Hello again! We missed you the last two Fridays, which happened to be Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We passed up the opportunities to give you links with holiday themes, and instead opted to be normal folks who take holidays. But now we are blessed with the greatest holiday of them all, the one that always comes exactly a week after New Year’s Day, the birthday of the one and only Elvis Presley! Born on January 8, 1935, this would mark his 81st year. Below we provide you with some of our favorite Elvis-related links, as well as try to catch up on all the stuff we’ve wanted to share with you for the last two weeks!
Leather-clad, Comeback ’68 Elvis dabbling in the Jimmy Reed classic.
The story behind an iconic photo of The King in his early days is finally revealed.
Elvis playing his hometown in his early peak year of 1956. Not great sound, and not even a particularly great performance, but definitely gives a good sense of what it was like to be at an Elvis show in those crazy early years.
The untold story of Elvis’ death.
Sweaty, pilled-out Elvis and this clusterfuck version of “Suspicious Minds” is still compulsively watchable. Like a car wreck, with karate kicks.
Airin Miller’s absolutely stunning fictional re-animation of a young E.P.
We all know how Chuck D feels about Elvis, but when was the last time you dug the full version of the “Fight the Power” video? This shit gets down more than ever.
One of Greil Marcus’ many explorations of the cultural phenomenon that is Elvis Presley
The Elvis Phenomenon always includes a significant amount of Cheese–especially his movies. The acting is atrocious, lip-syncing has apparently not even been invented yet, and white people..are so…awkward. And even the hippest among them are square as a Velveeta slice. The Fifties were weird.
You can cleanse your palette after that cheese course with a little Val Kilmer and the best Elvis/World War II movie mashup ever made!
Speaking of the Zucker Brothers, we might as well dig into one of our absolute favorite things from last year! The absolutely epic oral history of Airplane! A mind-blowingly fun read.
Another favorite thing from last year, speaking of Val Kilmer…
The conventional thinking about creativity goes out the window. No more of that “right-brain, left-brain” mumbo-jumbo. This gets into the full, complex set of emotional, psychological, physiological, and experiential aspects of the the “creative brain.”
To make up for a similar list published a few years ago that justifiably drew all kinds of flak for its lack of diversity, Esquire “invited eight female literary powerhouses, from Michiko Kakutani to Anna Holmes to Roxane Gay, to help [them] create a new list.” Even if you’ve already read all these books, we still think it’s worthwhile to hear what these brilliant women have to say about the books they love.
A fascinating and thorough look at the 2015 Republican Presidential Race, and the strange state of American politics
A stunning poem by Matthew Olzmann about the war whose biggest casualty is our children.
The new issue of Volta’s Evening Will Come features a ton of incredible work, including pieces by Choir members Megan Privitello and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
A powerful poem by Choir member Cortney Lamar Charleston
Fred Moten nails it.
Meg Allen is an extremely talented photographer, but the BUTCH series we find particularly amazing. Plus, it makes us miss San Francisco.
Saeed Jones on the painful memory of attack that happened in the early hours of 2008. Lucid, powerful, beautiful.
Hanif knows poems. These will knock you over, make you gasp and shout, make you better. As will he.
A smart, geeky look into why nostalgia has such a hold over us, and why we fight for it, sometimes beyond reason.
We love the new Star Wars, but in our thirst for more, we sought out the dirt on what we consider the best film in the series. And boy, did we find it!
And finally, we leave you with these:
“Flava Flav must be killed.”