What to do when you’re cooped up inside? Across the globe, our regular routines have been completely decimated. For a lot us, that might mean the simple fact of moving your body around or stimulating your mind is happening at a drastically reduced rate. I’m sure we’re all desperate to latch onto something to keep us sane. Blessedly, we live in a time of ample streaming, and with a simple few clicks we can get a book or a movie or a TV show up and running within a matter of seconds. Truly, I would like to apologize to technology for anything bad I may have said about it in the past. So yes, we can get all the sit-on-the-couch content our hearts desire, but what about something to get you moving? Personally, what’s keeping me from going stir-crazy is music. Is there a better feeling than finding a song that vibes with your very soul, or makes you want to jump around in your bedroom, or maybe even inspires you artistically? Luckily, Hoopla gives you access to all sorts of music to stream on your computer or a mobile device—and all you need is your library card. And bonus: the per-month checkout limit has been raised from 5 titles to 10! All the better to get your groove on.
I have been listening to a few albums on repeat this quarantine season (sorry, neighbours!). First on the list: the masked cowboy, Orville Peck. If you haven’t heard of him, you’re welcome. I always forget that I actually really like country music, because most of it is just so….ugh. But when a country song slaps, it slaps (I’m still waiting on Beyoncé to make a country album ever since she put out “Daddy Lessons”). Peck’s version of country is a far cry from whatever passes as a hit in Nashville these days—in fact, it’s practically a genre reset. A callback to when country wasn’t just about trucks and beer (or, if you’re a woman, killing your husband) but was instead the refuge of outsiders: outlaws, rebels, misfits, wayward souls. It was Johnny Cash singing to prisoners, and Willie Nelson championing marijuana in the red states. Peck, then, is a return to form, and his version of “outsider” is being an openly gay crooner with a heightened, Dolly Parton-esque camp aesthetic and a voice that could melt butter. His music has all the twang and warble of old country, but is softened by influences like new wave synth and dreamy shoegaze. Think of The Smiths sung by Elvis, with lyrics by Lana Del Rey, and you’re halfway to Peck. Never seen without his cowboy hat and mask, he’s the sort of enigmatic figure that inspires immediate and intense devotion—I know, because I’m living it.