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To-Do List: Socially distanced columbia arts and entertainment picks (July 29-Aug. 5)

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Taylor Swift’s folklore

Taylor Swift’s folklore is not the mold-shattering effort it has been made out to be. Yes, she recorded it during COVID-19 isolation, and yes, Bon Iver appears on one of the songs, but it is not a visceral document of loneliness a la For Emma, Forever Ago. Yes, the initial album cover featured Swift alone in the woods with a black-metal-ish logo, but the sounds here are neither edgy nor extreme. What folklore really is will take more than a few days to determine. How well the expected echoing but restrained soundscapes mustered by The National’s Aaron Dessner fit Swift’s bittersweet evocations of nostalgia and romance, and how much this new collection, heartfelt and richly detailed, takes her songwriting to a new level, are questions music fans will continue to debate. Start formulating your own opinion now. JORDAN LAWRENCE


HIIT class

I used to believe that the way you can measure how out of shape you’re in is to simply do a pick-up basketball game at a park. Well, we can’t play ball at parks, so now I’m shamed into learning my fitness status by taking a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). For a fun way to go to the gym and not be all on the equipment, find one of these classes to give you the workout your new dad bod needs. PREACH JACOBS


Palm Springs is streaming via Hulu.


Palm Springs

In a different world, this fabulous, existentially grounded Groundhog Day homage would be the indie flick blockbuster of the summer. The chemistry between co-stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti is undeniable as the film ricochets through its convoluted (and scientifically under-baked) plot with a perfect, near-impossible balance of raucous comedy, emotional sincerity and philosophical ennui. Plus, it gets bonus points just because it’s fun to see a new movie these days. Palm Springs is streaming via Hulu. KYLE PETERSEN


Buy art for your crib

Every other day I get an alert from Michael’s with discounts on frames. These regular reminders opened up a rabbit hole, as I went to several sites and just bought art. Since we can’t leave the house as much, might as well make the house a bit more fly. That means taking some stuff off the walls and adding new stuff. The simple action can make you feel like you’re living in a new home. PREACH JACOBS


Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World

As millionaire members of Congress debate additional stimulus measures at what could only be called a cruel pace given that enhanced unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans out of work due to COVID-19 in just a few days, now might be a good time to read Annie Lowry’s book exploring the concept of a universal basic income, Give People Money. While Lowry spends time thinking about what a UBI looks like in different places throughout the world and how it might look in the U.S., the book is ultimately more about the ways in which our current social safety net comes up short for so many of us. KYLE PETERSEN



Tom Hanks just can’t get away from WWII flicks. This time, he gets writing credit for the adaption and stars in Greyhound, a visual exploration of the Battle of the Atlantic. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this, which I coin Saving Private Ryan on water. It’s based on the novel The Good Shepard — but it’s not to be confused with that travesty of a DeNiro movie. Greyhound is streaming via Apple TV+. PREACH JACOBS


Nat King Cole

Before Nat King Cole was everyone’s favorite velvet-voiced balladeer, he was one hell of a jazz pianist, defining the piano trio sound with a series of singles in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Collections like The King Cole Trio Vols. 1-4 and Nat King Cole at the Piano reveal Cole’s bright, sharp style on the keys, and he even penned a few originals to go along with his versions of standards like “Moonlight In Vermont” and “How High The Moon.” Yes, he was a wonderful, warm vocalist, but check out his early, all-instrumental recordings to hear the truly hot trio of Cole, guitarist Oscar Moore and bassist Johnny Miller strut their stuff. VINCENT HARRIS


Float the Saluda and Congaree

You could do something more active, like kayaking or paddle boarding. But floating down the Saluda into the Congaree River is fantastic on a tube — mostly smooth, with just enough small rapids to make it fun, and with cold enough water to make three hours spent outside in Columbia in July a pleasant experience. Palmetto Outdoors will bus you from the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater to an access point under the Saluda Riverwalk, off Candi Lane. Or you could just buy your own river tubes online, leave one car at the Amphitheater, where there’s an easy exit, and drive up to the Saluda access — a good option if you’re trying to maximize your distance from others. Either way, bring some fine local beer to crush — the Columbia Craft Lager or Carolinian blonde would do nicely, as would the Hazelwood Pilsner or Mexican Lager. JORDAN LAWRENCE

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