Top Picks: Dan Hicks' 'Greatest Licks: I Feel Like Singin',' the Overcast app, and more

Actor Martin Clunes explores in Acorn TV's 'Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia,' the movie 'Moana' centers on a Polynesian girl who attempts to save her people, and more top picks.


Comedy and swing

Dan Hicks has been gone for more than a year now. The droll, nattily dressed frontman of the beloved cult band Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks combined comedy, swing, and incisive songwriting like no one else. For more than 50 years, Hicks and his madcap band were a fixture in the San Francisco area. Greatest Licks: I Feel Like Singin’ contains all the essential good stuff, including 1969’s semi-hit “I Scare Myself” and “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”

Podcast organization

Are you a fan of podcasts? The Overcast app can help you stay organized with your listening habits. The app lets you listen to podcasts off-line, alerts you when your favorite has released a new episode, and adds one episode without you having to subscribe to the whole program, among other features. The app is free for iOS.

Australian experience

Actor Martin Clunes previously explored an area close to home in the TV show “Islands of Britain.” Now he’s going farther afield with the series Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia, which premières for US viewers on the streaming service Acorn TV on March 13. On the show, Clunes checks out 16 islands that represent the diversity of the Australian experience.

Book goals

Have you been meaning to read more but need some help? The Bookout app not only lets you keep track of books as you read them and add notes so you can look back later, it also allows you to put in the amount of time and the number of pages you read, among other statistics, rewarding you if you hit a monthly or yearly goal. Maybe you’ll finally be inspired to read “War and Peace.” The app is free for iOS.  

Disney hit

Disney’s latest animated film, Moana, centers on a Polynesian girl who attempts to save her people and stars Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson. (Attention “Hamilton” fans: Lin-Manuel Miranda worked on the music.) Monitor film critic Peter Rainer called the movie “one of the better Disney animated features to come along in a while.” The film is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Top Picks: Dan Hicks' 'Greatest Licks: I Feel Like Singin',' the Overcast app, and more
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today