As you stalwarts of Dames Nation know, we here at Dames HQ are passionate Kesha fans. From her giddy Andrew WK-as-a-pop-starlet persona to herincredible bravery in facing down her abuser despite that fight nearly ending her career, she is a JUSTLY BELOVED #Damesfav.
Which makes the fact that her newest song, from her first album in nearly five years, is a TRANSCENDENT bop feel like such a blessing. While the lead single, “Praying,” is an astonishing piece of confessional songwriting, powerfully composed and devastatingly performed, it’s the raucous, gold lamé delight of this new song “Woman”, where Kesha sounds so happy and strong, where a track of her and her co-writers laughing hysterically in the booth is spliced in throughout the funky horn riffs of the Dap-Kings, that brought Dame Margaret to tears. Kesha deserves to be this happy and strong. She deserves to be making motherfucking BOPS. And we are so happy that she’s back on stage where she’s supposed to be.
Needless to say, We Your Dames can’t wait to perform this one at karaoke, and are VERY eager to hear what more Kesha has to show us.
AUGUST LIVETWEET ANNOUNCEMENT! Get ready for some HOT FUZZ!
It's for THE GREATER GOOD.
Summer, as we all know, is the time for Cornetto ice cream treats, explosions, and the best bromantic comedy that has ever been made: Edgar Wright’s HOT FUZZ. We Your Dames could not be more excited to share this movie with you, one of the silliest extremely smart movies we have ever been lucky enough to adore. So come join us on SUNDAY, AUGUST 6th at 7:30 PM EST, as we livetweet this underrated classic (currently streaming on Netflix!) at the factually accurate hashtag #HotDames. We hope you all love Detective Nicholas Angel and PC Danny Butterman as much as we do.
Bossy Spotlight: Playing House
You will never understand how you survived without Maggie and Emma. Trust us: before they came into your life, you missed them so bad.
SPEAKING OF deeply romantic friendships, HOW is it possible that we have not yet raved at length about USA’s sitcom PLAYING HOUSE, arguably the best televisual depiction of friendship since Parks and Recreation went off the air?! The show, about a high-flying businesswoman who moves back to her small Connecticut hometown to help her best friend raise a baby, is probably the best gift Dame Margaret ever gave Dame Sophie-- she bought Season 1 for her on DVD as a surprise and that exact box set has now been sent around the country to many OTHER friends, building #Damespal by #Damespal the cult that this terrific show deserves. Maggie and Emma, the best friends in question, are played by real-life best friends Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, who also serve as the show’s head writers. The friendship is warm, specific, and heartbreakingly tender. The Will They, Won’t They romance between Emma and her high-school sweetheart Officer Mark is as fizzy and swoony as what you’d find in any truly great romantic comedy and will forever cement Keegan-Michael Key in your heart as a Crush to End All Crushes.
Officer Mark, Captain of Our Hearts.
Everything about this show is perfectly, lovingly constructed, from the Besties Making A Life Together plotting, to the mini-Stars Hollow features of Pinebrook, to the guest characters. Maggie’s ex-husband Bruce starts out as a rather pathetic, philandering boob, but eventually finds himself as a competent & loving father. Emma’s mother -- in a master stroke of casting, played by Jane Kaczmarek, whose dimples match Jessica St. Clair’s -- is an impossible, Talbots-clad nightmare, but is also exactly the kind of mother you can see raising a young, rebellious Emma. Let us not even speak of the glories of Maggie’s brother Zach (who you may already know as Jared, the true hero of HBO’s Silicon Valley) and Tina, aka Bird Bones! Even people who show up for just one or two episodes (Maggie’s divorce lawyer, Emma’s surgeon) are beautifully integrated into the whole.
And THE JOKES. MY GOD, THE JOKES! There are SO many of them and they are all SO funny! Parham and St. Clair have created a show where there’s snappy scripted dialogue galore, and plenty of room for really successful improvisation. Ready to watch yet? GREAT! All three seasons are now available either to purchase outright (#WorthIt) or via a $3.99-a-month subscription to micro-streaming platform, Seeso-- with only 26 half-hour episodes, you could even watch it in the 7-day trial period without straining any muscles. Or, if you’re a cable subscriber, you can find this most recent season On Demand!
The interview here between Jessica, Lennon, and #Damesfav Linda Holmes, speaks about the plot of Season 3, but not in a way that would damage your enjoyment of it, and it does such an incredible job of illustrating how the creators real friendship informs their show, and their capacity to wring body-shaking humor from even the most challenging circumstances. And, when you’ve devoured all three seasons, you’ll want to check with our dear friend Kathryn’s essay about the incredible emotional-humor balancing act Parham and St. Clair achieve with season 3.
Seriously. Watching the show feels as good as receiving this hug looks.
Dame Sophie’s Low-Key Linky Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind
Bear with me, this is going somewhere, promise.
Hey, frondaloos, three days of my week have been stolen by a nasty (and intractable, despite the best efforts of me & my prescription medications) migraine, how are you? Not a single one of my friends or family members are willing to step up with a newly sharpened guillotine to humanely put me out of my misery (Not even I, her cherished co-newsletter editor, am willing to do the job. It’s just such a nice head! - Dame M.). What a rip-off! Soooo, I’m gonna keep it real brief here today in honor of #UGHbodies & will hope to be back to normal next week!
