March Arts Desk Favorites

(Design by Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Design by Daily Utah Chronicle)


Palak Jayswal

Being stuck inside is not bad when you have good music to listen to. Niall Horan’s sophomore album,  “Heartbreak Weather,” may have dropped at a horrible time — but it’s kept me sane. A step away from his solo debut album “Flicker” the 14-track album is a pop dream. More than that, it’s a journey album, helping Horan weather through the storm of a breakup. What makes it a no-skip album is not only the fresh pop beats, the enchanting lyrics Horan is trademarked for  — but the fact that each song allows listeners to impose their own experiences and narratives. A break-up album can often be selfish, centered on one person’s point of view, and Horan breaks this mold expertly. This album has coveted a spot on my very tight list of all-time favorite albums, and this is why I haven’t listened to anything else since it came out.

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Chris Payne

Shut away from the world as many of us are, these weeks have made for the perfect time to catch up on movies, television shows and games that we may have missed. For me, that has meant sinking my spare time into Rockstar’s “Red Dead Redemption 2” — specifically, its massive online world. “Red Dead Online” has been around for just under a year now, but it’s still a lively world full of unique experiences and fun missions. The game still has a substantial number of game-breaking bugs and glitches, but in the end, there’s something incredibly satisfying about wasting hours on virtual cowboy nonsense with your friends.

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Kate Button

“Life itself is an unreliable narrator” states Abby Dempsey (Olivia Wilde) in a failed college thesis within the movie “Life Itself.” Centered on three different storylines that are interwoven through a familial fabric, the trauma and tragedies of the film require resiliency to tolerate. Yet, just as the movie draws several connections and bases its soundtrack on Bob Dylan’s 1997 album, “Time Out of Mind,” even in the most melancholic stories, there is hope and light. Just as “Make You Feel My Love” presents a love song for the ages, “Life Itself” suggests that if you are patient to weather any storms that may come, eventually, love will prevail. We may all feel that we are in a dark time at the moment, but given the lessons from this film, it is essential to remain optimistic, and at the end of any dark tunnel — there will be light.


Hannah Keating

As so many things in the art world shifted during March and many anticipated events were replaced with cancellations, postponements and general disappointments, I found a lot of comfort in stand-up comedy specials. To me, these shows perfectly combine the entertainment elements of live storytelling and scripted comedy, not to mention that they fill the self-isolation void like a conversation with a close friend. My personal favorites this month include Taylor Tomlinson’s “Quarter-Life Crisis” on Netflix and Ed Gamble’s “Blood Sugar” on Amazon Prime. They are hilarious, irreverent and uplifting.

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Oakley Burt

I, like many others, have been self-isolating and social distancing for the majority of March because of the coronavirus. To keep my spirits up and from going stir-crazy, I’ve decided to read at least one book each week. My favorite book I read in March was Rob Sheffield’s “On Bowie” published in 2016. Written shortly after Bowie’s death, “On Bowie” is a thoughtful look at his life and legacy — exploring the British rock icons career, and his enduring relationship with his fans. With “On Bowie,” Sheffield offers fans, like myself, a lens through which we can relive our favorite moments of Bowie’s life again and again.

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Parker Dunn

This month has been pretty hectic with COVID-19 and everything, so I decided to indulge in a bit of escapism and start reading a lot during this pandemic. My favorite of the books I’ve had the chance to read in March is without a doubt “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. From the very beginning of this classic novel, I was 100% convinced it was main character Holden Caulfield writing and not Salinger. So much personality and idiosyncrasy was put into this character and his vernacular. It truly feels like reading out of someone’s journal. I loved this book, and I’m looking forward to reading more of Salinger’s work.

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Cade Anderson

I had no idea that exotic big cats are currently bred and traded in high quantities in the U.S. until Netflix’s “Tiger King” opened my eyes to this animal rights crisis — as well as a multitude of bizarre personal vendettas spanning the American South. The documentary has now been watched by nearly everyone who’s in quarantine, and I caved in to the social pressure pretty early on. Although it’s not the most objective of exposés, and leaves conservation-minded folk like myself wanting more serious coverage of the core issues at hand, “Tiger King” is an absolutely wild rollercoaster ride that I enjoyed start to finish. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced a documentary quite like this spectacular mess of a show.

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Paige Lee

This month, I had the pleasure of finding a Korean drama on Netflix called “Crash Landing on You”. To my surprise, this show hooked me almost instantly and kept me on edge until the end of the series. As someone who had never seen any Korean dramas in her life before this, I had no idea what to expect when watching the show. What I got was a hilarious and heartfelt experience that had a few clichés, but made up for them with the emotional romances, exciting plot and fun characters. “Crash Landing on You” was completely worth the watch, and I am so glad I gave it the chance it deserved.

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