It's hard to believe, but we are already at the last Friday of January... and at Volume 5 of the Friday Five! As always, we've got something for everyone -- dunks, gangsters, folk music, and more! So sign off of Robin Hood, pour the beverage of your choice, and get ready to close out January strong with some of our favorites from the week.
Anthony Edwards Dunk
Few sports highlights light up a group chat like an NBA player posterizing an opponent. It doesn’t matter whether or not you watch basketball, anyone can appreciate someone flying through the air and jamming on someone else. Monday night, it was the Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards’s turn to send all of the internet ablaze. Not only was it a sick dunk, but the backstory was there, too. Edwards, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, threw down on fellow rookie James Wiseman, whom the Golden State Warriors took at No. 2. This wasn't just a highlight for fans, either -- at :20 in the clip, you can hear a hyped up Wolves teammate yell "cook his ass!" I’m sure Wiseman wasn’t thrilled with the rookie-on-rookie crime committed, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t enjoy it.
Flaming Lips Bubble Concert
One year ago, had we read the sentence “The Flaming Lips perform the world’s first space bubble concert,” we would have, at best, assumed that they were doing some elaborate marketing scheme for a new album. Probably, we just would’ve been downright confused. Now, it is some of the best news we’ve heard about live performances in a while! The Flaming Lips decided to innovate so that they could perform for a crowd, putting their fans in giant hamster balls to keep them safe and isolated while still getting the full concert experience. There was dancing, a light show, and confetti -- all experienced from the comfort of personal bubbles. The rock band had been working to get this together since the beginning of the pandemic, and recently had experimented with the bubbles on late night comedy shows. It’s far from ideal, but if it means getting back to live concerts, bring on the bubbles!
Ibra Acro Boy
If it’s possible to binge watch an Instagram account’s videos, then that’s what we’ve been doing with Ibra Acro Boy. The French acrobat and tumbler does crazy tricks that he posts across social media, constantly defying gravity and doing the seemingly impossible. He makes floating through the air look effortless, and honestly, we won’t be surprised if one time he just doesn’t come down. Aside from being blown away by his talent, it’s really cool to watch someone challenge themselves and push their own limits. Not to mention, he adds humor to his stunts. Flipping into a pair of pants was just as hilarious as it was impressive. It is very easy to get mesmerized and watch every single video on the account, and we can tell you from experience, there are worse ways to spend your weekend.
Gangs of London
Here at King Penguin, we are suckers for any kind of gritty, British crime story. Peaky Blinders, Guy Ritchie’s filmography, you name it. So we were the perfect audience for AMC’s new show Gangs of London, and we are all in. It’s tense and dramatic, and grabs you in from the word “go.” Beyond just the story, which hits all of the typical crime-drama notes, the cinematography is simply captivating to look at. The very first shot of the show is a wide, majestic shot of an upside down London, taken from the POV of someone being dangled off the top of a skyscraper. There’s a lot of violence, naturally, and the action scenes are immersive and frenetically shot, not only putting you right in the middle of the chaos, but making you jump out of your chair at the same time. Gangs of London isn’t for the faint of heart - frankly, it is gnarly. But if you can get past that, it’ll hook you right in, and sets up as a perfect show to binge. We can’t wait for more.
Bob Dylan - "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"
The dead of winter is the perfect time to jam out to some great folk music, and this week we’ve been all over one of the GOATs of the genre: Bob Dylan. Specifically, we have had “It’s Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)” on repeat while we work, eat, and sit curled up with a glass of whiskey. While maybe it’s not his most famous track, “It’s Alright, Ma” features all the things that make Dylan great. It’s poetry, storytelling, and social commentary, all over a catchy folk tune. And at almost eight minutes long, you basically feel like you’re getting a bunch of songs threaded together, which makes it even easier to leave on repeat and totally zone in (or out). Dylan growling out “he not busy being born is busy dying” in his trademark raspy voice jumps out at us in particular. The line is definitely existential and bleak, but also motivates and inspires us to keep moving. That’s really what the song does as a whole -- it’s at times hopeful, other times filled with dread, constantly challenging the world to change. Sounds like an appropriate track for 2021.