Greedy Lying Bastards
What used to be innocuous small talk — "How’s the weather?" — is now one of the most contentious topics of our time. Anyone who savors a good climate change debate will appreciate this belligerent documentary by activist Craig Rosebraugh. As its title makes clear, the filmmaker has an opinion or two about the fossil fuel industry and the fat cats who rule it and he's got company on both sides, from scientists to skeptics. His two years' worth of interviews include U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, former Environmental Protection Agency head Christine Todd Whitman, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
People, Hell and Angels, Jimi Hendrix
Countless rock superstars have come and gone over the four decades since the shocking death of our generation’s anointed guitar god, but none have managed to eclipse his legend. Proof: More than 30 posthumous Jimi Hendrix records have been released — roughly 10 times the number he made when he was alive. This one is special. With 12 never-before-released recordings that feature Hendrix experimenting with new styles, incorporating horns, keyboards, percussion and a second guitar, it’s a rare glimpse into the mind of a one-of-a-kind musical genius.
Vikings, The History Channel, premieres March 3
The History Channel’s first scripted episodic series is centered on Norse adventurer Ragnar Lothbrok, his family and band of followers. You don’t have to be a history buff to be taken in by the $40 million series, drawing praise for its lush scenery and dazzling effects. Entertainment value took priority over historic accuracy, largely out of necessity. There’s little documentation of the Dark Ages so the creators took artistic license and ran amok with it, telling the story in a way it's never been told: from the point of view of the Vikings.
Little Known Facts, Christine Sneed
This acclaimed debut novel by Christine Sneed is all about Renn Ivins, a hunky 50-something movie star, and everyone in his orbit who bask in — and are repelled by — the glow of his fame. It’s voyeuristic stargazing without the guilt. "Little Known Facts is juicy enough to appeal to our prurience," said a review in The New York Times, "but smart enough not to make us feel dirty afterward.”
WORTH THE TRIP
Music of Prince, Carnegie Hall, March 7
Merge a benefit concert with a tribute concert and what do you get? Twice the satisfaction. Nearly two dozen all-star artists will take the stage at the famed hall for a tribute to Prince benefiting music education for underprivileged New York City youth. The roster includes Elvis Costello, the Roots, Citizen Cope and Alice Smith, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Booker T. Jones, DeVotchka, Living Colour and Sandra Bernhard.
Pamela Miller is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles.