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Your Creative Calendar: 73 Things To Do, See, And Hear This May

It’s time to mourn Arnold Schwarzenegger’s zombie daughter (and David Letterman), get serenaded by Best Coast, and read Ronda Rousey this May.

Your Creative Calendar: 73 Things To Do, See, And Hear This May
[Photo Mash Up: Joel Arbaje for Fast Company; The Avengers: Courtesy of Marvel; Mad Men: courtesy of AMC; Mad Max: Fury Road: courtesy of Warner Bros; A$AP Rocky: Flickr user Chad Cooper; Snoop Dogg: Flickr user Adryan Payne; Hot Pursuit: courtesy of Warner Bros.; Pitch Perfect 2: courtesy of Universal Pictures; The Connection: courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse; Results: Magnolia Pictures; Welcome to Me: courtesy of Alchemy; D Train: courtesy of IFC Films; 5 Flights Up: courtesy of Focus World Pictures]

It’s so hard to say goodbye. Here we stand, at the precipice of an enormous crossroads; on one side of which Mad Men and Late Show with David Letterman are still actively delivering episodes, while on the other side, they have become faded relics of the inexorable march of time. Both landmark shows will bow this May, but our hearts will go on. There will still be reminders of the past, like the sequel series to Boy Meets World , a Poltergeist remake, and David Duchovny’s ’60s-set cop show. There will still be glimpses of the future, both glorious and not so much. Also, Snoop Dogg will be there, for he is a man out of time. Step slightly past the present with Co.Create’s guide to all the summer-starting movies, books, and albums, etc., that should ease you though this transitory pop cultural period.

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Movies In Theaters

  • The Avengers: Age of Ultron, opens May 1st. If the movie is anything like the press tour, we’re talking unprecedented levels of epic.
  • Welcome to Me, opens May 1st. Kristen Wiig wins millions of dollars and uses them to go all Kardashian on the viewing public. Watch it with the Wiig-fan in your life who hates reality TV but loves bittersweet ennui.
  • Hot Pursuit, opens May 8th. Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara team up to solve mysteries or something. Okay, that was actually just a guess, the real plot is actually closer to a Midnight Run-style protective cop chase situation.
  • The D Train, opens May 8th. Jack Black appears to be locked in his interesting Bernie mode for this dramedy about luring a semi-famous actor played by James Marsden to a high school reunion.
  • 5 Flights Up, opens May 8th. Can a movie about speculative New York real estate be compelling? If it stars Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton as married Brooklynites, it’s at least a firm maybe.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road, opens May 15th. The franchise has jettisoned Mel Gibson but retained series director George Miller for its first entry in 30 years. The Tom Hardy-led reboot looks like the right vehicle to finally take us beyond Beyond Thunderdome.
  • Pitch Perfect 2, opens May 15th. The Barden Bellas are back! And if you don’t know what that means, you are likely male and girlfriend-less. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and most of the original cast return, this time with producer/costar Elizabeth Banks directing.
  • Poltergeist, opens May 22nd. Few horror series have ever started out as strong and went south as swiftly as Poltergeist did in the ’80s. With the great Sam Rockwell filling in for Craig T. Nelson, and a scary-looking trailer, though, the reboot of this haunted house classic just might give the series a second life.
  • Tomorrowland, opens May 22nd. Brad Bird has never done anything bad. Not just with movies like The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible 4 (I will never say “Ghost Protocol”), but also in life. His future-set George Clooney adventure should continue the tradition.
  • Aloha, opens May 29th. Let’s just forget everything we read about Cameron Crowe’s new movie in the hacked Sony emails and give this Hawaiian rom-com starring Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone a chance. If it sucks, though, let’s meet back here and plot our revenge.
  • San Andreas, opens May 29th. Let’s just get real for a second. When a natural disaster does occur in you area, the person you want to save you is unequivocally going to be The Rock. That’s just science.

