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Don’t-Miss List: ‘Sound City,’ Joyce Carol Oates and More

See it! Hear it! Read it! Do it! The best of movies, TV, music, books and beyond


MUSIC

Sound City Real to Reel
 
Sentimentalists will appreciate the lengths Foo Fighter frontman Dave Grohl went to in the making of his passion project — first a documentary, now this record — paying tribute to Sound City, the now-shuttered Los Angeles studio where he and Nirvana forever changed the course of rock 'n' roll. When Grohl recruited all-star artists (including Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks and Trent Reznor) to write and record these new songs in 24-hour marathon sessions, he insisted on using the Sound City soundboard that had breathed life into the music of so many legendary artists.
 
TELEVISION

Fix America: The Healthcare Dilemma, March 28, 9 p.m., RLTV
 
Intelligent alternatives to the squabbling and ranting punditocracy may seem few and far between, but they are out there. Case in point: this Face the Facts USA Special. Featuring a top-level panel of doctors, policy analysts and health care experts, the show explores real — and rational ­— solutions to one of our nation’s most intractable challenges: how to save our strained health care system at a time when aging boomers need it most.
 
MOVIES
 
Room 237
 
“Heeere’s Johnny!” More than three decades have passed since Jack Nicholson spoke that unforgettable line in The Shining, but the image of his gleefully twisted grimace is no less vivid than the day it first scared our pants off. Cinephiles are still pondering the hidden meaning of Stanley Kubrick’s mystifying classic film. This intriguing documentary examines a range of competing theories about The Shining’s subtext, from the Holocaust to the genocide of Native Americans to one scholar’s belief that it’s really Kubrick’s veiled confession that he helped NASA fake the moon landings.

 

BOOKS
 
The Accursed, Joyce Carol Oates
 
Joyce Carol Oates will turn 75 this summer — and as her latest book (No. 70!) proves, “slowing down” is one phrase that’s not in the prolific novelist’s vocabulary. The Accursed is a supernaturally saturated account of the curse that torments a powerful family in Princeton, N.J., at the turn of the 20th century. None other than Stephen King summarized the book with 10 words: "dense, challenging, problematic, horrifying, funny, prolix, full of crazy people." He added that “Oates’s hypnotic prose has never been better displayed.” 
 
WORTH THE TRIP
 
David Bowie exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (March 23-August 11, 2013)
 
“Bowie is no ordinary pop star,” says Victoria and Albert Museum co-curator Victoria Broackes. “He has seeped into every area of our culture.” That’s the inspiration behind David Bowie Is, the major new multimedia exhibition that’s demolishing ticket sales records at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. (It also explains why Bowie is topping music charts at age 66.) Featuring 300 items — film clips, photographs, handwritten lyrics, storyboards for videos and drawings of costumes and sets — the exhaustive exhibition will no doubt wow Starman fans and pop culture buffs alike. One highlight: 1971 film footage of the only meeting between Bowie and Andy Warhol.

Pamela Miller is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles.

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