March 2021 media

  • Important If True: Important If True was a beloved comedy podcast on the Idle Thumbs network that ran for 56 episodes in 2016 and 2017. I’d heard a few specific bits before (like “Wax House, Baby”), but never the full run until this month. I can’t recommend it highly enough—it may be the most consistently entertaining show I’ve ever listened to. It’s hard to explain its appeal, or even its subject matter; I guess it’s loosely about the intersection of technology and pop culture, and its primary modes are extended hypotheticals and dense self-referentiality. That makes it sound more highfalutin than it is though—give it a shot and you’ll know within two or three episodes if it’s for you.

  • Old Game Dev Advice: This is a new YouTube project from veteran game developer Mike Darrah, who recently left BioWare after 23 years. The meat of the channel is Darrah wandering around in the snow in Edmonton while he overdubs himself holding forth on lessons he’s learned over his career, from practical advice on bug triage to philosophizing about how decisions are made. These are interspersed with bite-sized videos where he shows off various bits of swag. I’m right in the sweet spot for a channel like this, as both a BioWare fan and a game developer whose career is arguably approaching “veteran” length.

  • Obviously: Lake Street Dive’s latest album is my favorite since Bad Self Portraits in 2014. More than anything, it sounds coherent—even the songs I’m not as into feel like they still belong there, which I couldn’t always say about the past two albums. I’m also impressed at how quickly new member Akie Bermiss—yet another songwriting powerhouse, based on the credits in the liner notes—has become an indispensable part of their sound. Good stuff all around.