Keeping Up (Vol. 20)

by Darren Paltrowitz

Here are another 5 quick picks for you, the loyal reader:

cheaptrick_latest_150MUSIC: Cheap Trick / The Latest – Recently celebrating their 35th anniversary as a rock & roll super-power, Cheap Trick is still recording and touring as much as ever. Presently on the road with Def Leppard, the Rockford quartet is out there in support of their new studio album, The Latest. Track two, “When The Lights Are Out,” is a Slade cover mixed with elements of long-time fan favorite “Elo Kiddies.” Summer movie fans will also be able to catch Cheap Trick’s music in the new Transformers movie, for which they recorded the theme song.  (myspace.com/cheaptrick)

BOOK: John Lloyd & John Mitchinson / The Book Of General Ignorance – A book like that of John Lloyd and John Mitchinson’s definitely doesn’t make you feel smarter at first. In fact, a couple of pages in, you will probably question how much of your public education was worthwhile. However, after admitting your shortcomings and starting to read this, you will have the chance to learn everything from the origins of chicken tikka masala (not India) to the most common material in the world (not oxygen, carbon or water). Retaining all of this information after reading is a whole different story, of course.   (randomhouse.com

SHOW: “Head Case” – The star of “Head Case,” Alexandra Wentworth, is an acclaimed comic actress that got her first big break as a regular on “In Living Color” and a few years after that made a lot of people hate her in Office Space. However, Starz original series “Head Case” has proven to be her true break-out role. Playing Dr. Elizabeth Goode, a shrink to Hollywood stars, viewers will be quick to discover that Goode has more problems and insecurities than any of her clients. Free of a script and laugh track, the show lets its stars and guest-stars shine in truly-improvised nature. (starz.com/originals/HeadCase)

TOOL: FindABetterBank – Curious if your bank is giving you the best deal possible? FindABetterBank lives up to its name in doing just that. Users enter their zip code and then go through a checklist to denote how essentials particular account features are; the categories of such are “don’t care,” “nice to have” and “must have.” Almost instantaneously, the site then matches up accounts from dozens of banks up against what you are seeking, showing the total similarities in percentage form. Fortunately, it turns out that I’m in the bank account most suitable to me. (findabetterbank.com)

COMEDY: Comedy Below Canal – It is easy to find comedy in a city or major market, but necessarily worthwhile live stand-up comedy. Hosted at the 92YTribeca in downtown Manhattan, Comedy Below Canal is a weekly event in which the hosting comedian changes from week to week; recent hosts include Janeane Garofalo, Paul F. Tompkins, and David Wain. Rounded out by an alternating lineup that generally includes comics you’ve seen on Comedy Central and other networks (plus the occasional musician), tickets are never more than $15. Thus, worthwhile and affordable entertainment in a pleasant atmosphere for those in the Greater New York area. (92y.org/92yTribeca)

As always, if I’m missing something that’s worthwhile and deserving of column space, please reach out with an e-mail: darren.paltrowitz@gmail.com.

In the meantime, stay tuned for another 5 picks...

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