So much on, so little time. It's about now when the hot weather invites start flowing in - a BBQ here, a beach date there. But that doesn't mean we have to rely on beach party small talk to fuel our left brain, some of us need a little more inspiration. Fast machines, scary movies, old-world mediums or just a good story to retell, here's a snapshot of cool stuff to look forward to this month.
Related story: The Buro 24/7 culture guide: October
Dinner party playlist perfection
Dropping this month to kick your summer BBQ playlists into gear is a swag of laidback tunes at the chill-zone ready AND a few party starters. Fleetwood Mac will drop a 2-LP edition of Tusk featuring unreleased recordings, singles, demos and remixes at the end of the month; if high-energy rapper Le1f doesn't get you bouncing with his debut Riot Boi, I pray for you; newcomer AYLA will drop her first EP of cinematic pop-folk, When the World Ends; lovers of low-fi 90s pop will find a common note in Melbourne band Tiny Little Houses' EP You Tore Out My Heart; Sarah Blasko's sweet new sounds drop first week of the month, and of course, Adele will drop her highly anticipated album, 25 on November 20 - so expect to hear that everywhere very soon.
Related story: 5 albums not to miss in October
At First Sight
Melbourne may have its live arts and music scene on lock, but Sydney is lucky enough to have Carriageworks. And this month sees the return of At First Sight Festival, one of the better small fests to hit the inner-city. Flip through a bevvy of vinyl from dealers and indie labels and boutique record stores, but stay for Donny Benet Presents: The Songs of Nile Rodgers, MY DISCO, Total Giovanni, Pond frontman Nicholas Allbrook, Palms, Melbourne producer Oscar Key Sung and more.
November 14, Carriageworks, carriageworks.com.au/events/at-first-sight
Consider yourself a horror cinephile? Do you get bummed because Halloween comes but once a year? Did our cult horror films round up get you buzzed? Then chill, because this month sees a film festival with a face only a mother could love hit Melbourne. Monster Fest is three days of gory-filled flicks, that aims to have an audience shaking in their bones. From two world premieres (Bullets for the Dead and Cat Sick Blues), to cult classics, all the way to little-known epic scaries, plus parties, a trivia night and talks, this may not be date-night material, but it'll get hearts beating regardless.
November 26-29, Lido Cinema, monsterfest.com.au
Related story: Culture king: why Melbourne reigns supreme
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Sporting a beating desire for a top-down drive for summer? Enter: one of the most anticipated drops of the year, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Set to roll into showrooms this month, the 4C Spider is the little sister to the hardtop 4C, which arrived earlier this year. Not only does this supercar thrill on the aesthetic front, but drivers can bank on a mega-lightweight drive: the spider bears a carbonfibre monocoque and aluminium chassis, a 1.75 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a total kerb weigh in at 1035kgs. Oh, and Alfa Romeo are claiming a 0 to 100km time of 4.5 seconds, real fast.
Related story: "The sexiest Roll-Royce ever built" is coming to Australia
Smoke Follows Beauty, Eloise Kirk
Minimalists will fall hard for Sydney-based artist Eloise Kirk's sparse, surreal landscapes. Touching on the romance and the oddity of geology, alchemy and colour of the natural world, Kirk's fragmented dreamstate collages are as comforting as they are an act of escapism.
Smoke Follows Beauty, Eloise Kirk, Bus Projects, Melbourne, November 11-28, busprojects.org.au/
Returning for its 8th year, the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) returns to Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art this month with chutzpah. Looking at the complex culture surrounding Australia and our nearest and dearest (Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, India, New Zealand and beyond) this incredibly complex edition sees a huge cross section of art that is worth checking out. Hot tip: APT8 is enjoyed best when preconceptions are dropped at the door. It's never what you think it'll be.
