“Pop Quiz” column for July 24, 2013

Alex V. Cook
Alex V. Cook

Each week The Advocate asks a different “quiz taker” for his or her current favorites in pop culture.

QUIZ TAKER: Alex V. Cook, 44, technology adviser for the LSU Office of Student Media and instructor at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication; author of “Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana’s Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks and Dance Halls.”

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO: “I listen to what might be considered an unhealthy amount of music on the Internet. Right now, I have ‘Party Store’ by the Dirtbombs queued up on Spotify, a Jason Isbell interview playing from the NPR site — his new album ‘Southeastern’ is a heavy, beautiful thing — and this instrumental version of ‘Takes Time’ by Jim Guthrie from his BandCamp site. I stay pretty media-saturated most of the time.”

WHAT I’M READING: “I usually have a couple of books going, waiting to see what sticks. Right now, it is ‘Hangsaman’ by Shirley Jackson (author of the short story ‘The Lottery’), Harry Crews’ ‘Karate is a Thing of the Spirit,’ and a copy of David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ on my phone that I’ve been picking at for months. I wonder when they are going to put my name on that new library on Goodwood, seeing that my overdue fines paid for a large portion of it.”

WHAT I’M WATCHING: “‘Orange is the New Black’ on Netflix is my favorite new show; just the right balance of smart writing and TV-licious drama. I don’t really go to the movies that much, but I like what J.J. Abrams is doing with ‘Star Trek.’ My daughter and I are going back and watching the original series on Netflix.

“I judge any work of art on how well it fulfills its essence, how far it rises to meet its promise and, given that, I found ‘Sharknado’ extremely satisfying.”

WHERE I’M SURFING (ON THE INTERNET): “I pretty much conduct my life through social media; it’s where I send things out and things come to me.
The only websites I go to directly all that often are LsuReveille.com and my own blog, AlexVCook.com.”

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? “Facebook. I have to put a note up on my wall that says ‘get off Facebook.’ Otherwise, I embrace my pleasures — namely food and music — so there’s not a lot of guilt at play. I can spend my whole day getting coffee with people, but I think there is some productivity in that. At least that’s what I tell myself.”


What’s your favorite juke joint or roadhouse?

“Teddy’s Juke Joint in Zachary is a classic. It’s the place that inspired me to start writing about these places. Getting there is like a blues song: drive up Highway 61, veer off on old Highway 61, go past the prison and keep driving in the dark until you think you might be lost, and there it is, shimmering in the glow of a thousand Christmas tree lights at the end of a long gravel driveway.”

EVENT INFORMATION: Cook will speak at Creative Louisiana, a monthly meeting for creative types, at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Magpie Cafe, 3205 Perkins Road.

Kyle Peveto

Advocate staff writer