Top Picks: The podcast StartUp, Bill Frisell's new album 'Guitar in the Space Age,' and more

Author P.D. James' novel 'Death Comes to Pemberley' is adapted for TV, the Library of Congress exhibit 'The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom' highlights components from the library's collection to illustrate the fight for equality, and more top picks.


Guitar among the stars

Guitarist Bill Frisell can play any style of guitar with his signature wit and tender touch. His newest album, Guitar in the Space Age, is an affectionate tribute to late 1950s and early ’60s guitar-based pop music that inspired a young boy growing up in Denver to want to play guitar. Sputnik-era instrumentals such as “Pipeline,” “Rumble,” and “Telstar” get the unique Frisell treatment, and the Beach Boys’ “Surfer Girl” has never sounded so beautiful.

Big, bold fail

How do you start a business? Radio veteran Alex Blumberg explores this question in his new podcast StartUp. Blumberg left his job at This American Life and Planet Money to build a company from scratch. The show follows him from big idea to execution. Each episode feels honest and intimate: He records his humiliating, failed pitches to millionaire venture capitalists and explains how he improves his pitch for the next time. It’s available on iTunes or at  

Jane Austen reimagined

P.D. James unravels Jane Austen’s neatly tied up “Pride and Prejudice” with a murderous twist in Death Comes to Pemberley. The TV adaptation of the novel stars Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy and Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth Darcy, who are about to open their home for a ball. Elizabeth’s sister Lydia arrives, saying a murder was committed. What happened? It debuts on PBS on Oct. 26 at 9 p.m. and concludes Nov. 2. 

Struggle for equality

Marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Library of Congress presents The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom. The exhibit is on display in Washington, D.C., until Sept. 12, 2015, and it’s accessible online at Smartly written, it highlights images, letters, and audio components from the library’s collection to illustrate the fight to establish social and racial equality. 

Tricorn salute

Rock musician Paul Revere, who died recently, was the irrepressible leader of the hit-making pop band Paul Revere & The Raiders. One of Columbia Records roster of 1960s superstars, the Raiders far outsold more critically acclaimed labelmates such as The Byrds, Bob Dylan, and Janis Joplin, with a string of infectious singles: “Steppin’ Out,” “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” and “Hungry.” You can revisit those smashes and more on “Paul Revere & The Raiders Greatest Hits” on CD or online.

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