Category Archives: TruSound Blog

Advice for Teenagers Looking for Summer Jobs

When Kyra Kelly, a 15-year-old who lives in the Bay Area, decided she wanted to find a summer job to save up for a car, she checked the websites of the local businesses she and her friends visited regularly.

“I found that an ice cream place was hiring, and I went to their website and signed up,” said Kyra, who then received an email from the store manager and went in for an interview.

Her experience applying both online and in person is typical, but may be unfamiliar to parents who are not sure how to help their teenagers navigate today’s job market.

In addition to the benefits of making money, having a summer job can help develop organization, time management, communication and conflict management skills. And at a time when helicopter parenting often extends into young adulthood, getting a job on one’s own can be a step toward independence.

But fewer teenagers are working traditional summer jobs. According to a 2018 Pew Research Report, only 35 percent of teenagers ages 16 to 19 held a paid position over the previous summer, compared with 51 percent in 2000. Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that more teenagers attend school during the summer months than those in previous generations. In July 2016, 42 percent of teenagers were enrolled in school, compared with just 10 percent in July 1985.

Despite historically low unemployment levels, “teens just work less now,” said David Neumark, a professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine.

Personally, I liked most of my summer jobs, which included working at a candy store, making sandwiches at a local lunch spot, selling furniture and fine linens and tutoring students. Looking back, I now realize the problem-solving and negotiation skills I used to avert a customer’s impending meltdown about her wedding registry can have lifelong applications.

Now, in my work as an educational consultant, I’ve seen many students use the summer months to take classes, fulfill community service requirements or work in unpaid internships, perhaps seeking to bolster their college transcripts. Student-athletes on competitive travel teams often find intense practice and tournament schedules don’t match up with employer needs. So a summer job may not work for everyone.

But Adam Peck, interim vice president for university affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Tex., believes students should look at summer jobs as an opportunity to develop skills they’ll need in their careers and seek out jobs that provide a chance to refine those skills. “That doesn’t always mean working in the exact industry that you hope to go into,” he explained.

Given how much of the application process happens online these days, navigating a summer job search may be confusing. Here are some strategies for teenagers and college students to land a summer job.

Thinking about the kind of job you hope to do and asking friends and family about potential openings is an important first step.

Monica Thomas, student services manager for Year Up, a national nonprofit focused on young adult work force development, believes much of the challenge is not knowing what is available. Parents, mentors, educators and community members can help identify opportunities that might not be widely advertised.

Jobs may vary based on location and transportation options. In Charlotte, N.C., the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program builds partnerships with private, public and nonprofit employers to create paid work experiences for students over age 16. The program’s mission is “to provide all Charlotte youth with equitable career development opportunities to explore the world of work, build social capital, and enhance economic mobility.” Similar programs exist throughout the country, though program requirements and opportunities vary by city.

Many students make the mistake of focusing on why they want a certain job — ideal hours, a convenient work location, a fun work environment — but “an employer needs to derive return on investment when they pay somebody,” Dr. Peck said. Crafting a successful pitch is all about helping an employer see what you bring to the potential role.

Before applying for a job, take stock of your skills, abilities and previous experiences. It can be helpful to use online resources to mock up a résumé, as well as to draft an introductory email or cover letter that can be customized for each position.

Even if you don’t have formal work experience, you can list leadership skills and responsibilities you’ve gained from clubs, volunteer work and specific academic experiences, said Fahnie Stewart Shaw, community relations and engagement program manager at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County School District. According to Dr. Shaw, an often-overlooked part of a successful job application is having strong references who “will answer phone calls, and emails, and get back with people for you, on your behalf.” If you’ve helped neighbors with babysitting, dog-walking or yard work, they could serve as potential references.

Being both flexible and specific can be crucial to receiving a job offer. Talking to potential co-workers and getting a sense of different work cultures can also be a helpful part of the application process. Online job sites like Handshake, focused specifically on college students and recent graduates, and, allow users to filter results based on certain preferences.

“I knew I wanted to work in the food service industry, but I didn’t really want to work in a sit-down restaurant,” said Ben Hosansky, 17, who got a job at Chipotle Mexican Grill in Louisville, Colo., last summer. “I applied to a number of fast casual places, including Chipotle, and they were the first to set up an interview.”

