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To Do: October 8–22, 2014

Twenty-five things to see, hear, watch, and read.

Pop Music
1. Listen to Perfume Genius
Smells like punk spirit.
The Seattle avant-pop artist Mike Hadreas’s third album as Perfume Genius is also his best. Don’t let its hushed tones and modest run time fool you: Too Bright is more epic than records double its length, and more punk than music ten times as loud. —Lindsay Zoladz
Matador Records.

2. See Fire! Curated by de Pury de Pury
You can almost eat the dishes.
My old TV compadre, the inimitable Simon de Pury, and his brilliant wife, Michaela, have organized one of the hottest group shows around, at one of New York’s best galleries, Venus Over Manhattan—which is operated by my old nemesis Adam Lindemann. This impeccable exhibition zeros in on ceramics, one of the fastest-growing media in contemporary art. We get the rough-sexy pots of Andrew Lord, soft-sexy ones by Young-Jae Lee, and the fabulous gigantic prehistoric ashtrays of Sterling Ruby. Please touch. —Jerry Saltz
Venus Over Manhattan, through November 1.

3. See Pride,
Solidarity! .
Gays pledge common cause with striking miners in this rah-rah-union, rah-rah-gay-rights, boo-hiss–Maggie Thatcher British ensemble comic drama—such an expert rabble-rouser that even a confirmed anti-union homophobe would find it hard to resist. See it before the inevitable Broadway musical adaptation. —David Edelstein
In theaters now.

4. Hear The Source
An informant sings.
Could any real person be a more ready fictional character than Chelsea Manning? The man turned woman and soldier turned whistle-­blower (or traitor), the public emblem of our collective privacy, Manning is the title character of Ted Hearne’s The Source. The opera’s subject, however, is not her but us. —Justin Davidson
Brooklyn Academy of Music, October 22 through 25.

5. Watch American Horror Story: Freak Show
Season four’s human oddities.
After the morass of miscalculated provocations that was season three, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk seem to be taking things in more of a season-two direction, refocusing on a traveling carnival that arrives in Jupiter, Florida, in 1952. The troupe includes conjoined twins, dwarves, and people with deformities; rest assured that this underdog-favoring show will ask who the real freaks are. —Matt Zoller Seitz
FX, October 8, 10 p.m.

6. Hear Hilary Gardner
A voice worth seeking out.
Jeff Goldblum interrupted his recent madcap Café Carlyle show to introduce Hilary Gardner, a singer he’d just met that day; then her poignant, direct rendition of “Autumn in New York” stole the show. Her choices on this new record are anything but traditional—listen to her sing Tom Waits’s “Drunk on the Moon.”
The Great City, Anzic Records; October 15 at 55 Bar.

7. Read Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Never mind who wrote it.
The pseudonymous Italian novelist Elena Ferrante may not want fame, but she deserves it. This third book in her series about two friends—urbane writer Elena and self-taught dropout Lila—finds them navigating the ’70s, motherhood, and activism. Start with the first book, My Brilliant Friend, and you’ll be caught up before the fourth and final one makes its way into English. —Boris Kachka

Pop Music
8. See Hatsune Miku Expo 2014
“She” will be “here.”
Hatsune Miku (roughly “first sound from the future” in Japanese) is a pop star who does not exist. She’s a vocaloid—an animated virtual performer (think Gorillaz meets Hologram Tupac). Naturally, this sort of thing is much bigger in Japan than it is here, but that may change after the Hatsune Miku Expo, which will culminate with “cutting-edge projection technology and a live band.” Let’s see where this goes. —L.Z.
Hammerstein Ballroom, October 17 and 18.

New Music
9. Hear Superposition
Music of the spheres.
If you’ve ever wondered what it felt like to be an electron whirling through probabilistic states, Ryoji Ikeda’s Superposition probably isn’t going to supply the answer. Instead, it imagines the experience as an audiovisual immersion in a concert hall. Chances are it will be either good or bad, but not both at once. —J.D.
Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 17 and 18.

10. See Time Is Illmatic
Nas onscreen.
Twenty years ago, Nasir Jones released Illmatic, arguably rap’s GOAT, and although Nas has sold more than 20 million albums since then, he’s never quite equaled those first lyrical heights. In this documentary, we get a look at his career and influences, and particularly his relationship with his father, the jazz musician Olu Dara.
October 1.

11. Read Station Eleven
Cordelia after the apocalypse.
Emily St. John Mandel comes by her genre—highbrow dystopia—honestly, having published three small-press literary thrillers. By focusing on a Shakespeare troupe roving a post-pandemic world, she brings a hard-focus humanity to the form. Repeated flashbacks to the life of an early flu victim, an actor who dies onstage while playing Lear, provide both comic relief and the pathos of a beautifully frivolous world. —B.K.

12. See Michael C. Hall in Hedwig and the Angry Inch
He put on some makeup.
Neil Patrick Harris was suave; Andrew Rannells had the Broadway voice. Neither was especially seedy as the internationally ignored singing sensation with the “angry inch.” Michael C. Hall, late of The Realistic Joneses (not to mention Dexter and Six Feet Under) should have no trouble bringing the dark. —Jesse Green
Belasco Theatre, starting October 16.

13. See The Dog
The real life of Dog Day Afternoon’s Sonny.
In 1972, John Wojtowicz tried to rob a Brooklyn bank to pay for his boyfriend’s sex change. The attempt ran way off the rails, and Wojtowicz went to prison—but he also inspired Al Pacino’s character in Dog Day Afternoon, and this documentary fills in the story of the crime and his post-prison life. (One tidbit: He went to see The Godfather just before heading to the bank.)
iTunes/Vimeo on Demand.