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Summer Cultural Calendar

Summer is nearly here, and with its glorious arrival comes time to do, you know...things. Now that the yoke of the dual curriculum will be relaxed from your shoulders for three short months, you should get out there and, well, do stuff. Below is a list of things we think you would be best served doing, unless of course you decided to park at the pool and let God draw on your skin with red marker. Either way, below is our official, first ever YU Commie Summer Cultural Calendar.

The Great Gatsby, in theaters May 10

The classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald comes to life on screen, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This summer story takes place in Long Island, and the movie is a great way to herald in the New York summer.

Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010, Dia: Beacon, opens May

Barely an hour from New York City (via MetroNorth) and nestled in the mountains along the Hudson, the town of Beacon is host to a top tier art museum, the Dia: Beacon. This summer, catch Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010, the first North American retrospective of the sculptor.

Frieze Art Fair, Randall’s Island, May 10-13

This art fair features the work of a thousand artists, and a series of lectures and debates. A sculpture park exhibits new work commissioned for the fair, while the Frame section showcases work by solo artists from emerging galleries. The Focus section presents projects specifically for the art fair. The three-day festival takes place on Randall’s Island overlooking the East River.

GoogaMooga, Prospect Park, May 17-19

Experience food and drink from New York City restaurants and breweries, alongside musical performances from The Flaming Lips, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Matt & Kim.

Random Access Memories by Daft Punk, May 21

The dance-floor gods return with their first record in eight years, Random Access Memories. If the first single, “Get Lucky,” is any indication, they still know how to compel almost involuntary motion in various joints and ligaments.

Bushwick Open Studios, May 31-June 2 (free)

During this seventh annual festival, visit the studios of artists all around Bushwick. From Arts in Bushwick (AiB) comes a weekend festival complete with music, screenings, performance art, and community murals.

The Hurry and the Harm by City and Colour, June 4

From Dallas Green’s melodic and boyish voice comes a new album. The band’s name is taken from his name: Dallas as a city and Green as a color. He’s been writing music since he was 14, and this album will contain 15 songs, along with the already released single “Thirst.”

Weird Al, The Capitol Theater, June 2

The parodist of all parodists returns to the stage, a new batch of fake songs with familiar melodies in tow. Leave your Amish paradise, and go be pretty fly for future Riets musmachim.

TransAtlantic: A Novel by Colum McCann, June 4

From the author of Let the Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award, comes a new novel weaving together three narratives from Newfoundland, Dublin, and New York.

The National, Barclay’s Center, June 5

The indie rock band based in Brooklyn plays in their hometown this June. Expect to hear new hits from their May album release, Trouble Will Find Me.

Pythons by Surfer Blood, June 11

Following Astro Coast (2010), the alternative rock band from West Palm Beach releases a new album, Pythons. The single “Weird Shapes” has been released from the album, and is worth checking out before the full album is released.

Man of Steel, in theaters June 14

This is simple, really. It’s a new Superman movie. Go see it. Everyone else with a pulse and within driving distance of a theatre will.

Drawn to Nature, Wave Hill, through June 16

At Wave Hill in the Bronx, “a public garden and cultural center,” you can visit numerous curated gardens, and also check out the rotating art exhibits in the Glyndor Gallery or Sunroom. In one of their summer exhibits, a group of artists express their devotion to the world of nature. Juxtaposed to the natural plethora of flowers and trees beyond the galleries, this exhibit is a must see.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, June 18

Arguably the greatest British fantasy writer alive, Gaiman’s first novel in 7 years, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, arrives this summer. The novel promises magic, death, history, and the quiet menace of spirits, in other words, a Neil Gaiman novel.

MGMT, The Wellmont Theater, June 20

The electro-psych pop group MGMT returns this summer, testing songs from their new album on the road, along with old favorites Brian Eno, Time to Pretend, and Kids.

Pacific Rim, in theaters July 12

The Mexican maestro of horror and fantasy, Guilermo Del Toro, returns to cinemas in a rather large fashion with a film about rather large robots. Large, Godzilla like monsters threaten Earth, and the only answer is, of course, those aforementioned large robots. I am nothing if not there.

JT/Jay Z, Yankee Stadium, July 19

The Rap and Pop titans do not clash so much as mesh, as evidenced on the fleet rhythms and deep nocturnal grooves of their single “Suit and Tie”. Go see Jigga and JT on tour this summer at stadiums up and down the coasts. Make sure your swag keeps fresh under a layer of suntan lotion.

Summer Slaughter July 19 – August 16. Rockstar Mayhem Fest June 29 – August 4

The two standouts from this year’s batch of summer metal festivals are clearly the perennial safe bet Summer Slaughter tour, and the often shaky but surprisingly strong lineup of this year’s Rockstar Mayhem festival. Slaughter is headlined by The Dillinger Escape Plan, considered (in my opinion, accurately) the most dangerous live show in metal, a reputation burnished with many a collapsed stage, and the occasional flaming instrument. Main support for Slaughter comes from Animals as Leaders and Periphery, two of the better bands from the recent glut of extreme prog metal bands. Expect dizzying solos and strong musical and vocal hooks. Meanwhile, Rockstar’s Mayhem festival, in the past headlined with such headache generators like Disturbed and Atryeu, comes back strong this year with headliners Rob Zombie, Mastodon, and Amon Amarth. Expect death in the lyrics, and thunder in the sounds.

Fun., Pier 26 at Hudson River Park, July 22

You’ve probably heard of the indie pop band by now. Their huge hits “We are Young” and “Some Nights” helped them jump to popularity over the past few years. Here them live this summer with Tegan and Sara.

The Wolverine, in theaters July 27

Everyone’s (OK, My own) favorite X-man returns this summer in a solo adventure that sees Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine travel to Japan to further explore what has been done to his body. Expect blades, lots of them, emerging from hands and sheathes, and more often than not ending up in flesh, albeit in a PG-13 fashion. Can’t win them all.

Only God Forgives, in theaters July 19

After the success of Drive proved there is a market for dark, moody, blood-splattered thrillers, the star and director of that film, Ryan Gosling and Nicholas Windig Refn, return with Only God Forgives, another violent noir, this time set in and shot on location in Bangkok.

Jimmy Eat World, Central Park Summer Stage, August 7

The pop-punk survivors Jimmy Eat World hit the stage on the strength of their new record Damage, hard guitar crunch and sugary hooks intact.

John Singer Sargent Watercolors, The Brooklyn Museum, through July 28

A collaboration of the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, this exhibition brings together 93 of the 2,000 watercolors painted by the prolific John Singer Sargent. A few of his oils will be present as well, alongside displays demonstrating his technique, and video of an artist reenacting the way Sargent painted.

Shakespeare In the Park, through August 18, Central Park (free)

This year’s free shows are Comedy of Errors (May 28 to June 30) and Love’s Labour’s Lost, A New Musical (July 23 to August 18). Just show up at The Delacorte Theater earlier that day. It’s worth skipping class or work to go.