Our favorite things this week are found at Crawfest, in Canada, and on YouTube.
A Series of Squeezes: Tulane University’s Crawfest finally kicks off this Saturday, and although the unlimited crawfish is enough to get excited about, I’m thrilled to see The Main Squeeze perform another juicy set at this year’s festival. The Chicago-based funk band is anchored by the crisp vocals of lead singer Corey Frye, whose style is really adaptable to any genre. If you need evidence, look no further than the group’s recent New Orleans Cover Series - a collection of videos on YouTube that feature the band taking on classics by Sam Cooke, The Temptations, Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix. I have fingers crossed that the weather holds up this weekend, but even if it doesn’t, checking out The Main Squeeze is well worth rocking a trash bag poncho.
Reality Gets Real: For me, the problem with many reality shows is the lack of real consequences. MTV’s The Real World, for example, isolated the housemates from the things that force people to be real, like work, rent, and a social circle that will last longer than a season. The WWE’s Tough Enough entertained me as people discovered just how painful and difficult the basics of wrestling are. Few contestants’ bodies could take the grind of the show, much less the touring life of a WWE performer. Recently I’ve been watching a true demolition derby of a reality show on YouTube—Canada’s Worst Driver. The show asks drivers to do things that would test most of us—back a school bus around a figure eight course, for example—and the least lousy drivers get to leave one by one until the final two have an in-city drive-off with the worst named Canada’s Worst Driver.
Usually, the fun comes from toxic relationships bad drivers have with the people who nominated them, with abusive, overbearing husbands in no short supply. By 2013’s “all-star” season, Canada’s Worst Driver Ever was riveting because no one was good enough to graduate from week to week. One driver left to check in to rehab because her problems went deeper than just driving, and another caught a cab home, found her house locked, and punched in a window to get inside, slicing a tendon and ending any possibility of continuing on the show with her hand in the cast.
The end of the season answers some of the nagging doubts you’ll have about the show while watching it, but it doesn’t diminish the parade of problems, all of which are more interesting than the garden variety narcissists that populate The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.