Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A spot-on Second City show, a Modest Mouse offshoot, and drinkers’ markers

Fool Me Twice, Deja Vu
Fool Me Twice, Deja Vu

Wineglass markers

If you’re like me this time of year, wine is the currency that guides you through this party-heavy season. I hardly ever arrive anywhere without a bottle of wine in hand, and accept just as many from guests on my doorstep. Unfortunately, I have never found a wine marker I’ve liked: Those annoying little charms aren’t as practical now that half of my wineglasses are stemless, and those birds or whatever that are supposed to perch on the edge of your glass never seem to last there for very long. So it’s hard to stay germ-free in the cold and flu season when the only way to identify whose wine glass is whose is by lipstick shade. Luckily, I discovered this find at Paper Source, but they’re also a popular item on Amazon: Metallic wineglass markers. Just have your guests mark up glasses to I.D. their own beverage, for a festive and grown-up take on the Sharpie on a red Solo cup. Now, go drink and be sanitary. [Gwen Ihnat]

Ugly Casanova, Sharpen Your Teeth

There’s a silly backstory to Ugly Casanova’s one and only album, 2002’s Sharpen Your Teeth, but all you really need to know is that its CEO is Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, and that it was released at an incredibly fertile time in his creative life—between The Moon & Antarctica and Good News For People Who Love Bad News. While his main band was getting a little more pro, having recently released its first album for a major, Brock grabbed his banjo and his weirder side for this batch of songs—though they’re less polished, they stand shoulder to shoulder with his best, and Sharpen Your Teeth should be considered an essential part of a Modest Mouse fan’s collection. Sub Pop just re-released it on vinyl, and it now includes some orphaned tracks from the sessions, including the fantastically titled “They Devised A Plan To Fuck Forever.” [Josh Modell]


Fool Me Twice, Déjà Vu

I recently left a Second City show and couldn’t stop gushing about what I had experienced: Fool Me Twice, Déjà Vu is an on-point takedown of current culture that sits right where it should, a spot that allows for social commentary with a real kick without being too abrasively preachy. For example, people were asked to show some love for a few select states, only to find out that these places of hometown pride allow rapists to sue for custody and visitation rights, which was quickly followed by the performers shouting, “Call your congressmen!” The quick switch in tone, paired with a fast cut to the next joke, let both the humor and humanity land. An especially accurate sketch seemingly attempted to take millennials to task before revealing that the real annoyance is anyone who thinks they can successfully peg an entire generation on a few asinine things like scarves and beards. The second act hinges on callbacks to the first, creating a delightful sense of disorientation and shows how deft the six-person cast (Rashawn Nadine Scott, Daniel Strauss, Sarah Shook, Jamison Webb, Paul Jurewicz, and Chelsea Devantez) is at hitting the high notes required to pull off such an intertwined piece of comedy. If you’re in Chicago this year, check it out. [Becca James]

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