The ALT INTO
What got our writers through the week.
David Howard King @davidhowardking
I wasn’t sure this Netflix gem would survive the the logical conclusion of its second season–the death of Pablo Escobar played by the phenomenal Wagner Moura. The true crime series that plays as a politically charged dramatization of the DEA’s war on cocaine trafficking in Columbia is at times understated and it was Moura’s nuanced acting that seemed to allow that approach. Also gone is Boyd Holbrook who played the lead DEA agent who captured Escobar–his villainous turn in Logan was apparently enough to make him a sought-after commodity in Hollywood. Filling Holbrook’s shoes is Pedro Pascal who played second fiddle to Holbrook in the first two seasons and also had a star turn on Game of Thrones as Oberyn Martell. Pascal picks up as traditional American action star quite well–he’s Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven and a little bit of Burnt Reynolds. Four actors, playing the heads of the Cali Cartel, have the misfortune of having to replace Moura as a villain. They do it by not following in his footsteps. They are allowed moments of shocking gangster bravado a la Al Pacino in Scarface. That more action-driven approach does not get in the way of the show’s narrative that is based on both political and cultural tension. The occasional nods to 90’s culture don’t hurt either. DEA agents appear in Nine Inch Nails and Wu-Tang Clan T-shirts. Drug mules debate the OJ trial. Bill Clinton and NAFTA loom over the characters. This could be a good Law and Order replacement for folks who enjoy their crime shows with a heavy dose of politics.
Katie Cusack @katiecusackk
Up and coming single releases
It seems more common that the bands and artists I follow–on a local and national scale–are sticking to single releases for the time being. While part of me wants to know why a girl can’t get eight or ten songs to settle in with, I’ve come to enjoy getting bite sized pieces of an artist’s latest creation. Sza blew up Twitter yesterday with “Quicksand” — off of HBO’s Insecure soundtrack and the two summer arrivals from Albany’s latest music wonder Geoff Gordon (“geoff gordon” and “bad love”) have been rainy day staples. They’re genuine pieces of work and I’m looking forward to more. There’s a few more on my playlist, but I’m on oath to be hush hush for now… I’ll keep ya posted.
Luke Stoddard Nathan @lukestdnathan
Tallying the Readers’ Poll
I had thought I knew the region pretty well—and felt somewhat validated to see some of my regular haunts in Troy (SMCo, The Shop, Lucky Corner) make the cut. But there were also plenty of places I had not known about or ignored; I’ve since set about sampling all that. The other night, for instance, I had a very good margarita at El Loco (2nd Place, Mexican). Thank you for voting—it has literally enhanced the pleasantness of my life.