Top Picks: Miami City Ballet on PBS, New York Times documentary on DVD, new Feist CD and more

Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine & Tharp from "Great Performances" airs on PBS' Arts Fall Festival, Documentary follows The New York Times as it enters world of social media, Grammy-winner Feist releases new CD and more top picks.

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    In this Aug. 29 file photo, singer Feist poses for a portrait in New York. Feist's latest release, "Metals," is the follow-up to her breakout album, "The Reminder."
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Feist returns

She's Canada's alt-rock goddess and 2008 Grammy winner (for the impossibly catchy "1234"). She's Feist, and she has just crafted a sonically gorgeous, intimate, and altogether glorious new album, Metals. A true original, her lyrics, melodies, and métier emanate from some special place only a gifted artist can conjure. Fortunately – every few years or so – she invites us in for a glimpse. Standout tracks include "A Commotion," "Undiscovered First," and "Caught a Long Wind."

Truth or Hollywood fiction?

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Ever watch a movie and wonder how closely the based-on-a-true-story tale matches up to the truth? The people at ChasingTheFrog.com did, too – the website researches the facts behind the cinematic adaptation. One example: There apparently was not a newspaper article published detailing "The Social Network" character Eduardo Saverin's animal cruelty. "There was no mention of him or cannibalism in the article," Chasing The Frog concluded.

Dance into fall

Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine & Tharp from "Great Performances" airs on PBS Oct. 28 at 9 p.m. This is part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. Artistic director Edward Villella's company performs George Balanchine's "Square Dance" and "Western Symphony" and Twyla Tharp's "The Golden Section."

Island harmonies

If Cuba conjures up images of dancing to salsa and son, then Tande-La will add a whole new dimension to that view. In this new album from The Creole Choir of Cuba – whose 10 members are all of Haitian descent – tales of poverty, protest, survival, and love are wrapped in the choir's rich harmonies. From the classic love song "Dulce Embelezo" to the fiery "Edem Chanté" freedom song, the album takes a broad sweep – a tour of the island's Creole heritage rarely heard.

'The Social Network' for newspapers

Page One: Inside The New York Times is a fascinating valentine to this venerable paper of record during a critical year in its history. In this documentary, newly out on DVD, be a fly on the wall as the paper navigates the rocky, new territory of online content. This is a must-see for anyone who cares about the future of news-gathering.

Make your own pop-up toaster!

How do you make a common object "from scratch"? Thomas Thwaites explores the idea in his witty book, The Toaster Project (Princeton Architectural Press), in which he attempts to create a toaster – beginning with the iron ore. The book prompts some interesting questions about the hidden costs of consumer culture and, of course, illustrates just how difficult it is to make a toaster – it took nine months and $1,837. By the end, Thwaites had assembled a crude contraption he calls a "bread warmer," which gets hot but may not actually be able to toast anything.

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