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Agenda Newsletter - June 21, 2007

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Agenda Top Pick Tragic story gets proper treatment
A Mighty Heart

Paramount Vantage; Opens June 22; Review; Futterman interview

Watch something lightweight tonight. Tomorrow, plan to see this story of Mariane Pearl’s scramble to save her husband, Daniel, the Wall Street Journal reporter kidnapped in Pakistan and later killed. “Clipped, blunt, and grimly realistic,” according to David Edelstein, Michael Winterbottom’s film stars a remarkable Angelina Jolie, “dipped in caramel,” and playing Mariane with “brusque economy that characterizes the real woman’s writing and public appearances.” The conclusions—about torture, terrorism, Pakistan’s politics, and more—you’ll need to draw yourself.


   
Populist Musical features standout performance(s)
10 Million Miles
 
Jeremy McCarter didn’t swoon over this story of a couple driving up from Florida in a pickup. True, Patty Griffin’s alt-country tunes manage to do “what good pop never fails to do: reel you in with one catchy melody after another.” But check out the “astonishing” Mare Winningham, who plays all the female roles: “Each time she appears—as a tipsy divorcée, Duane’s put-upon mom, the aunt who makes the pies—she is transformed, and note-perfect.” Like—what else?—a good song.

Songs by Patty Griffin
Atlantic Theater Company
Through July 15
$65
Tickets  »

     
Indieist Spoon, stripped to their very best
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
 
After nearly fifteen years of making deliciously raw indie-rock records, Spoon has stripped down to almost nothing. Each and every hand clap and piano chord on their foot-stomping, flawless new album, now streaming on their label’s Website, is obsessively placed. Meanwhile, Britt Daniel’s sculpted yowl meets the ethereal falsetto you may remember from that Jaguar ad. When the cheery baritone sax and dance-hall echoes hit, it feels like you just might burst.

Spoon
Merge
Out July 10
Listen  »
Buy it  »

     
Square He's the new Dylan
Bob Dylan
 
“Absolutely Sweet Marie.” “Blowin’ in the Wind.” “It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding).” Perhaps you know these numbers. But with Dylan back in the country (and despite what his Website says about sold-out upcoming shows), you have the opportunity to hear not only these recent tour standbys, but also the jazzy, keyboard-driven stuff off last year’s Modern Times, a work that serves as yet more proof that the late-period Dylan draws from the same deep well as the prime-period one.

June 27 and 29
Mohegan Sun Arena, Nikon Jones Beach Theater
Tickets  »

     
Aesthete Thankfully, he doesn’t have reader’s block
Enrique Vila-Matas
 
In Vila-Matas's latest antic work, Montano’s Malady, the narrator adopts the voices of various writers—Cervantes, Sterne, and Kafka—in order to overcome a crippling case of writer’s block (what he calls “literature-sickness”) and finish his long-awaited novel. Autobiography and literary allusions are woven together so brilliantly that it’s eventually unclear which is which. If you experience cognitive disorientation during the author’s reading and conversation with Paul Auster tonight, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Reading and conversation with Paul Auster
Instituto Cervantes
7 p.m.
More info  »

     
Kids Long days begin journey into night
Summer Solstice Celebration
 
The riverside park’s annual pagan celebration, which coincides with the first day of public-school vacation, has a laid-back feel, with live world music, D.J.'s, food served by local ethnic eateries, and lots of artist-led, sun-themed activities, including headdress-making (think photo ops) and a swap shop (bring an old toy). But we’re betting the real hit will be Flux Factory’s whimsical pirate-shipwreck installation–not to mention the sunset over Manhattan.

Socrates Sculpture Park
June 22
5 p.m.
More info  »

     
 
 

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Thursday June 21, 2007
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