culture, while remaining more inclusive and less polluting. They roll out big names like Vogue’s international editor Suzy Menkes, as well as Roberta Annan, founder of the African Fashion Foundation, who floats the idea of one day bringing key international fashion-week events to Africa, believing the continent is poised to be a leader in creativity and innovation in the post-pandemic phase. Got a spare 40 minutes? Of course you do. Listen to it here.
Janna Hrastovec, assistant editor