VSL: the monthly highlight reel

Many of our daily picks are early, pre-release previews. What’s happened since we first wrote about them? Glad you asked.

1. Our indie-cinema pick OLD JOY an odd, touching 76-minute film about two old friends who quietly discover how much they’ve grown apart — got critical raves almost across the board upon release. The New York Times, for instance, called it “one of the finest American films of the year.” Click here to read the original VSL email.

2. We loved the debut CD from self-described “nerd” rapper LUPE FIASCO, who we think has Kanye-level crossover appeal thanks to his deliciously propulsive, radio-ready songs, particularly his wonderful jazz-hop duet, “Daydream,” with Jill Scott. The Chicago Tribune and plenty of other media outlets have declared his debut CD, Food & Liquor, “brilliant” — and in his first week on the Billboard charts, he’s #12. Click here to read the original VSL email.

3. When we first selected the ingenious, funny, charming dance-on-a-treadmill music video for OK GO’s “HERE IT GOES AGAIN” the week of its release, it had a mere couple thousand views on YouTube. We’re frankly a bit shocked at how quickly it became a pop-cultural touchstone: It’s already one of the biggest viral-video hits of all time, having racked up nearly 7 million views on YouTube alone. Click here to read the original VSL email.

4. Interestingly, multiple clips from the inside-the-Evangelical-world documentary JESUS CAMP have also become viral-video sensations, many of them among the most discussed on the web. Search on “Jesus Camp” on YouTube and you can now also see reports from the BBC and ABC News on the documentary, coverage by Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert, plus plenty of “Video Response” clips uploaded by Regular People who want to air their (generally emphatic) feelings about the film. Click here to read the original VSL email.

We could point you to other VSL music, movie, DVD, book, and web-thing recommendations … but we won’t. Instead, we’ll just encourage you to explore our evolving site and our growing archive. Remember to enter through the current, semi-secret beta-test front door: veryshortlist.com/home (veryshortlist.com without the “home” is closed during our pre-launch phase to keep out … whomever).

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. VSL: the monthly highlight reel