Posts tagged: comedy

Modern (love and) Romance

By , February 12, 2016

The world is full of books offering relationship, romance and dating do’s and don’ts. The Nashville Public Library owns over 500 titles on the subject of “Man-woman relationships” alone. Where does a lonely heart begin ?!?!?! Last year comedian Aziz Ansari authored Modern Romance, a guide to navigating love in the age of technology. Aziz teamed up with Eric Klinenberg, an NYU sociologist, to conduct research on the behaviors of those seeking romance. The results of their study are fascinating, but not always surprising.   See chapter 6:  Old Issues, New Forms: Sexting, Cheating, Snooping and Breaking up.

In an attempt to ensure that you are properly convinced to read this book, co-workers are sharing their takes on this funny yet serious-as-all-get-out book. Enjoy!

Cheyenne,  33 year old married lady

My husband and I started dating in 2007, right before texting and social media REALLY took over everyone’s lives.  As I read Aziz’s wise words, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude that we didn’t have all of this mess to deal with back in the mid-aughts.  How does anyone keep track of all of these ambiguous forms of communication?  This book touches a deeper nerve than just romance, though, and I really related to the general anxiety of modern LIFE that Aziz so perfectly and hilariously captures.  This book made me laugh hysterically, and it also made me a little worried.  I loved it!  PS: Best book cover of 2015.

Rose, 41, married since 1998; didn’t even have email while dating

I resisted this for MONTHS because I thought that it was going to be light and sort of dumb. It is not. The research is fascinating (especially if you started dating before 1995), and I laughed out loud about a hundred times.

Jessie, 39, Long-term relationship

I met my main squeeze the old-fashioned way, about two hours before internet dating became a thing when my roommate started meeting friends-of-friends-of-friends for drinks through Friendster. Text messaging existed, but it wasn’t something you really did unless it was an emergency. I picked up Modern Romance because I wanted to learn more about these things—swiping right, flirty text message conversations—that everyone else my age seems to have done at one time or another. Thank goodness I did! Since it was co-written with a sociologist, I now have something smart to say when a friend asks me to decipher a flirty-but-vague text message and I won’t embarrass myself by asking my brother about how his Tinder date went. Modern Romance is about more than dating. It’s really a book about the nature of love and human connection. That’s something to which we all can relate, regardless of our relationship status. It’s also going to help me immensely as I develop my new dating app, Tender (for people who just want a really great hug).

Elsie, 57-year-old divorcee returning to the dating scene

I am so glad Aziz was nearby to walk me through the minefield of sexting!  It is all very exciting and I can’t wait to find my algorithm mate.  Now if I could just figure out how to post this glamour shot to Our Time.

Ruby, 24, single, user of Bumble, Hinge, Tinder

Ansari is an uber-relatable millennial who has granted 20-somethings everywhere permission to keep swiping on Tinder.  Or was that just me?  He encourages singles to get rid of their FOMO (fear of missing out) and embrace the choices we are given via numerous dating apps.  His take on the current dating climate–here and abroad–shed light on the many flaws of online dating, while analyzing why so many older people are getting divorced. So we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t, but Ansari pretty much gave a PSA on how to craft a thoughtful message, a much needed reminder in the world of online dating.  Hint: “R U Awake?” at 1:15 a.m. doesn’t cut it.  According to him, it all boils down to the amount of choices we have available in the current dating climate and the not-so-quality ubiquitous matches.  He attempted to normalize online dating in a strategic thought process I definitely bought.  If everyone else is doing it, shouldn’t I?

“Modern love, walks beside me       Modern love, walks on by”     David Bowie

Popmatic Podcast for April 1st, 2015: FOOLS

By , April 1, 2015

Food: A love story by Jim GaffiganGet your fool on full-on this week with double doses of Gaffigan and Evanovich. Plus satrirical takes on the army, aristocracy, vampires and STDs. ST… just listen already.


Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

the works of Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks Make a Noise

Ruthless People

No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman

No Time for Sergeants

The Ruling Class

What We Do In the Shadows


Hunchback of Notre Dame part of Movies@Main

Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich

The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich

It Follows

Heavier Than Heaven


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Movie Review: A Million Ways to Die in the West

By , January 27, 2015

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Sometimes you just need a movie that will make you laugh. Sometimes you want to see Adam Sandler get in a fist fight with Bob Barker or Will Ferrell run around a Nascar track in his underwear. If you wholeheartedly agreed and want go watch one of these right now - you definitely need to see this movie. (If you ran screaming from the room at the mere mention of Adam Sandler – you might want to skip this one. But you don’t know what you’re missing…)

Written and directed by Seth MacFarlane – the guy who brought us Family Guy and TedA Million Ways to Die in the West takes MacFarlane’s trademark irreverence and moves it to where it belongs: The Wild West. The West was a rough place to live. If the Indians didn’t get you, the wild animals would. So many ways to die, so little time.

Seth MacFarlane plays Albert – a local sheep farmer who’s in love with Amanda Seyfried’s Louise. Unfortunately, she’s in love with the local mustache purveyor Foy (NPH himself). Will he get her back or will Charlize Theron have to climb down from her gold Dior tower to save the day? There were parts that were laugh out loud funny and parts that were scream out loud shocking. This movie is not for the faint of heart. My favorite character was Sarah Silverman’s “Lady of the Evening.”

Two notes of caution:

1) Even if he begs for it, DO NOT lend Neil Patrick Harris your hat. You won’t want it back when he’s done.
2) People die at the fair.

Happy watching…

:) Amanda

PS Does anyone else think Seth MacFarlane looks like Peter Brady? Just wondering…


Popmatic Podcast July 23, 2014: The Fault in Our Social Media Stars

By , July 23, 2014

Neil GaimanJohn Green made himself famous by using social media (and by writing great books). We clue you in on the best authors and musicians who are active on the interwebs: who’s real, who’s funny, who’s fake, who’s a train wreck, etc. Be sure to put your faves in the comments. And what is tickling our fancy this month. The team convinces me not to talk about copyright.


John Green at NPL

John Green on twitter

John Green on youtube

Neil Gaiman at NPL

Neil Gaiman’s blog

Neil Gaiman on twitter

Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming” by Neil Gaiman

Mother, Wife, Sister, Human, Warrior, Falcon, Yardstick, Turban, Cabbage by Rob Delaney

Rob Delaney on twitter

George Takei at NPL

George Takei on twitter

George Takei on facebook

Try! Live in Concert by John Mayer Trio

John Mayer’s whole catalog on Freegal

John Mayer on twitter

Cherie Priest at NPL

Cherie Priest’s blog

Cherie Priest on twitter

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Amanda Palmer on twitter

Moz is not on twitter.

Kanye New Yorker tweets

Josh Groban sings Kanye tweets

Nick Offerman reads tweets from young female celebrities.

Celebrities read mean tweets about themselves.


Bao Down Nashville food truck

Night Time is the Right Time” performed by Ray Charles

Cosby Show Season 2 Episode 3 “Happy Anniversary”


Forever For Now by LP

Live on the Green

War by Sebastian Junger

Bettie Page Reveals All

The Notorious Bettie Page


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Popmatic Podcast February 2014: Groundhog Day – African American History Month Mashup

By , February 2, 2014

Just like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, we’re caught in a time loop. We tell you about the best books, movies and music to read / watch / listen to over and over again. Tell us your favorites in the comments. Because we’re ninjas, we seamlessly weave in African American History Month plus what’s tickling our fancy.

African American History Month at NPL


In a surprise AMA on Reddit Bill Murray said he thought Groundhog Day was really underrated.

