TV: Sunday-Night Scorecard

The Strain (pictured): After the final season premiere caught up the audience with Eph and Fet, the second episode of the season reintroduces two more members of the scattered core team, Gus and Dutch. Grade: B-. Game of Thrones: The episode was called “Stormborn.” It floored the narrative pedal, with nearly every scene delivering some kind of major consequence for our characters, setting the stage for a cross-section of battles and major power-player meet-ups. Grade: A-. Power: Paz isn’t fond of James or the fact that a married man had a relationship with her sister, but she sets aside her bias to say that Angela should tell her boss if she truly believes James didn’t kill Knox. Grade: B+.

“Detroit” Is “Gripping,” “One-Dimensional”

Reviews are starting to trickle out for “Detroit,” the new movie by Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win an Oscar for directing (“The Hurt Locker”). “Detroit” focuses on the uprising in Detroit in July, 1967, against the white establishment, especially the police.

Brad Pitt Chats With Frank Ocean

Over the weekend, Frank Ocean headlined FYF 2017 in Los Angeles. At one point, while Ocean sang the soul classic “Never Can Say Goodbye,” Brad Pitt appeared on stage. As Ocean performed, Pitt gave a subdued performance of his own, seemingly talking on a phone as his image appeared on the stage’s giant screens. In a recent interview with GQ Style, Pitt revealed that Ocean’s music has been part of his listening rotation. “I’ve been listening to a lot of Frank Ocean,” he said. “I find this young man so special. Talk about getting to the raw truth. He’s painfully honest. He’s very, very special. I can’t find a bad one.”

Leo’s Auction Raises Money For Environment

For the past four years, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation auction—organized by the actor and art collector—has played a starring role on the St. Tropez summer calendar. Last year, the event raised some $45 million on behalf of the “long-term health and wellbeing of all of Earth’s inhabitants”, per the foundation’s mission. This year’s gala and live auction, conducted by Simon de Pury, will take place on 26 July—at an undisclosed location, for security reasons—following an online preview and absentee bidding period on 40 works of art, beginning 20 July. One hundred additional online-only lots will launch on 27 July, with bidding open from 10-23 August. Among the works being auctioned is Camilo Restrepo’s Mera Calentura (2017) (pictured), a mutlilayered collage depicting the environmental toll of the drug trade.

Your Weekend: A Selective Guide

Movies: I didn’t think “Dunkirk” was as spectacular as the critics’ hive mind is saying, but it’s most definitely worth seeing. I won’t buy a ticket but you can be damn sure when it’s on HBO I’ll watch the raunchy comedy “Girls Trip.” TV/Streaming: On Friday, “The Great British Baking Show” does desserts: yum. “Ballers” and “Insecure” return on Sunday. Music: Rob Halford of “Judas Priest” is my rock god, and my friend Ethan Silverman has put together a terrific video game based on Priest. Info here. Books: When I read Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” I had the same reaction Dorothy Parker had to Winnie the Pooh: I just wanted to “fwow up.” Joshua Cohen’s “Moving Kings: A Novel” is being heaped with attention from prestigious reviewers. Sports: Philadelphia Soul is having a brilliant season in arena football. Finally: You won’t ever hear me complain about the summer heat: the hotter it is, the more I see of hot girls and guys.

How Memphis Design Found A New Audience

The Memphis Group’s design style is unmistakable. The output of the short-lived, divisive design collective, which debuted at the Milan furniture fair in 1981 and closed shop six years later, embodied the garish appeal of the decade that style forgot. Their furniture was colorful, kitschy and exaggerated. They stacked slanted rows of cheap plastic laminates and called it a bookshelf. The group – led by founder Ettore Sottsass – decided that geometric shapes made great table legs, and that black-and-white stripes totally worked with lemon-yellow circles. The Met Breuer’s new Read more »

Pop & Rock Bands With Vulgar Names

My favorite of all time has to be the Butthole Surfers. But I also like the L.A. indie outfit known as Holy Shit (album cover pictured). Their eclectic new album is the first musical offering from Semiotext(e), the publishing house run in part by I Love Dick author Chris Kraus.