Movies To Watch At Home

  • Far From the Madding Crowd, May 1st. This Victorian romance starring Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen should satisfy the never-ceasing thirst of Thomas Hardy acolytes.
  • Maggie, May 8th. Arnold Schwarzenegger has to watch as his daughter, played by Abigail Breslin slowly turns into a zombie. By far, the most interesting choice Schwarzenegger has made since the way he chose to enunciate “You’re-a damaged goods” in True Lies 20 years ago.
  • Area 51, May 15th. The creator of Paranormal Activity takes the found footage concept to the supposed home of aliens on Earth, with sexy results! Wait, not sexy. I meant ‘scary results.’
  • Slow West, May 15th. Michael Fassbender helps a lovestruck youngster makes his way across the 19th century frontierland, amid bandits and varmints.
  • Every Secret Thing, May 15th. May all-star Elizabeth Banks steps out of the director’s chair from Pitch Perfect 2 and into the acting hat of a detective with a special interest in saving children’s lives.
  • Survivor, May 29th. Neither a big screen adaptation of the long-running reality show nor a big screen adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk, this meditation on terrorism features Pierce Brosnan as an assassin pitted against Milla Jovovich’s foreign service agent.
  • Our Man in Tehran, May 15th. Learn the truth behind the events that inspired the Academy Award-winning film, Argo. (Beards were actually not invented until the mid-90s!)
  • The Connection, May 15th. Learn the truth behind the events that inspired the Academy Award-winning film, The French Connection. (France isn’t even real)
  • Jen Kirkman – I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine), May 22nd. The recently divorced and happily childless comedian expands on the idea put forth in her book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids.
  • Results, May 29th. The latest from Computer Chess director Andrew Bujalski examines the relationship between money and happiness. Are the two getting serious, or is it just a rebound romance?

Albums You Should Hear

  • Mumford & Sons – Wilder Minds, out on May 4th. The vest-wearing gents tweak their formula, basically the sonic equivalent of Antiques Road Show, with sexy results! Wait, not sexy. I meant ‘slightly more rockin’.
  • My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall, out on May 4th. The experimental indie rock band that wears the costume of a festival jam band returns with its first album in four years.
  • Best Coast – California Nights, out on May 5th. Bethany Consentino’s dreamy, guitar-fuzz bedroom sounds are always welcome.
  • Mac McCaughan – Non-Believers, out on May 5th. The frontman of Superchunk, not to mention the label Matador, offers a brand new set of solo tunes.
  • David Duchovny – Hell Or High Water, out on May 12th. It’s Duchovny’s world, we’re just declaring where the truth is in it. This mysterious album follows a recent foray into literature, as well as a new TV show.
  • A$AP Rocky – At.Long.Last.A$AP, out on May 12h. This sophomore album features a stellar lineup of producers, including Danger Mouse, Juicy J, and previous collaborator Clams Casino.
  • Snoop Dogg – Bush, out on May 12th. It takes more effort to dislike Snoop Dogg than to like him. Surrender to Snoop Dogg.
  • Prefuse 73 – Rivington Não Rio, out on May 12th. A new set of soundscapes from the producer who’s been bridging hip-hop and EDM long before it was fashionable.
  • Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last,out on May 18th. The prolific garage-rockers never leave fans waiting too long for new songs. Would a year off kill them? Possibly.
  • Faith No More – Sol Invictus, out on May 19th. The singular sneer of Mike Patton returns, along with the rest of his best band, for this long-awaited reunion album.
  • Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter, out on May 19th. The British noise-pop band keeps it consistent with their tight, yet unrefined madness.
  • Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?, out on May 19th. Reliable electro-goofballs Hot Chip are back to weirden up your party. It’s about time! (2014 was the first evenly numbered year since 2002 in which they did not put a new album out.)
  • Tanlines – Highlights, out on May 19th. The synth-happy mood-inducers offer a second helping of 80s-indebted melody.
  • Shamir – Ratchet, out on May 19th. The much buzzed-about singer-songwriter unleashes his soaring vocals on his album-length debut.
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love, out on May 26th. Psychedelic new sounds from the New Zealand-based unit. Get into it.

