STAND-UP | When I Googled "Bo Burnham," it was suggested that I instead search the internet for "Bo Burnham sad." Forgetting that he actually performs a song called "Sad" on stage, I wondered if this was because, like me, people watched his new Netflix special MAKE HAPPY and got the impression that the comedian, deep down, is very troubled. Of course, that's all part of the act. Burnham has always mixed clever introspection with his absurdist view of society through a fragmented mixture of jokes and songs. He's never been a traditional stand-up comedian; in fact, he pokes fun at those comedians in his new special.
TV | DOCUMENTARY NOW!, created by former Saturday Night Live cast members Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Seth Meyers, is a sharp, hilarious parody of documentaries both new and old. Each parody is based on a real documentary of some kind, whether it's Armisen and Hader playing former bandmates who talk about how things could have been if things had gone just right, or reckless reporters going through great lengths to explain how they're getting the real story, an obvious parody of the self-indulgent style of Vice specials on HBO. The show premiered on IFC in August 2015 and the second season will debut this fall, so if you haven't checked it out yet, now is the perfect time.
ALBUM | Ten years ago, Band of Horses released their debut album Everything All the Time, following that up the next year with Cease to Begin. The anthemic indie rock songs stuck, and to this day they make Band of Horses listeners nostalgic. The band has had trouble replicating those albums since, but their new album WHY ARE YOU OK seems to lift them in a more promising direction. The upbeat single "Casual Party" draws from their past hits, and softer tracks like "Whatever, Wherever" and "Barrel House" round out a strong album that demonstrates how Band of Horses has matured. ♦