SPOKANE SHOUT-OUT (SORT OF...)
Maybe you streamed Alice Wu's The Half of It on Netflix, and maybe you were charmed by its text-friendly riff on Cyrano de Bergerac. Maybe you even googled its central location, the rural Washington town of Squahamish, to see if it actually exists. (It doesn't.) And maybe you noticed a peculiar Spokane shout-out near the end of the film, in a subplot that involves our protagonist sending a series of press releases to regional news outlets. One of those is the "Spokane Krunch," whose offices are apparently on President Street in the 99217 zip code... you know, a publication and location that both totally exist. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
Chef's Table is not a new Netflix documentary; it's practically ancient at five years old. Yet it's so necessary right now, satisfying our appetite for travel and food shows, both, but moreover our deepest desire for something in common other than a voracious virus. Watch it (again). Let it provide the necessary context to the countless graphs we've witnessed on the virus's impact to fellow food lovers, our global siblings. (CARRIE SCOZZARO)
THIS IS GROWING UP
KSI, or Olajide "JJ" Olatunji, started out making satirical parody songs on YouTube and recording FIFA gameplay for his fans. The London rapper's new album, Dissimulation, flexes KSI's range as an artist. There are autotune bangers such as "What You Been On" and "Bad Lil Vibe," but there's also fast-paced flow and rhyme scheme on other songs like "Poppin" and "Undefeated." There's even an Afrobeat-like club jam in "Houdini." Whatever style of hip-hop one prefers, it seems like there's something for everyone here. (JEREMEY RANDRUP)
THE REDACTION OF CONTROL
Control, a third-person action-adventure game, begins with the player stumbling into an oppressive and secretive government agency Federal Bureau of Control, only to find that you'd been named the department's director. The game is filled with eerie documents of governmental malfeasance, all featuring the classic black-bar redaction that reporters have come to know and love. The best part is the way that documents appear in the "Dead Letter" section of the FBC offices, the destination for internet-commenter-style crazy conspiracy theories from members of the public. The redactions suggest that, perhaps, some of those tinfoil hats stumbled upon something real, possibly by accident. The one complaint? You can't do that thing where you hold the redactions up to the light to see what they actually say. (DANIEL WALTERS)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Some noteworthy new music hits online and in stores June 19. To wit:
Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways. Some seriously good buzz greets the latest from America's people's poet, and I'm psyched.
Neil Young, Homegrown. Recorded in the mid-'70s, this set full of heartbreak finally sees the light of day.
Phoebe Bridgers, Punisher. How good is Bridgers? In a week with new Dylan and Young albums, this just might be the one to be most excited about. (DAN NAILEN)