Movies: Tim Burton brings us “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.” But I’d rather see “American Honey.” TV/Streaming: HBO’s giant “Westworld” premieres on Sunday. On Saturday, “SNL” is back for a new season, with Margot Robbie as host and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. Music: John Prine, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton: Baby boomer icons with best-selling new albums for baby boomers. “When October Goes” is one of my favorite songs: I wish someone would write “When October Comes.” Books: Every time I see Alton Brown’s new cookbook, I think: “I’d eat Rachael Ray recipes before I’d eat Brown’s dreck! Sports: Big weekend for the Mets and their playoff hopes. Finally: Why is anybody surprised about the rise of Trump? The need for a Savior — promising salvation and bringing destruction — appears to be hard-wired into our species.
If rappers are the new rock stars perhaps it’s because so many of them seem to be cognizant of the old ones. On Tuesday, Danny Brown (left), one of rap’s most interesting voices, released his new album, “Atrocity Exhibition,” named after a Joy Division song (itself named after the book by JG Ballard). Brown has a longstanding relationship with the band. In a 2013 Guardian interview, he cited Ian Curtis (center) as an influence, and the band have informed his music since 2011’s album XXX. Rapper Vince Staples (right) has also delved into Joy.
Italian police recovered two stolen Vincent van Gogh paintings—said to be of “priceless value”—during an anti-mafia operation in Naples, officials confirmed Friday. The two early van Gogh works—Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuene and View of the Sea at Scheveningen—were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in an infamous 2002 heist—listed by the FBI as one of the top 10 art crimes ever—and “appear to be in relatively good condition,” authorities said. It is unclear when the paintings will be returned to the Netherlands, but prosecutors intend to use them as evidence in a case against the Naples-based Camorra crime family.
“Sherlock” actor Benedict Cumberbatch joined former Pink Floyd singer/guitarist David Gilmour onstage at the Royal Albert Hall in London this week for the song “Comfortably Numb.” Gilmour is in the middle of a series of five shows at the London venue in support of his 2015 album “Rattle The Lock.” Cumbie sang conversationally and was well-received.
Lady Gaga is a great choice. She’s got the showmanship required to pull of the extravaganza. She knows how to wear flashy costumes. Madonna has both of those qualities, but Gaga has authentic musicianship — not that music is the object of halftime. Gaga is only the 5th woman tapped for this gig.
Ava DuVernay‘s “The 13th” opens tonight’s NY Film Festival. The reviews are terrific. It is being praised for its “spectacular truth” and “riveting interviews.” The movie will be available on Netflix next Friday. Can’t wait.