Staff Picks: What We're Loving This Week

There's a lot of content out there - music, movies, TV shows, books, what have you - and precious little time. So when the weekend hits and you're looking to unwind, it's easy to get a little lost. To help you navigate this jungle of stuff, our Civilized staffers humbly offer some of their favorite things. Have a recommendation of your own? Let us know in the comments.

'Master of None' Season 2


I was on the fence about the first season of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, and while I’m willing to admit this may have (at least partially) been born from a stubborn belief that no Ansari role could ever surpass the hysterical brilliance of Tom Haverford in 'Parks & Recreation', I still never managed to get fully on-board with the new Netflix original.

After bingeing on the newly released second season, however, I’m happy to say I’ve officially picked a side – the side that fully endorses 'Master of None' and thinks you should, too. Ansari brings his progressive and relatable brand of humor to ultra-contemporary storylines big and small to this far more sophisticated second season. The result is an imaginative, tender and laugh-out-loud-funny offering that I’ll likely return to in weeks to come.

-- Tess Allen, Associate Editor / Writer

Slowdive, s/t

Nowadays, your average rock band is as unkillable as Jason Voorhees. The Pixies, Pavement, Guns ’n Roses, whatever - all have overcome personal animosity and/or creative inertia to hit the summer festival circuit, playing for throngs of nostalgic parents and millennials who have weaned themselves on the vinyl remasters of classic albums. While such reunions can be joyful live experiences, you’d be hard-pressed to find any post-reunion records that live up to the classics.

So big ups to Slowdive for breaking this trend. The British shoegaze band - a genre so-called because the musicians tend to keep their eyes glued to the stage to manage their effects pedals - ended their first run in 1995 after three fine albums but minimal commercial success.

Now, 22 years later, the band has reintroduced itself with a filler-free album of eight hypnotic songs just begging to be played very loudly in a cavernous room (or on a set of nice headphones). Think The Cure with a much lighter touch, or My Bloody Valentine with more melody, and you’ll have an idea of how this atmospheric and replayable album sounds. In a 1991 interview with the New York Times, singer/guitarist Neil Halstead stated that the band’s goal was "to create something big and beautiful and sort of timeless.” Mission accomplished.

-- Neil Bonner, Community Manager

The Beatles, 'Rain'

It's been raining steadily in Saint John today. And whenever that happens, I like to give The Beatles' 'Rain' a spin. 

A lot of rock fans aren't as familiar with that song as the Fab Four's other hits. The track fell into obscurity because it's the B-side to the 1966 single 'Paperback Writer.' And The Beatles rarely put singles on their albums back in the day, so for a long time, you could only get it on the compilation album Past Masters, which is an excellent source of other lesser-known Beatles hits.

The sprinkling of psychedelia in 'Rain' is perfect for chasing away any blues that wet weather can bring. And if the sun comes out midway through the tune, you can always put on 'Good Day Sunshine' instead.

-- James McClure, Associate Editor / Writer


After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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