To-Do List: Arts and entertainment picks for Columbians in self-isolation (June 17-24)

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Dave Chappell’s 8:46 is now streaming.

MUSIC/GIVING

Support musicians of color on Bandcamp

June 19, or Juneteenth, is a day commemorating federal orders in 1865, which freed the last remaining slaves in the Confederacy. The online music retailer Bandcamp, following its monthly fee-waiver days to support artists affected by COVID-19 cancellations, has started a new Juneteenth tradition this year, and will donate its full share of proceeds on June 19 — this year and every year moving forward — to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Knowing that a portion of your purchase will support the artist directly and another will support the fight for justice and equality, this Friday is an ideal opportunity to seek out and support artists of color, artists with unique viewpoints and backgrounds, and artists whose work resonates with you. BRYAN C. REED

COMEDY

Dave Chappelle’s 8:46

It’s official: The distance between Dave Chappelle and other comedians is now equivalent to Secretariat running away from his competition. Chappelle dropped a 26-minute special called 8:46 last week, taking the title from the amount of time that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin spent on the neck of George Floyd during the incident that killed him. You’re not going to laugh much during this particular presentation that include a couple of South Carolina references, but somehow it’s still comforting to hear from him. It feels less like a comedy special and more like a eulogy, but I’m glad he’s the one reading it. PREACH JACOBS

ROCK

Two Minutes to Late Night Quarantine Covers

The heavy metal variety show Two Minutes to Late Night was sidelined with the rest of the world by the COVID pandemic, but rather than recite monologues in front of a bookcase, corpse-painted host Gwarsenio Hall has been rounding up friends from heavy music’s upper echelons — members of Converge, Baroness, High on Fire, Spirit Adrift, Cave In and others — to record and perform classic rock covers in isolation. What makes the series a real treat, though isn’t just its on-point song selection (which includes selections from Danzig, Steely Dan, Kate Bush and “Weird” Al Yankovic), but the obvious sense of fun most of the performers express with these irreverent, but endlessly replayable cuts. BRYAN C. REED

FILM

Da 5 Bloods

If it’s not the best timing ever, it’s close: Spike Lee released his Da 5 Bloods film on Netflix last week. Part Vietnam mystery and part social commentary about black lives domestic and abroad, Spike explores one of his most creative scripts yet. With an amazing ensemble performance and inevitable Oscar buzz for Delroy Lindo, it’s good that we still have Lee behind the lens in times like these. PREACH JACOBS

SOUL

Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On

Marvin Gaye released his masterpiece, What’s Going On, in 1971. But it’s sadly more relevant now than ever. Conceived as a continuous suite of percussive, emotional soul music, Gaye looks deep within his spirit on some tracks (“God Is Love”), but when he looks outward, it feels like he’s looking at 2020. His statement of grief about our collapsing environment, “Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology),” and towering title track (a desperate plea for understanding), are the best-known songs, but it’s hard to hear the line “Trigger happy policin’” on the album-closing “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” and not flinch. VINCENT HARRIS

TV

Be Water

ESPN refuses to slow down after the 10-part Michael Jordan documentary opus The Last Dance, and continues with its award-winning 30 for 30 sports documentary series. This go round, it explores the life of Bruce Lee with Be Water, named after Lee’s life philosophy and fighting style. The doc is in the style of HBO’s Elvis and Sinatra docs, and proves that Lee’s legacy is still vibrant, and serves as a palpable reminder of the tragedy of what could have been. PREACH JACOBS

COMEDY

Yvonne Orji’s Momma, I Made It

If you’re a fan of Insecure on HBO, then you’re familiar with the character Molly played by Yvonne Orji. What you might not know is that she’s also a stand-up comedian who opened for Chris Rock during his last tour. She gets her own hour on the small screen with Momma, I Made It. And let’s be honest: We can use a little black joy right about now. PREACH JACOBS

HIP-HOP

Deante’ Hitchcock’s BETTER

Sometimes you just need a good hip-hop record that’s both new and familiar, and Atlanta rapper Deante’ Hitchcock’s major label debut BETTER fits the bill. Offering refreshing blend of old-school lyricism and contemporary musical flourishes, Hitchcock excels at everything from vulnerable autobiography (“I Remember”), joyful celebration (“I Got Money,” featuring fellow Atlantean and kindred spirit JID) and thought-provoking social commentary (the Miguel/St. Beauty collab “Flashbacks”). KYLE PETERSEN

BOOK

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

Many of us have been returning (or adding to) our bookshelves as Black Lives Matter protests surge across the country, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning 2015 effort Between the World and Me is a fine place to start. Written as a letter to his son, the book delivers a harsh, yet literary, exploration of the depths and despair to be found in how white supremacy and racial violence is deeply embedded in the DNA of the country. KYLE PETERSEN

TV

Hannibal

I promise you: Hannibal really did air for three years on NBC. The series starts off as an especially cerebral crime procedural. But the vivid, artsy depiction of the murder scenes and the surrealist dream sequences tip you off that there’s more beneath the surface. And, wow, is there, as the subsequent three seasons become dominated by an exhilarating and terrifying seduction by the infamous titular cannibal of a man whose empathy is so extreme that it threatens to take him down a similarly dark path. Couple that with the other generally great character work and the expert cuts between violence and food preparation, and you get a sophisticated modern horror series that feels far more at home when you’re binging on Netflix (where the show is now streaming in its entirety) than it ever did on broadcast television. Here’s hoping it does well enough to get us a fourth season. JORDAN LAWRENCE

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