Baby, You're a Firework!

We are feeling REAL patriotic this week and, for once, it's not because of the Olympics

This election cycle has been, mostly, a garbage fire nightmare hellscape, but the Democratic National Convention? It was pretty great! Even if all it gave us was our new OTP, Bill Clinton + balloon drops, we would have appreciated it, but it also reminded us that PLENTY of the people in politics got there because they actually care deeply about other people. Which is a nice and necessary thing to be reminded of, now and again. 

Plus also it's fun to see HISTORY IN THE MAKING and then also
HISTORY MADE, AND NOW ENTRANCED BY BALLOONS.
Bossy Spotlight: Dame Margaret Shouts About Basia Bulat & Other Canadian FavsThis is the only gif of Basia I could find but ALSO completely adorable SO?Basia Bulat is one of my very favorite, too-little-known Canadian musicians. As it turns out, I have a lot of these, as I have devoted MANY hours to: (1) listening to CBC’s Radio 3, (2) buying albums for $4.44 CAD in the Canadian-only music site Zunior’s annual Boxing Day Sale, and, best of all, (3) tracking the long and shortlist of nominees for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize--  an annual award acknowledging musical excellence for which there is no submission process, meaning every Canadian artist has an equal opportunity to receive it, and one where anyone with a financial relationship to the music or its creators if barred from voting. CANADA! They know how to boost their homegrown musicians!This year, Basia scored her THIRD shortlisting for the Polaris Prize with her album Good Advice (an honor she received alongside CHERISHED #Damesfav Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion and eight other GREAT albums), which is not just whistling Dixie! Or whistling... Yukon, as might be more apt. She is even Canadian Famous enough that one of her songs was used to score a Hockey Night opening montage in 2013. But she is TRAGICALLY not yet American Famous and I, for one, would like to change that immediately. Basia would like to change it, too, as Good Advice is arguably her most broadly-appealing album to date: a shimmery wall-of-sound pop confection that completes Basia’s reverse Carol King routine, taking her from the earnest singer-songwriter folk of “Heart of My Own” to one woman girl group songs like “Fool”-- complete with the sequined stagewear to match. All of her four albums (Oh My Darling [2007], A Heart of My Own [2010], Tall Tall Shadow [2013], and Good Advice [2016]) are worth your time, but the real treat is getting to see her live. Currently, she has only two dates upcoming in the U.S.(including one in Albany, opening for DAWES, another of my favorite bands! [longing whiiiiine]), but! Thanks to The Internet, you can watch her stun at NPR’s Tiny Desk (which she opens with “The Shore,” one of her most devastatingly lovely songs), and perform a full set at Tornoto’s Massey Hall.  