Sister Act

Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Bourne films starring Matt Damon

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments as a teen comedy

Death at a Funeral UK version*

Death at a Funeral USA version


*These titles are on order and will appear in the catalog shortly.


the novels of Ross Thomas

Chopped cookbook gets April release date

Hatchet Job of the Year Shortlist

SNL‘s Real Race Problem

Oscar Picks at the Belcourt

Goya: The Disasters of War at the Frist

Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan at the Frist

Hate watching” is a thing?


A transcript of the show is available upon request.

Popmatic Podcast December 2013: Family Matters

By , December 2, 2013

Reed / West / Kardashian / AndersonHolidays are often a time we spend with family and loved ones. On this episode we feature projects created by families or loved ones in collaboration. You know like Gustav Klusis and Valentina Kulagina… sorry, I mean The Carpenters. Listen and you will be enlightened. And what is tickling our fancy this month.


Björk & Matthew Barney

Drawing Restraint 9

Charlotte Church’s John Peel Lecture on women in music

Melissa McCarthy & Ben Falcone


Wild Belle

Charles Todd

Ian Rutlege series

Frank & Eleanor Perry

David and Lisa

Lou Reed & Laurie Anderson

Metal Machine Music

“O Superman”

Kanye West & Kim Kardashian


 Astronauts Wives Club by Lily Koppel

Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn (read by Jim Frangione)

Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones (read by Kirby Heyborne)

The Lost Art of Ah Pook is Hereby Malcolm McNeil

Barnaby Rober’s video for David Bowie’s Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix)


A transcript of the show is available upon request.

DVD review: Ginger Snaps

By , October 29, 2012

If you watch one werewolf movie this Samhain, make it Ginger Snaps. Not only does it share its name with my favorite cookie, it is the best movie about female puberty ever. Lycanthropy as a metaphor for male puberty is nothing new, but menstruation remains taboo. Ginger Snaps isn’t afraid to stare menstruation right in the face.

Goth sisters Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) are in a world of their own. Sworn to a suicide pact against adulthood, Ginger inadvertently breaks their bond by being attacked by a werewolf and getting her first period on the same day. The girls deal with this unexpected turn of events their own way on their own terms, the same way they have dealt with everything that has come at them before. Things get a little out of hand when Ginger can’t control the urge to kill neighborhood dogs. It only gets worse killing-wise. Brigitte is forced to turn to the neighborhood pot dealer (a boy – gasp) to help find a “cure.” Will Brigitte administer the antidote? Is their mom really a werewolf too?

Are you thinking this doesn’t sound like your thing? That’s what I was thinking too, but after a reluctant viewing, I was charmed. Isabelle and Perkins perfectly embody the introverted sisters. Their charisma fuels the film’s engine. The script is far more intelligent than it first appears and is laugh out loud funny to boot. Ginger Snaps could only be true to itself if written by a woman, and it was, in this case Karen Walton. The ambiguity surrounding the nature of Ginger’s “curse” should keep you thinking until the next full moon.

- Bryan

Book review: Juice!

By , August 15, 2011

by Ishmael Reed

Juice! tells the story of aging African American cartoonist Paul Blessings and his experience of the O.J. Simpson trial. As a 1960s black radical, it is obvious to Blessings that O.J. is innocent. The management at the TV station where he works doesn’t necessarily see it that way. Hijinks ensue as one by one those around him come to believe O.J. is guilty and his work is increasingly censored by his “betters.” Mirroring Blessings’ mental struggle with the Simpson case is his physical struggle with diabetes. Censorship and illness are both new battles for an artist unaccustomed to compromise.

Reed is an author whose edge has not dulled with age. Juice! is a hilarious satire of the car horn performance art that has become cable news. The book charts this devolution. Though laugh out loud funny, furrowed brows are for everyone as Reed refuses to float any of our assumptions about race, sexuality or privilege. Reed’s work doesn’t conform to formal expectations either. He blurs the line between fiction and nonfiction, and specifically in this case, cartoons and prose. Blessings’ cartoons are included, all drawn by Reed.

