To-Do List: Arts and entertainment picks for Columbians in self-isolation (May 20-27)

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MENTAL HEALTH

Disconnect

Turn off your phone. Shut down the laptop. Power down the electronics in general and just enjoy the silence for a bit. We’re in an absolutely insane era of history, and an avalanche of information is available to us in a second, whether it’s actually true or not. Why not hit the mental reset button and just do nothing for a bit to escape it all? Sit on the porch. Take a nap. Just exist for a while. VINCENT HARRIS

TV

German Bundesliga soccer

Germany’s top-flight soccer league became the first in Europe to return to action this past weekend. The geisterspiele, Deutsch for ghost games (yes, the Germans really do have a word for everything), are a surreal watch. The echo of the players and coaches’ shouts through the empty stadiums make the matches seem more reminiscent of YMCA pickup games than high-level professional sport. There’s still plenty of intrigue left in the season, with four teams vying at the top of the table for the Bundesliga title, including perennial powerhouses Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Tune in via the FOX Sports family of networks to fill your live sports void. CAM POWELL

MUSIC

Wombat Junction benefit live-stream

Wombat Junctions, who strike a balance between rootsy choogle and indie rock angles that could prove a strange middle ground for acolytes of Archers of Loaf and Tom Petty, played a live-stream concert when they released their invigorating new album The Long Game in March. They do so again on May 23, this time benefiting the Curiosity Community Tab, through which the Cottontown coffee shop is paying for service workers’ beverages during these tough times. The concert starts at 8 p.m. via facebook.com/warehousesclive. JORDAN LAWRENCE

TV

Rewatch the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Starting with Iron Man in 2008, Marvel Studios built a damn universe spanning 23 films and counting. And even if it wasn’t always perfectly constructed (remember when Captain America made out with his dead girlfriend’s niece?), the movies have always been entertaining and fun, something that the DC Extended Universe of movies tends to overlook. And now, you’ve probably got time to go all the way from Tony Stark putting on the armor for the first time to watching him make (spoiler alert if you’re a year behind) the ultimate sacrifice. You can also endlessly rewatch the “Avengers assemble” scene and think back to a time when we could all sit together in a movie theater and cheer. All of the films — save Ant-Man and The Wasp and Avengers: Infinity War (both streaming on Netflix) and the two MCU Spider-Man jaunts (for which Sony holds the rights) — are available via Disney Plus. VINCENT HARRIS

MUSIC

Slide Guitar Workshop in Open D Tuning

“The wail of a blues singer is emulated by the sound of … glass slid along steel strings,” writes acoustic blues guitarist Pete Madsen. Madsen, known for a virtuosic technique that rivals Leo Kottke’s, dissects and delves into the soulful power of slide guitar in a workshop that focuses on open D tuning, also known as Vestapol tuning, used by players like Charley Patton, Bukka White and Duane Allman. The $20 presentation streams at noon on May 23, 12 p.m. Find it at learnbluesguitarnow.com. PAT MORAN

TV

The Wire (and read All the Pieces Matter)

It’s been two months of being stuck at home, so you’ve definitely worked your way through a veritable mountain of streaming material. Maybe it’s time to revisit some of the Mount Rushmore classics with a new perspective? The Wire is one of the all-time great prestige dramas, and the relatively recent oral history All the Pieces Matter by Jonathan Abrams is a great companion piece that brings a sharp, bright behind-the-scenes angle from which to re-watch. KYLE PETERSEN

MUSIC

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s Reunions

The organic, near-effortless Americana grace of Jason Isbell is best experienced live, but a new record with a new batch of songs is always worth celebrating. Reunions, his latest LP, dropped last Friday with some lush, ’70s-esque sonic forays that made it sound like he might be listening to a bit too much Dawes, but he’s such a good songwriter at this point, and with such a sympatico backing group in the 400 Unit, that he rarely spins anything less than gold. KYLE PETERSEN

VISUAL

Mütter Museum virtual tour

If you need a reason to feel optimistic about the current state of things, a perusal of America’s finest museum of medical history will make you glad we’re no longer living in an age when leeches or bloodletting were considered viable medical treatments. Closed due to the pandemic, the Philadelphia landmark has opened a free virtual tour of its exhibits via YouTube. With a focus on the museum’s famed and vast collection of historical oddities, curator Anna Dhody leads viewers through the Hyrtl Skull Collection, the preserved body of “The Soap Lady,” slivers of Albert Einstein’s brain, and the Giant Megacolon, among other delights. BRYAN C. REED

PODCASTS

Binge Mode and The Rewatchables

Yeah, I still consume plenty of pop culture these days. But I don’t spend nearly enough time sitting with friends discussing that pop culture. And while it’s not remotely the same, I’ve been getting something close to that hit of nerdy camaraderie with two great podcasts from The Ringer: Binge Mode and The Rewatchables. The former typically takes hyper-detailed, multi-episode deep dives into franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter, but is now doing weekly one-off episodes on topics that range from the comic book Saga to the conclusion of The Clone Wars, charming listeners in large measure through the humor of hosts Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion. The latter finds the irrepressible Bill Simmons leading a revolving cast as they dig into movies that hold up to many repeated watches, with similarly smart and hilarious results. JORDAN LAWRENCE

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