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Top Picks: 'Wolf Hall' on PBS, Slate's new podcast 'Whistlestop,' and more

London duo Public Service Broadcasting has created perhaps the most compelling record of the year so far with 'The Race for Space,' Robben Ford's 'Into the Sun' casts shade over most blues albums, and more top picks.

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Pop goes the moon
 Combining archival news broadcasts with electronic pop, London duo Public Service Broadcasting has created perhaps the most compelling record of the year so far with The Race for Space. Kicking off with J.F.K.’s inspiring call to conquer “the moon and beyond,” band members Wrigglesworth and J. Willgoose Esq. mine the heady excitement of a half century ago (“He’s walking in space! He’s walking in space!”) to fuel their craft with heart and high drama. 

Tudor drama miniseries

Hilary Mantel’s critically acclaimed novels “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” about King Henry VIII’s adviser Thomas Cromwell, come to the small screen with a new miniseries adaptation. Tony Award winner Mark Rylance takes on the part of Cromwell, while Damian Lewis of “Homeland” plays Henry VIII, and Jonathan Pryce is Cardinal Wolsey. Wolf Hall debuts on PBS April 5 at 10 p.m. and will air Sundays through May 10. 

Campaign podcast

As 2016 political campaigns rev up, Slate’s new podcast Whistlestop revisits some “make or break” moments of past presidential candidates, from Ronald Reagan’s “Nashua Moment” to George Romney’s “Ghetto Tour.” Host John Dickerson whisks listeners through the 10- to 20-minute episodes with engaging narratives and endearing wit, expertly tying historical anecdotes to today’s headlines. It’s available free of charge on iTunes and Slate.com.  

Color overload

In the Chinese city of Yiwu, China Commodities City is the largest small commodity wholesale market in the world. In Yiwu Commodity City, photographer Richard John Seymour has captured some of the stalls, which are stuffed with everything from fake flowers to toys. The bright colors of the endless items create mesmerizing motifs. Check out Seymour’s photos at www.richardjohnseymour.com.

Sunburst guitar

Robben Ford’s Into the Sun casts shade over most blues albums. It’s not just because the guest list reads like the contents page of Guitar World magazine. Ford smartly utilizes Warren Haynes, Sonny Landreth, Keb’ Mo’, and Robert Randolph to enhance his diverse flavors of jazz, pop, soul, and Zydeco. On “Breath of Me,” ZZ Ward’s swooning voice and Ford’s smitten guitar form a synchronous orbit. Ford’s tone is so scintillating that you’ll wonder if his strings are fiber optic.

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