Culture

We Recommend: Your Friday Freebies

Junkee-endorsed bits and bobs to make your weekend better. Includes the best new storytelling blog, a mixtape, Soderbergh madness, and an eel slap.

Each Friday, our contributors send in a bunch of (legally) free stuff they’ve come across this week to help you waste your weekend. You’re welcome.

Blog: What We Wrote

Recommended by: Brendan Maclean

For those keen to read up on other people’s personal disasters, travel horrors and other such growing pains, What We Wrote is the best new story-telling blog I’ve come across. Highlights so far have included such tales as ‘I Went On A Date With A Guy I Met At Boost Juice‘ and ‘My Brazilian Dorm-Mate Wet Herself Quite Severely‘ and ‘I Went On A Tinder Date With A Prostitute‘. Feel-good stuff, ya know.

Mixtape: 3 Seashells, by Lakutis

Recommended by: Alexander Tulett

Anyone who caught Das Racist on their first (and only) Australian tour would have also been privy to the shirtless spectacle of Lakutis, their support act, DJ and guest hype-man on that tour. The New York native’s 2011 debut release I’m In The Forest was a beautiful slab of pop culture stream-of-consciousness, and while his new mixtape 3 Seashells retains a lot of the same silliness, the Sinister Dial has been turned way up. Parts of this mixtape feel downright menacing.

Lakutis’ delivery is sharp and emotive, and his beat choice is impeccable. Fans of weirdo outsider-rap need to get on this immediately.

Sadism: Eel Slap

Recommended by: Elizabeth Flux (‘Is It Time To Return To Downton Abbey?‘)

I don’t know. Maybe you’ve had a bad week. Or perhaps you’re just really curious about the physics of it all. You might even just be a Monty Python fan. Whatever the reason is, if you click this link, you can slap a man in the face with an eel.

Eeel2

This site raises more questions than something that’s essentially an interactive GIF should. Who is this polo-shirted man? Why can you only slap him right to left? Is he being paid for this? And, more importantly, why is the person doing the slapping wearing what looks like a full-blown, Back to the Future-esque radiation suit?

Steven Soderbergh: Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Seen, Read 2013’ list

Recommended by: Matt Roden (‘House Of Cards Hangover: Was Season Two Worth The Binge?‘)

Steven Soderbergh always kept himself very busy (in the past five years, he directed nine feature length films, and exec produced a few others and a documentary or two). Now that he’s retired, he’ll be properly able to catch up on those movies, books and TV shows that he’s been meaning to get at.

Can you believe that last year, while filming and releasing Side Effects and Behind The Candelabra, doing the award circuit, and probably clearing out his office, he only managed to sit down and watch 114 films? You can see what else he watched and read on his bizarre website. It’s insanely impressive/bewildering, and would make for a pretty good movie/book club schedule (you could also ponder why he binged on Bond films for a month).

He’s long been rumoured to be trying to put together a Man From U.N.C.L.E. flick with Clooney, but he’ll probably be too busy on the couch to get around to that now.

Soderbergh

Music video: The Smith Street Band’s ‘Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams’ 

Recommended by: Jaymz Clements

I grew up as a little punk kid in the cultural wastelands of country Victoria, playing in terrible bands with mates, seeing other friends play in their (way better) bands, sneaking into pub shows while underage to see bands like Bouncing Souls, Mach Pelican and Unwritten Law and generally loving the sense of camaraderie and bonhomie that music engenders. Punk, however, has its own sense of collective esprit de corps, and few bands embody that ethos better than The Smith Street Band.

With their joyous, whipsmart riffage and Wil Wagner’s plaintive tales, the fact that they’ve struck such a chord with people everywhere is enough to reaffirm your faith in humanity (or, at least its taste in music). If people the world over can appreciate a band that calls their EP Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams and writes a song by the same name that’s laden with such brazen emotional honesty, then, you know, it might all be okay (well, until Pitbull releases another record and we’re all fucked again).

This clip — shot/edited/directed by Andy Johnson — was put together while the band toured around the world in the second half of last year, and, really, you could’t ask for a better riposte for anyone who wants to fuck with anyone else’s dreams.

Website: TheNewerYork

Recommended by: Patrick Lenton

I’ve been researching what’s new in the way of experimental lit journals on the interweb, convinced that someone has to be doing SOMETHING other than reproducing paper journals onto the screen. One of my favourites is TheNewerYork, because from the very first click onto their site, the way you interact with their content is completely different.

Eeel

Instead of the curated, linear experience of most online journals, everything here is sorted by category, genre, style, etc. It’s fun to just start clicking around at random and reading a new microfiction, a new flash memoir, a new prose poem. I have a documented weakness for anything comedy-related, so I was able to filter out any work that might make me really sad with great ease. In no way am I saying that I’ve enjoyed every single thing I’ve read on there (that’s impossible, right?), but it’s been one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had with lit for a long time. Highly recommend, would bang, 10/10.

Trailer: Frank

Recommended by: Chris Bright

Forget the hype surrounding the new trailer for Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, and start getting excited for this indie gem from Lenny Abrahamson instead. The best thing about this isn’t that it’s loosely based on a true story (of musician Chris Sievey) or that it features a very likeable support cast of Maggie Gyllenhaal, About Time‘s Domhnall Gleeson and up-and-comer Scoot McNairy — it’s mainly the man behind the mask. If you can guess who plays the titular character before the credits without using Google, we’ll be very impressed. Frank is due for release in May.

Article: ‘Alan Thicke, The Most Interesting Man In The Sports World’

Recommended by: Rob Moran

Prepare for your mind to be blown: Alan Thicke — iconic TV dad, master sitcom theme composer, and unfortunate father of Robin — has apparently been living a double-life as some sorta weirdo, real-life sports Zelig or Forrest Gump , a permanent fixture front-and-centre at many of the greatest moments in sports history.

According to this article, he’s played pick-up games with Michael Jordan, hit the fairways with Jack Nicklaus, played tennis with Hall Of Famer Chris Evert, even greased over the infamous Wayne Gretzky trade from Edmonton to the LA Kings that kinda exploded ice hockey in the late ’80s. Yes, that Alan Thicke. Dr. Jason Seaver. He did all of these things. The world is an amazing place.