Things To Watch On Your TV (Or Your Computer)

  • Beyond the Tank premieres May 1st on ABC. This spinoff of addictive business-reality series, Shark Tank, reveals what happens after the on-camera deals are made.
  • Penny Dreadful premieres May 3rd on Showtime. The literary character mashup series begins its second season. Unfortunately for those held in thrall by its goth fashion iconography, it’s nowhere near Halloween.
  • Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck premieres May 4th on HBO. It’s the untold story about the formative years of the Nirvana frontman, showing off a side to his artistry–and relationship with Courtney Love, never before seen.
  • Grace and Frankie premieres May 8th on Netflix. Wouldn’t it be great if 9 to 5 co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin starred in a new show about social enemies who bind together when their husbands get married? And what if the creator of Friends was behind it, and the supporting cast included Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, and Baron Vaughn. And what if it was on Netflix so you could watch it all at once? It’s like all your dreams got together and had a dream called “the truth.”
  • Girl Meets World premieres May 11th on Disney. Cory and Topanga got married and had a baby and now that baby is as old as you were when Boy Meets World ended its run. We all look so different, but at least this show is said to be as charming as it is a throwback. (It’s a huge throwback.)
  • Wayward Pines premieres May 14th on Fox. M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie looks promising, which is a sentence that hasn’t been uttered around these parts in sometime. Perhaps the positive vibes will also be strong with this mystery series about missing federal agents in Idaho, starring Terrence Howard and Carla Gugino.
  • Maron premieres May 14th on IFC. The eponymous comedian and podcaster, who tends to take his neuroses in an aggressive if compelling direction, returns for a third season of his semi-autobiographical show.
  • Bessie premieres May 16th on HBO. Queen Latifah stars as the Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith, in a film directed by Dee Rees, who will soon be collaborating with Shonda Rhimes.
  • Mad Men series finale is May 17th on AMC. The ultimate digression on what a person can change about themselves and what they can’t, cloaked as an office drama about advertising in the 1960s, is coming to a close. The silver lining: limitless re-watch potential.
  • Texas Rising premieres May 25th on History. Killing Fields director Roland Joffé created this miniseries about the Texas revolution against Mexico. Bill Paxton is in it, and we’ve been running dangerously low on supplies of the Pax Man lately.
  • American Ninja Warrior premieres May 25th on NBC. Let the American ninja games begin!
  • Late Show with David Letterman series finale is May 20th on CBS. He had a good run.
  • Aquarius premieres May 28th on NBC. Part of the David Duchovnaissance is this cop show that takes place in 1967, but sadly is not set in an advertising firm where your identity is whatever you want it to be, but you can’t outrun who you really are.
  • Nightingale premieres May 29th on HBO. Selma’s David Oyelowo stars as a war veteran who begins to unravel psychologically before a friend comes to visit, in the film whose screenplay graduated from the Blacklist.
  • The 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is on May 30th on HBO. Rock and Roll is here to stay; it will never die. Well, unless some weird flu wipes out most of the Earth’s human population. If that happens, rock and roll is toast.

