Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise.
GET WOWED: Dreamscape Immersive’s Alien Zoo
The downside of virtual reality has been well-reported. But there is an upshot to strapping on the headset: you can pet lovable, beautifully imagined aliens and blast away the big surley monsters! For this slice of constructed reality visit Dreamscape Immersive’s Alien Zoo at Westfield Century City (Atrium Space in the Southwest corner of the mall’s first floor). Book ahead by calling (424) 603-2980. Ages 10+. (Feb 7 - Mar 7)
WATCH: Black Panther
What do you get when you combine a hot director (Creed’s Ryan Coogler), a perfect cast (Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o) and a soundtrack overseen by Kendrick Lamar? Apparently, loads of planned viewing parties and the most-anticipated Marvel film ever. (Feb. 16)
David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones (Moon) directs a crime tale set in a Blade Runner-like future centered around a mute bartender. And Paul Rudd is a surgeon named “Cactus” Bill, because why not? (Netflix, Feb. 23)
TOE TAP: Concert Calendar
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats are doing two surprise shows at the shoe-box-sized Troubadour (tickets on sale tomorrow). Headbangers will want to hit the Hi Hat for Black Pussy. Jamband junkies, Mike Gordon is at the Teregram Ballroom. Hip hoppers, go see Blossom Records new artists at the Peppermint Club. Romantics, catch Carla Bruni at the Orpheum. R&B lovers, Dan Auerbach and the Easy Eye Sound Revue are at the Wiltern.
Melissa Dahl (editor of New York magazine’s eminently readable “Science of Us” site) explores awkwardness — including several mortifying incidents of her own — and how to make your embarrassing behavior a manageable and positive trait. Every editor here has been assigned this. (Feb. 13)
porsche effect (3 images)
SEE: The Porsche Effect
Renderings. Engines. Billboards. And more fast cars than you can shake a set of keys at. The Porsche Effect will be the most comprehensive display of the marque outside of Stuttgart. And it’s at the Petersen Automotive Museum. (Feb 2 - 10)
LISTEN: InsideHook’s Spotify playlist
Our ongoing playlist of new music, highlighted by new songs from The Hold Steady, Borns, Tune-yards, Kendrick Lamar (with SZA) and The Soft Moon, along with dozens more.
BINGE: Everything Sucks
Some of us aren’t much on nostalgia (the fetishism around Stranger Things in particular), but centering a show around nerdy freshmen in an Oregon high school AV club circa 1996 sounds delightfully Apatow-esque. And Everclear-ish. (Feb. 16, Netflix)
Buttrcup allows models and photographers to post their risque (but tasteful and artsy) imagery sans censorship. And you can subscribe to the models or creators you like, providing them more support than a few “Likes.” (Available now)
And don’t forget ... Alex Garland (Ex Machina) might be the only director who could turn the dreamlike apocalyptic novel Annihilation into a coherent film (Feb. 23) ... While we’re waiting for Dennis to return to It’s Always Sunny, catch Glenn Howerton (and Patton Oswalt) in NBC’s promising new sitcom A.P. Bio (Feb. 1) ... Fight gigantic beasts throughout mystical lands in the reimagining of Shadow of the Colossus (Feb. 6, PS4) ... Is Final Space the next Rick & Morty? The new space cartoon from Conan O’Brien certainly seems funny (Feb. 26, TBS)... Unseen Ratajkowski is exactly the NSFW photos you’d expect (out now) ... 2 Dope Queens: Funny podcast, now four funny hour-long HBO specials (Feb. 2) ... And finally, the welcome return of Channel Zero (Feb. 7, Syfy), Homeland (Feb. 11, Showtime), Stargate (Feb. 15, Stargate Command), Ash vs. Evil Dead (Feb. 25, Starz) and The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale (Feb. 18, Netflix), which is basically The Soup Redux.