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What's making us happy: A guide to your weekend viewing, reading and listening

This week, Sony announced that Bad Bunny will soon be a Marvel superhero, Dolly Parton told NPR she'd "accept gracefully" if inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Ozark ended (but we won't spoil it for you).

Here's what NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir by Bob Odenkirk

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: A Memoir By Bob Odenkirk
/ Random House
/
Random House

I am about halfway through Bob Odenkirk's new memoir Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama. It was written before his heart attack, from which he has since recovered, and if you've heard interviews with him, that's the Odenkirk you get in this memoir.

He's proud of his accomplishments, rightly so, but also displays a modesty that doesn't ring false. He is a little grumpy, a little irascible and prides himself on being a truth-teller. Odenkirk spends a lot of time on how hard it is to break into his profession and the systems that make it so difficult. He is also very opinionated about what comedy is, what it can do and what it should do — but you can't say the guy doesn't have the career to back that up.

This is the memoir of a very dedicated workaholic who expects a lot from himself and others. It's not the kind of memoir to pick up if you want stories about how everybody he's worked with is a genius, but I'd say it makes for better reading. It also lays out his reasons for wanting to perform that mid-career pivot into drama and action. I recommend the audiobook because he's a born performer, and it can really sell it with that gravelly whispery voice of his (although you might want him to drink some tea). —Glen Weldon

The Guy Collecting Every GAP Store Playlist Ever Made

What do Jamiroquai, Stevie Wonder and Garbage all have in common? If you were walking into a Gap store in the 90s, you probably heard them blasting through the speakers.

I recently stumbled upon an article in Mel magazine titled The Guy Collecting Every Gap Store Playlist Ever Made. Mike Bise, an elementary school computer teacher and former Gap employee, is trying to collect every store's in-store playlist from 1992 to 2006. In the article, he talks about how working at the Gap really made him appreciate and listen to all this music he hadn't heard before.

I never really thought of the Gap as the type of place that would cultivate an open-minded opinion on music, but he talks about how he wouldn't have come across acid jazz or trip-hop if it wasn't for the Gap. And as someone who worked in retail at one point in her life – I worked at an Urban Outfitters – I find it fascinating that he actually really loves the music, and didn't get tired of it, which, if you work in retail, you usually do. But I respect his love for Gap playlists and highly recommend checking out his blog, Gap In-Store Playlists, after you've read the article. —Aisha Harris

Vinyl Nation

April 23rd was Record Store Day. If you didn't go to a local record store on Record Store Day, they do let you come in on days that are not Record Store Day. And if you're not comfortable convening in indoor spaces, you can order something online and support your local record store.

Another way to celebrate a belated Record Store Day is to watch the movie Vinyl Nation. It is a lovely documentary by directors Christopher Boone and Kevin Smokler about the resurgence of vinyl and the connective power of music. I am among the talking heads in this film, but it's a terrific movie that I would highly recommend, even if I weren't in it. They also interview a bunch of other people more knowledgeable than me talking about their love of vinyl, its return and some of the difficulties that come with that. —Stephen Thompson

An Honest Conversation With Josh Charles by Dave Holmes

An Honest Conversation With Josh Charles is a piece that ran in Esquire this week, by friend of the show and great human Dave Holmes. You might know Josh Charles from Dead Poets Society, Sports Night, or a bunch of other projects, and he is now appearing in We Own This City, which is the new David Simon series about the corrupt Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force.

Holmes sat down to talk to him about his family, turning 50, and working post-pandemic. It's a casual, friendly conversation that includes the most quietly devastating take on Aaron Sorkin that I have ever read. But mostly it's just really warm, which is my favorite kind of celebrity interview. Could not recommend it more highly. —Linda Holmes

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

  • If you still haven't read Kim Masters on Netflix, I highly recommend you do. 
  • I am listening to the audiobook of Katie Cotugno's Birds of California, narrated by Julia Whelan, about a woman who used to be a TV star whose life is upended by the prospect of a reboot. It's just excellent. 
  • My one-time Television Without Pity boss Tara Ariano talked to Dagmara Domińczyk (of We Own This City, The Lost Daughter, Succession and more) for Vanity Fair, and the result is delightful. —Linda Holmes 

  • NPR intern Fi O'Reilly adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Glen Weldon is a host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He reviews books, movies, comics and more for the NPR Arts Desk.
    Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
    Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.
    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
    Fi O'Reilly
    Fi O'Reilly is a production assistant for Alt.Latino.