Here are four entertainment options to see with your eyes or listen to with your ears.
CD: Nectar (ESL Music, $16)
LADIES FIRST:Natalia Clavier is the first female artist signed to label ESL Music, an outfit based in Washington, D.C., and best known for backingelectronic artists like Thievery Corporation (whose founding duo of Eric Hilton and Rob Garza are owners of ESL). But don’t let that association fool you. Though the album does have techno touches, it is much less Moby than it is Norah Jones -- a Spanish- language Norah Jones, that is. Clavier is a native of Buenos Aires and the wife of Argentinean musician and ESL Music label mate Federico Aubele. She cuther musical teeth singing jazz in Barcelona, Spain.
CRY FOR ME, ARGENTINA: Nectar is dominated by romantic tunes featuring Clavier’s lilting voice. You could easily imagine it as the soundtrack to a haunting foreign filmabout heartbreak. And if the almost lullaby-like “Mi Mentira” doesn’tmake you a little teary on first listen, then you, friend, may be dead inside.
OUR TAKE: Sorry, Madonna, but this is what Argentina really sounds like.
IN STORES: June 10
BOOK: The Forger’s Spell (HarperCollins, $27)
PREMISE: In World War II–era Europe, a small-time Dutch artist named Han van Meegeren passes off six of his own paintings as 300-year-old works by famed painter Johannes Vermeer, the genius behind Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Milkmaid.
YOU DON’T NEED A DEGREE IN ART HISTORY: Author Edward Dolnick won the Edgar Award for his previous book, The Rescue Artist, a thrilling and at times hilarious account of the maverick art investigator who recovered Edvard Munch’s The Screamafter it disappeared from Norway’s National Gallery in 1994. Dolnickadopts a more subdued tone here, but the book is no dull still life. Hedeftly covers the historical background of Nazi-occupied Holland and the plunder of Europe’s art treasures while also offering entertaining chapters in which reformed fraudsters discuss the techniques forcreating new old masterpieces.
OUR TAKE: Unlike Van Meegeren’s paintings, Dolnick’s book is a genuine treasure.
IN STORES: June 24
-- Kristin Baird Rattini
TV SHOW: MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives
PREMISE: Like the BBC’s Footballers Wives and the CW’s The Game,this series, originally produced for the Canadian Broadcasting Companyand now about to air on SoapNet, follows the off-field competition towin the affections of pro hockey players.
TAKE OFF, EH?Given that hockey players are oft depicted as slick-haired, toothlessthugs, you’d think that hockey fans would be thrilled with a seriesthat shows them instead as sex symbols. But not everyone is. Considerthis, er, critique from HockeyBeat.com: “I hope Canada turns their backon it. It’s so HBO, and Canada is so not HBO. Canadians love hockey,and, like, 70 percent of us (or something) are hockey families -- noone wants to think that the awesome hockey wife or hockey mom is asex-crazed, two-timing tramp!”
OUR TAKE: Good-looking men plus good-looking women plus scandalous behavior equals a hat trick.
SEE IT: Premieres on SoapNet June 19
-- John Ross
DVD: 10,000 BC (Warner Home Video, $29)
PREMISE: The story line is as old and as classic as Homer’s The Iliad.A beautiful woman is carried away by a rival group. The man who lovesthe beautiful woman decides to bring her back at all costs. But whereasHelen of Troy’s abduction (or willing departure, depending on your ownreading of Homer’s text) launches -- as Christopher Marlowe later putit in Doctor Faustus -- athousand ships, the abduction of Evolet, played by Camilla Belle,launches a thousand spears. Also, there are saber-toothed tigers. Grrr!
SERIOUSLY, GRRR!National Geographicthis ain’t. So, if you like your prehistoric creatures -- both man andbeast -- all fossilized and historically accurate, you might want tostay away from this film from director Roland Emmerich, who also helmedIndependence Day. But if you like movies to be big and loud and bright and -- did we mention loud? -- this is the film for you.
OUR TAKE: The movie is best appreciated viewed at home in a high-definition format, with the speaker volume turned way up.