The best TV, music, movies and books for May
Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
ATTEND: The Prince Memorial
The City of Los Angeles is hosting a massive Prince Memorial this Thursday on the steps of City Hall, which went purple after news broke of the pop icon’s passing. From the Mayor’s announcement to LACMA’s Rain Room going purple, this event is the culmination of how much love and respect our town has for the artist. The all-star roster includes Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Chaka Khan and Sheila E. (May 6)
LISTEN: The Virginmarys
Remember guitars? This U.K. trio does. Divides, the band’s second record, offers a beguilingly retro mix of Southern-tinged classic rock, anthemic Brit-rock and ‘90s alternative — hat tip here to producer Gil Norton (The Pixies, Foo Fighters), who keeps all the disparate elements codified. It’s the rare band that could play nice with Buckcherry, Queens of the Stone Age or Ash … and they have. (May 6)
SMELL: AIX Scent Fair
You ever caught a whiff of something and been struck with a memory from the past? That’s because smell is the sense tied most strongly to memory. You can see — or rather smell — just how that happens at the AIX Scent Fair, where you’ll watch and interact with perfumers and fragrance makers as they use chemistry to dazzle your olfactory faculties (also makes a great Mother’s Day gift). (May 6-8)
Sometimes, you just want to grab a rocket launcher and kill some demons. A continuation/reimagining/sequel to the popular old-school FPS, this version of Doom features a more advanced melee system (crows gamemaker Bethesda: “Knock-down, slash, stomp, crush and blow apart demons in creative, violent ways!”). Creepy as ever in single-player campaign mode, more Unreal-like shoot ‘em-up fun in the multiplayer deathmatch. (May 13)
SEE: Cinespia Cemetery Films
What’s an L.A. summer without classic films at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery? A wan one. Cinespia, now in its 15th year, kicks off with Fast Times at Ridgemont High, natch, but we’re looking to hit Silence of the Lambs. Idea for picnic: preorder Howlin’ Ray’s Fried Chicken; it’s also great cold. (May 14)
Seth Rogen helped develop this AMC adaptation of the acclaimed ‘90s comic book, a violent supernatural tale of a possessed preacher, an Irish vampire and an ex-girlfriend who attempt to find God … but instead run into a rogues’ gallery of supernatural weirdos. Including a guy named Arseface. (May 22)
READ: The City of Mirrors
This is your can’t-put-down summer beach read. Mirrors is the third and final book in Justin Cronin’s The Passage series, a post-apocalyptic “vampire” epic that plays like a mix of The Stand, 28 Days Later or even Colson Whitehead’s Zone One. Basically, a more literary take on a genre tale. (May 24)
PERUSE: A whole lot of NSFW videos
Rihanna’s “Needed Me” isn’t really a happy summer jam, but it does make for a rather seedy, NC-17 strip club tale, as portrayed by Spring Breakers auteur Harmony Korine. For even creepier vibes: a bootleg of a never-seen “snuff” film meant to accompany Nine Inch Nails’ 1993 release Broken just popped up on the Interwebs. And finally, on a peppier note: model Zippora Seven goes streaking over a French indie pop number in a video celebrating lifestyle mag Monster Children’s 50th issue.
LISTEN: The best songs of May
Take a listen to our monthly Spotify playlist of the month’s best new music, featuring Gold Panda, Barns Courtney, the return of DJ Shadow (with Run the Jewels), The Avett Brothers and over an hour of good tunes.
Also: Chelsea Handler begins her new thrice-weekly, thankfully uncensored talk show on Netflix (5/11) … M. Night Shyamalan’s surprisingly decent mind-twist Wayward Pines returns for a second season (5/25) … The Lobster is sort of like a rom-com without the com, but with a lot of Logan’s Run and Dr. Doolittle (5/13) … Anthony Weiner gets exposed (more) in the doc barring his last name (5/20) … Hey, it’s got Wolverine and Olivia Munn. All hail X-Men: Apocalypse (5/27) … Don DeLillo’s explores tech, death and dystopia with Zero K (5/3).
Nota bene: Watch for our comprehensive Summer Movie Guide next Monday.