Monday, April 20, 2015

You Must Remember This

It should come as a surprise to no one that I'm somewhat obsessed with TV and movies, and am therefore always up for a good story about Hollywood. I've recently found myself digging into several excellent Hollywood stories -- some factual, some fictional. This is one I highly recommend.


Billing itself as an exploration of the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood's first century, "You Must Remember This" is a storytelling podcast featuring familiar characters in unfamiliar circumstances.

Each week (with occasional hiatuses), creator-writer-narrator Karina Longworth delves into the life of a prominent figure from Hollywood's past, bringing to light some of the more obscure aspects of their biographies.

Dispensing with cradle-to-grave narratives, Longworth typically hones in on a few specific years from her subjects' lives, wrapping her stories around definitive relationships or a significant work (Bacall after Bogart; Streisand's "A Star Is Born").

One of the most appealing aspects of this series is the balance between the well-known and the unknown. Take Frank Sinatra, for example. Nearly 20 years after his death, he remains a prominent figure in popular culture. But how many people are aware of his triple album "Trilogy: Past, Present and Future," the last 40 minutes of which find him singing about visiting each of the planets in our solar system? It happened!

Some episodes are one-offs, while others are grouped into thematic miniseries (such as "stars during times of war," which has dominated the podcast for most of this year so far). But each episode tells a self-contained story, making it easy to jump in at any time.

"You Must Remember This" is a priority listen for me; as soon as it downloads, I hit play.

Click here for the official website.

To subscribe on iTunes, click here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Fade Out

It should come as a surprise to no one that I'm somewhat obsessed with TV and movies, and am therefore always up for a good story about Hollywood. I've recently found myself digging into several excellent Hollywood stories -- some factual, some fictional. This is one I highly recommend.

My current favorite comic book series, "The Fade Out" comes from all-star comics writer Ed Brubaker (who, among many notable projects, wrote the "Winter Soldier" storyline that 2014's "Captain America" movie was based on) and artist Sean Philips.

Dabbling once again in the noir territory he frequents, Brubaker sets his story in 1948 Los Angeles. Screenwriter Charlie Parish wakes up to discover himself in the middle of an apparent murder scene, the victim being an up-and-coming actress with a role in Charlie's next movie. Fleeing the scene, Charlie becomes guilt-ridden when he realizes the movie studio is portraying it in the media as a suicide. Unable to let it be, Charlie and his alcoholic writing partner get in over their heads as they attempt to uncover the truth.

This series is only five issues in and, if you haven't been reading it already, now is the perfect time to jump in. The first volume containing issues 1 - 4 is out now.

But I'd recommend seeking out the single issues. In addition to the great story being told, each issue is packaged with excellent peripheral material including additional artwork and -- my personal favorite -- a true story from Hollywood's past (such as the Fatty Arbuckle trials, or the Hollywood sign suicide). Even the fan letters are well-curated by Brubaker. Packed with outstanding material, each issue is a great read from cover to cover.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Official YDJ 2015 Oscar Ballot

Here's the 2015 Your Daily Joe Oscar ballot. This single sheet includes the complete list of nominees, checkboxes to track the winners, and special notations so you can see how well Your Daily Joe did at predicting the winners.

Click below to view, download (PDF format), and print out the ballot for the Feb. 22 telecast.


Click here to download


A very special thanks goes out to Helby's Hatch for designing this beautiful ballot! Visit Helby's Hatch for more original designs, patterns and crafts.