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Cultural Hot List: Spring Forward

Posted in Cultural Hot List on Mar 12, 2010

daylightsavingWe’re “springing ahead” with a time change – what will you do with your “extra hour?” Sleep is an option – a good option. But filling it with culture is an even better option!

I’ve put together a hot list of what’s new this Spring in film, books, music, tv, theater and museums so you can dive right in. And remember, enrichment trumps sleep.

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FILM

For art lovers (and for those who need incentive to get a clear will written)
The Art of the Steal - documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ $25 billion collection of modern and post-impressionist art.

For music lovers
The Runaways
– feature about Joan Jett’s rise to fame
When You’re Strange - documentary about The Doors, narrated by Johnny Depp

The one you won’t mind taking your kids to
Oceans - Spectacular footage of the mysterious and beautiful underwater world in this 100 minute documentary (it’s Disney and G-rated so I’m assuming it’s kid-friendly with no shark gore.) See a trailer here.

The one that might be too close to reality, but it might interest you
Babies - a documentary following 4 babies from around the globe from first cry to first birthday (meet the babies here)

sex&thecityCan’t tell if it will be brilliantly funny or brilliantly dumb
MacGruber - based on the Saturday Night Live skit

Girls night out
Sex and the City 2 – see the trailer here


BOOKS

Ian McEwan, Solar
Summary: a complex novel that brilliantly traces the arc of one man’s ambitions and self-deceptions, Solar is a startling, witty, and stylish new work from one of the world’s great writers. Can a man who has made a mess of his life clean up the messes of humanity?

somethingredJennifer Gilmore, Something Red
Summary: At once a poignant story of husbands and wives, parents and children, activists and spies, and a masterfully built novel that unfurls with suspense and humor. (watch a trailer for the book here.)

My thoughts: For the first time in 4 years, I’m reading a novel and it’s Jennifer Gilmore’s first highly-acclaimed novel, Golden Country. All I want to do is get in bed and read this book. Her publisher has sent me an advance of Something Red, which takes place in the 70s…the cover alone is drawing me into it! Jennifer’s sister, Kate Gilmore, was a featured Mom Culture artist, and you’ll see an interview here with Jennifer to coincide with the book’s release this spring.

…and in case you didn’t know
Anita Diamant’s, Day After Night, was released in September, but it’s worth mentioning in case you weren’t aware. Diamant authored a powerful story in 1997 in The Red Tent. Day After Night, called “compulsively readable,” follows the relationship among 4 young women in an internment camp in Palestine (today’s Israel) after WWII. It’s based on a true event and Diamant was inspired by an actual photo of 4 women with arms intertwined.

Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework
No matter what we do, we have clients (even if they don’t know how to write their own names yet.) This non-fiction book was written for the office environment, but I think it has useful and humorous points that can be adapted. Chapters include: “Underdo the competition” (in parenting speak, parent in a way that makes sense for you rather than trying to match the mom you deem “perfect”); “Good Enough is Fine;” “Planning is Guessing.” Helpful perspective packaged in an entertaining way. They even have amusing trailers to promote the book.


MUSIC

David Byrne & Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love
Though it came out at the end of Feburary, I’ll go out on a limb and assume that this is still news to at least some of you. Two musical gurus – one from The Talking Heads and the other from the electronica/dance world – merge their brilliant minds together and create an amazing album. There’s a whole story about this being a concept album about Imelda Marcos which you can read more about that at this very helpful article, but mostly you just need to know that Tori Amos, Steve Earle, Cyndi Lauper, Santigold, Natalie Merchant and others are featured on this incredible release.

goldfrapp

goldfrapp, head first

Goldfrapp, Head First
Playing their music instantly turns your home into a sultry lounge (if that lounge’s decor included a stack of unread mail and Frosted Flakes under the chair.)

Jeff Beck, Emotion and Commotion
If you’re into guitar, this is for you. Beck was 14th on Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list.

