Charlize Theron, Bikini Books and the Return of Shark Week

Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important pop-culture happenings.

Interested in some serious career enhancements? Snag a ticket to WORLDZ, a TED Talk-esque leadership conference featuring lectures from the people behind VICE, the Hyperloop, Reddit and so many more. It’s frankly hard to understand how they’re all going to be in one place at one time. The best part? You can actually have conversations with these efficiency gurus (like Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra) in smaller sessions. (July 31 – Aug 1)

WATCH: Atomic Blonde
Basically the stylized violence of John Wick (they share a director), but with Charlize Theron kicking ass in the ‘80s. (July 28)

DINE: Vespertine
Is it a restaurant or an exhibit? That’s the question on our mind, having not experienced Vespertine firsthand. The food is by Jordan Kahn, of Destroyer and Red Medicine fame, whose food is as stylish as it is delicious. This will be as much an design experience as a culinary one. Tickets are $250, and you book online.

READ: The Watch Book Rolex
Watch expert/historian Gisbert L. Brunner deep-dives into the past and present of the luxury timepiece. He does not, however, explain how you can afford one. (July 15)

VIEW: The High Art of Riding Low
The Petersen is honoring the history of the low-rider, an iconic whip with deep roots in L.A. and Chicano culture. Artists who have reworked and re-imagined the lowrider — El Moisés, Estevan Oriol, Germs aka Jaime Zacarias and Luis Tapia — will be featured, too. (July 1)

BINGE: Friends From College
The husband-wife team of Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Neighbors) and Francesca Delbanco helms this semi-autobiographical take on, basically, what happens to your idiot college buddies as they grow up. Great cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Fred Savage, Billy Eichner, plus guest appearances by Seth Rogen and Kate McKinnon. (July 14)

DANCE: Sound in Focus
KCRW and the Annenberg team up again for Sound in Focus, the concert series in Century City. Yeah, Century City seems like an unlikely place for a concert, but the lawn beside the Annenberg makes for a great setting. And Paul Oakenfold, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Miguel are pretty cool artists to see in such a small space. (July 15, 22, 29)

VIEW: Sea Sick in Paradise
Surfing is equal parts sport and cultural monolith in L.A., and Depart Foundation is exploring both its artistic representations and how environmental degradation is impacting its longevity. The exhibit is currently on view at Malibu Village, and there will be activations across town. (July 8 – September 30)

PERUSE: The Last Days of Summer
Fashion photog Akila Berjaoui uses analog cameras to capture bikini-filled beaches around the globe. It’s a perfect ode to the season. (Out now)

VIEW: Face to Face & Fade to Black
The California African American Museum has two shows opening. Face to Face is an exhibit of modern portraiture featuring contemporary and local artists; Fade to Black is a series of new work by Gary Simmons. Simmons specializes in erasure, a difficult medium given its technique isn’t meant to last. So go soon. (July 12)

LISTEN: Our monthly Spotify playlist
Thirty songs to get you through the sweltering summer, from the welcome return of a few favorites (Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, Vince Staples) to some choice newcomers (the hard-to-classify Algiers, the Daft Punk-assisted Parcels).

And don’t forget: Summer blockbusters that are also good movies. Who knew? We’ve got three in a row with Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7), War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14) and Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk (July 21) … “Some of you will put this down and go back to your predictable lives in the matrix.” Fighting words from admittedly successful angel investor Jason Calacanis in his new get-rich tome Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups – Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 Into $100,000,000 (July 18) … Deadlier fun, the return of Game of Thrones (July 16) or the return of Shark Week (July 23)? … Maybe it’s Ozark, Jason Bateman’s new Netflix drama about a family on the run from a drug cartel (July 21) … Relive the glory of ‘80s synths when the Stranger Things soundtrack arrives on cassette (July 14) … And finally, new Rick and Morty (July 30)