What to see, read and hear

This Week in Culture: July 18, 2014

The Man Behind The Music Unless your internet presence is exceptionally sheltered, you’ve no doubt seen one of Weird Al’s music videos promoting his new (and purportedly final) album, Mandatory Fun. The A.V. Club took a moment to interview the national treasure, who has been skewering pop culture songs for 35 years.
Cutting the Cable It is possible that there are no institutions as widely reviled as cable companies, what with their loose definition of the word “timely” and their exorbitant fees. Maybe it’s a good idea to cut corners when it comes to entertainment so you can spend your money on much more important things.
Nostalgic for Illmatic Nas’s Illmatic is widely regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. It’s been 20 years since its debut, making now a perfect time to take a look back and remember what made it memorable.
The Routines of Great Minds It seems like every week there’s some new study on how sleeping, eating or working a certain way will help boost productivity or creativity. If the daily routines of some of history’s greatest minds are any indicator, there is no set formula.
VMA Nominations You can lament that MTV no longer plays music videos all you want, but the network still puts out it’s Video Music Awards every year. This year’s nominations have recently been announced, with Beyonce, Eminem and Iggy Azalea leading the pack with the most nominations. An interesting nomination is Lorde’s “Royals” for the best rock category, suggesting that Rock and Roll might be dead after all.
Mike Magee’s Day Off Now that the World Cup is over, Mike Magee wants to try and keep you interested in soccer. By teaming up with other American players, the Major League Soccer MVP created a spoof of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as a promotional video for MLS Soccer. Unfortunately, it does not feature any lip syncing of “Danke Schoen“.
A Day in the Life of a Cabbie When riding in an NYC cab it seems easy to imagine what a cab driver’s day might be like — but you’re only one of many, many riders. Chris Whong, a data solutions architect at Socrata, decided to create a visualization of what a taxi’s daily journey looks like.
Defending Garden State Despite his happy-go-lucky character on Scrubs, Zach Braff clearly has a lot of personal angst, if his films are any indicator. Wish I Was Here just released in theaters, and like Braff’s Garden State, it centers on a white guy’s internal struggle. Maybe we’ve grown to loathe these types of films as we get older, but one Vulture writer seems to think that at least Garden State is still relevant.
The Grandes Dames of the Sea We love vintage cars. We love boats. When you combine the two and have a race you get the Argentario Sailing Week, essentially a Mille Miglia for sea vessels. An NPR story details the running of these majestic old yachts.
From Role Playing Games to Game of Thrones The popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons has just turned 40 years old this year, and while it could be passed off as a time killer for nerds, it has in fact inspired many great fiction writers. So, the next time you feel like knocking the game, just remember that George R.R. Martin was — and still is — a fan of role-playing games.
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