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The Five Spot: Entertainment to Put in Your Brain This Week

The Five Spot: Entertainment to Put in Your Brain This Week: Peter Dinklage in 'Pixels'

Peter Dinklage in 'Pixels'

This week, short things grow into long things: a 150-second YouTube video becomes a 105-minute feature, short stories become a 784-page anthology, three-minute singles become a five-CD set, and the #sharknado joke endures long enough to become another deliberately disastrous disaster movie.

This time, the unkillable SyFy mocksploitation TV-movie franchise deposits its whirlwind of jaws on Washington, DC, where the President and Vice President are respectively played by Mark Cuban and Ann Coulter. Also out the same day: a one-shot Archie Vs. Sharknado comic book. No, we are not making this up. (July 22)

Gwenno Saunders has a voice like spun sugar, and she used to be one of the Pipettes, a “conceptual pop band.” Her debut solo album (originally released in a limited edition last year) is wonderfully bizarre: it’s inspired by 1970s futurism and sci-fi, and sung entirely in Welsh and Cornish over dreamy, richly layered sunshine grooves. (July 24)

Patrick Jean’s delightful 2 ½-minute short film from 2010 (above) about the Earth being attacked by 1980s-style Space Invaders has now spawned a feature film directed by Chris Columbus. The cast includes Adam Sandler, Michelle Monaghan and Peter Dinklage; the President in this one is Kevin James of Paul Blart: Mall Cop. (July 24)

Billy Vera has had one of the oddest careers in music: he’s best known as the singer of the 1986 #1 single “At This Moment,” but he also had a Top 20 R&B hit in 1967 with “Storybook Children,” and he’s a music historian and doo-wop expert. Vera compiled and wrote the liner notes for this five-disc box, a sequel to three others he put together between 1994 and 2000. (July 24)

new american stories cover

Ben Marcus is a first-rate fiction writer himself, and he’s assembled this smart, eccentric anthology of short stories from the past decade. Some of the usual suspects are represented — Zadie Smith, Don DeLillo — but there are a lot of unfamiliar names as well, and some welcome surprises, like Kelly Link’s startling “Valley of the Girls.” (July 21)

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