Juice! is particularly timely now that there is another trial making the cable news rounds in which the jury seemed to disagree with popular opinion. Doubly delightful for me is the metafictional shout out Reed gives to Gerald Vizenor, one of my favorite under read authors.

Book review: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

By , May 30, 2011

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
by Laurence Sterne

Sorry, I could not finish this. I made it to about page 250. Which was better than anyone else in my book club. I felt better knowing no one else could finish it either.

The same joke — 18th century English gentry’s formal speech is funny ha ha ha — for 600-800 pages depending on the edition you pick up is a bit much. Maybe there was something of a language gap? Yes, but everyone in my book club agreed that when we read Shakespeare we don’t have the same problem. When we read Grandpa Willie we read it and laugh and are amazed. Not so much with Sterne. I chuckled through first 30 pages and the rest was grind. It’s worth noting Shandy was originally published in installments so no one in the 18th century was hitting an 800 page monster.

I admit there is probably a lot more going on thematically than I realize since I didn’t finish. Sometimes the aboutness of a work grows like a benign tumor (or maybe a malignant tumor in the case of a book like Infinite Jest). I reluctantly acknowledge my ignorance and bow out. I wouldn’t feel so bad about myself if the book I am reading in lieu of finishing Shandy wasn’t John Krakauer’s book about Pat Tillman. It feels low. Maybe that is not so bad. Maybe that is like choosing to watch Frontline over Masterpiece Theatre.

Maybe it feels salacious because Krakauer is so compulsively readable. I can’t put Where Men Win Glory down. Tillman’s stranger than fiction life is more than enough reason to read Where Men Win Glory but the book is also a concise military history of contemporary Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the role of Osama bin Laden therein.

If you are interested in religious fanaticism you would probably like Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven which profiles homegrown religious criminals, mostly the marry-your-own-14-year-old-niece type.

If you are more interested in Tillman’s rugged individualism (personally I’m more interested in soft and tender individualism) you should check out Krakauer’s first book Into the Wild, a biography of Christopher McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp, which Sean Penn turned into the popular film of the same name.

But if Tristram Shandy is more your thing, the library has many copies and various editions can be downloaded for free from Google Books.

Grandpa WillieShakespeare Allowed usually meets at the Main Library on first Saturday of the month. The Shakespeare Reading Group meets the at Edmonson Pike branch on the last Wednesday of the month.

Shakespeare and Tristram Shandy really don’t have anything to do with one another.

DVD Review: Death Comes to Town

By , November 20, 2010

Death comes to townDeath Comes to Town
From the Kids in the Hall

I have been a Kids in the Hall fan since high school.  I used to watch their sketch comedy shows on Comedy Central on Saturday afternoons when nothing else was on TV.  I even saw them live at the Ryman a year or so ago, so when I heard about Death Comes to Town I was excited.  New Kids in the Hall comedy?  Sign me up.

And then I sat down to watch it.  The first scene has Mark McKinney dressed as Death in a man thong and reaper cape and I thought “What have I gotten myself into?” Then someone dies – which makes sense, given the name of the miniseries. But who did it? So the whole miniseries is one arcing story line, instead of the old short sketch format.

It might start off a somewhat questionable, but once it gets going it becomes a little addictive.  But addictive like reality TV, not like, say, Glee

The main cast of characters are all new – being residents of the fictional town of Shuckton, Canada.  But some old favorites show up to make us feel right at home: McKinney and McCullough’s cops, the Chicken Lady, and even the naked guy in the towel that I can’t remember his name has a cameo.  There is also plenty of cross-dressing, just in case you were worried about that.

So to recap – starts slow, but definately picks up.  My favorite character?  Dave Foley’s nurse who takes care of Kevin McDonald’s cat.  She is am awesome (watch it, you’ll get it).

Check it out. Watch it. Let me know whatcha think.
:) Amanda

PS Feel free to look away whenever Death McThongy is on screen.  After all, you don’t want to burn out your retinas, or you’ll never find out who dun it.

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