There may be more opportunities for students in food service, or entertainment and sports venues, than in retail. Students who like working with children might contact their local recreation center or nearby day camps. Nonprofits like the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools Program, a six-week summer literacy program with 183 program sites across 28 states, can also provide summer employment opportunities.

Even employers interested in hiring students might get distracted by day-to-day operations, and a gentle reminder could be welcome. Ben initially applied to Chipotle online and then visited the store in person when he didn’t hear back. “I asked if they still had jobs available,” he said. “They actually told me to sit down at a table and interviewed me about 15 minutes after that and then hired me that day.”

Many states require work permits for minors; check your state Department of Labor’s website. Some information about child labor laws is available through the federal government, too.

Kyra, who lives in California, received her work permit through her high school. Many states also require those handling food to get an additional card or certification.

It’s also a good idea to find out if a job requires you to purchase a uniform or follow a dress code. If it’s a food service position, you deserve to know how and when tips are distributed.

If you’re saving toward a goal and trying to calculate what you will be earning each week, remember that taxes will be taken out of your paycheck.

[Read more about the benefits of summer jobs. | Read a financial checklist for young people.]

And if the job you land isn’t exactly what you had in mind, give it a chance. Before Ben started at Chipotle, he had his sights set on a noodle shop closer to his school. He said he likes his job now, in part because “I really know everybody, and we kind of have a nice little community.”

Ana Homayoun is the author, most recently, of “Social Media Wellness: Helping Teens and Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World.”

A Dose of Coronavirus Reality from Musicians

For a potent dose of coronavirus reality, follow the music.

Many of the biggest music festivals in the nation — Coachella, Lollapalooza, Stagecoach, and JazzFest — won’t happen until (at the earliest) the spring or summer of 2021. Meanwhile, massive, medium-sized, and smaller tours have been rescheduled, many for a year from now. This includes the likes of Mötley Crüe, Lucinda Williams, Taylor Swift, and Weezer.

Such is life with a new contagious pathogen that’s substantially more deadly than the flu, and has no proven vaccine nor medical cures. The resulting respiratory disease, COVID-19, isn’t just a disease for the old: The virus recently ravaged an otherwise healthy, young woman’s lungs so severely, doctors had to remove and transplant both of them. Our altered reality for the next year, and the 114,000 dead and counting in the U.S., is a price we’ll all pay for the U.S. government’s failure to contain the spreading virus back in February and March (states are now largely on their own to curb the spreading disease).

So it’s little surprise that local governments, venues, and many artists aren’t keen on holding or participating in big gatherings or crowded events, especially those flooded with people from around the nation, anytime soon. Festivals are particularly problematic. Even during “normal times” there have been disease outbreaks like hepatitis A at concerts.

“You have challenges with sanitation even in the ideal conditions,” said Brian Labus, a public health expert at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “So when we add an outbreak on top of that, it makes [a festival] very difficult to do safely.”

And critically, it’s impossible to keep all infected people — who either don’t have symptoms or don’t have them yet (presymptomatic individuals) — out of any show, big or small. The new coronavirus, an insidious microbial parasite, will inevitably come in. “There is no realistic way to keep it out,” said Labus, who added that he had planned to see several concerts this year that got canceled.Lucinda Williams@HappyWoman9

Who’s ready? 2021 dates at 

So while restaurants, gyms, and other businesses gradually or carefully open up, there likely won’t be a true return to many shows until there’s a proven medical treatment or widespread immunity in the U.S. population from a vaccine (though the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee and Austin City Limits Music are still on for the fall, as of June 12 anyway). In heavily populated California, a state struggling with rising infections, concerts will be the last thing to come back: These bigger shows won’t happen without a vaccine or effective cure (infectious disease experts emphasize that it’s unlikely there will be a reliable and safe vaccine before 2021). Even when live music does return, however, it’s likely going to be different — if not dystopian.

“When large concerts do come back, expect smaller crowds, higher ticket prices, and more outdoor events,” said Jennifer Horney, the director of the Epidemiology program in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware. She noted that attendees may be required to share more personal information than usual with venues in case there’s an outbreak and they need to be contacted. 

“However, for fans of live music, all these additional precautions just might be worth it,” she added.

What this means for music

There’s plenty of bad news for the present and future of live music, but some rays of brighter news, too.


Music venues, both legendary and new, are getting hit hard by the protracted shutdown. “A lot of them will be out of business,” said Rich Barnet, a professor of music business at Middle Tennessee State University who teaches concert promotion and touring.

