Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
ADMIRE: Our National Parks (and the Art They Inspire)
If you’re the kind of person who’ll tear up when crossing into a National Park — because this is the best of America, man! — you will love, and we do not exaggerate, Common Ground: A Celebration of Our National Parks, at the environmentally minded David Brower Center. It’s evidence of a lasting relationship between S.F. artists and their parks — just ask [the estate of] SFAI instructor Ansel Adams, still the defining portraitist of Yosemite. (From July 3)
Image via Kava Gorna
PERUSE: 100 Cheeks
Daisy Dukes (n. pl.): Brief, tight-fitting denim shorts for women, typically made from a pair of cutoff jeans. Popularized in the early ‘80s on The Dukes of Hazzard, the shorts are now memorialized by photographer Kava Gorna, who documents no fewer than 100 pairs of Daisy Dukes (technically, Daisy Dukes and vintage jeans, their natural forebear) in this new photo tome. A fine addition to a coffee table near you. (Available now)
HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT: Zero Ddays
If you’ve been anxiously looking for signs of the Skynet revolution, don’t miss Zero Ddays from Alex Gibney, the hyper-prolific filmmaker who does for politically minded documentaries what Alexander Hamilton did for the Federalist Papers (basically, create all of them). Here, he brings us the future of digital warfare — and this time, we (arguably) started it. Enjoy the AI rebellion, folks. (July 8 - 22)
USE: The 420 Gourmet: The Elevated Art of Cannabis Culture
The aptly named Jeff the 420 Chef (aka “The Julia Child of Weed”) just released a pot cookbook that solves two formerly vexing problems problems: 1) The book offers tasty recipes that successfully get rid of the food’s cannabis taste and 2) Each recipe here allows you to measure THC dosages to your exact preference. Read our interview here.
CHILL OUT: With Bebel Gilberto
Get psyched for next month’s Olympics with an evening of Brazilian music at Stanford’s Summer at the Bing series, featuring opener Dona Francisca followed by Bebel Gilberto. It’s the sonic equivalent of floating in the world’s loveliest hotel pool. (July 30)
Image via Dev Hynes
LISTEN: Blood Orange
Some vices don’t stick: Did you know Dev Hynes, the falsetto mastermind behind the buzzy synth-pop/R&B hybrid Blood Orange, was once a member of 2004 dance/punk flameouts Test Icicles? Oof (Test Icicles … seriously?). Dev’s latest, Freetown Sound, is an electronic/soul/jazz adventure with a hint of Prince, built for intense headphone scrutiny ... and featuring a bizarrely great guest list that includes Debbie Harry, Nelly Furtado, Empress Of and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Image via Jagjaguwar
STREAM: The Best Songs of July
Our playlist of the month’s best songs, from the long-awaited (16 years!) return of The Avalanches to Angel Olsen’s welcome come-on, “Shut Up Kiss Me.”
Image via Fred Norris
WATCH: Vice Principals
“It’s every motherf---er for himself.” Essentially Eastbound & Down with school bureaucrats, HBO’s new comedy revolves around two vice principals (Danny McBride and Walton Goggins) abusively competing for their school’s top job after the former top dog (Bill Murray!) retires. (July 17)
Image via Gemma LaMana
WATCH: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Two idiot brothers/bros (Zac Efron, Adam DeVine) use Craigslist to find dates for their sister’s wedding (based loosely on a true story). Extremely R-rated hijinx ensue. See it because you need one crass comedy this summer. And because Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick are national treasures. (July 8)
ALSO THIS MONTH: Once scheduled to star James Gandolfini, The Night Of is a racially and culturally charged crime drama from the writer of Clockers (July 10, HBO) ... Mr. Robot returns for season two; hackers and Reddit posters rejoice (July 13, USA) ... Did we need another Sharknado? Well, we got one (July 31, Syfy) ... The perfectly named, wonderfully awful ‘80s slasher flick Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, which paired scream queens Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer, finally gets a Blu-ray release (July 11) ... Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne, and we thankfully forget the low-rent Jeremy Renner edition (July 29) ... And, finally, if you truly want vice: These unearthed james from Betty “Nasty Gal” Davis and once-hubby Miles Davis will do the trick (July 11).
Main image by Kava Gorna