1. See Black Francis at 9 p.m. on Saturday at The Haunt
By this point in your life, you either love the Pixies or have gone far too many years without “Debaser” storming your virgin ears. If you fall into the latter group, I guess The Haunt’s Saturday show with Black Francis, frontman of the Pixies, means little to you. For the rest of us, we’ll be screeching and yelping our lungs out as the anti-hero of alternative rock graces our presence. Black Francis will perform plenty of selections from his prolific and ever-incendiary solo work from recent years, but, if tradition has any say, he will very likely throw in a “Monkey Gone to Heaven,” “Where Is My Mind??” or even a “Cactus” in there for the old timers.
2. Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers at 9:30 p.m. on Friday or 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at Cornell Cinema
When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hit theaters less than two months ago, a fair number of viewers felt affronted by the film’s excessive length and general delirium. Clearly, these people have never watched the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting. I have (with a brave group of friends), and I am well aware that this maximalist, unapologetic brand of filmmaking belongs only to the great bard Peter Jackson. Often sidelined when compared with its groundbreaking predecessor and Oscar-sweeping sequel, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is simply the most fun and, yes, excessive entry of the three. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli spend most of the film sprinting over hills and hobbits Merry and Pippen find themselves peacemakers with a colony of angry trees. It’s three hours of epicness that any fan of Game of Thrones and its standout episode “Blackwater” should revisit or, what joy, watch for the first time this weekend at Cornell Cinema.
3. See Storm Tharp at the Johnson
Meet strange and beautiful people at Third Person, an ethereal selection of ink on paper portraits by Storm Tharp '92, on display at the Johnson Museum till Apr. 7. The self-concocted word games and Japanese portrait prints which inspire Tharp's whimsical or troubling narratives are also on view. Tharp's subjects are very well-dressed; the impeccably tactile detail on sweaters and plaid shirts hint at Tharp's youthful dream of becoming a fashion designer, and more importantly raise the question: Why is fashion important to anyone? Over at Milstein Gallery (running till Feb. 22), fabric sculptures — wild assemblages comprising photographs of body parts, shibori textiles and striped shirts — stand in for apologies or assertions.Taking center stage, however, is a mural Tharp worked on alongside Cornell students. As the youngest Cornell alumnus to hold a monographic show at the Johnson, Tharp is in good company; previous featured artists include Gordon Matta-Clark and James Siena.
4. Watch The Grammy’s at 8 p.m. on Sunday on CBS
Sunday, how do I make thee less sucky? This weekend, anyway, it will be with the Grammy’s, home of the most expensive and ridiculous performances of the year. The award show that led the world to ask: Who the hell is Bonny Bear? This year, instead of staring at Nikki Minaj in an awkward coma of fear and entertainment, I will be watching two of my guys: Justin Timberlake and Frank Ocean. Justin Timberlake is performing his first live show in years and Frank Ocean is, well, he is just Frank Ocean. Sexy has indeed come back. So what’s not to love, really? That’s what I’ll be doing this Sunday. You know you don’t want to miss Lady Gaga’s newest outfit and Ke$ha’s newest personality.
— Compiled by Arielle Cruz, Daveen Koh and Zachary Zahos