Take the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the historic club played by the likes of Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, The Pointer Sisters, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Metallica, No Doubt, Fiona Apple, Lana Del Ray, Bad Religion, and Tom Petty. The venue’s operators now say they need donations to stay afloat. Meanwhile, the National Independent Venue Association, a new lobbying group, is urging Congress for money to keep these venues alive

The extreme minority of wealthy musicians can ride the pandemic out, some collecting royalties from decades-old hits. But most bands rely on live music today. “I feel horrible for the up-and-coming and mid-level artists,” said Matthew Donahue, a senior lecturer in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University, noting they need to sell merchandise and tickets in a world where streaming pays peanuts but accounts for a whopping 75 percent of all U.S. recording music revenue. “They’re the ones who are really affected.”

So, all you Absolute Monster fans. Recent events have had me re-thinking things. Communicating directly with y’all in the Quarantini happy hour has inspired me and I’ve decided to start a Patreon site, will you follow? The music must go on…

As for the corporate live music juggernauts like Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which together employ some 17,000 people, “they’re going to have to do something fast,” said Barnet. “I don’t think they can exist too long without doing some shows. They’re bleeding.”

Concert promoters are going to have to be innovative, Barnet emphasized. “I like the drive-in concert,” Barnet said, as it allows artists, venues, and promoters to get paid — all without inviting large crowds into confined spaces, the environments where this coronavirus likes to spread. Garth Brooks, for example, plans to play a one-night drive-in show that will be broadcast at 300 outdoor theaters in late June.

(The promoters for Coachella and Lollapalooza, Goldenvoice and C3 Presents respectively, did not reply to requests for comment.)

Yet, live music isn’t completely beholden to an industry ravaged by a new pathogen.

“Not all live music in America is filtered through the music industry,” explained Nick Spitzer, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University and host of American Routes, a public radio show about American music. He references how more musicians are playing live via online concert platforms like NoonChorus and the likes of Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Some small clubs, like The Baked Potato in Los Angeles, have been streaming live jazz shows for around $8.

“This is a new interesting reality,” Spitzer said. “The listeners are really into it. It doesn’t keep the little guy out — if they have Wi-Fi and a Facebook page.”

“Not all live music in America is filtered through the music industry.”

A good example is New Orleans legend Jon Cleary. Cleary is promoting and playing live shows on Facebook. It’s like bringing live New Orleans piano into your home. “Contributions from $0 to $1,000,000 gratefully accepted,” Cleary writes. (Any income here, however, almost certainly won’t make up for what he earns as a regularly working New Orleans musician in “normal times.”)

“I think it’s a restoration of the intimacy and the power of live music,” said Spitzer. “It brings live music to lots of people.”

It’s an adaptation to the worst pandemic in a century. Artists are accepting reality and evolving. And over the coming year, more and more people may realize that supporting musicians from afar isn’t too difficult. “Perhaps it’s one of the easiest art forms to support,” said Bowling Green’s Donahue. If the budget allows, you can still buy musician’s music (as opposed to only streaming it) and a T-shirt or two.

When the national tours resume, however, that’s when you’ll know states have a grip on containing this novel contagion. That won’t be soon. “Some cities are going to have worse disease outbreaks than others,” said Labus, the public health expert from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Trying to plan the logistics of a national tour is difficult when everything is going right.” 

So tune into music online. Perhaps pay for the art. It’s still live, if sometimes slow to load.

“It’s not perfect — but that’s life,” said Spitzer.


5 Ways to Channel Your Anger

Protests against the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others are emboldening and expanding the movement to fight racism. But to make progress, many of us may need to adjust our thinking — and our actions. We talked to several African American and Hispanic psychologists and leaders for strategies to fight racism.

You know that old adage: “Don’t talk about race and politics at the dinner table. Well, we’ve got to get out of that,” says Polly Gipson, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychiatry at Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan.

And while many African Americans have the talk with their kids about how to avoid altercations with the police or what to say if they are stopped, it’s important for white parents to talk to their kids about racism too.

“Yes. It’s uncomfortable,” Gipson says. “But we can’t avoid things that are uncomfortable — because this is part of the problem of why we’re not as far along as we should be,” in eliminating racial injustices. And the more people who join the conversation, the better.

