One World: Together at Home
Lady Gaga helped curate this mass-gathering of all-star entertainers, and will headline it herself, which means its likely to be the biggest, boldest, and most interesting of all the fundraisers created to both celebrate and support frontline health care workers. It's already raised over $35 million for relief efforts around the world, and performers putting in work for the cause will include Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Idris and Sabrina Elba, Kerry Washington, Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder, Alanis Morrissette, and many more, all hoping to convince you to pitch in a little bit more if you can. Hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and that one guy who giggled through every Saturday Night Live sketch he was ever on.
(Sat April 18, 5 pm, ABC, NBC, CBS, iHeart Media, free, all ages)
The Mystery Box Show
The coronavirus has us all cooped up indoors, but a really good true-sex tale can set you free, and that's why The Mystery Box Show is taking their long-running, successful, sex-positive, local storytelling show to YouTube for the night, with performances from Esther Godoy, Kate Mura, Dolly Dagger, and Reba Sparrow. The stream isn't behind any paywalls either, but if you're feeling generous, there are donation and Patreon links to click while you watch. A huge part of livestreaming's appeal is just how intimate any given show can be, and you'd better believe things are going to get intimate inside the Mystery Box tonight.
(Sat April 18, 6:30 pm, YouTube, free)
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey
People have been relying on their video game consoles to keep them entertained since the shutdown started, and Sony is leaning into that with their latest overture to Playstation owners: FREE GAMES! Now, because self-identified "gamers" are great at taking awesome things and making them vaguely shitty, let's get this out of the way: All four games being given away—the three Uncharted games in the Nathan Drake Collection and Journey—are old. So old they initially came out on the PS3. And if you've ever subscribed to PS Plus, they've both already been given away as part of that subscription service. BUT: These are versions specifically remastered for PS4 so they look, sound, and play better; and these free versions aren't free on the condition you maintain a paid online subscription. They're just free. Most importantly, they're four of the best games Sony has ever published. It's the gaming equivalent of Disney just up and deciding to give away the first three Indiana Jones movies and then throwing in Fantasia on top of that.
(Now Available, PlayStation Store, free)
Hey, speaking of Disney, they made news last week for announcing yet another remake of a classic animated film. Thanks to the confusing-and-misleading way they made and marketed The Lion King (it was never "live action" but they sure as hell milked that artificial distinction for all it was worth) people responded to the news that 1973's Robin Hood would soon have a similar remake, with a combination of bemusement and discomfort. Which is... not unlike watching the original animated movie, honestly! The wholesome, family-friendly adaptation of the classic myth that also became ground zero for at least three of your current biggest fetishes, Robin Hood is bizarre-but-charming in a specfically '70s way. It's laid-back and rumpled up, like Lt. Columbo animated it himself, and tells a very British story, but with a lot of southern-fried voice acting and the impressively catchy music of country-folk singer Roger Miller. None of these elements should work together at all, and yet, the second that lute-playing rooster starts whistling? Pure happiness.
(Now Available, Disney+, $6.99 per month, free trial here)
Into the Spider-Verse
Social media got itself in a weird tizzy arguing over superhero movies again last week, spending close to 48 straight hours "debating" which of the 33 or so Spider-Man movies is actually "the best one." Why it took any longer than the second someone tweeted Into the Spider-Verse as an answer, who knows—but that's the correct answer, and it's not even close. Into the Spider-Verse, a heartfelt family film literally bursting with pure imagination and exemplary craft, isn't just the best Spider-Man film ever made (sorry, Spider-Man 2, you had a great run) but is arguably the example by which every other superhero adaptation should be measured. Watch it if you haven't before, then rewatch it and know the truth.
(Now Available, Netflix, $8.99 per month, free trial here)
Batcave Dance Party w/ DJ Anjali & the Incredible Kid
Known for fusing heart-quaking electronic with bhangra—a genre with roots in the traditional folk music of the northern Indian state of Punjab—and the soundtracks of Bollywood films, DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid’s dance floor sites are sweaty, glorious chaos, and now those sites include your house, thanks to their livestreams on Twitch.
(Sat April 18, 8 pm, Twitch.tv, free)
In the Lateness of the World
Carolyn Forché is one of the first and best practitioners of "the poetry of witness," a school of poets who use the form to record memories of war, famine, injustice, and every other rotten product of raw nature or human ambition. For the last 17 years, readers have had to content themselves with Forché's nonfiction, her translations, her anthologies, and her scholarship on the El Salvadoran peasant movement. But now she's finally out with In the Lateness of the World, a new collection of post-apocalyptic poems shot through with rays of hope. Sort of like Pound's Cantos filmed by Steven Spielberg with a little Jorie Graham thrown in there.
(Now Available, ebook, MultCo Library w/ card; hardcover, Powell's.com, $24; audiobook, Audible.com, $14) RICH SMITH
This weekend is a big one if you're a Fiona Apple fan, because it's the weekend she releases her first album in seven years, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, the percussion-heavy follow-up to 2012's The Idler Wheel, an almost uncomfortably vulnerable look inside the singer/songwriter's soul. Apple spoke at length about the album (and the eye-opening stories and feelings that went into its creation) with the New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum, and that long-read is a must-read preamble to an album described by co-producer Sebastian Steinberg (formerly of Soul Coughing) as "raw and unslick. She's not 17, she's 40, and she's got no reason not to do exactly as she wants."