For those of us who are lucky enough to be healthy and able to live and work safely at home, life inside the stay-at-home bubble is boring at worst and weirdly comforting at best. Every day is more or less that same, and maybe that is not such a bad thing.
And it helps that inside the bubble, the entertainment show still goes on.
So for your shut-in pleasure, this week brings young love and heartbreak, vintage Eddie Vedder, and the chance to pay tribute to San Diego music legend Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez. It all pairs nicely with your latest batch of homemade brownies and the thanks you send to the cosmos every night. Rave on, everybody.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame archives
Remember the time a shirtless Iggy Pop and the rampaging Stooges covered Madonna’s “Burning Up,” thus scalding our eyeballs for life? Or the night Bono inducted Bruce Springsteen with a speech that was part sermon, part best-man toast and all priceless? Or any time Prince did anything?
With its singular blend of star power, deafening love and one-time-only performances, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is not your average awards show. So the fact that this exclusive musical event will not be broadcast live on HBO on Saturday as originally scheduled leaves a hole in the music-lover’s heart roughly the size of a Keith Moon drum solo.
Fortunately, the ceremony and the live broadcast have been rescheduled for Nov. 7. In the meantime, you can get your rock-star fix with a deep dive into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s online archives (rockhall.com) and/or its YouTube channel. (Not to mention the 2019 induction ceremony, which is available on HBO Go.)
The best way to navigate the balky Hall of Fame website is to go directly to the menu bar (upper left) and click on “Inductees by Class” for a year-by-year guide to the honorees or the self-explanatory “Inductees A to Z.” Click on the name of the artist of your choice, and see what rock-vault treasures await.
If you pick an artist inducted early in the Hall of Fame’s history – Otis Redding, the Beach Boys, Ike and Tina Turner – you won’t get much beyond the name of the artist who inducted them, a short biography and a few photos.
But as you march through time, you will be rewarded with full videos of the induction speeches, the acceptance speeches, and performances by the honorees themselves and/or the artists who admire them. The rabbit hole is deep and full of treasures, both the expected blinding gems and some hidden treasures.
You may think you want to skip the induction speeches, until you hear Steven Tyler of Aerosmith extolling the music of AC/DC with a giddy, X-rated speech involving a hilarious Angus Young impersonation and the glories of something called “panty soup.”
Check out the collection for the 2010 induction of songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and you will be rewarded with a fired-up Eric Burdon going to town and back with “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.” Pay your respects to Nina Simone and bask in Lauryn Hill’s bravura 2018 performance of “Feeling Good.”
Meanwhile, on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s YouTube channel, you can lose a whole stay-at-home day to curated video playlists dedicated to individual artists (the Beatles, the Rolling Stones) and to such “Top Moments” as Mick Jagger and Fergie going toe to toe on “Gimme Shelter” and a very young Eddie Vedder channeling Jim Morrison for a 1993 performance with the Doors.
And before you call it a rock ‘n’ roll night, light a few candles and summon the 2004 performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” featuring Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne of ELO and Prince, in which the three legends pay tribute to the late George Harrison with a wonder of a performance that sends the song directly to musical heaven. Stay until the very end for a stunning surprise from Prince and his guitar. You might just sob for joy.
“Normal People” on Hulu
For Hulu’s latest book-club crush, the streaming-TV outlet that brought you original series based on Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity” and Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” is taking on Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel “Normal People.”
Judging by the stellar casting, the many swooning shots of Ireland and the intelligent scripts written by Rooney, along with Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, Hulu has fallen hard for Rooney’s vivid novel about young love between two unlikely high school soulmates, and it shouldn’t take long for you to become besotted, too.
Daisy Edgar-Jones and TV newcomer Paul Mescal star as the bookish odd-duck Marianne and the popular, soccer-playing Connell, two smart, book-loving young people who carry on a secret romance during their senior year in high school and beyond.
Through 12 half-hour episodes, Marianne and Connell have many intense conversations about their feelings, a lot of tenderly filmed sex, and many breakups. They love each other like crazy, but they also hurt each other in a way that only true soulmates can. It may sound like a lot of overheated teen drama, but the performances are so raw and the conflicts feel so real, you will become thoroughly invested in every teary confession and each dark night of the soul.
The show became available in its entirety on Wednesday, but you will want to make this one last. Television love means never have to say you binged.
The 2020 San Diego Latino Film Festival has been postponed until later this year, but you can still catch some of the best in Latino films with LATINOFILM@Home, a new video-on-demand channel that will feature past and current Latino Film Festival hits. The program kicks off with “Singing Our Way to Freedom,” San Diego filmmaker Paul Espinoza’s documentary about local music legend and Chicano civil rights leader Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez. The film will be available Friday through May 14, and Espinoza will do a live Q&A on the San Diego Latino Film Festival’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. on May 6. Go to sdlatinofilm.com for information.