Rock to country
The art rock band Mercury Rev has gone country. Wait, don’t turn the dial. To honor country songwriter Bobbie Gentry, Mercury Rev has recruited notable female singers for The Delta Sweete Revisited, a reinterpretation of Gentry’s cult-classic album. Accompanied by sitar and orchestra, Norah Jones transforms “Okolona River Bottom Band” into something approximating a James Bond theme song, and Margo Price delivers an urgent “Sermon,” while Lucinda Williams reprises Gentry’s 1967 No. 1 hit, “Ode to Billie Joe.”
Actor Sam Neill traces the route taken by Captain Cook in a new series from the Ovation cable network, The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook. Neill looks at the effect Cook and his exploration had in the region and on history. “The Pacific” is currently airing, and you can catch up on old episodes on the Ovation Now app.
Journalist Elvis Mitchell travels to the areas that inspired filmmakers and actors in a new series, Elvis Goes There. Subjects of the Epix TV show, which is currently airing, include Sofia Coppola and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler. Previous episodes are available on the Epix app.
Pop culture foods
On the Binging With Babish YouTube channel, home chef Andrew Rea recreates iconic foods from movies, TV shows, and video games. It turns out that Courtesan au Chocolat from Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is tricky to make and the famous Krabby Patty from “Spongebob” can actually be improved on. Mr. Rea also has a “Basics with Babish” series where you can figure out food foundations like béchamel and soup stock.
Two men – one a self-taught radio repairman, the other a highly skilled jazz guitar player – competed to be the first to invent the electric guitar and transformed modern music as we know it. The Birth of Loud, a book by Ian S. Port, chronicles the fascinating story of how Leo Fender of Fender guitars and Les Paul of Gibson guitars developed competing models of the now-iconic electric guitars that launched bands as well as guitar virtuosos Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Paul himself.