“A lot of people of color are tired. We’re tired of being the unseen and misunderstood,” says Inger E Burnett-Zeigler, a psychologist and associate professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She’d like to see more voices at the table.Sponsored

“I think it’s important for everyone, regardless of race, to ask, ‘What is my role in this system?’ ” she says. Ask yourself, ‘Have I been a passive bystander, and how can I change that?’

“Perhaps it’s simply speaking up in situations where you may have been disinclined to speak up before,” Burnett-Zeigler says.

These tragic events of recent weeks can also create an opportunity, because people are fired up. Given all the anger and frustration, experts say there are strategies to channel these emotions into action.

1. Listen To People Closest To You, And To People Of Other Races

Whether it’s your work colleagues, teammates, your children or extended family, one way to change hearts and minds is to listen. When we stop talking and start listening, we validate others’ feelings and emotions. And, we may find opportunities to educate.

For instance, “People will say, my kids don’t see color, and kind of wear that as a badge of honor,” says psychologist Gipson. But if a white person says this to a black person, it can be offensive. And, though it may be well-intended, the idea that people are colorblind is false.

“All kids, even infants, discern differences in race,” Gipson says. “It also invalidates people of color who have a ‘lived experience’ that is not like their white counterparts,” she explains. People don’t want important parts of their identity to be erased, they want to be recognized and respected for the entirety of their person.

2. Use Your Voice In Your Community And Work Place

We don’t all have the audience that sports figures have when they speak out against racism, but we all have a voice.

For instance, millions of people signed a petition posted by Color of Change, one of the nation’s leading racial justice organizations, demanding charges against the officers involved in the death of George Floyd.

At the local level, identify a policy that disproportionately affects people of color. Pick an issue in your community — whether it’s access to healthy food, school boundaries, or bail reform.

Rian Finney, 17, grew up hearing gunshots from his bedroom window, and he witnessed the aftermath of the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore in 2015.

“If I don’t speak up and do something, who will?” Finney asks.

He’s now involved with several youth organizations, including GoodKids MadCity and Baltimore Ceasefire, which recruits youth ambassadors to help raise awareness of gun violence. It has always been young people who push the civil rights movement forward, Finney points out.

And for adults, “look at your specific position and reflect on what power you might have to shift change to promote diversity and equity,” Burnett-Zeigler says. If you’re a manager, have you promoted or hired people of color? If you’re a teacher, have you incorporated messages of racial diversity and civil rights into your curriculum?

3. Give Your Time

If you’ve thought about signing up to be a tutor or mentor, now’s the time to do it.

“Tutoring is a great example, mentoring is a great example,” Burnett-Zeigler says. “These are ways you can use your personal influence in private ways for good.”

If you’re looking for a way to get started, check out the many national civil rights organizations  or find a local, grass-roots group, says Janet Murguia, president and CEO of UnidosUS, a group that aims to empower Latinos to make change.

“We’ve partnered with organizations like Color of ChangeNational Urban LeagueBlack Lives Matter and Race Forward, [which] are all doing incredible work in this space,” Murguia says.

For instance, Race Forward offers interactive racial justice training courses and classes. And she points to the race and healing collaborative supported by the Kellogg Foundation, which sponsors an annual National Day of Racial Healing event.

4. Speak Up By Using Your Creative Talents

“There are so many ways young people can use their talent and gifts,” says Gipson. On social media, we see examples of artists, from painters to jewelry makers, selling their wares and giving proceeds to an organization pushing for change.

“I love that idea,” says Wizdom Powell, a psychologist and associate professor who directs the Health Disparities Institute at the University of Connecticut.

“The idea here is to leverage your gifts and leverage your privilege, because we all have some of that,” Powell says. She points to an art competition that her institute organizes around visualizing health disparities. Art can play a role in healing and activism for health equity and social justice, she says.

“The arts have long been a vital and important way to process emotions, especially difficult ones, into something tangible,” says Jeremy Nobel, a physician who founded the Foundation for Art and Healing. “Expressive artifacts that make sense of the moment, bear witness and catalyze change.”

In times of distress, people can use art to access and communicate difficult thoughts and feelings, especially ones that are hard to talk about,” Nobel says. “[Art] offers a unique and powerful way to speak up, be heard, and be witnessed.”

5. Self-Care Is Important

For people who are reeling from the recent spate of deaths and racial trauma, it can feel overwhelming, says GiShawn Mance, a psychologist at Howard University. She says, she feels it personally.

She leads healing circles, which can help people connect and grieve. She also facilitates restorative justice circles — which aim to bring people who are trying to settle a conflict together.

But Mance says, in recent days she’s needed to take some time for herself. “It’s been hard to concentrate on work,” she says. In addition to the national unrest and the COVID-19 epidemic, which has hit communities of color the hardest, she is pregnant and a close friend recently died. “It’s a lot, and there have been tears,” she says.

This is a traumatic and stressful time especially for African Americans and people of color. “People put a lot of pressure on themselves to act or do something in this moment,” Mance says. So, her advice is this: “The fight for equity and justice is an ongoing effort; thus, do not put pressure on yourself to act or do something in this moment.” And she says, “I’m particularly talking to people of color and black people who are experiencing this.”SPONSORED

“It is difficult to help others when you are not OK,” she says. So, though self-care strategies will vary, take care of yourself and your mental health first, she says. Then “you can move forward in action to help others.”

By Allison Aubrey

Brooklyn Vegan’s Top 25 Albums of 2020 so far

The whole world is out of whack in a way that’s unprecedented for most if not all of us, and basically all people — the music world included — are still making changes to their lives and learning how to adjust. Basically every tour has been cancelled (and temporarily replaced by livestreams), and a lot of major album release dates have been pushed back as well (including Jarvis Cocker, Fugazi offshoot Coriky, The 1975, Margo Price, Lady Gaga, and several others), but thankfully there is still a lot of new music this year because right now we need music to lose ourselves in more than ever.

Given all of this, we’d like to take a moment and catch up on a lot of the albums we love that have been released in 2020 already, so here’s our 25 favorite albums of the first quarter of the year (and one honorable mention from each editor). It feels a little too early to start ranking things, so the list is in alphabetical order. We hope you find something new to sink your ears into during these rough times, and we also probably haven’t even heard all the great albums released this year so far or spent enough time with some of them, so we won’t be surprised if albums we missed here end up on our final best of 2020 list. What are your favorite albums so far this year? Let us know in the comments. Click the link for the list.

The 15 best shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime

Need a new binge?

We’ve looked through Amazon’s catalog for the best shows included with a Prime membership. So whether you’re searching for a snappy comedy, a historical adventure, or an emotional medical drama, we have you covered.

In no particular order, here are fifteen shows on Amazon Prime that you should be streaming right now.

1. Upload

The 15 best shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime

Step aside, Space Force. Greg Daniels’ other new comedy is getting the good reviews.

Upload fast-forwards to the year 2033 when computer programmer Nathan decides to transport to a virtual afterlife. Though his new Lake View home boasts many thrills, he soon discovers that there’s a dark side to his arrival. It’s not The Good Place, but Upload’s take on the afterlife comedy is nonetheless fresh.

Where to watch: Upload is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


Midge is supposed to be the perfect 1950s housewife. That’s why she finds a way to care for her kids, keep the house in order, and begin a dazzling career as a stand-up comedian. 

While Midge might have to deal with setbacks like a cheating husband and a drunken arrest, this won’t stop her from climbing the ladder of the New York City comedy scene.

If you need a playful pick-me-up, it might be time to dive in.

Where to watch: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

3. Mr. Robot

By day, Elliot Alderson works as a cybersecurity programmer. By night, he is a hacker who hopes to bring down his company’s main client under the guidance of the mysterious Mr. Robot.

Dark and suspenseful, Mr. Robot is just as intriguing as it is relevant. It also served as Rami Malek’s breakout role, which means watching the drama-thriller will allow you to witness his rise into the spotlight.

Where to watch: Mr. Robot is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

4. Downton Abbey

The 15 best shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime

If you haven’t yet met the Crawley family and their servants, now’s the time to take a trip to their Yorkshire estate.

This historical drama explores the social hierarchy in England during the post-Edwardian era. While life is complicated at Downton Abbey, it’s just as tense outside of it as major historical events play out.

The Downton Abbey movie, which came out last fall, is now streaming on HBO Max. So if the feature film is still sitting on your to-watch list, it might be smart to revisit the original series first.

Where to watch: Downton Abbey is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

5. Fleabag

The 15 best shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime

In Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars as an angry, spirited, sexually explorative woman from London who tries to figure out her life after the death of her best friend.

Thanks to its originality, fourth-wall-breaking, dark humor, and relatable themes, the comedy-drama has walked away with several awards including Best Television Series and Best Actress at the Golden Globes.

