Top Picks: David Byrne's 'The Best Live Show of All Time,' the Art Institute of Chicago's online collection, and more

A new CNN series, 'American Style,' looks at clothing through the decades, delve deeply into the world of garden planning in the BBC programs 'Monty Don’s Italian Gardens' and 'Monty Don’s French Gardens' on Netflix, and more top picks.


Cheerful show

A year ago, David Byrne launched the website Reasons to be Cheerful, where the singer-songwriter posts good news stories about progress across the world. Byrne’s new concert EP, The Best Live Show of All Time, exudes its own cheer. “Every day is a miracle,” he sings, voice bopping to a Latin beat. On the Talking Heads song “I Zimbra,” two guitars crochet interlocking loops of an Afro-funk riff as Byrne chants the chipper chorus. The communal vibe of “Everybody’s Coming to My House” invites listeners to join Byrne’s celebration of life.

Art online

You can see more than 50,000 high-resolution images of various pieces of art on the Art Institute of Chicago’s site. Works currently available to view include “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, “The Great Wave” by Katsushika Hokusai, and Vincent van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait.” More works are being added. See

Significant style

What can the garments that Americans were wearing at a certain period in history tell us about what was going on in the country? A new CNN series, American Style, looks at clothing through the decades. The series debuts Jan. 13 at 9 p.m.  

Courtesy of Kino Lorber

Generational conflict

Maria Mozhdah stars in the movie What Will People Say as Nisha, a teenager who is forcibly brought to live with her father’s family in Pakistan. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer calls the film “extraordinary,” writing, “The movie is as much about generational conflicts as it is about religio-cultural divisions.” “What Will People Say” is available on DVD and Blu-ray. This movie is not rated.

Garden explorations

Delve deeply into the world of garden planning in Monty Don’s Italian Gardens and Monty Don’s French Gardens, two miniseries from BBC Two that are now streaming on Netflix. Learn about the history of horticulture (it was wildly popular in Renaissance Italy) and how styles have evolved over time and in various regions. The design factors that take a garden from nice to remarkable are usually invisible, but Don’s poetic and astute commentary reveals the complex thought behind an exemplary backyard experience.

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