Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

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Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

Girl Talk & Freeway Broken Ankles Mixtape

Greg Gillis, AKA the copyright-dodger known as Girl Talk, hasn’t put out an album of his own since 2010’s All Day. But now, he’s teamed up with Freeway for a new mixtape called Broken Ankles. This isn’t the sampling ninja we’ve known for years — it seems Girl Talk is trying out a new identity, collaborating with gnarly rappers like Waka Flocka Flame and Jadakiss on a set of awesome, high energy rap tracks. You can download or stream the mixtape for free at DatPiff, and watch Girl Talk and Waka’s violent new video for “Tolerated” here. —Isabella Biedenharn, Editorial Apprentice

Game of Thrones, Season 4 Premiere

This week I enjoyed — what else? — the return of Game of Thrones. This week’s premiere wasted precisely no time in getting down to business, and demonstrated that unsurprisingly enough, Westeros is just as much a snakepit during peacetime as it is during war. Maisie Williams’ portrayal of Arya, as ever, was a highlight; it was impossible not to feel slightly queasy even as you cheered for her as she wrought revenge on one of her hitlist, wondering what she’s become… and what she might become from here. Shit’s only going to get more hectic next week — bring it on! —Tom Hawking, Senior Editor

Antarctigo Vespucci, Soulmate Stuff

The second the weather gets warmer and it starts feeling like spring, I immediately start to listen to nothing but fuzzy pop-punk. Antarctigo Vespucci, a collaboration between Jeff Rosenstock and Chris Farren, released the adorably titled Soulmate Stuff just yesterday but I’ve already listened to it countless times. It’s perfect warm weather music: cheerful kiss-offs, chants and hand claps, and wonderfully simplistic (and relatable) lines like “All I wanna do is ride my bike and think about sex.” With seven songs clocking in at just under 20 minutes, Soulmate Stuff is so good that I don’t even mind the silly band name. —Pilot Viruet, TV Editor

The Past (dir. Asghar Farhadi)

Last week, I finally got to see The Past, the French-language film by Asghar Farhadi, director of A Separation. Don’t be fooled by the smiling glances exchanged by two characters in the first scene: this film scantily features this upwardly-curled buccal oddity, rather providing a cornucopia of grimaces and glowers. The Past follows Ahmad, a man who returns to Paris from Iran to give his ex a proper divorce so she can continue a newish relationship. With a gaggle of rowdy children in the mix, this might sound like your average divorce dramedy. Throw in a coma, a strained relationship with a daughter, childhood trauma and racial tension — the details of which get more and more twisted — however, and you have a cataclysm. Indeed, the ceaseless misfortune Farhardi throws at his characters would seem exorbitant if it weren’t so delicately handled (the last scene is an exemplar of sensitive but unsentimental filmmaking). Plus, Bérénice Béjo, yo. —Moze Halperin, Editorial Apprentice

2048

I hate this game. I love it. I hate it. I love it. I hate it. I love it. I will never beat it. I will not stop until I do. Ugh, this goddamn game. —Tyler Coates, Deputy Editor