Swiftpicks: 10 things not to miss from A&E editor Tim Swift

January 18, 2009



Can our favorite castaway drama get any weirder? After watching this week's trippy two-hour season premiere, the answer is definitely ... heck, yeah. Locke's dead (well, maybe), Hurley is on the lam and Sun is really, really bitter. But those plot lines seem positively tame compared to what's happening on the recently relocated mystery island. The new season starts at 9 p.m. Wednesday on WMAR, Channel 2.


'The Breakthrough':

by Gwen Ifill:

The Obama-ish book that caused a minor stir at last fall's vice presidential debate is finally ready for a read just in time for Inauguration Day. While Obama gets plenty of ink, Ifill, a respected political reporter, is more interested in the bigger picture. She chronicles the rise of a new generation of African-American politicians that includes Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. In stores Tuesday.


'Noble Beast':

by Andrew Bird:

This Chicago singer is hard to pigeonhole. His songs are somehow simultaneously folksy, orchestral and brooding. He plays the violin, guitar, mandolin and even the glockenspiel. And did I mention he can whistle like nobody's business? Bird puts all of these eclectic skills to bear on his latest album, which is poised to make him a name outside of Chi-town. In stores Tuesday.


Bye, Bye Bush:

Something tells me this isn't going to be a teary send-off. Local artists are celebrating the end of the Bush era with performances, paintings and poetry. In a cheeky nod to current events, organizers encourage you to bring shoes or boots to throw at an effigy of poor George. But please keep the sharp stilettos at home. Starts at 8 p.m. Monday at Load of Fun Gallery in Station North.

For more: loadoffun.net


Baltimore Restaurant Week:

Fine dining and a horrible recession don't co-exist well, but for one week at least, you can party like it's 1999. Starting Friday, more than 90 local restaurants, including trendy places like Cinghiale and Brewer's Art, will offer three-course dinners for only $30.09. Some of the restaurants are offering lunch for $20.09.

For more: baltimorerestaurant week.com


Rhys Darby as Murray:

in 'Flight of the Conchords':

The quirky comedy about a pair of New Zealand folk singers trying to make it in New York is back for its second season. And even better news is that Murray, their ineffectual yet scene-stealing manager, hasn't given up on them. In the premiere, Murray gets the star treatment and even an operatic solo. Airs at 10 tonight on HBO.


'The Children of Huang Shi':

Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as an impulsive war correspondent who becomes the unlikely headmaster of a Chinese orphanage. Lost amid splashier blockbusters last summer, Children is worth a second look on DVD. Based on a true story, the well-paced film sheds light on a mostly untold story of World War II. In stores Tuesday.



: This Oklahoma indie band embraces its bright, psychedelic sound with a sense of wonder and a sense of humor. And all that aural absurdity certainly shines through in the band's unconventional live performances. Expect anything from cross dressing to hypnotism to exercise routines. Show starts at 9 p.m. Friday at the Ottobar.

For more: theottobar.com


'Children of the World':

by Neil Meyerhoff:

The Baltimore photographer continues his insightful globe-trotting work with his latest show at C. Grimaldis Gallery. Meyerhoff traveled to India, Bhutan, Ecuador, Manhattan, Mexico and even the Maryland State Fair in Timonium to capture candid portraits of children. Show opens Wednesday.

For more: cgrimaldisgallery.com



After years of delays, another contender to inherit Harry Potter's fantasy crown finally hits the big screen this week. Based on a trilogy of children's books, Inkheart centers on a father (Brendan Fraser) who can bring books to life. The whimsical film isn't as potent as Potter, but it's always a pleasure to watch accomplished Brits like Helen Mirren ham it up in fantasy land. In theaters Friday.

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