Books To Read

  • Davis McCullough – The Wright Brothers, out on May 5th. McCullough explodes the myth of the Wright Brothers; just kidding, he illuminates the story of the pioneering aviator duo with the extensively researched care we’ve come to know and love.
  • Willie Nelson and David Ritz – It’s a Long Story: My Life, out on May 5th. Maybe we’ll finally learn whether Nelson enjoys the occasional toke!
  • Jen Lancaster – I Regret Nothing: A Memoir, out on May 5th. The wildly prolific author–she’s delivered a new tome each year since 2006’s Bitter Is The New Black–returns with a look at her bucket list.
  • Greg Proops – The Smartest Book in the World: A Lexicon of Literacy, A Rancorous Reportage, A Concise Curriculum of Cool, out on May 5th. The loquacious comic and self-styled “smartest man in the world” holds forth on a wide variety of topics limited only by his imagination and page-count.
  • Ronda Rousey – My Fight / Your Fight, out on May 12th. You’ve seen her kick so much ass in UFC and movies like Furious 7–now let her kick your brain’s ass, with words!
  • Mark Z. Danielewski – The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May, out on May 12th. The author of seminal brain-bender House of Leaves offers another presumable mindfuck with this new novel about nine interconnected lives on one day.
  • Neal Stephenson – Seveneves: A Novel, out on May 19th. The disintegration of the moon brings on a torrent of meteor showers in this work by the author of the canonical Cryptonomicon.
  • Evie Nagy – Devo’s Freedom of Choice, out on May 21st. The latest in the long-running 33 1/3 series, wherein each book is devoted to one world-changing album, finds Fast Company‘s own Evie Nagy having the uncontrollable urge to go long on Devo. With an introduction by Fred Armisen!
  • Nick Offerman – Gumption, out on May 26th. Newly without his Parks and Recreation persona, Offerman’s second book, and first that isn’t just kind of a transcript of his one-man show, covers 21 of the man’s man’s personal heroes (starting with George Washington, going up until at least Willie Nelson and Yoko Ono).
  • Mamrie Hart – You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery, out on May 26th. When’s the last time you read a book that gave you permission to consume alcohol in its very title? If you’re a fan of Hart’s same-titled webseries, than you already know what type of soused stories you’re in for.
  • Chuck Palahniuk – Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread, out on May 26th. It’s 21 hard-hitting stories and a novella from the author of Fight Club. True story: his book Haunted nearly made me throw up on a subway ten years ago. Somehow, I managed to put the pieces back together and move on.
Action BronsonPhoto: Flickr user J.RISTANIEMI

Places To Go

  • Jay Rubin and Ted Goossen, both of whom have translated Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s books into English, talk about The Magical Art of Translation at the Japan Society in New York on May 7.
  • Marking the first time he talks about Mad Men from start to finish–oh, God, it’s really ending, isn’t it?–Matthew Weiner will do a Live From The NYPL event with A.M. Homes on May 20.
  • The New York African Film Festival will be at Lincoln Center May 6-12, featuring more than two dozen films.
  • Previews begin May 7th for An Act of God, starring Emmy-bedecked Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons, at Studio 54 on Broadway. Finally–a play based on a Twitter account, in this case @TheTweetOfGod.
  • Silver-tongued, food-obsessed rapper Action Bronson is on tour behind his recent major-label debut.
  • Kids In The Hall, who are definitely residents of the all-time comedy pantheon, are on tour.
  • California Independent Bookstore Day is May 2nd. Only in its second year, this Record Store Day for bookstores has exclusives/giveaways/etc for the literary-inclined.
  • Courtney Barnett kicks off her US tour in support of her album Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I just Sit. FInd out why the solo rocker out of Australia came out of basically nowhere to become the hottest indie act of the year so far.
  • Marvel’s Secret Wars event starts May 2nd. This is a big, big thing for Marvel, who hasn’t done anything to clean up its continuity before. They’ve spent years setting it up in titles like Age of Ultron, Spider-Verse, and Avengers/New Avengers, which is in contrast to how DC tends to do these things (which spring out of nowhere), and they’re launching dozens of new titles that revisit past stories to set it up, and utilizing a lot of their big-name talent to do it. Perhaps the Marvel Cinematic Universe will finally merge wholly with the one that lives purely in comics, which will be as momentous as an ape touching the monolith, in terms of comics.
Photo: Flickr user Jörg Schubert

Weird Holidays To Celebrate

  • Lost Sock Memorial Day, May 9th. Give a proper goodbye to all your former comrades who fell on No Socks Day.
  • Love a Tree Day, May 16th. Do it! And really commit!
  • No Dirty Dishes Day, May 18th. Throw your dishes in the garbage! They’ve had it too good for too long.