November 21- April 10, 2016, QAGOMA, qagoma.qld.gov.au
You don't need me to sit here typing up a critique of Spectre, it's a James Bond film - it doesn't need you to think about it. You know what's coming and it's already set a new box office record in the UK. But in saying that, I will list all the important elements, so prior to your power-fest, one can go to dinner parties and roll off all the important facts: The Bond girls are lady seduction herself, Monica Bellucci and French ingénue Léa Seydoux. The car is a chill-inducing, Aston Martin DB10, which, in one breathless scene, is chased through the streets of Rome by a Jaguar C-X75. The suits are a collaboration between costume designer Jany Temime and Tom Ford (natch). And ICYMI, Daniel Craig is still the man.
In cinemas November 12
Related story: Belvedere does 007: the Bond martini gets a sexy update
Knight of Cups
Potentially one of the most anticipated releases for film buffs, apart from Spectre and the new Star Wars, Knight of Cups by legendary auteur Terrence Malick (Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life, To the Wonder, Badlands) has been years and years in the making. Its name has changed several times, and speculation over who, out of the enormous cast (Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Imogen Poots, Freida Pinto, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Teresa Palmer, Nick Offerman, Ben Kingsley...) eventually avoided the cutting room floor, has been ongoing. Well, it's a dizzying, neon-filled, sink-hole of Hollywood decadence, darkness and hedonism. The flick, filmed in a woozy, handheld-camera style of photography, follows Bale as a LA screenwriter caught in a spiral of ego, excessiveness and emotion. Like all good forms of poetry, this will most definitely divide audiences, but is worth checking out.
In cinemas November 12
Disgraced hero Lance Armstrong is a complicated man and though many documentaries have attempted to nail these complexities, they often portray him as a sociopathic villain, and nothing more. This chilling biopic, starring Ben Foster as Armstrong, doesn't stray too far from the bad-guy tropes, revealing callous strategies, behind-the-scenes bullying and all the blood bags and needles, all the while keeping a small sense of humanity around Armstrong. Sure, The Program is ultimately a film centred around cycling, scandal in sport and a legend's fall from grace, but you don't have to be into the game to enjoy this cold drama. Also stars Chris O'Dowd, Dustin Hoffman and Breaking Bad's Jesse Plemons.
In cinemas November 26
Freeman's: Arrival, John Freeman
With never-before-published stories from lit-legends like Haruki Marukami, Dave Eggers, David Mitchell, Etgar Keret, Lydia Davis, as well as a sweet arrangement of poetry, non-fiction, essays and fictional tales, Freeman's: Arrival is a new biannual literary journal from UK literary magazine, Granta's ex-editor John Freeman gives book-whores like me the warm and fuzzies. $32.99, Text Publishing
Money Pizza Respect, The Fat Jew
Contrary to popular belief that The Fat Jew, aka, Josh Ostrovsky, appeared out of nowhere to just have a lol-enducing Instagram account, he's actually been around for a really long time. He's been in a rap group, worked as a celeb reporter and produced some pretty great clips for VICE (going deep in his YouTube channel makes for great procrastination), all the while dripping in irony and the same tongue-in-cheek vibe his Instagram is so famed for now. Channelling this give no F*#ks 'tude, Money Pizza Respect, is a collection of his most ridiculous stories. It's unclear whether it's fact or fiction. $29.95, Hardie Grant Books
Best in Show: Italian Car Masterpieces from the Lopresto Collection, Edited by Andrea Cittadini, Text by Michele P. Casiraghi
Prototypes, one-offs, concept cars, classics, special editions... Milan architect and property developer Corrado Lopresto has spent decades seeking out and restoring unique Italian automobiles for his mind-blowing collection, hailed as one of the most important collections in Europe. From the Lancia Florida prototype, to the Bertone and Pininfaria Giulieta prototype, the Alfa Romeo 2500SS Bertone and the Lancia Sibilo - all the gang are here. And sure, this all probably means nothing to non-Italian petrol heads, but, as one, trust me, they are nothing short of machine masterpieces and all wrapped up in this chic and very cool tome. $110, Skira