Fleabag is also pretty easy to get through. It’s composed of twelve episodes spread over two seasons, with the longest episode hitting just under the 28-minute mark.

Where to watch: Fleabag is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

6. Jack Ryan

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan received a new screen adaption in 2018. While Alec Baldwin, Harrison, Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine had taken on the titular Marine vet in the past, this version features The Office‘s John Krasinski.

The Amazon Original has Ryan leave his CIA financial analyst desk job behind to run into the field where he hopes to end the schemes of a terrorist.

Pushing an everyman hero into an action-packed environment, Jack Ryan knows how to raise the stakes while keeping its lead down-to-earth.

Where to watch: Jack Ryan is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

7. Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek might have exploded into a massive franchise today, but it all started with this three-season sci-fi series in the ‘60s.

Star Trek: The Original Series has Captain James T. Kirk, First Officer Spock, and Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy exploring the Milky Way during a five-year mission on the Enterprise a few hundred years in the future.

The show’s complex plot and unique character interactions helped define the sci-fi landscape. It continues to influence its genre today.

Where to watch: Star Trek: The Original Series is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

8. Grimm

Though Grimm got off to a shaky start, the supernatural fantasy redeemed itself by Season 2 and secured a passionate fanbase thereafter.

Grimm centers on Portland Homicide detective Nick, who is tasked with keeping the peace between the mythological Wesen and the human race. Think a horror-themed Once Upon a Time with the happy endings traded for terrifying suspense.

Where to watchGrimm is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

9. Vikings

This historical drama has Norse farmer Ragnar Lothbrok rising up from his humble beginning to become the leader of the Vikings. While the show serves up a heaping of gore and tension, it’s also loaded with drama, adventure, and resilience. The next ten episodes of Vikings‘ sixth season are expected to premiere later in 2020.

Where to watch: Vikings is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

10. Parks And Recreation

Leslie Knope wants to make the small town of Pawnee, Indiana, into the best place it can possibly be. The problem? Uniting the town’s less enthusiastic residents (and the parks department) is a challenge. Parks and Rec‘s features all your faves, including Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott and more. If you haven’t ever made the time before to binge, this is your moment.

Where to watch: Parks and Recreation is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

11. Poldark

Based on the books by English novelist Winston Graham, Poldark has the titular captain returning to his Cornwall home after fighting in the American Revolutionary War. Though Polkdark hopes for a peaceful homecoming, he quickly learns that his father has passed, his estate has been destroyed, and his former love is betrothed to someone else. Poldark begins to put the pieces of his life back together as he finds new love, starts a business, and faces foes. Exciting and emotional, Poldark will please fans of British historical dramas.

Where to watch: Poldark is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

12. House

House has the cynical head doctor of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital leading his patients through his unconventional practices. Though Dr. Gregory House is smart, his frequent disagreements with the diagnostics team cause tension to bubble.

The best part of this pick (in addition to the engrossing script and skilled actors, including the always-excellent Hugh Laurie) is that you’ll have a full eight seasons to get through. This one will keep you occupied for a long time. 

Where to watch: House is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

13. Suits

Suits catches up with college dropout Mike Ross after he begins a law career in New York City despite being unqualified to do so. Though he successfully closes cases alongside lawyer Harvey Specter, he must keep his history tightly under wraps.

The legal drama features well-crafted characters and clever storylines, and it’s fun to watch a pre-royals Meghan Markle star as a senior paralegal. 

Where to watch: Suits is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

14. Undone

If you’re looking for something both weighty and stylistic, you might want to turn to Undone.

The comedy-drama follows a woman’s ability to twist time after a car crash and the effect it has on her relationship with her late father.

The story features visuals created through Rotoscoping (when animators draw over live-action footage) that help present its themes of self-examination in an imaginative light. Bonus! If Undone becomes one of your new favorites, you’ll be glad to know that Season 2 is in the works.

Where to watch: Undone is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

15. 30 Rock

Created by and starring Tina Fey, 30 Rock remains as excellent as you remember or had heard. 

The sitcom follows Liz Lemon, another head writer, who struggles to manage the star of TGS with Tracy Jordan and bring the show together under the guidance of her controlling boss.

The seven-season series was well-awarded and applauded for its skilled ensemble cast and spunky wit.

Girl power and good laughs? Check and check.

Where to watch: 30 Rock is now streaming on Amazon Prime.