SEE?! Pugsley has the right idea!
When will your fave ever
wield her understanding of Renaissance iconography this cleverly?
BEYBIES BEYBIES BEYBIES!! This morning, I woke up to an Instagram notification that Beyonce had posted something new & I knew it would be a gorgeous image of her with her twins, Sir Carter and Rumi. I absolutely should have known it would be in the same glorious vein as her pregnancy announcement photos, but it was 6:15 and I hadn’t had my tea yet, so I’m giving myself a pass on that one. Here’s a profile of her photographer, Daniela Vesco, and a refresher on the iconography of the initial pregnancy announcement, by one of our favorite culture critics, Cate Young.
File under: I want to go to there: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating the 50th anniversary of From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler tomorrow. If you can’t make it to Manhattan this weekend,Hyperallergic’s guide to recreating the magic on your own time is super-handy. And the hilarious episode our pals at Overdue made on this bookwill hopefully make you giggle enough that you forget the pain of missing out.
Important viewing announcement! Throughout the fall, PBS is going to rebroadcast their presentations of a bunch of crowd-pleasing musicalsincluding noted #DamesFav She Loves Me, Christmas classic Holiday Inn, and, most importantly of all, In The Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams and the Hamilton documentary so many of us enjoyed together last October!
Vital food service journalism (produced in a pretty low hanging fruit sort of way, but still): The 26 best Jewish delis in America, according to Foursquare (who knew Foursquare was still a thing?). Relatedly, as a lifelong selter aficionado, I am pretty much over the moon about the announcement of these special limited-time flavors Polar has just announced. My life is very glamorous, friends!
It’s not too early to start thinking about the Winter Solstice, right? Ok, good. At the Five Million Star Hotel in Iceland, you can fall asleep in a warm bed encased in a cozy bubble in the woods, while observing the Northern Lights. Before they’re visible, layer on the Icelandic charm by reading one of their many popular murder mysteries. If that’s not #HyggeAF I honestly don’t know what is!
Can you believe this is real?! Let your mind take effect!
Dame Margaret’s Linky Remainders
So good that I hope you'll forgive it for not being a gif.
Given that I am a sucker for both vintage graphics and summer reading, of course I have to share the Free Library of Philadelphia’s digital collection of Summer Reading Club posters from the 1970s.
Another established enthusiasm of mine is historical cemeteries, which means this moving article about how even THEY are not free of racial disparitieswas a must-read for me. When you contrast the challenges facing the historically black cemeteries of that piece with the predominantly white ones discussed in this (excellent) episode of 99% Invisible, the differences are especially glaring.
If somehow you have not already started listening to It’s Been a Minute with NPR’s Sam Sanders, formerly the anchor of their politics podcast, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you drop everything and begin. The show puts out two episodes a week-- releasing a fun, chatty round-up episode addressing the news and pop culture of the week on Friday afternoons and an in-depth interview between Sam and with a particular artist or writer every Tuesday-- including one with #Damesfav Anne Helen Peterson!-- and it’s just delightful. A special treat is the end of the Friday episodes, where listeners call in and share the best thing that’s happened to them all week-- I have yet to make it through one without tearing up.
Related, if you like NPR as much as we do, you might consider taking a minute to sign this petition encouraging NPR’s management to work with their reporters’ union to protect their core job benefits. On a personal level, every person I have ever collaborated with at NPR has been kind, conscientious, hard-working, fun, and trustworthy. It has always felt like a building full of the good guys. Even if they didn't make programs that genuinely made me who I am today, even if I did not find their reporting to be among the most valuable and illuminating work I encounter, I would want to stand up with them simply because they are stand-up people. They are the ones you'd want in your corner. Standing up and making sure I’ve got their backs just feels like the right thing to do.
I am pretty sure that the rights NPR’s reporters need protected don’t encompass PET CATS FOR THEIR FOREIGN NEWS BUREAUS, but arguably they SHOULD?
I know I already raved about the excellence of the New York Times’s Still Processing podcast just a few weeks ago, but guyyyyyyys their episode on Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and the conversation between Lemonade and Jay’s new album 4:44 is JUST SO GOOD????? So I must rave about Wesley and Jenna anew.
The Harold Herald
~*~ Being an occasional round-up of the antics of His Grace, Harold Elizabeth Styles, Esq., once & future of One Direction, presently of Dunkirk. ~*~
The face of pure delight, bless his sweet alien heart.
Here’s what I’ve got for you: he did tons of Dunkirk promotional interviews (YouTube is very well-stocked, some favorites include this one alongside Kenneth Branaghand this one with Fionn Whitehead), leading up to the London premiere last night. The fandom was freaking out with pure, giddy delight. What suit would he wear? Would it be outrageous? Would he stroll the red carpet solo or with a date? Friends, he wore a very normal suit with very extra boots, his hair was fairly sparkling with stardust from his alien homeworld, and his date was his mother, Anne. Also, he had a moment with The Other Harry (who we also dearly love).