Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise.
PREP: “Origins” Chapter One: Curb Your Enthusiasm
A new podcast that explores the “epochal beginnings” of pop-culture landmarks. Up first: A five-part history of Curb Your Enthusiasm, featuring convos with Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman, Ted Danson and more. A good primer for Curb’s return in October. (9/6)
BINGE: American Vandal
A Netflix spoof of Serial/Making a Murderer that asks the important question, “Who drew all the penises on those cars?” (9/15)
PACK A SNACK FOR: Hamlet
To be or not to be in the crowd for this modern-day, modern-dress presentation of Hamlet, playing at a series of Bay Area amphitheaters and lawns? The former, obviously. Bonus: It's free. (Through 10/1)
PREPARE YOURSELF EMOTIONALLY FOR: Your Name
Already a hit basically everywhere but here, Your Name is the trippy, animated, quasi-Eternal Sunshine-esque Japanese movie about body-switching would-be lovers — a description that fails to convey the film's far-reaching investigation of what it is to be in love, and alive. It's our turn to watch, so see you there? (9/4)
GET SMART(ER): Michael Chabon and Salman Rushdie
Not one but two literary rabble-rousers in conversation on 9/11? They're for sure going to discuss Rushdie's new book — The Golden House — but where they go next is anybody's guess. (9/11)
WATCH: The Deuce
David Simon (The Wire) and a mustachioed James Franco (playing twins!) dramatically tackle New York’s thriving sex industry during the ‘70s in HBO’s next big thing. (9/10)
LAUGH: Burning Man Hate Week
Vicious commentary on the desert gathering you love to despise. Sample: “With a Future Islands song in her heart and her front camera deployed, this truth seeking Etsy saleswoman attempts to ‘commune’ with the still unidentified signal discovered by SETI earlier this week.”
(For a more serious take on the gathering, check out the new photo journal Nothing Left Behind.)
PERUSE: Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds
Every single Playmate of the Month from 1953 to February 2016 — 734 in all — in an 844-page hardcover tome for your coffee table. It’s art, dammit. (9/5)
LISTEN: LCD Soundsystem
David Bowie and Suicide’s Alan Vega both passed away in 2016. And while their legacy lives on in the stacks of infinitely playable records they each left behind, it finds new life in the “discopunk” sounds of LCD Soundsystem, who return — after a massively controversial hiatus — for their fourth studio album this month. Standout tracks include slow-burning opener (and Vega homage) “Oh Baby,” funky second track “Other Voices,” the spaced-out psych rock of third track “I Used To” … who are we kidding? The whole album is a standout. Put it on repeat from now until October. (9/1)
And don’t forget: Jerry Before Seinfeld revisits the comic’s earliest material (Netflix, 9/19) ... ... Old gamers, rejoice: Revamps of the Sega Genesis, Super NES and Atari 2600 are on the way ... New gamers, immerse yourself in the epic Destiny 2 (9/6) or the bonkers cartoon antics of Cuphead (9/29) ... You like Eddie Vedder? You like whiskey? You’ll lap up Louisville’s Bourbon & Beyond Festival (9/23-9/24) ... Salman Rushdie aims for a modern Gatsby (with a Trump twist) in The Golden House (9/5) ... Fall TV means the return of Narcos (9/1), American Horror Story (9/5), You’re the Worst (9/6), BoJack Horseman (9/8), (surprise!) MTV Unplugged (9/8), Broad City (9/13), Better Things (9/14), a new Star Trek (9/24) and Nathan For You (9/28) ... Oh, and South Park (9/13), which returns for its 21st year after an eight-day marathon of past seasons.
Film buffs: Be sure to check out our 2017 Fall Movie Guide.