Agenda Newsletter - June 19, 2007

This variety show, now in its second season, is Simon Cowell’s invigoratingly lowbrow foray into public humiliation. Part Gong Show, part American Idol, and hosted by Jerry Springer, the program has showcased a tightrope-walking dog, a singing bus driver named Mr. Bill, a human slinky who dances to techno music, and an incredibly earnest Elvis impersonator. Tune in to find out what judges David Hasselhoff, Sharon Osbourne, and vicious British tabloid czar Piers Morgan have to say about this week’s “talent”!
    TV show becomes more ridiculous as movie
Reno 911!: Miami   As a movie, Comedy Central’s Cops spoof is basically a haphazardly strung-together extra-long episode with tons of uncensored nudity and cursing. Yes! Lieutenant Dangle and his force of incompetent crime-fighters are put in charge of Miami’s streets after a bioterror attack; Paul Rudd plays the Scarface-style villain, the roller-skating Terry is cited for lewd acts, and sassy cop Raineesha Williams (Niecy Nash) wears a prosthetic ass that you simply must see to believe. 20th Century Fox
Out today
Buy it  »     Orchestra seats to Neil LaBute’s
In a Dark Dark House
See this “darkly compelling tale,” starring Ron Livingston and Frederick Welle. It’s on us. Enter to win!

Untitled Document

Don’t miss the ultralowbrow American Idol
America’s Got Talent
NBC; 8 p.m.;    

Techno compilation pushes boundaries
Soundboy Punishments   Dubstep, a bass-heavy, raga-based electronic genre, was becoming plodding and aggressive when Shackleton revived the micro-genre with his hypnotic World Trade Center memorial “Blood on My Hands.” This compilation, which Shackleton put together with his pal Appleblim’s label, includes the song (and a psychedelic remix by Ricardo Villalobos), but it goes way beyond the minimalism they’re both known for, borrowing Middle Eastern and South Asian rhythms and instrumentation for a sound that’s positively slinky. Various Artists
Skull Disco
$36.49 (Import)
Buy it  »      

Hear great lectures for free
iTunes U
  Feeling nostalgic for college isn’t necessarily pathetic. If you miss the rigors of academic thought, which in fact we sometimes do, check out iTunes U, the latest excuse to buy an iPhone: You can download video and audio classes from universities like MIT, Stanford, and UC Berkeley–for free. Spend your normally useless commute listening to Christopher Hitchens lecturing on Iraq, Cornel West on democracy, Richard Rorty on religion, or the Dalai Lama on nonviolence. More info »

Artist performs clever acts of vandalism
Leopold Kessler
  The three videos here record Kessler’s random acts of vandalism and chicanery. In the best of them, “Rotana Fountain,” he uses a hose to surreptitiously siphon water from a swimming pool at an exclusive Middle East hotel, setting up a spurting fountain in the street. In another, he nonchalantly punches holes in street signs while wearing a worker’s vest. We’d be interested to see Kessler try some of these “performances” in a U.S. fixated on homeland security. Lombard-Freid Projects
Closes June 23
More info  »      

Classic cartoon comes to DVD
Pinky and the Brain, Vol. 3   The third season of this mid-nineties animation classic follows the bumbling exploits of the genetically engineered Acme lab mouse Brain, a Napoleonic super-genius hell-bent on world domination, and Pinky, his slow-witted accomplice. You’ll get a kick out of the satire—obscure references to Orson Welles run rampant—and the little ones will crack up at Pinky’s goofy non sequiturs: “But where will we get rubber pants our size?” Narf! Warner Home Video
Out today
Buy it  »        

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June 19, 2007

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Agenda Newsletter - June 19, 2007