April Staff Picks

Haley Lawson

I Made an Album

This spring, I’ve been obsessed with Daði Freyr’s “I Made an Album,” released in August of 2023. I first heard them when they performed their song “Think About Things” as part of Eurovision in 2020. Since then, I’ve been keen to hear more from them. An electronic pop icon from Iceland, Daði Freyr’s good vibe lyrics, teal sweaters, and soothing melodies are the perfect fit for longer days and melting snow.

The second track on the album is “I’m Fine”—an upbeat track with equally motivating lyrics. The song speaks to the idea that we should be works in progress because that way we keep growing and changing.

It’s all right if you’re taking your time
People who have been found
Are the worst to be around anyway
Okay, all I wanted to say
It’s all right, it’s all right, it’s all right, it’s all right
I know I’m a work in progress
And I would like to stay that way
Don’t stress, it isn’t worth it
Your life is not your resume

Dominic Loise

STEVE! (martin): A Documentary in 2 Pieces

I remember being young and deciphering the image on the Let’s Get Small (1977) comedy album. As a grade schooler, I had seen my share of kids with balloon sculpture hats, but this cover featured an adult male wearing one with a fake nose, glasses, and bunny ears. On the back cover, the comedian was reaching out to the camera with a manic look in his eyes. I couldn’t make out his face with everything he was wearing, but comedian Steve Martin would become a very familiar face to me throughout the remainder of the decade. His avant garde humor would become the compass to help find my people as I grew up in the eighties.

The documentary STEVE! (martin): A Documentary in 2 Pieces (AppleTV) takes an in-depth look at the performer and his career over the decades. Martin also opens up about his anxiety in the documentary and discusses his growing mental health awareness over the decades. We see Martin share old comedy set lists and his journal from his stand-up years as he processes that anxiety. It is through Martin’s journaling that he talks about not pursuing happiness but purpose, which ties into the second part of the documentary.

In the first part, the documentary explores Steve Martin’s purpose as he focused on the art of stand-up comedy, which he took to new heights in the seventies. The second part of the documentary deals with Martin leaving stand up for movies. The second half also deals with an artist finding a place of ease in being themselves while finding a creative outlet that satisfied them personally. We also see the nineties onward when Martin moved away from zany films into being a playwright, returning to playing the banjo, and writing pieces in The New Yorker.

Most might tune in for the stand up and rare clips from the start of Martin’s career. They’ll wish to see the “Wild and Crazy Guy” who was the first comedian to fill a rock stadium. My connection was to the second (martin) part when Martin explored not living to please to the unknown masses but to appreciate the people who are supporting your personal progress.

Kaitlin Lounsberry

Baby Reindeer

If you’re like me, you often log into Netflix without something intentional to watch and the expectation you’ll spend a good deal of time clicking through titles to find a show or movie that suits your fancy. Enter Baby Reindeer. Adapted from Richard Gadd’s one-man comedy show, this scripted Netflix series explores a local comedian’s experience with a female stalker and, in turn, is forced to confront with secrets of his own. I know, I know, is this (now) viral show really worth the hype? I sure think so. 

It’s dark, funny, delightfully twisted, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I wrapped up the last episode. In addition to the obvious themes you might expect from this story, there’s a great deal of empathy and understanding for all parties involved that I wasn’t anticipating. The choice to humanize those who lived this reality added a great deal of nuance I wasn’t expecting and it elevated my viewing experience for the better. 

Don’t believe me? Watch and decide for yourself.