Get excited, because it's a great week to get Dame Margaret In Your Ear!
Although Dame Margaret would do a damn good job of tooting her own horn in a way that would charm & entice you thoroughly, Dame Sophie is not going to make her do so, because why should she have to? Please, dear co-host, allow me to brag on you! [Ed. Note: WITH PLEASURE - D.M.]
*pulls up a chair, pours out a piping mug of tea, leans in conspiratorially*
SO. Did you know that Margaret was a guest on three whole actual podcasts this week? She was on Overdue, The Worst Bestsellers, and Pop Culture Happy Hour, discussing, respectively: Little House on the Prairie (yeeesh, super problematic, but worthwhile), Modelland (execrable, but great discussion fodder), and the new Daredevil series on Netflix? I KNOW. I’m so proud of our girl.
Listening to any or all three of these will give you a sense of what it’d be like if we performed this newsletter live weekly, or made a version of it available for purchase on Audible or something, so that we were even more precisely emulating our close rival & 100% perfect cultural analogue, The New Yorker. What? Start Small, Aim High is the Bossy Way. AND! If you've listened to the Pop Culture Happy Hour episode and found yourself intrigued by Dame Margaret's issues with Taylor Swift's autobiographical songwriting, you can check them out at greater length in Two Bossy Dames's one thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine word BOSSY TAKE on 1989.
A (Nearly) Comprehensive Guide To The Music Of 'Mad Men, in which the great Chris Molanphy, of “Why is Song XYZ Number 1?” fame, applies a Mad Style-level degree of contextual analysis of Mad Men’s music choices. Tragically, he does not interrogate what Dame Margaret considers the series’s WEIRDEST musical choice: Its use of “The Infanta” by the Decemberists in opening montage of Season 2, Episode 6 “Maidenform.” Dame Sophie wonders, is that the only anachronistic song Mad Men has ever used? Matthew Weiner seems so intent on getting things just right that your Dames may now have to do a complete series rewatch to pick out songs that don’t fit the timeline. *OR* you, dear readers, can come to us on Twitter and remind us of any such instances we’ve since forgotten. Either way, everyone wins,
NPR Music’s First Listen series has two especially great albums up this week: 'Jackrabbit' by Dame Margaret-favorite San Fermin (just try not to shiver at Allen Tate’s beautiful vocals, just TRY) and 'Sound & Color' by Alabama Shakes, which is accompanied by both a super insightful review by Dame Sophie's cultural criticism patronus Ann Powers and a promo wherein lead singer/radiant goddess Brittany Howard is looking stunning an eShakti dress which--nonsensically--makes Dame Margaret feel even closer to her, as a person, than Howard’s terrific music already had.
“I’m Not For Male Consumption.” -- Queen of All, Janelle Monae, showing the world how to shut down sexist Twitter trolls.
Pitchfork is streaming a forthcoming B-52s album of one of their very early shows opening for the Talking Heads in 1979. Get your early New Wave mad frug on! (h/t Dame Sophie's husband, Marcus, for this one)
And! For those readers who enjoy parsing the sonic ancestors of hugely popular songs, here's some of the (apparently actionable) DNA of Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson's 14-week Number 1 juggernaut, "Uptown Funk!" Naturally, the aforementioned Mr. Molanphy has done a lovely job of dissecting the context of this monster hit, and Sean Ross wrote a sterling piece tracking its musical genealogy for Billboard. Meanwhile, damespal Julie Jurgens kicked off a conversation about “Uptown Funk!”’s progenitors, leading to a few more additions to the lists linked above:
“Endincott’, by Kid Creole & The Coconuts
“Word Up”, by Cameo (featuring a very young LeVar Burton in the video!)
“Walk the Dinosaur", by Was (Not Was)
And then, just for good measure, and because we love blowing people’s minds with the original source material for “Fergalicious”, here’s the video for “Supersonic”, by J.J. Fad.
And--going the other direction--our two favorite "Uptown Funk" tribute videos: "Dark Lord Funk" by K Face TV and Alex Boyé and the Dancing Grannies' "Oldtown" cover.
The Lurid Side of Staffordshire Figurines, a piece we’re calling Not So Twee, After All: Bull-Baiting, Bathtub Murders & More! How Staffordshire Figurines Were the TMZ of the 18th & 19th Centuries. Material culture, we <3 you.
Meet "Rock and Riot," the delightfully sweet and swoony queer 1950's high school girl gang comic you've been waiting for! Young auteur Chelsey Furedi gets across - with scarcely a word spoken! - all the in-class ennui and in-the-hallways excitement of high school. She’s published nine installments, in which our protagonist, Connie, and her ladylove, Carla, have exchanged sultry glances and finally met properly, and we can’t wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds.
We can’t quite tell if the retro listing photos for Frank Lloyd Wright's Ingalls House (just $1.3M!) are actually vintage, or if they’re just styled to show the house off to its best mid-century advantage, but either way, we are sold.
Awww, what a cute barn!
Actually, it's a set of collectible figurines commemorating a super-grisly murder!
Updates from the Frontline of Modern Dating:
One guy's journey from skepticism to enchantment to rage to grudging admiration as a subscriber to the evolving service, Invisible Girlfriend.
A brilliant Tinder hack made hundreds of bros unwittingly flirt with each other!!! The results are deeply, profoundly satisfying to anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of skeevy texts from a bro who will NOT pick up on contextual clues to cut it out...
...like the gentlemen of Bye, Felipe, an Instagram account that captures but a tiny fraction of the absurdity and vileness of male behavior in dating apps. Ugh, AS IF.
AND! FINALLY! Check out this piece of fascinating writing on the financial realities of polyamorous dating, from the reliably great Awl-partner, The Billfold.
Miscellany (This Week, It’s Super Self-Reference-y)
Date & Time: Sunday, April 26 | 7:30 PM ET
Location: TWITTER - use #charade to follow the conversation. Based on our past experiences with you delightful, incisive smarties, it’s going to be a blast.
AND! Another potential Bossy Dames project! A number of you have asked if we’d be willing to offer advice from time to time, so we createdthis handy form. This is an experiment. Maybe you are all so well-adjusted that you need no life/culture/fashion/career advice! Maybe we will be overwhelmed with the specificity and depth of your questions. Who knows? We welcome all questions, but this is not going to become An Advice Newsletter. We just figure...wearebossy. Might as well put it to good use. In short, we’re game, if you are.