WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The building we've known until now as the Spokane Sportsplex has a new name, one that's "world-class" according to the CEO of the Spokane Public Facilities District, Stephanie Curran. That name? The Podium. It's a reference to the elevated platforms where athletes climb to get their medals, of course, and apparently a reference to the building's own physically elevated status where it's being built next door to the Spokane Arena. "The Podium" is pretty generic and doesn't really scream "Spokane!" to me, but it's better than something like Louisville's KFC Yum! Center or Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, so it has that going for it. Which is nice. (DAN NAILEN)
SURROUNDED IN GROUNDED
In Grounded, which is in early access, you are a miniaturized teen stuck in the wilderness of your backyard. Much in the same vein as Minecraft, you have to collect and craft items from your surroundings to defend yourself from the various critters that want to eat you (think spears made from grass fibers). I was initially uninterested in Grounded's cutesy animation style, but this game has some pretty terrifying moments. There's an option for an "arachnophobia safe mode," but I'd say being scared is part of the fun. (QUINN WELSCH)
DRESS IT UP
For the second straight year, a crew of Spokane-area photographers has undertaken a collaborative art project in which they each take the same dress for a week, and then go wild with their imaginations. This year's dress is a red Calvin Klein thrift store find, and on Sept. 3 the photographers will be revealing their images all at once to the world, and each other. You can see it by searching for the hashtag #samedressspokane. And this year, they're auctioning off the dress via eBay (search "Same Dress Spokane") to raise money for the Spokane Humane Society. The auction winner will get the dress, plus a print from each of the photographers as well. (DAN NAILEN)
Every summer, hundreds of high school juniors descend on Texas' state capitol to participate in a political experiment where they're separated into two nebulous parties and made to elect their own representatives. It's one of many American Legion-sponsored events that occur annually around the country, and the new documentary Boys State, streaming on Apple TV+, immerses us in a week of teenage political gamesmanship. Directors Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine follow a diverse group of young men with wildly different ideologies, but what's most remarkable is how adept they are at political spin, which will either give you hope for the future or fill you with cynicism. Or maybe a bit of both. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Some noteworthy new music hits online and in stores Sept. 4. To wit:
BILL CALLAHAN, Gold Record. If there was any justice, this title would become incredibly apt, because Callahan is a gem of a songwriter.
THROWING MUSES, Sun Racket. Kristen Hersh is indie-rock royalty in my book, and every Throwing Muses album is cause for celebration.
ANGELHEADED HIPSTER: THE SONGS OF MARC BOLAN & T. REX. U2, Nick Cave, Joan Jett, Father John Misty and more tackle Bolan's glam-rock classics. (DAN NAILEN)