Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
“I’m like an ATM for strange people,” says Guillermo del Toro. The director has an exhibit at LACMA that takes you inside his Bleak House, a home to the collection of artifacts, art, sculptures, diaroramas and rare books he uses for inspiration. With over 500 objects broken down by theme (e.g. Childhood and Innocence, Victoriana, Magic, Movies, Comics, Frankenstein), make a day of it. And bring the kids. (Aug. 1)
VIEW: Cabinet of Curiosities
Seven or so local artists are building an exhibit at Union Station in which you walk through the historic transportation hub and view tiny exhibits through peepholes. (Aug. 6-31)
READ: Bad Dads
Speaking of Wes Anderson, Dads is the third volume of artwork inspired by the filmmaker, an outgrowth of an annual art show by the Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco. You can see some of the artwork here. (Aug. 9)
“No matter where you go, there you are.” The most quotable sci-fi film of the ‘80s — and the best cast (John Lithgow, Peter Weller, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin) — gets a Blu-ray Collector’s Edition, complete with a new two-hour documentary. Never seen it? The film inspired Wes Anderson, Back to the Future and Fight Club ... and it’s getting a new TV show reboot via Kevin Smith. (Aug. 16)
WALK: El Segundo Art Walk
There are more than 30 different vendors at the El Segundo Art Walk, and unlike most art walks, this one isn't overcrowded (yet). And there are several great places to stop for craft beers — namely, the newly opened Craft Shack. (Aug 18)
LISTEN: Music Maker Blues Revue
North Carolina blues historians put together this revue of blues history performed by the guys who backed up the greats. It’ll be be served up on the lawn at Skirball Center, high in the hills. (Aug. 18)
Werner Herzog examines the internet. Along the way, he interviews Elon Musk, meets the guys behind a team of soccer-playing robots and provides his typically droll narration: (“In the forest, we met a modern day hermit...”; “Have the monks stopped meditating? They all seem to be Tweeting.”). (Aug. 19)
ROCK OUT: Guns N’ Roses
Axl, Slash and the boys have been throwing down all over the country, and they'll be bringing it back home this month with a headbanging show at Dodger Stadium. (Aug. 19)
LISTEN: The Veils
A brooding UK/New Zealand rock band with heavy nods to Nick Cave, The Veils make a pivot on their fifth album, Total Depravity, adding in the disorienting instrumentation of El-P (Run the Jewels). Overall, a soundtrack for devilish late nights and bad decisions. Fun fact: Frontman Finn Andrews will be in the Twin Peaks reboot. (Aug. 26)
Say, how do Victoria’s Secret models keep in shape? This new Instagram account follows two of VS’s “fit” ladies, who provide workout routines and — importantly for you — video and pictures. For research.
ROCK OUT: Ohana Fest
The lineup at the first annual Ohana Festival at Dana Point is very eclectic, with acts from Eddie Vedder to Elvis Costello and Ryan Bingham. Band of Horses will be there supporting their recent album, and a portion of ticket sales go to protecting San Onofre State Beach. (Aug. 27, 28)
STREAM: Our monthly Spotify playlist
Forget finding “the song of summer.” Instead, enjoy an hour’s worth of simply great new music, featuring new tunes from Two Door Cinema Club, Justice, Sleigh Bells, Mac Miller, Goldroom, MIA and a host of newcomers.
PLUS: NFL training camp doc Hard Knocks captures the return of football to Los Angeles (Aug. 9, HBO) ... Baz Luhrmann’s South Bronx musical drama The Get Down will probably fail on coherence, win on visual/sonic acumen (Aug. 12, Netflix) ... You’re the Worst returns. Fans of acerbic relationship humor rejoice (Aug. 31, FXX) ... Every “dark” Batman flick cribbed from the ‘80s comic The Killing Joke. Now, see that story in all its R-rated animated glory (Aug. 2, Blu-ray) ... And then go see Bat’s cameo in Suicide Squad (Aug. 5) ... The most destructive, stupid day in baseball history gets revisited in Disco Demolition: The Night Disco Died (Aug. 23) ... Forget Trump. Comedian David Cross is Making America Great Again! (Aug. 5)