Erykah Badu, New Amerykah, Part II: Return of the Ankh
Known as the “Queen of Neo-Soul,” her music mixes in elements of R&B, hip hop and jazz. A great voice with an attitude.


TELEVISION

Most of what’s new this Spring are reality tv shows…or replacement shows for Leno’s defunct 10pm talk show. On the sitcom/drama network side of things, there’s Parenthood (NBC), though with only 2 aired episodes to date, my verdict is still out. (any opinions out there?) “Happy Town” (ABC) starts in April and takes place in Minnesota. From what I’ve seen, it’s one of those ironic titles where few events in the show are actually happy. Steven Weber stars, though, and I like him.

In terms of programs new to Spring, I think the new reality shows deserve some discussion and possible tuning into:

Celebrity Apprentice 2 (NBC, debuts March 14)
I’m excited to see Cyndi Lauper (this AND the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim album? Welcome back, Cyndi!), that famously coiffed Illinois governor who fell from grace, and Bret Michaels who has this unexplainable appeal for me (I think it’s because when I brought my 2nd son home from the hospital, “Rock of Love” was on and I got hooked on it…it was a little slice of wild and crazy during that sedate newborn fog.)

real housewives of nyc

Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo, debuted March 4)
It’s ok if you missed the first few episodes, here’s what went down: they all gave each other unsolicited advice, a few had crying jags because they’re misunderstood, most of them backstabbed and some did lunch and discussed how much more real they are than the other housewives on the show. Pass me more helpings of that, please!

evan lysacek

Dancing With the Stars (ABC, debuts March 22)
Only because my Olympic crush Evan Lysacek is competing. I admire the way he’s man enough to wear Vera Wang better than most women can. And if you don’t admit that you’re a little intrigued to see what kind of costumes Pamela Anderson wears, I don’t believe you.

On a more substantive note…
The Pacific (HBO, March 14)
A 10-part companion series to Band of Brothers. Brought to you again by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.



THEATER

Some famous names head to Broadway:
A Behanding in Spokane – Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken
Come Fly With Me – Twyla Tharp’s new work using Frank Sinatra’s music
Lend Me a Tenor – Directed by Stanley Tucci, starring Anthony LaPaglia and Tony Shalhoub
The Addams Family – Nathan Lane, Bebe Neuwirth
American Idiot – a musical based on Green Day’s album by the same name
Promises, Promises - Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth
Lips Together, Teeth Apart – Megan Mulally, Patton Oswalt
All About Me – Michael Feinstein and Dame Edna


MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

New York:

from "skin fruit"

New Museum – “Skin Fruit” curated by artist Jeff Koons and featuring the private art of a renowned collector

Jewish Museum – “Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey”

gardner museum, boston

gardner museum, boston

Boston:
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - “Modeling Devotion: Terracotta Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance” (maybe even more importantly, the building itself is spectacular)

Chicago:
The Art Institute of Chicago – “William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961–2008”

Minneapolis:
Walker Art Center – “1964”

renoir

Los Angeles:
Los Angeles County Museum of Art – “Renoir in the 20th Century”

San Francisco:
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - “The View from Here”

Dallas:
The Women’s Museum – “Freedom’s Sisters”

Atlanta:
High Museum of Art, “The Allure of the Automobile”

Miami:
Miami Art Museum, “Carlos Cruz Diez: The Embodied Experience of Color”

  • 4 responses to "Cultural Hot List: Spring Forward"

  • Wendy
    21st March 2010 at 20:37

    Also, the trailer for Babies was so tender. Might have to be my Mother’s Day movie!! w

  • Wendy
    21st March 2010 at 20:36

    Love the concept behind Here Lies Love! Have you purchased the CD? Sounds great from the bits displayed above.

  • Lenore
    12th March 2010 at 13:33

    So happy to hear it. If only there was time enough for everything on the list….

  • Daphne
    12th March 2010 at 11:37

    Thanks for putting all this good culture out here in the ether for those of us who desperately need a dose but can’t quite find time to research on our own. A wide variety – something for everyone. I love that. – daphne

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