Whatever your reaction has been to BU’s gradual readjustment back to in-person classes this semester, it’s pretty clear that this “return to normalcy” is anything but normal. Both staff and students alike have experienced a drastic shift in their daily lives. It’s safe to say that readjusting has been nothing short of difficult. With that being said, there exists no better way to balance out these taxing days with some exciting, enticing, and engaging media. We’ve compiled a list of content that will provide the perfect distraction from our heightened stress, while still serving to keep the mind active all the same.
Midwxst | BACK IN ACTION
For some, there’s no better way to let out all that pent up angst from the week than to dance it all away. On the sonic thrillride that is Midwxst’s brand new EP, BACK IN ACTION, you’ll be moving around almost instinctively from start to finish. It’s impossible not to — the sound of this project is loud, exuberant, and bursting-with-energy. Inside this hip-hop/pop hybrid, you’re treated to wordplay that explores uplifting themes like gratitude and determination. He might be a superstar, but Midwxst is also entering his freshman year of college himself — he understands what we students are going through, and that relatability is incredibly vivid in this project.
Sufjan Stevens + Angelo De Augustine | A Beginner’s Mind
Maybe you’re not a dancer? Perhaps you’re the type of person who wants a nice, relaxing evening after the week’s end to enjoy some equally tranquil music. Well, a pair of folk titans certainly have you covered. The duo of Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine — a match made in singer/songwriter heaven — offer up some of the most introspective, mind-cleansing tracks of the year on their collaborative LP, A Beginner’s Mind. Far too often are we concerned with ourselves during these busy times. Take a step in someone else’s shoes and see their experience with this conceptual offering. It’s worth every single soothing minute.
Britney vs. Spears // Controlling Britney Spears | Netflix + Hulu (FX via The New York Times)
Sometimes there’s no better escape from life than being transported directly into someone else’s. That’s exactly what happens in both Netflix’s Britney vs. Spears and Hulu’s Controlling Britney Spears. Both documentaries are engaging forays into one of pop music’s most iconic performers. The latter film is a glimpse into the battle over the popstar’s conservatorship status, acting as a sequel to The New York Times’ first foray into said battle. The former acts as a brief historical build-up to how she was given that very status and is just as entertaining of a watch (all things considered). No matter which one you prefer, each film dives headfirst into one of music’s most controversial figures and the controversial case that surrounds her to this very day.
Once Upon A Time In Queens | ESPN
Speaking of controversy, there’s a whole lot of that and more in ESPN’s latest entry of their critically-acclaimed “30 for 30” documentary series. This five-part docuseries is arguably among the best in the network’s catalog, simultaneously delighting, enlightening, and informing sports fans about one of the most infamous championship teams in baseball history: the 1986 New York Mets. 80’s NYC culture, immense drug use, socio-political tensions. . .this team had it all. Oh, and they were really, really good at baseball. They talk about that, too.
TED Radio Hour | NPR
Because mindfulness and inspiration work in tandem with each other, hearing an uplifting story or anecdote can be among the best ways to clear one’s thoughts. That’s why NPR’s TED Radio Hour is such a perfect tool for unwinding. This podcast features some of the best minds in today’s world chronicling their lives and tackling difficult questions. It makes for a listen that will have you mentally reinvigorated for the coming days and beyond. I often find myself transfixed on these gripping, expressive accounts of life’s most interesting questions today. It’s just as relaxing as it is enticing.
Darknet Diaries | Jack Rhysider
While TED Radio Hour is enticing for its sheer positivity and uplifting nature, Darknet Diaries might be just as enticing but for completely different reasons. Almost acting like a modern-day version of the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark books, this podcast cues us in on the Internet’s deepest, darkest dangers. When listening to these accounts, it’s so easy to let your mind wander into the gloomy depths of an Internet landscape we all know too well. We can also find solace in knowing that, unlike the unsuspecting victims featured in these stories, us college students are tech-savvy, which works to our advantage.
Billy Bugara, Staff Writer
Billy Bugara is a 21-year-old creative, media specialist, and research student at Boston University. They currently work as a creative director at SoundCloud where they conduct community/scene-focused endeavors, including artist relations, media projects, playlist curation, and more. They are also the social media director for Masked Gorilla, running their various social media accounts as well as conducting episodes of their flagship podcast. They are currently double majoring in Media Science and Sociology at BU, with a minor in journalism.