Here’s what we’re reading, watching, playing, and listening to this week

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How we’re spending our leisure time.

Everyone has a bit of quiet downtime once in a while. Whether you’re sitting quietly at home or trying to relax on a plane or just giving your busy mind and hands a break, it’s important to relax.

A good way to do that is to read a book, listen to some music or watch a movie or show. See what’s caught our attention **for the week of April 20th*.

Ara Wagoner

Awwwww, look at the little pink deathbringer!

Sword Art Online is back, and we’ve got new characters and a new dynamic inside a world that felt criminally underexplored the last time we saw it! Sword Art Online Alternate: Gun Gale Online (boy, that’s a mouthful) is the latest entry into the popular franchise about VRMMO gaming and the multi-world hijinks its players come across. This year’s model doesn’t seem to have any "you die in the video game, you die for real" drama this year, bringing the stakes down and giving the show a bit more of a slice of life feel, which is a refreshing twist: instead of people dying for real in these beautiful fantasy games, we have a protagonist who finds an ultra-cute online avatar inside Gun Gale Online, one of the most hardcore VRMMOs on the market.

We’re only two episodes in, but it’s been a fun ride bordering on hilarious. LLENN is a newbie who only stuck around in Gun Gale Online because she’d finally found a cute, short avatar, and as a result she’s often panicked and seems to get by on amazing luck. GGO is available on Crunchyroll and Hulu, and whether you’re a gamer or not, this is a show that will make you laugh and make you whoop.

Marc Lagace

One of my all-time favorite videos on YouTube is this gem from back when the first iPhone was released, where a woman with $16K in hand buy her way to the front of the line — only to learn that store policy only allowed them to sellone phone per customer. Meanwhile, the dude at the front of the line made off an extra $800 to put towards his new phone, plus accessories — instantly became an Internet legend that day.

Flash forward to 2018 and that same dude, Marc Rebillet, is carving out a new legendary status for himself as a YouTube musician/comedian/weirdo. He’s got some real talent and has been steadily growing his channel in part by posting live-made music creations he calls "Idealogues" that are equal parts funny, bizarre, and catchy as all heck. To celebrate his channel reaching 20,000 subscribers, he live-streamed a 3-hour performance at the Deep Ellum Arts Fest which is pretty incredible to just watch unsuspecting people react to his art.

Check it out if you’re into recording music at home or simply enjoy exploring some of the weirder corners of YouTube.

Joe Maring

During MoviePass’s recent promotion that knocked down the monthly rate to just $6.95, I finally succumbed to its lustrous appeal and signed up for the service. As such, I’ve been seeing a lot more movies.

This past week, I saw Rampage and Isle of Dogs. The former is a great popcorn flick that has giant monsters wrecking Chicago and the latter is stunning work of art chronicling the story of a young boy that won’t stop at anything to find his lost best friend. This is the first and only Wes Anderson movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s already got me itching to check out the rest of his work.

Lastly, I also caught Back to the Future on the big screen last Sunday. I never got a chance to see the movie in theaters since it came out 12 years before I was born, so being able to finally do so was a pretty great experience. I tried hitting 88 Mph on the ride home, but I unfortunately didn’t make it to the 1950s. Sigh.

Jerry Hildenbrand

Work, eat, Far Cry 5. Not necessarily in that order …

It’s my favorite Far Cry yet because I get to run around and wreck cars, shoot guns, and go fishing — things I’d just love to do all day in real life. I like to think of it as Grand Theft Auto: West Virginia.

Because I’m glued to a chair for the rest of my life I play a lot of video games and usually end up preordering whatever comes next. I also usually end up disappointed, but not this time. If you’re a fan of the Far Cry series or just like to run around wrecking cars and shooting guns, it’s worth the $55.

Hayato Huseman

I started up on Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet last weekend … I also finished it last weekend. The main plot is that Drew Barrymore’s character randomly up and dies, then reawakens as a zombie who can only eat human flesh. Sounds like a cheesy ’80s horror movie, I know, but it’s one of the funniest damn shows I’ve seen in years, and season two just dropped last month. It’s definitely worth your time.

As far as music goes, one of my new favorite albums of 2018 has to be Yeah Whatever by Owane. I love all of Owane’s music, but I think his new album is his best work yet. On top of his usual chill jazz rock vibe, there’s all kinds of crazy cool synth and saxophone arrangements.

Russell Holly


She’s been called "the next J.K. Rowling" and to be honest I find that comparison underselling the experience you get with this book. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is an amazing story with a fascinating magical twist. It’s honestly unlike anything I’ve ever read, complete with emotional characters and a healthy dose of action.

If you’re looking for something different, and you’re a fan of fantasy, pick this up. You can get the Audiobook on sale in the Play Store if you’re not really up for a huge book like this right now.

See at Amazon

Tom Westrick

One of the few musicians I’ve seen in person is Rosanne Cash. She is the daughter of country legend Johnny Cash, and she’s a superbly talented songwriter and musician in her own right. I saw her and her full band perform in December 2014, and saw her again this past weekend — this time it was just her and her husband, John Levanthal. Both concerts were fantastic mixes of history, storytelling and music. Photography wasn’t allowed at the most recent concert, so I substituted in a video of one of Rosanne’s most recent hits.

I’ve been getting back into Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I’m just starting season five. It’s a hilarious show, and I’m glad to see the writers tackling complex issues surrounding racism is police forces. It’s definitely worth a watch.

Your turn

What are YOU reading, watching, or listening to this week? Let us know in the comments!

Update, April 20th, 2018: This is a weekly series where we tell you what we’re into, so check back every Friday or Saturday!

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April 18, 2018 at 05:20PM