WHILE we are shouting about Basia, I am going to self-indulgently mention three other Canadian Musicians Too Few Other People Love:Kathryn Calder! One member of comparatively well-known Canadian supergroup, The New Pornographers, Kathryn’s solo music is EXCEPTIONAL and-- say it with me now-- TOO LITTLE KNOWN IN THE U.S. She has the emotional directness and arresting vocals of Neko Case, with more of the sonic flourishes and weirdness you’d associate with The New Pornographers or her long-lost uncle, A.C. Newman. Album to try: Bright and Vivid. Song to try: “Turn a Light On.”Amy Millan! ALSO a solo artist better-known for her work as ½ of synth pop duet gods Stars and with other Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene, Amy Millan’s two solo albums flew under the radar because their sound is that of alt-country/folk where her other work is indie rock/pop. But her second, Masters of the Burialmiiiiiiight just be perfect? So. Album to try: Masters of the Burial. Song to try: “Baby I.”The Weather Station! The Weather Station is one of those confusing bands that is basically just one person-- singer and songwriter Tamara Lindeman -- despite having a collective name that implies many members. Lindeman makes whispery folk music that hits me squarely in the solar plexus. Reminiscent of both Canadian Demigoddess Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, she makes music that is sneakily mesmerizing and somehow quite devastating. Album to try: Loyalty. Song to try: “East.”May these delicious Canadian tunes provoke some Robin Sparkles-level body rollsDame Sophie’s No-Bake, All-Iced Summer Links 
Please read these links while enjoying the very cold beverage or treat of your choice: sweetened or not, natural or processed, rocks or slushie. I put the finishing touches on here while sipping an ice-filled glass of pamplemousse La Croix (which I now accept is pronounced La Croy, though it pains me, though ALSO I know that language is evolving and I should let it go with the pronunciation snobbery, even though it is fun to clear my throat on a Francophone R) with a dash of St. Germain. Anyway.
Mmmmmmm, period drama <3 <3
 My favorite trailers of the week. I just love trailers. I love the minimal investment of time, the excitement of seeing a Hey, It’s That Guy!, the Something To Look Forward To-Ness of it all.KLAXON: Korean director Park Chan-wook has adapted Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith for the screen & let me tell you, The Handmaiden is the kind of trailer that’s going to have “sumptuous, ravishing, haunting, sexy, hot, disturbing” and a whole bunch more enticing adjectives plastered all over it in the next couple of months. There’s another, longer trailer that gives a better sense of the cast of characters and also plays up some of the humor of the film. It’s in Japanese & Korean, but you needn’t know a word of either language to follow right along. A subtitled version for English-speaking audiences will be out in the US in October.Bulletproof. Black Man. Get ready to freak out over the preview for Luke Cage, coming to Netflix in September. I am one of those people who deeply appreciated Jessica Jones & that show’s direct address of rape culture, without actually enjoying almost any of it. This one may well be every bit as bleak in the end, but the use of "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" here suggests a certain infusion of humor (turning that chilling hail of bullets into just so much dust for Luke to brush off his sculpted shoulder), and as a steady & faithful servant of the MCU, I’m PRETTY psyched about it.Gilmore Girls. I cried. Obviously. My Black Friday plans are set & I could not be more thrilled. Bonus: watch but don’t worry about getting a whiff of stinky dead-fish smell with this LIVE Corpse flower cam at the NY Botanical Garden (h/t #DamesPal James)More of a series of tantalizing clips than a trailer, but I am hooked on the BBC’s Forces of Nature promos with floppy-haired, Northern-accented physicist & crush object Brian Cox. Pink hydrogen nebulas! (Or as I like to call them, Lisa Frank Nebulas!) The mystery of hexagonal honeycombMoonbows!  Also not a trailer, but a crucial heads-up that Netflix will be adding one fafillion (# approx) Slow TV titles imported from Norway starting August 5, including National Knitting Morning, National Firewood Evening, and Train Ride: Bergen to Oslo. I can feel the tension flowing out of my body already.A mini-round-up of Ghostbusters stuff: first, the franchise’s Spiritualist roots(the argument here is not wholly convincing, but the historical context is very interesting & I am super-interested in both how humans process death *and* women’s movements of the 19th century, so guess who’s going to be placing a zillion holds at the library), with a chaser of just how MAD people get when women use numbers to prove a point about the film’s box-office take.Congrats, ladies, it doesn’t matter what your voice sounds like, it is guaranteed to be wrong so long as we continue to hold up men’s voices as the norm and women’s voices as fundamentally always deviating from that norm. There’s a real simple solution to this problem out there, I’m sure, I just wish I could put my finger on it!Funny headline, not-so-funny reality: Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Keep Having Sex and No One Is Sure How to Stop Them. The aquatic, vegetarian, copiously pooping pachyderms are an invasive species messing up river ecosystems in Colombia, and there seems to be no public will to cull or castrate them.  In a post-Toast world, Tim Kaine has been nobly stepping into the breach, serving up some high-quality Dad Magazine content, chilling us out with sips from a fine, deep well of Hufflepuffness. Yes, obviously, I love this round-up of Dad Jokes (and there are many more out there, Dad Humor conoisseurs!), but let me direct you to a Storify of my very favorite thing on the Internet this week, Sara Benincasa’s tweets inspired by his speech at the DNC this week. I arranged them into a delicious, desultory mess (kind of a pavlova of tweets?), with a few Joe Biden ones in there for good measure. Anyway, bookmark this now for when things get REAL bleak later on in the Election Cycle.Dames Abroad! 
Please, someone tell us if there’s Charlotte Bartlett & Eleanor Lavish fanfic out there, slashy or otherwise!That is, we sometimes say stuff outside of these pixel pages and we invite you to check out our extracurricular cultural adventures.We were, along with cherished #DamesPal Ally, guests on Anna & Alene’s Bellwether Friends Persuasion Spectacular. Nothing fills us with giddy delight and zingy erudition like debating the finer points of a Jane Austen novel and/or adaptation, as evidenced by the marathon running time of this deep dive into Austen’s finest work. This show has been especially on fire for the last few months, and Dame S has been relying on it as part of her self-care routine.Despite feeling a bit SHEEPISH about being labelled "The Internet’s Most Favourite Librarian," Dame M. did really enjoy giving this interview to Canadian magazine, She Does the City, especially because it gave her a chance to praise Dame Sophie!An NPR extravaganza with Dame Margaret! NPR’s Read, Watch, Bingefeature is THE BEST. Cross-format cultural advisory is something we take special pride in here at the Bossy Aerie, and we’re pleased as punch that there are two features highlighting the ways you can hopscotch from Ferrante to Gamorah, Brooklyn to Call the Midwife & much more. Bonus: Dame Margaret was also on Pop Culture Happy Hour this week talking about the Netflix series Stranger Things (a TV Book Club selection on Appointment TV starting next week) and weddings on TV & in movies.