Swiftpicks

10 Things Not To Miss From A&e Editor Tim Swift

August 23, 2009|By Tim Swift

CONCERT

Flaming Lips:

This quirky Oklahoma City act hasn't changed its live show in years, but why mess with awesome? Lead singer Wayne Coyne takes to the crowd in a giant hamster ball. And even the backup dancers (these Santas really can move) stand out in these psychedelic spectacles. Show starts 7:30 p.m. Friday at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Web: merriweathermusic.com

TV

'The Rachel Zoe Project':

She's an unhinged, catchphrase-spewing Hollywood stylist - meaning she's pretty much a reality-TV producer's dream subject. So it's no surprise that she's back for a second season of meltdowns, celebrity couture and more meltdowns. Expect plenty of traumatized yet well-dressed assistants and rivers of mascara-laced tears. Airs 10 p.m. Monday on Bravo.

FESTIVAL

The Maryland State Fair:

While the rides, the funnel cakes and the barnyard animals are the mainstays, this end-of-summer blowout has plenty other tricks up its sleeve. Look for a host of attractions, including bull riding, horse racing, performances by Gavin DeGraw and Boyz II Men and even a "Masters of the Chainsaw" competition. Starts Friday at the fairgrounds in Timonium.

Web: marylandstatefair.com

GAMES

'Batman: Arkham Asylum':

The Caped Crusader goes into the belly of the beast to restore order after the Joker commandeers Gotham's oh-so-secure nuthouse. You play as a seriously beefed-up Bats, manhandling goons with your fists and taking down super-villains with a mix of high powered gadgets and good, old-fashioned detective work. Out on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on Tuesday.

ART

'Herman Maril: :

An American Modernist':

It's your last week to catch the abstract landscapes and seascapes of this renowned 20th-century artist. Dozens of his paintings inspired by his life in Baltimore and Provincetown are on display at the Walters. Ends Aug. 30.

Web: thewalters .org

POP MUSIC

'Humbug' :

by the Arctic Monkeys:

After a bit of a slump with their last album, "Favourite Worst Nightmare," these British rockers wanted a change, and they got it. Recording in the California desert, the band has embraced a darker and harder-driving sound without sacrificing (too much) of what put them on the map. In stores Tuesday.

THEATER

'Wittenberg':

After a successful run at the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival in May, this modern "Hamlet" prequel gets an encore run in Columbia. The play has the Danish prince studying under two very different college professors - the spiritual Martin Luther and the rational Dr. Faust. Opens 7 p.m. Wednesday at Rep Stage.

Web: repstage.org

DVD

'Adventureland' :

Known for his raunchy teen hit "Superbad," director Greg Mottola delivers another youth comedy, but this time the vibe is more mature and mellow. Jesse Eisenberg stars as a brainy college grad working at a seedy '80s amusement park in this heartfelt coming-of-age story. In stores Tuesday.

CONCERT

Alexa Ray Joel:

Alexa Ray Joel has some serious shadows hanging over her: She's the daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, and she's named after Ray Charles. To her credit, she's carved out a career as a singer/songwriter/pianist without riding daddy's coattails. Show starts 7 p.m. Mondayat Annapolis' Rams Head on Stage.

Web: ramsheadonstage.com

FILM

'Taking Woodstock':

Director Ang Lee writes a cinematic love letter to the '60s music festival (and possibly to LSD as well) with his new dramedy about how the event got rocking. While it glosses over some of Woodstock's rough edges, the quirky film's can-do, let's-put-on-a-show spirit is infectious. In theaters Friday.

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