Vague Visages Writers’ Room: Weekend Vibes 4.13.18

Weekend Vibes is a Friday column about streaming recommendations, new release hype and entertainment events. 

Colin Biggs (@wordsbycbiggs)

Jonathan Demme, a master of tone juggling, made such classics as The Silence of the Lambs and Something Wild. But the director’s lesser-known 1988 film Married to the Mob is worth a revisit, as it weaves through genres while somehow mixing mafia themes with screwball comedy. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Angela de Marco, a recently widowed mob wife who becomes the object of affection for both her dead husband’s boss (Dean Stockwell) and an undercover FBI agent (Matthew Modine). Overall, Demme resonantly grounds the farce while preserving the vitality of Pfeiffer and Stockwell’s delightful performances. Married to the Mob isn’t quite as iconic as Something Wild, but if you’re in the mood for a film that changes from funny to suspenseful to quirky in the same scene, this should be first on your weekend viewing list.

Married to the Mob is now available on Amazon Prime.

Leslie Hatton (@popshifter)

Legendary punk band The Damned are back today with their 11th album, Evil Spirits. The terrific first single, “Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow,” was released in February, and it’s everything fans could hope for and then some. With bassist Paul Gray (The Black Album, Strawberries) back in the fold, fans have been waiting with bated breath for this new album. Let me state for the record: it does not disappoint. I’ve been listening to it on repeat for weeks, and it’s glorious.

Opening with that invigorating single, things continue at a breakneck pace on the savage “The Devil in Disguise,” while the catchy but poignant “We’re So Nice” presents Captain Sensible’s takedown of Anglo-American style meddling. So, if you thought The Damned were going to be less political on their 11th album, you’d be dead wrong. This is further clarified by the deliriously wicked title track and “Sonar Deceit,” the latter giving a nod to proto-punk legends The Stooges, courtesy of Paul Gray’s bass riffs.

The sweeping “Look Left” is described by singer Dave Vanian as drummer Pinch’s “great big show tune,” while “Shadow Evocation” evokes the Gothic glory of vintage Hammer Studios films. “Procrastination” finds the band poking fun at themselves, and “The Daily Liar” is considerably less kind to the media’s penchant for stretching the truth. The album closes with the stunning “I Don’t Care,” a track that opens like a bittersweet ballad thanks to Monty Oxy Moron’s piano playing, and then transforms into one of the most rousingly gorgeous chapters in The Damned’s considerable discography.

Welcome back, lads. Though in our black hearts, you never really left.

Q.V. Hough (@QVHough)

This weekend, I’m hoping to wrap up the Netflix Original Ugly Delicious. It’s a highly entertaining travel series about food and cultural traditions, with chef David Chang documenting the beauty of free-styling in the kitchen. At times, he’s incredibly blunt, yet it’s his raw personality that inspires guests to think deeper about what they enjoy eating, and why. As someone who appreciates traditional Neapolitan recipes and despises the concept of pineapple pizza, the first episode is especially challenging, and maybe even a little bit hurtful. But I’m a better person for watching Ugly Delicious.