Top Picks: Tim Gautreaux’s 'Signals,' 'Lion' on DVD and Blu-ray, and more

Netflix's 'The Mars Generation' follows teenagers as they learn what they will need to know to travel to the Red Planet, 'The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke' will put a smile on your face, and more top picks.

Propitious pairing

Feeling stuck in a musical rut? We’ve got a funky, swinging antidote from Down Under that’s raring to put a smile on your face and a hip-hop in your step. The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke chronicles the propitious pairing of two popular acts on the international jazz scene: the Australian horn-heavy quartet The Vampires and Benin-born guitarist Lionel Loueke. The cool-grooving album sounds like these five talented musicians are soul brothers from different mothers.

Working-class stories

Tim Gautreaux’s latest collection, Signals, blends new and selected stories from previous works, with most set in his native Louisiana. Gautreaux concentrates on working-class people. From the farcical to the futile, his characters make the mundane sublime, spanning an aging Cajun widow undaunted by an armed robber’s invasion of her kitchen to an aging man whose memory lapse results in him being briefly abducted and enslaved by a shiftless opportunist. Very few writers can trump Gautreaux, a pro’s pro who deserves a larger audience than he has now.


Fishing tips

Are you a fan of fishing and looking to tap into experts’ knowledge? With the Pro Fishing app, experienced captains give you tips, and the app provides information on where to go, weather reports, and more. If you’re starting out, the app has lessons in subjects such as how to tie particular knots and even prepare your fish in the kitchen. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Lauded ‘Lion’

Actors Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel received Oscar nominations for their work in Lion; the film, which was also nominated for the best picture Academy Award, is available on DVD and Blu-ray. It tells the true story of Saroo Brierley, a young Indian boy who got lost but was adopted by an Australian couple. Later in life he was able to use Google Earth to find his hometown and reunite with his biological family.

Mars travel

According to Netflix, teenagers are currently The Mars Generation,and a new documentary available on the streaming service follows 15- to 18-year-olds at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center as they learn what they will need to know to travel to the Red Planet. The documentary also delves into the bigger picture of what it will take to travel to Mars.

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