Damn Joan Recommends
By Keryce Chelsi Henry
We’re here to help you sort through the chaos of March’s new music, books, movies, and more.
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“The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck”
How to cope with the madness of balancing one’s social and professional lives? DGAF—hard. In this Ted talk, publisher-turned-writer/zero-fucks-giver Sarah Knight suggests creating a “fuck budget” and saving your “fuck bucks” for what really matters. And because there’s a fine line between self-care and being an asshole, she tells you how to be polite while flipping the bird at everyone else’s expectations.
If Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name had a Canadian evil lesbian twin, it would be Allure. Laura (Evan Rachel Wood), who makes a living cleaning houses, becomes obsessed with Eva (Julia Sarah Stone), a client’s 16-year-old daughter. The feeling is mutual, as the sheltered teen is intrigued by Laura’s rebellious lifestyle. But after Eva ditches home to live with her new lover, she begins to detect something insidious about Laura’s attractive brazenness. Will you end up hating Laura or wanting to knock back a shot of Ketel One with her? Spoiler alert: both.
The Damn Joan Madness Playlist
An hour and 38 minutes of madness to play on repeat, courtesy of AMRIT. Hailing from Australia, the DJ and creative casting director is known for her keen eye for talent and her effortless style behind the turntables.
Attention Seeker, The Regrettes
Whoever said that good things come in small packages must have foreseen the Regrettes’ new EP, Attention Seeker. None of the five tracks clock in above the three-minute mark—but that’s more than enough time for the spunky band to grab you by the shoulders and drag you into their world of riot grrrl revival. This go-round, they’ve sprinkled some pop and folk into the mix with “Come Through" and “A Living Human Girl,” the latter of which is an ode to pimples and razor bumps that’s just as relevant now as when we were teens. The bluesy intro of “A Teenager In Love” hints at the band’s time-traveling influences too. It’s impressive, considering the band members are between the ages of 17 and 20, but would you expect anything less from Gen Z-ers?
Invisible: How Young Women With Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine
Being a young woman with a chronic illness is a complex experience, especially when the condition isn’t common or visible. Throw in dating, work, and relationships—you know, the complicated business of adulting—and things grow even murkier, twofold if you’re queer and/or a woman of color. Michele Lent Hirsch’s new book—part memoir, part scientific exploration, part sociological treatise—tells the stories of women united by their medical otherness. Nearly all have been ditched by a (male) partner, talked down to by doctors, instructed by a boss to leave her illness “at the door,” and let down by their own bodies. In bringing their stories together, much like Sini Anderson does in her upcoming documentary So Sick, Hirsch demonstrates just how many women society overlooks—and what can be done to make them feel seen.
More Atlanta, More Zazie Beetz
Season two of Atlanta, which premiered March 1, is nicknamed “Robbin’ Season” because it takes place right before Christmas, when crime in Atlanta spikes every year. But it could very well refer to Zazie Beetz’s scene-stealing appearance as Van (insert rimshot). The girlfriend of Donald Glover’s Earn, she grounds the show in a way that only a black woman could: with her no-nonsense voice of reason. Van is a beacon for accurate representation—even down to her hair routine. And after Atlanta’s over, we’ll see Beetz sharing her awesomeness in June’s Deadpool, the announcement for which she shared a few days late because her phone ran out of data. We stan a relatable icon.
Twentytwo in Blue, Sunflower Bean
Age 22 should come with a warning—one a bit more all-encompassing than Taylor Swift’s indication that it’ll leave you “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.” More specifically, it’s the year when the excitement of becoming legal fades and the reality of adulthood really hits, and so few of us are prepared for it. But Sunflower Bean’s new album, Twentytwo in Blue, suggests that, done right, the seminal year can also teach you to embrace your independence and self-awareness. Created in celebration of each member of the New York band turning 22 by the time the album comes out on March 23, Twentytwo proves that growing up may not be as abysmal as we make it out to be. The secret sauce is frontwoman Julia Cumming, whose sweet voice buffs the edges of the group’s guitar-band inclinations while adding just a little bite.
Apologies From Men: The Album, Lauren Maul
What follows rape or sexual assault accusations aimed at famous men? A problematic apology, of course, and our inability to stomach it. Until now: As a fundraiser for RAINN, comedian, composer, and filmmaker Lauren Maul released Apologies From Men, a collection of (actual, verbatim) atonements set to piano ballads, dance tracks, and one Christian rock song. Thanks in part to Maul’s stop-motion music videos (lots of solemn gazing into mirrors), the tracks reveal just how ridiculous these half-assed apologies are. Expect appearances by paper-doll versions of Russell Simmons, Kevin Spacey, and Harvey Weinstein, as well as an instrumental for the apologies we’ve yet to hear (and probably never will). Fair warning, “The Louis C.K. Apology...Set to Music” has got an earworm of a hook: “I never showed a woman my dick/Without asking first (la, la, la).”
KERYCE CHELSI HENRY is a writer, editor, and music-obsessed human from New York City.
Sunflower Bean image: Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images.