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Hoot Recommends: March 1, 2019

“Head Above Water”

She ain’t no sk8er boi anymore. Since her more recent, self-titled album, “Avril Lavigne,” was released in 2013, Lavigne has really been laying low. And no, she was not replaced by a clone named Melissa. When she disappeared, I was honestly really disappointed because the album was not my favorite. Maybe her divorce from Chad Kroeger of Nickelback did some good for her because her new album, “Head Above Water,” is my favorite album of hers so far. Transitioning away from her “Girlfriend” and “Complicated” phase, Lavigne has really transformed into a musician that utilizes more acoustic and mellow beats and soulful lyrics. While I will always miss 2000s Lavigne, the new Avril is someone that deserves attention and recognition. —Sabrina Chow

“Ugly Delicious”

Even though this Netflix food show came out almost a year ago, it still hasn’t received the love it deserves. It’s not food porn like Chef’s Table; instead, each episode centers on a theme, like “Tacos” or “Barbecue.” Season opener “Pizza” is an excellent indicator: A globe-trotting exploration of what exactly pizza is, from Naples to Connecticut to Japan, Momofuku chef David Chang and food critic Peter Meehan look at food that people actually eat (they conclude that Domino’s is actually pretty good). A poignant look at culture through cuisine, “Ugly Delicious” is about challenging notions of posh, authentic food and connecting to people across cultures through the power of a really, really good slice of pizza. —Noah Harper

“Beautiful Anonymous”

What if you could anonymously hear someone’s life story in one hour, during one phone call? That’s the premise of the podcast “Beautiful Anonymous,” hosted by comedian Chris Gethard. With the tagline “beautiful stories from anonymous people,” the podcast opens its phone lines to callers who hope they’ll get on the air and have the chance to tell their story. It has featured memorable episodes such as a 39-year-old grandmother, a gay Mormon, a white single mom raising her two black children and a college student making some extra cash through online sex work. Gethard is a thoughtful and engaging host throughout, and the podcast will make you wonder about the stories of people around you. —Sarah Terrazano

“The Rock Doc” by Fruit Bats

Not feeling so hot? “You should go and see the Rock Doc.” At least that’s the advice Eric Johnson, a former guitarist for The Shins, offers in this catchy folk-rock tune. Sweet, warm and simple, if you can’t get an appointment with the Rock Doc, this song may serve as adequate medication for whatever is ailing you. Whether you’re caught in a heap of midterms and deadlines, had a plain lousy day, or—like Johnson and I—you “blew one too many spark plugs trying to love and be loved,” the two gentle guitar solos in this song will lull your problems into non-existence. For this song, there is no recommended dosage. Take a mellow morning listen, then tune in again for some mid-afternoon zeal, pop those headphones in yet again for a glow of warmth against the cold February night—or just turn the song on repeat all day as I have. You heard it here first, “The Rock Doc” is a miracle cure. —Ryan Spencer

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