A MAGICAL BORDER
Your war-torn country is divided by an evil black cloud filled with monsters known as the shadow fold, which has to be crossed at great peril to get needed supplies and goods from one side of the country to the other. Many will die crossing the fold, built by a master of the "small science," a magical human known as a "grisha." Some grisha can manipulate wind or fire, others can create disguises or heal wounds, but the one awaited in legend, the sun summoner, will be able to cast out the dark evils of the fold. With almost a steampunk feel from its mix of horse-and-carriage time period with science and magic, Shadow and Bone on Netflix will have you binging through every episode as you watch to see if the sun summoner can meet her destiny. (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)
R.I.P. A TRUE WEIRD ONE
Hip-hop's lost a lot of its old-school voices lately, most prominently DMX, but I'm here to praise Shock G, a true legend (in some quarters) who died in late April. He was a pioneer in Oakland's rap scene, produced Tupac's breakthrough single "I Get Around" and is probably best known as "Humpty Hump," one of his many stage personas that had some monster hits as part of Digital Underground. If you've never heard Digital Underground's Sex Packets album, filled with Parliament-Funkadelic samples and ridiculous rhymes, fix that. And Shock G's death inspired me to check out his 2004 solo album, Fear of a Mixed Planet, and it's a killer, too. (DAN NAILEN)
STCU recently got an armload of awards from the Credit Union National Association for how it's handled the pandemic, and a big part of the recognition was the work the Spokane nonprofit did to support the Inlander's Great Dine-Out, not only through their own sponsorship, but by rallying 13 other local credit unions and banks to co-sponsor with them. STCU helped myriad businesses, members and employees survive the past year, and we certainly recognize how important they've been for our continuing to serve the Inland Northwest as a newspaper. So congrats!'
STEAL OF THE CENTURY
Just about every Netflix documentary series is a taut, 90-minute feature taffy-pulled into an ungainly four-hour ordeal, and yet I always devour them in a single sitting. Such was the case with This Is a Robbery, the story of a 1990 heist wherein armed robbers dressed as cops stole $500 million worth of paintings, including works by Vermeer and Rembrandt, from the Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest art heist in history and also remains unsolved, and the show digs into the ramifications of the theft, the art world's unexpected mob connections and the unanswered questions surrounding the robbery — how does one go about selling high-profile stolen art in an open market, anyway? (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
There's noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online May 14. To wit:
DAMIEN JURADO, The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania. A sparse new self-produced set by an underappreciated tunesmith.
BLACK KEYS, Delta Kream. Pandemic project achieved: A tasty set of blues covers.
ST. VINCENT, Daddy's Home. In a world sadly lacking in genuine rock stars, St. Vincent fits the bill. Couldn't be more stoked to hear this one. (DAN NAILEN)