Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
VISIT: Chasing Dreams
The Skirball Center is holding an exhibit on baseball called Chasing Dreams that deep-dives into the sport’s long history of helping Americans learn tolerance, from Sandy Koufax to Jackie Robinson. The expansive collection spans 130 black-and-white photos, uniforms, films and memorabilia, and will also include a new anthology with contributions from writers like Philip Roth and Ira Berkow. (April 7 - Oct 30)
REMEMBER: The music of David Lynch
No Twin Peaks revival until 2017, but we can appreciate David Lynch’s oeuvre right now, at least sonically. First: a double live album of Lynch soundtrack covers, as performed by the Flaming Lips, Karen O, Lykke Li, Jim James and Moby. Then, for Record Store Day, a double LP (2000 copies on red/blue vinyl) from indie artist Xiu Xiu that reimagines the Twin Peaks soundtrack as something both dreamier and creepier. (April 15 and 16)
EXPLORE: Obscura Day
April 16th is officially Obscura Day, a national holiday sponsored by the esoteric history junkies at Atlas Obscura. In L.A. there are around 15 different events and workshops you can attend, from learning about a murder mystery at the Homestead museum to doing a walking tour of a piece of ancient Roman architecture that hides in plain sight throughout town. Plus: they end the day with a huge party. (April 16th)
Ludwig van Beethoven meets Kanye (Yeezus) West in “Yeethoven.” The composer and producer have more in common than you’d think — just watch this video from the Young Musicians Foundation. The concert, dubbed The Great Works, is one night only at the Aratani Theatre in the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. It’s free. (April 16th)
ADMIRE: Gisele Bündchen
Dubbed “The Body” by Alexander McQueen, the beautiful Brazilian model is the (occasionally nude) subject of a breathtaking new photo retrospective. Originally available only as a $1,000+ limited edition, this new hardcover will only run you $70, and all proceeds, per Bündchen’s wishes, go to charity. You’re helping the world by looking at this. (Available this month)
The French band’s new disco-glazed single “Do It, Try It” was a bit jarring on first listen ... until those glorious synths washed over us a minute-thirty in. With tracks like the dreamy, organ-drenched “Solitude” veering into Pink Floyd territory, a surprise contribution from Beck, a new keyboardist who was literally crowdsourced and an overall theme of “being inspired by Punky Brewster and Who’s the Boss?” ... well, hey, go ahead and disrupt us.
STREAM: Our April playlist
Our curated new music soundtrack for April, featuring buzzy country newcomer Sturgill Simpson, a new threesome powerhouse of featuring Pharrell/Cassius/Cat Power, and the welcome return of the Dandy Warhols. An hour well spent.
READ: The ArmSubtitled “Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports,” Yahoo baseball columnist Jeff Passan’s book is a three-year investigation into Tommy John surgery and why a limb compels baseball teams to spend more than $1.5 billion per year. Happy Opening Day! (April 5)
WATCH: High-RiseKill List was one of our favorite Netflix finds, a British indie movie about a contract killer that takes an abruptly scary-as-f*** turn. So director Ben Wheatley is the perfect choice to tackle the dystopian J.G. Ballard novel, where an upscale apartment complex turns deadly when things (and people) start breaking down. (April 28)
LEARN: The Violent Brain, Nature or Nurture
Nearly seven million Americans, mostly women and children, are victims of violence annually. But are the aggressors acting out of learned behavior or an innate sense of violence? The answer isn’t as simple as we’d like to think. KCRW is hosting a discussion, The Violent Brain, in conjunction with leading neurologists, psychologists and sociologists at Santa Monica College. Space is limited, so RSVP soon. (April 25)
GUILTY WATCH: The Time Traveling Bong
Debuting on, yes, 4/20, this Comedy Central miniseries features Broad City’s Ilana Glazer as one of two cousins who discover, well, you see the title. All’s well until said titular apparatus breaks. (April 20)
He’s got the hair for it: Patrick Stewart plays a Nazi punk leader in Green Room (Apr. 15) ... Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits Blu-ray with several deleted scenes (Apr. 5)... Speaking of Blu-ray: How’s the bear look at home? See for yourself when The Revenant arrives (Apr. 19) ... Good month for TV returns, including Orphan Black (Apr. 15), Kimmy Schmidt (Apr. 15), 12 Monkeys (Apr. 18), Inside Amy Schumer (Apr. 21), Game of Thrones (Apr. 24) and Silicon Valley (Apr. 24) ... Key and Peele make a cat funny in Keanu (Apr. 29)