in Movies, Music, Television

Weekly Pop Culture Picks #2

June 2 – June 8, 2013

Take a look at our favorite and most memorable things this week!

J. Cole’s album Born Sinner leaked

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Christine: Two days ago, J. Cole scheduled a big event for his fans – what he billed as a “unique listening experience” of his upcoming sophomore album, Born Sinner. Coordinates were released for the cities of Los Angeles, Boston, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Toronto, and Fayettville, J. Cole’s hometown. Fans traveled to these coordinates, downloaded an app called LISNR, popped in their headphones, and were then able to listen to Born Sinner in its entirety.

Unfortunately for J. Cole (but fortunately for me and all other interested individuals who couldn’t make it to any of those eight lucky cities) the album leaked not long after the event. Thanks to the magical wonders of the Internet, it only took me a little bit of digging to find an online stream – and then I was jamming along to songs “Let Nas Down,” “Forbidden Fruit” featuring my beloved Kendrick Lamar, “Born Sinner,” and more for hours. It’s a very chill listen, the kind of album you can vibe to in your car with the top rolled down and the wind flowing through your hair.

Obviously I feel very super extremely bad about copping the leaked album not even two weeks before it’s officially released, but you know what – in the immortal words of Drake, YOLO. Besides, I’m still going to buy the album when it drops to support the artist, so there’s that.

There’s now an official stream of the album at J.Cole’s website, so you can listen to it without the shame that permeated my listening sessions. You can also pre-order the album on iTunes here.

The Red Wedding on Game of Thrones

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Hera: [Spoiler Alert] I just want to touch on The Red Wedding, a landmark event from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books that occurred in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones called “The Rains of Castamere.” For anyone who is unfamiliar with the song “The Rains of Castamere,” it’s basically House Lannister’s theme song. It plays right before the slaughter of members of House Tully and House Stark at Edmure Tully’s wedding to Roslin Frey, one of Lord Frey’s daughters.

And who are you, the proud lord said,
that I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat,
that’s all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
a lion still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, my lord,
as long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
that lord of Castamere,
But now the rains weep o’er his hall,
with no one there to hear.
Yes now the rains weep o’er his hall,
and not a soul to hear.

You can listen to the full instrumental version here. The National did a version, as well, that played at the end of the Blackwater episode in season 2. You can listen to it here.

In comparison to the books, the scene was done really well, in my opinion. The only thing I really side-eye is Robb’s (Richard Madden) decision to bring Talisa (Oona Chaplin) to the wedding, and for the writers to make Talisa pregnant just so she could die in a really gruesome, horrific way. One of Lord Frey’s men plunges a knife into her womb and stabs her multiple times. Yeahhh.

I have to give major props to Michelle Fairley because she absolutely nailed that scene. She was the highlight of the episode, for me, and her death was the most emotional out of everyone. I love how the camera lingered on her face right before she’s killed. She just witnessed her first-born son Robb get killed, she’s had to deal with the unjust beheading of her husband Ned (whom she loved), and she thinks her other sons Bran and Rickon are dead, while her two daughters are as good as dead. She’s lost everything. And you see that on her face. “Family, Duty, Honor” – those are the words of House Tully, but they’re meaningless now. It’s so amazingly acted and well-done.

The Veronica Mars Cast is Coming Together 

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Max: I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like every week that we’re getting more information on what the Veronica Mars Kickstarter movie is going to look like. From the beginning, we knew Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni (daughter and Papa Mars, respectively) were on board. Then we learned Logan was on board…

Now it’s been revealed that Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and Piz (Chris Lowell) have officially joined the project, too. This just leaves Mac (Tina Majorino) as the final piece of my personal Mars casting puzzle.

While the cast was always pretty large, many of the supporting characters were fun to have around, and in my personal opinion don’t need to be featured in the movie for it to be successful. The core cast of the Mars family and Friends are all accounted for, so it’s a happy day in MaxLand.

Wallace, naturally, will be welcomed by the VM fandom masses, but Piz’s appearance is kind of odd. While he was never my favorite character, I didn’t mind having him around. However, to most, he seemed more like the boring, vanilla Riley Finn to Veronica’s Buffy – and I suspect they’ll be hating this announcement.

Me, I’m just glad this movie is happening period, curious casting choices and all.

Hit the comments below and let us know what your Weekly PCPs were!