Top Picks: The Sky Guide AR app, 'May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers,' and more top picks

The Viking Age Podcast is currently exploring the story of the Germanic people who influenced European culture, Sam Elliott stars as a former movie star best known for westerns in the movie 'The Hero,' and more top picks.

Old friends return

It was an interesting year for Grammy nominees – kind of a free-for-all, like the music business these days. And some old friends were back, sounding better than ever. Old-school soul siren Ledisi has returned without missing a beatbox. Check out her song “All The Way.” Alt-country fave Chris Stapleton released From a Room: Volume 2 late in 2017. It’s intimately stunning, like his once-in-a-lifetime voice. And the latest work from the most-awarded female in Grammy history (that would be fiddling songbird Alison Krauss) is the countrypolitan collection Windy City. So listen up and enjoy!

Star guidance

The Sky Guide AR app lines up with the night sky overhead when you hold your phone or tablet to the sky – and it works even if you don’t have service, so you can get more information on the stars no matter where you are. The app also has information about hundreds of satellites, and it has a lovely display. The app is $2.99 for iOS. 

Melanie Stetson Freeman/ Staff

Vikings history

If you’re looking to learn more about the Vikings, good news! Host Lee Accomando is currently exploring the story of the Germanic people who influenced European culture with Viking Age Podcast. You can find it at

Singing brothers

The Avett Brothers band has been nominated for Grammys and received other praise for its folk-rock sound, most recently heard on the 2016 album “True Sadness.” The new HBO film May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers explores the making of that album as well as how the group found the success it is experiencing today. The film airs Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. and will be available after that on HBO Go and HBO Now.

Courtesy of The Orchard

Western ‘hero’

Sam Elliott stars as a former movie star best known for westerns in the movie The Hero, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes that Elliott and actress Laura Prepon, who portrays a stand-up comic who is romantically involved with Elliott’s protagonist, Lee, are both “quietly effective.”

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