New Trey Songz Anthem

Trey Songz shines a light on police brutality and institutionalized racism on his new track “2020 Riots: How Many Times,” the singer’s response to the police killing of George Floyd.

“Three or four nights ago I woke up in the middle of my sleep…I couldn’t sleep. My chest was hurting. I got up and called my producer, Troy Taylor and I said ‘We’ve got to make music that really touches the soul, that really addresses what the world is feeling right now. Especially our people,’” Songz said in a statement. “So we came up with ‘2020 Riots: How Many Times.’ With the words in this song I just wanted to speak to everyone’s hearts and acknowledge the pain and anguish everyone is going through right now. I know this ain’t usually my message and you’re not used to hearing this from me, but this is the person I’ve always been.”

“How many mothers have to cry?/How many brothers gotta die?/How many more times?,” Songz — backed by a piano melody, a simple beat and full gospel choir — asks on the track. “How many more marches?/How many more signs?/How many more lives?/How many more times?” 

Source: Rolling Stone

Bruce Springsteen Airs Powerful Radio Program in Tribute to George Floyd

Since the early days of lockdown, Bruce Springsteen has been hosting weekly From His Home to Yours broadcasts on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio. On Wednesday, the rock icon dedicated his latest program to George Floyd, the Minneapolis man whose murder sparked the worldwide protests for equality and justice reform.

Fittingly, Springsteen opened the show with his own “American Skin (41 Shots)”, a song written in response to the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed Guinean immigrant shot dead by four New York City police officers. The song stretches for nearly eight minutes, which Springsteen noted is “how long it took George Floyd to die with a Minneapolis officer’s knee buried into his neck” (via Rolling Stone). He continued,

“That’s a long time. That’s how long he begged for help and said he couldn’t breathe. The arresting officer’s response was nothing but silence and weight. Then he had no pulse. And still it went on… May he rest in peace. As we speak, 40 million people are unemployed. 100,000 plus citizens have died from COVID-19 with only the most tepid and unfeeling response from our White House. As of today, our black citizens continue to be killed unnecessarily by our police on the streets of America. As of this broadcast, the country is on fire and in chaos.”

The Boss then spun Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”, Kanye West’s “Who Will Survive in America?”, Bob Marley’s “Burnin’ and Lootin’”, and a trio of Bob Dylan tracks: “Political World”, “Murder Most Foul”, and “Blind Willie McTell”. “We remain haunted, generation after generation, by our original sin of slavery,” Springsteen said before playing the latter track. “It remains the great unresolved issue of American society. The weight of its baggage gets heavier with each passing generation. As of this violent, chaotic week on the streets of America, there is no end in sight.”

POWERFUL Message From @springsteen dedicating American Skin and then Murder Incorperated to the memory of #GeorgeFloyd.

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Later, Springsteen played Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, describing it as “one of the darkest songs in the American canon.” He called the video capturing Floyd’s death “a 21st century visual lynching,” noting that Holiday was singing about the same thing during the period from the Reconstruction into the 20 century.

Following a recording of a Martin Luther King Jr. speech delivered in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, Springsteen discussed how the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s fight advanced the civil rights movement. (Or perhaps, what history will surely recognize as “the first” civil rights movement). He said,

“Now almost 60 years later, we wake again to an America who burned our buildings, torched police cars and shattered shop windows. The cost that we’re paying for another half of a century of unresolved fundamental issues of race. We have not cared for our house very well. There can be no standing peace without the justice owed to every American regardless of their race, color or creed. The events of this week have once again proven that out.

We need systemic changes in our law enforcement departments and in the political will of our national citizenry to once again move forward to the kind of changes that will bring the ideals of the Civil Rights movement once again to life and into this moment.”Editors’ Picks

Closing the show with Gram Parson’s “In My Hour of Darkness” and the United States Army Field Band Soldiers Chorus’ rendition of “America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee)”, The Boss ended on a note challenging the country to do better:

“We have a choice between chaos or community, a spiritual, moral and democratic awakening or becoming a nation fallen to history as critical issues were refused or not addressed,” he said. “Is our American system flexible enough to make, without violence, the humane, fundamental changes necessary for a just society?

The American story, our story, is in our hands and may God bless us all. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay strong. Until we meet again, stay involved. And go in peace.”

You can listen to a rebroadcast of Springsteen’s show on-demand via SiriusXM.

Something useful if you are looking to be active during these critical times. -Bruce …