Top Picks: Gareth Murphy's book 'Cowboys and Indies,' the iPhone app Bounden, and more

AcornTV has streaming episodes for fans of 'Agatha Christie's Poirot,' PBS features a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's 'Requiem Mass,' and more top picks. 

Famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel directs Requiem Mass with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Master Chorale

Summer of whodunit?

If you are a fan of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, starring David Suchet as the dapper Belgian who solves the most difficult cases with a sharp mind and a dry wit, AcornTV will be streaming the final five episodes online every Monday from July 28 to Aug. 25. Check it out at

Step together

The iPhone application Bounden sashays the line between lovely and goofy. Designed in partnership with the Dutch National Ballet, the new dancing app asks two players to grip either side of an iPhone and move the device in unison. When performed well, the choreography looks beautiful. When we tried it, the results felt more like a round of upright Twister. This fun, physical party game costs $4 in the Apple App Store

Record-Label history

Music producer Gareth Murphy challenged himself to write the 130-year history of the record business in one volume. Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry is a fascinating journey from the earliest breakthroughs in recorded sound by A.G. Bell and Thomas Edison to the all-digital industry of today. Visionary producers and label heads, backroom deals, lucky breaks, and lots of star power make this a must read for music fans.

Up from ruins

In the “POV” documentary Fallen City, survivors of the 2008 earthquake in China that destroyed the city of Beichuan struggle to move forward. As a new city is built (and promoted by the government), the Pengs, who lost an 11-year-old daughter in the earthquake, try to find money for a new flat; Ms. Li care for her paralyzed mother; and teenager Hong Shihao struggles with school after his father’s death. “Fallen City” airs on PBS July 28 at 10 p.m.

Requiem under the stars

Requiems have been composed for centuries, but few match the power and drama of Giuseppe Verdi’s legendary Requiem Mass. Famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel directs the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Master Chorale with remarkable passion, bringing out the serene magnificence and visceral intensity of Verdi’s monumental score. The program features Julianna Di Giacomo, Michelle DeYoung, Vittorio Grigolo, and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo singing at the Hollywood Bowl. It airs on PBS’s “Great Performances” on Aug. 1 at 9 p.m.

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