Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Tom Hardy in Locke


The gimmick almost made me not watch Locke, the one-man movie from earlier this year starring Tom Hardy. It definitely gave my mom pause, too, but once we started the movie, what seemed like a contrivance quickly became what made it work. Hardy is literally the only face on camera for the entire 85-minute running time; he’s seated in his BMW X5, talking on the phone (hands-free, of course). His journey takes place in roughly real time, as he speeds toward an important (but not action-movie-style important) event while at the same time trying to keep his home and work lives intact. I won’t spoil any of the plot—it’s only a wisp, anyway—but I’ll say that Hardy gives an incredible performance, switching modes depending on who’s dialing him up at the moment. One minute he’s gentle, the next he’s boiling with frustration. It feels like a filmmaking exercise, sure, but it’s a remarkable one. Oh, and it just came out on DVD and Blu-ray. [Josh Modell]


Faribault Woolen Mill Co. throw

I have a favorite fabric, and that fabric is wool. I adore the feeling of the first wool sweater of autumn when the air is crisp. I love pulling on wool ragg socks in the winter when the hardwood floors are too cold to comfortably walk barefoot on. And little makes me happier than arriving home after a cold commute to a bed adorned with the fabric, ready for me to swaddle myself in. So, the arrival of a charcoal, dot wool throw from Faribault Woolen Mill Co. is a welcome addition to the ever-growing pile of wool bedding in my apartment. Small enough to tote to the couch with me for movie marathons, but still warm enough to get me through another polar vortex, it’s the perfect winter companion. The throw also carries with it a rich history of the Midwest. Founded in 1865 in Faribault, Minnesota, the woolen mill was producing nearly half of the blankets in America by the 1960s. With that many years of experience, the quality of the product is outstanding and I look forward to bundling up with this throw for many years to come. [Becca James]

Son Little, Things I Forgot EP

My adoration of Son Little’s “Cross My Heart” and “Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches” has been well documented around these parts, and now a six-month wait for new Son Little music is finally over, as this week marks the release of his first official EP, Things I Forgot. Though still too short at just five tracks plus a remix, it serves its purpose: introduces the artist, never overstays its welcome, whets the appetite for a Son Little LP. In addition to the aforementioned tracks, there’s the stellar kick-off jam, “The River,” an upbeat, foot-stomping treat that is bathed in the blues and has cemented a spot as my wake-up song for the foreseeable future after just three plays. Rounding out the list is the percussive, jazzy “Alice” and just about the most mournful song to be titled “Joy.” The whole package is wrapped up with a funky, reggae-inflected “Cross My Heart” remix from RJD2 (whose “A Beautiful Mine” serves as the theme music for Mad Men). And if you get caught dancing or singing along while waiting for a train—which may or may not have happened to me twice this week—don’t sweat it. [Andrea Battleground]

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