Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
That Japanese-style tea house in Griffith Park is back with the blessings of the Parks and Recs Department, and this time it’s overlooking the Vincent Thomas Bridge and the Port of Los Angeles from Knob Hill in San Pedro. Made out of redwood from the 2007 Griffith Park Fire by a group of anonymous artists (whose work also includes this petal drop), it’s the sort creative mischief that makes urban living worth the price of admission. It’s up until the end of March; next location is TBD. (March 5)
SEE: Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe’s black-and-white photography may confront racy subject matter (like NYC’s underground BDSM scene), but it’s undeniably stunning. The Getty Center and LACMA have teamed up for this retrospective, which includes Physical: Sex and the Body, a side exhibit at LACMA centered solely around how Mapplethorpe has influenced American sexuality. (Begins March 15th)
ABSORB: Light City
Think of Light City as a TED Talk for art, tech and music. Held in Baltimore — the first U.S. city to illuminate its streets with gas lanterns back in 1816 — the inaugural LC will feature 1.5 miles of illuminated art installations, giant crabs made of light, an assortment of tech innovation conferences and an ongoing live soundtrack from the likes of Dan Deacon, DJ Spank Rock, Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation, Robert DeLong and Thomas Dolby. (Begins March 28)
LISTEN: HOME: Stories From L.A.
If you’re a fan of This American Life, you’ll want to tune in to HOME: Stories From L.A., a new hyperlocal podcast ideal for commutes. It’s been going since last fall, and each 25-minute episode is brought to you by Bill Barol, a former Senior Writer at Newsweek and freelancer for The New Yorker.
WATCH: Midnight Special
A father goes on the run to protect his unusually gifted eight-year son. On their tail: the government, Adam Driver and a group of religious zealots called The Ranch. Set in the Deep South and once again starring the imperious Michael Shannon, the fourth film from indie director/writer Jeff Nichols (Mud) adds a welcome touch of ‘80s sci-fi nostalgia. John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg will be proud. (March 18)
CATCH: Leon Bridges at the Wiltern
Throwing it back to the ‘50s and ‘60s with soul ditties that’ll put an easy stride in your step: that’s Leon Bridges. The 26-year-old Texan has been heralded for making music that feels plucked from the softer side of greats like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, and he’s performing two nights at the Wiltern this month. (March 19, 20)
Has criminally misused Will Arnett finally found his ideal post-Arrested Development role? As Chip, a recovering alcoholic and habitual F-up, Arnett perfectly inhabits the weird, insular world of Venice, California (as co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse notes, “I like this place. It’s like an online community but in real life”). A serio-comedic midlife crisis via Netflix, with help from Arrested creator Mitch Hurwitz (an executive producer here). Plus, the best TV soundtrack of the year. (March 11)
READ: The Throwback Special
Miss football? Not like these guys. The NFL’s most infamous — and cringe-inducing — injury is the basis for this satirical meditation on manhood. In Chris Bachelder’s novel, a rather eclectic group of 22 men gather to recreate the 1985 infamous play where Lawrence Taylor eradicated Joe Theismann’s leg. Think Fight Club by way of Men of a Certain Age. (March 14)
Speaking of nostalgia: This rather clever Instagram reimagines modern movies (The Revenant, It Follows) as classic VHS tapes.
SPLURGE: Prima Cinema
Unofficially dubbed the “Netflix for billionaires,” PRIMA offers day-and-date releases of Hollywood’s biggest movies in the comfort of your home … for about $500 per flick. Encrypted films are downloaded onto your home theater, and you access these new releases via a fingerprint sensor. The tech’s been around for a bit; the news is that a next-gen, 4K system is imminent.
LISTEN: The best music of March
An hour of the month’s best new music on our monthly Spotify playlist, from classic rock stylings (The Virginmarys, Brian Fallon) to electronic supergroups (Miike Snow) to beautiful, folksy musing (Whitney’s “Oh Woman”).