Picks of the Week: Rainy days with old music and new Netflix

Two people sit against a window, in conversation.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer/Courtesy

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Happy Monday, Berkeley!

Start the week off with a brand new novel. I recommend Liz Nugent’s 2016 “Lying in Wait,” which is part of the exploding genre of Irish crime novel. The book, Nugent’s second, is the definition of a page turner and feels similar to the female-centered thrillers of Gillian Flynn. If you haven’t already, make sure to read Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” and watch the Golden Globe-winning HBO miniseries based on the novel. Crime novels are a perfect counter to heavy, monotonous school reading. People who try to read “Ulysses” during their free time cannot do it properly and are kidding themselves.

“Capernaum” will be playing this Tuesday at Landmark Theatres’ Shattuck Cinemas (and for the rest of the week, for that matter.) The original cut of the movie about a young boy seeking emancipation from his parents was 12 hours long before being whittled down to a measly two hours in the final cut. Last year when “Capernaum” was shown at Cannes, it got a 15 minute standing ovation. Last month when it was shown in Pasadena, a woman stopped me and my friend me to tell us it was the most she had cried at a movie in 25 years.

The forecast for the next week in Berkeley is looking pretty rainy and foggy, and that has always been my favorite look for Berkeley. Spend Wednesday walking to a cafe and listening to a playlist full of romantic comedy songs — from “What the World Needs Now Is Love” from “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” to “It Had to be You” from “When Harry Met Sally”— which make for the absolute coziest of soggy walks. Babette (above BAMPFA) is one of my favorite cafes on rainy days. But be sure to bring a jacket and a fully charged computer because it can get a little chilly and they don’t have outlets — but they do have ginger lemonade.

On Friday why not stop by Zellerbach Hall for music, theater and more with the Caleidoscope “nonstop performance”? Admission is free to watch these two to four-minute performances by UC Berkeley staff, faculty and students. Caleidoscope, which begins at 8 p.m., promises to present the “very best of performing and fine arts” on campus.

Spend Saturday binging all the new Netflix Original offerings. This past week, “Russian Doll” was released — a series, I’m told, is best if you go into it knowing nothing about it. I can only promise it will reinvigorate your lust for both New York City and Natasha Lyonne. “Velvet Buzzsaw,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, was also released recently. It’s the perfect choice for those of you who, like me, will devour any dark movie that looks cynically at the contemporary art world. It also gives off “Nightcrawler” vibes, with the same writer-director (Dan Gilroy) at the helm. This is my second favorite Jake Gyllenhaal vibe, after gay cowboy.

This Sunday the Grammy Awards will be hosted by Alicia Keys (of “wet dream tomato”) herself. So spend the day catching up on all the nominees before the big night. The artist with the most nominations is Kendrick Lamar, despite the fact he hasn’t released a new solo album in almost two years (get to it, Kendrick.) I think this might be my final opportunity to gush about how amazing “Dirty Computer” by Janelle Monáe is, so I am going to take full advantage of that. This album has everything — queer anthems, Black anthems, femme anthems. “Dirty Computer” is the mecca of intersectional bops. I recommend “Pynk” and “Screwed” as a good introduction to the album. The most commercially popular track from the album is “Make Me Feel,” which was utterly robbed of a Record of the Year nod.

This week at the Daily Californian, our friends at the Clog compiled a guide to weekday drinking, with picks for the best place to go out for cheap drinks every day of the week. Over at Arts and Entertainment, fashion beat Salem Sulaiman picked the best dressed from the SAG awards — from which Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton was my personal favorite. Sorry Michael B. Jordan, but the harness trend is really not working for me.



Kate Tinney writes the picks of the week newsletter. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @katetinney.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Caleidoscope begins at 7 p.m. Friday. In fact, it begins at 8 p.m. Friday.