THINGS TO DO
“Searching for Sugar Man”
Where: Landmark Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis
Sixto Rodriguez released two albums in the early 1970s, collections of bluesy folk songs that never garnered much of an audience in his native Detroit. His music floundered at home but flourished in the apartheid-stricken Cape Town, South Africa where fans heralded him as an icon. The Oscar winner for best documentary, “Searching for Sugar Man” details Rodriguez’s career from local obscurity to international fame. Director Malik Bendjelloul follows two South African Rodriguez fans in their quest to find the singer after rumors of his death. Myths make the journey extraordinary, and the soundtrack uncovers lost soulful gems.
“Chamber Music” with BallakÃ© Sissoko and Vincent Segal
Where: Cedar Cultural Center, 416 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis
Malian born BallakÃ© Sissoko and French native Vincent Segal first collaborated for “Chamber Music,” an album brilliantly weaving Sissoko’s 21-string kora with Segal’s cello. The two united again for this year’s “For Peace,” a title unfortunately not resonant with the ongoing turbulence of Sissoko’s native country. Partly recorded in Bamako, Mali, the new collection represents a serene instrumental masterpiece, another example of the rich culture threatened by Islamic extremists in Mali. Fight the tyrannical suppression of Mali’s music with the lush instrumentation of this duo.
“The God Particle” album release show, Mr. Gene Poole with Bionik
Mr. Gene Poole’s a veteran of the Twin Cities hip-hop scene, collaborating with Atmosphere’s Ant and Slug since 1998 with the release of the local classic “Dynospectrum.” His newest release will no doubt feature his relentless energy, an explosive mix of hardcore and rap he has perfected in battles over the years. The new record features production from Bionik, who has worked with emcees like Aceyalone, Ice-T and Too Short. See a local hip-hop pioneer for only $5 before he changes his pseudonym once again. Also performing: Muja Messiah, Desdemona and Mike the Martyr.
CULTURE TO CONSUME
“Sacrilege” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Karen O and her pop-rock cohorts follow up 2009’s “It’s Blitz!” with their fourth studio release “Mosquito”“ on April 14. Before then, listen to the New York trio’s carefully constructed new single — it strikes a balance between the bratty confrontational feel of “Fever to Tell” with the glossy production of the last album. “Sacrilege” still bleeds the post-punk orchestration reminiscent of TV on the Radio, thanks to longtime collaborator Dave Sitek. If the upcoming artwork featuring a mosquito about to devour a child gives any indication for the rest of the album, “Sacrilege” stands among a group of virulent songs.
“Enlightened” on HBO, 9:30 p.m., Sundays
Mike White’s half-hour comedy-drama “about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakthrough,” stands as the most original show currently on TV. “Enlightened” follows Laura Dern as an executive piecing her life back together after a stint in rehab. Dern’s portrait of a naive idealist exposes the corrupt practices of a large drugstore company in a similar vein to Matt Damon’s caricature in “The Informant!” Unlike the 2009 Steven Soderbergh film, the comedy relies on a stellar cast of characters supporting Dern’s portrayal of Amy Jellicole.
Key episodes: “Consider Helen,” “Agent of Change.”
“The Plastinarium of Dr. von Hagens” by Daniel Engber for Wired
Dr. von Hagens escaped death multiple times in his life, so it’s no wonder why he’s fascinated with the craft of displaying dead bodies. As the mastermind behind “Body Worlds,” he grew up with a rare bleeding disorder and almost died as a result of his condition early on in his childhood. Dr. von Hagens now makes his living on the inventive process for preserving cadavers, with “Body Worlds” exhibitions on display throughout the world. Engber gives life to a death-obsessed figure now 68 years old and coming to grips with his own mortality.