Willie and “The Handmaid’s Tale:” No, it’s not a new CCR song

Elisabeth Moss confronts a rather grim existence in “The Handmaid’s Tale”

 

This week, look out for:

“Dreaming the Beatles” by Rob Sheffield (Dey St.) Boy howdy, is this book good. (April 25)

“Borne: A Novel” By Jeff VanderMeer (MCD) In the highly anticipated follow-up his outstanding Southern Reach trilogy, VanderMeer explores the story of Rachel, a scavenger in a dead city once-dominated by collapsed corporation called the Company, who adopts a being called Borne. Long a top-drawer editor, VanderMeer is becoming contemporary master of gripping, thoughtful s-f weirdness. (April 25)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu). I think it’s safe to say that this 10-episode series is the crown jewel of Hulu’s original programming for 2017. This terrifyingly relevant story, based on Margaret Atwood’s classic of dystopian feminist science fiction, stars Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, a very creepy Joseph Fiennes, Samira Wiley and more. Three episodes launch the show; the rest arrive weekly on Wednesdays. One suspects that this might be the future of streaming: a balance between bingeing and weekly waits, which both gives the show time to build an audience and prevents folks from watching all of it at once and the show having less overall impact as a result. (April 26)

Feist, “Pleasure” (Interscope). She’s back! It’s her first album since 2011 and her fifth overall. Expect a whole mess of emotional, intense song craft. Who doesn’t like Leslie Feist? (April 28)

Willie Nelson, “God’s Problem Child” (Legacy Recordings). Another seven months, another Willie Nelson album (the last one came out in September). Many songs were written by Nelson and producer Buddy Cannon. Also looks for songs by Jamey Johnson and Tony Joe White, vocals from the late Leon Russell, a song about the 2016 election called “Delete and Fast-Forward” and a tribute to Merle Haggard called “He Won’t Ever Be Gone.” And, yes, the original title of the album was “I’m Not Dead.” Forever and ever, amen.

Author: Joe Gross

Joe Gross has covered books, movies, music and culture for the American-Statesman since 2002. He tweets at @joegross.

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