Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

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Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

Mitski’s Bury Me at Makeout Creek

It’s a sad truth that I haven’t had the time to discover many new musicians this year, but Brooklyn’s Mitski didn’t even give me the option to ignore her. I heard “Townie,” her noise-pop single about an apocalyptic night of partying and longing in a dead-end town that includes one of the year’s best lyrics (“I want a love that falls as fast as a body from a balcony”), and was hooked. Since then, I’ve fallen especially hard for “First Love / Late Spring,” a heartbreaking power ballad of sorts that touches many of the same themes as “Townie.” But Bury Me at Makeout Creek is a gorgeous album all the way through, spinning aimlessness into poetry. — Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief

Belle and Sebastian’s Vinyl Reissues

This week was my life-partner’s birthday, and I bought him the Belle and Sebastian vinyl-reissues that recently became available. Since he started playing them around the house, I realized that even though it was supposed to be a purely altruistic present that was all about him, I was really, really enjoying them. In particular, I loved hearing their b-sides, “Push Barman to Open Old Wounds” coming from the record player. From the melancholy earlier b-sides to the quirky pop of the group’s later years, it’s been a vinyl-coated tour down memory lane. — Sarah Seltzer, Editor-at-Large

Andrew Russeth’s “Pierre Huyghe: Traveler of Both Time and Space”

Pierre Huyghe may be the best artist that cosmopolitan Americans know nothing (or very little) about. I wouldn’t know much about him at all if I hadn’t seen his survey show at the Centre Pompidou in Paris last year, which was one of the best — if not the best — survey show I’ve ever seen. It’s difficult to describe Huyghe’s oeuvre; the survey show alone exhibited a room-sized weather machine, unbelievably beautiful light-box shows, a kind of Antarctic opera, and a sculpture with a beehive head (just to name a few of its objects). All of this and much more are profiled in a new piece by Andrew Russeth of Artnews (“Pierre Huyghe: Traveler of Both Time and Space“). Given how little we know about Huyghe, and how much we should, Russeth’s piece is my long-form recommendation for the week. — Jonathon Sturgeon, Literary Editor

Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go

The much-trumpeted, best-selling reunion/farewell show from immortal English comedy troupe Monty Python, staged at London’s 02 arena and simulcast to theaters around the world, is available now on DVD and Blu-ray for us Pythonites who couldn’t quite motivate ourselves out of our homes, and it’s a treat—mostly. It runs a bit too long (two and a quarter hours), primarily due to vintage clips used to smooth out transitions in the live show, but certainly not necessary in this format; and the aging comics break character and crack each other up with a rather alarming frequency. But those are nitpicks—there’s so much joy, for the audience and performers, in seeing these guys back together again, and the big production numbers surrounding such Python tunes as “Spam” and “The Lumberjack Song” are both hilarious and well-done. (The staging is credited to Eric Idle, who worked similar magic with Spamalot). And the old sketches are still a blast, with a few nice surprises: they supplement the expected classics with rarely staged bits like the “Protestant—and fiercely proud of it!” scene from Meaning of Life and the unsung classic “The Last Supper” from Live at the Hollywood Bowl, and do some surprising and clever combinations (including the “Dead Parrot/Cheese Shop” mash-up we’ve all been waiting for). They Pythons are definitely showing their age, and the time is probably right for them to hang these bits up for good. But it sure is nice to see them have one last “go”—know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge, say n’more. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor

Rihanna in Business Casual

This woman would look perfect in a burlap sack. Though I suppose this Altuzurra suit is a few steps up from that. — Angela Lashbrook, Editorial Apprentice

The Fashion Fund on Ovation

Ovation’s The Fashion Fund is basically Project Runway, but with consequences more significant than a position as a contributing editor at Marie Claire. The show follows finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund as they apply and compete for the prize, which is $300,000 and a yearlong mentorship. The talent is leagues above what’s found on other design reality show — Public School won the first season’s competition — and it’s nice to see the faces behind the names we see on the racks (DVF, Rage & Bone dudes, etc.). It’s a shame it’s over on Ovation, which is a fine network that very few people seem to remember exists. — Shane Barnes, Editorial Apprentice

Tunde Adebimpe singing “Unknown Legend” in Rachel Getting Married

There is a new TV on the Radio album out this week, which means that there are new interviews with the forever crushable Adebimpe. In this excellent Stereogum piece on his occasional forays into acting (and go rent Jump Tomorrow, it’s a lovely romantic comedy) he talks about his role in Rachel Getting Married, and we should all think about how romantic and lovely it would be if Adebimpe serenaded you with some Neil Young at your wedding to him. I mean, not that I’m getting married to him. But if I was… — Elisabeth Donnelly, Nonfiction Editor

Revisiting So Much Garbage

Yesterday, my coworker posted the video of Garbage’s “Only Happy When it Rains” on Facebook. It inspired quite a marathon. I go through a strange cycle with Garbage: I forget that they ever existed until someone waves them in front of my face(book), and then recall that, at 13, they were my favorite band. Suddenly, my appreciation comes cascading down on me like that rain which I, too, was only happy in. I vividly remember just how saucy and sardonic and sexy Shirley Manson’s growl made me feel as I, say, decoupaged that scratchy pink “G” onto my diary or danced in my living room with a red wig on while pretending to be sick from school. The remastered version of “#1 Crush” on Absolute Garbage is especially worth revisiting, if you’re interested in rekindling whatever feelings of tepid rebellion Garbage gave you when you were younger. Don’t you just want to be “the queerest of the queer?” — Moze Halperin, Associate Editor

Amy Poehler’s Yes Please: The Comedy Heroine Memoir of My Dreams

You know how everyone read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and was like, “This is funny, but uh, does it feel like Tina Fey put a wall up?” I’m not saying every celeb memoir has to deliver the dirt — and that’s not what Amy Poehler’s new book does, seeing as she barely addresses her divorce from Will Arnett. But it ideally gives us a peek inside someone’s inner monologue and personal growth. Poehler is a very funny narrator in Yes Please, but she’s also insanely warm, smart, and empathetic. She writes as much about her career as she does her life outside of her career, which is of course not a requirement of successful women penning memoirs. But it does give us an awfully well-rounded portrait of how she got where she is. — Jillian Mapes, Music Editor