Veryshortlist.com, chronicler of lowbrow, highbrow, and oddball culture, always contains something relevant and entertaining that you just won’t find on your everyday entertainment site. VSL tracks some of the most fascinating examples of cutting-edge, quirky film, literature, photography, and music, as well as random weirdness found in popular culture.
Although it doesn’t get any easier than having VSL come to your inbox, veryshortlist.com stores archived articles, so you can go back at any time and read past stories. Their e-mails include a brief summary of the subject at hand, with relevant links.
VSL has been especially valuable for introducing me to new films, and announcing the DVD releases of not-so-new offerings. Thanks to the list, I plan on seeking out “Il Divo”, an action-packed biopic about controversial Italian senator-for-life and ex-prime minister Giulio Andreotti. And the chill-inducing trailer for “Let the Right One In”, a Swedish film about a pre-pubescent vampire, has propelled the thriller / horror flick to the top of my list of must-see movies.
The site showcases emerging or overlooked bands, including links to videos, and very often to the musicians’ MySpace pages. VSL has covered cult favorites The Monks, a band formed in the 60’s by American GI’s stationed in Germany. This ground-breaking band has reunited for garage festivals and shows in the last several years, and they sound as amazing as ever. The site covers music from around the world, including a collaboration between Los Angeles musicians and a karaoke star from Cambodia, called Dengue Fever.
Sometimes VSL draws attention to new or obscure footage of underappreciated artists and pop culture figures. One example is the last show performed by the late, great comedian Bill Hicks, who unfortunately seemed to become more popular, at least in the States, posthumously. The site also highlights overlooked works by more famous performers, like Frank Sinatra in Vincente Minnelli’s Some Came Running.
Some of my favorite VSL subjects have been pop culture sites, like the one housing “Did I Say That?”, a column in the UK’s Guardian documenting embarrassing, stupid, and otherwise jaw-dropping quotes by famous people. Other offerings seem to teeter between art and pop culture, like photographer Nathan Kensinger’s photos of out-of-place sights in New York City.
VSL frequently points out sites with silly games and other pleasant time-wasters. I don’t generally click on those links because, frankly, I don’t need any help finding ways to procrastinate. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think Must Pop, a takeoff on Boggle, wouldn’t be fun, and I’m sure I could kill an hour or two on Traveler’s IQ.
Very Short List has unearthed so much fascinating information that I have yet to explore, and everyone I’ve shared the site with has found something to love as well. Anyone looking to expand their pop culture horizons, or just have some fun, should check it out.