Boardwalk Empire, Dancing with the Stars, Joaquin Phoenix, and More Culture Picks

'Boardwalk Empire' is the new 'Jersey Shore', Bristol Palin shakes her hips on 'Dancing With the Stars', and Joaquin Phoenix returns to Letterman. Check out more can’t-miss film, TV, art, and music picks.

Street Art Finds a Museum to Call Home

Street art has long since gained legitimacy in the art world, but it can still be hard to keep track of it all, and to separate the typical from the exceptional. Few people are as devoted to documenting DIY art as Larry Yust, whose snapshots go on display at UCLA’s Fowler Museum this week in Street Art: Photographic Elevations of Los Angeles, Paris, and Berlin. Yust has spent years documenting art in various cities and venues, ranging from graffiti to forms of advertising, all of it culminating in the 18-foot prints shown in the exhibit. If spray paint sales happen to spike this week, this just might be the source of inspiration.

Street Art: Photographic Elevations of Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin by Larry Yust opens on Sunday, September 19 at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.

Bob D'Amico, ABC / Getty Images (2)

Bristol Palin and The Situation Bust Some Moves

With America’s most notorious baby mama since Jamie Lynn Spears, the GTL poster child, and the most notorious drunken YouTube Hamburglar as three of its contestants, the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars is chock-full of talent. Bristol Palin, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, and David Hasselhoff are joined by Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey, R&B singer Brandy, '90s pop star Michael Bolton, comedienne Margaret Cho, ex-NBA player Rick Fox, The Hills’ Audrina Patridge, and Mrs. Brady herself, Florence Henderson, for the show’s 11th season. Though one could easily assume who might have more natural rhythm than others (who would dare put Baby in a corner?), according to her dance partner Mark Ballas, Palin is not one of them. He told iVillage that she “needs to work on moving her hips and not being shy to be sexy and sensual and womanly.” Where’s Levi Johnston when you need him?

Dancing With the Stars premieres on Monday, September 20 at 8:00 p.m. EST on NBC.

Michel Euler / AP Photo

London Fashion Week Remembers McQueen

When Alexander McQueen committed suicide in February on the eve of New York Fashion Week, his loss shook the style community. Seven months and one fashion season later, the British designer’s absence is still making an impression and as London Fashion Week begins, it seems only fitting the industry observe a moment of silence in his honor. Gucci Group is hosting the tribute from London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral and nearly 3,000 members of the international design community are expected to attend, according to The Telegraph. “He was the most brilliant designer of his generation,” British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman said in a statement. “It is an incredible loss not only for British fashion but for fashion the world over.”

The Alexander McQueen Memorial will be held on Monday, September 20 at St. Paul's Cathedral in London

Jon Stewart to Aliens: “Welcome to Earth”

Is anyone better equipped than the team behind The Daily Show to explain the human race to extraterrestrials? Probably. But that didn’t stop Jon Stewart and his band of faux politicos from trying, and the result is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race. The mock textbook bears more than a little resemblance to The Daily Show’s prior foray into publishing, America (The Book). Told as an anthropological study of a since-expired human race, Earth hits on key topics like love, which it explains as “liking another person very very very very very very much” and, inevitably, features a nude photo of Larry King. What better way to summarize the human race?

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race comes out on Tuesday, September 21.

Joan Marcus

Andrew Jackson Turns Emo On Stage

Four years after its first workshop productions in August 2006, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson has finally hit the big time with previews beginning on Broadway this week. Its off-Broadway limited run at New York’s Public Theater earlier this year brought in rave reviews— Rolling Stone called it “the best original musical of the season” and The New York Times said the show “manages to be a goofy delight and a perversely affecting comment on the American temperament at the same time.” Many of the cast from the Public production will reprise their roles, including Benjamin Walker as America's seventh president and the country’s first political maverick. In this case, however, he’s transformed into an emo musician tackling and singing through issues from populism to the Indian Removal Act. Rock on, AJ… rock on.

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson hits Broadway on Tuesday, September 21.

The Davids Revive Broadway

Two plays return to the stage this week courtesy of Broadway’s favorite Davids: Mamet and Hyde Pierce. The former’s 1977 show A Life in the Theatre, which centers around the relationships between the play's only two characters, acting veteran Robert and young, promising star John. More than 30 years after its debut, the show is finally making it to Broadway, while Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart revives his 2005 role as Robert and Grey’s Anatomy's T.R. Knight plays John in this Neil Pepe-directed revival, opening this week. David Hyde Pierce, of Frasier fame, is also making his return to Broadway this week in the revival of 1991’s iambic pentameter comedy La Bête. After a successful stint on the London stage, the Tony winner is bringing his role across the pond.

A Life in the Theater and La Bête hit Broadway on Tuesday, September 21.

Mark Bittman Will Teach You How to Eat

Thanks to his tome How to Cook Everything, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman just might be America’s most trusted foodie this side of Julia Child. In 2009 he turned his attentions toward sustainable eating with Food Matters, and is now putting his money where his mouth is with The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living. Touting the benefits of a plant-oriented diet a la Michael Pollan, Bittman has compiled a collection of recipes that also happen to be practical, welcome news for readers who want to eat sustainably but don’t have time to commit to the full No Impact Man lifestyle, and further proof (as if it were needed) that Bittman belongs on every cook’s bookshelf.

The Food Matters Cookbook comes out on Tuesday, September 21.

Rakoff Show the Glass as Half Empty

With a title like Half Empty, readers pretty much know what they’re getting into, and in his new collection of short essays David Rakoff more than lives up to the book’s pessimistic name. The New York Times has called Rakoff “a cannily satirical tour guide,” and this time around he turns his critical, humorous eye on a variety of targets, most frequently the American obsession with “positive thinking.” In Rakoff’s dark but endearing world, society has taken an irrevocable turn for the worse thanks in no small part to our backward logic when it comes to concepts like the “bohemian myth.” Perversely enough, the result is one of the most charming new books this year.

Half Empty comes out on Tuesday, September 21.

Vince Neil Drops a Motley Memoir

Anyone who managed to survive a stint in an ‘80s hair band has more than earned the right to publish a memoir. So it’s only fitting that Vince Neil should impart the wisdom gained from his years as the lead singer of Mötley Crüe in the oh-so-honestly-titled Tattoos and Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontment, out this week. Perhaps the intrigue of the book is best summarized in Neil’s own words: “Old rock stars fall hard. I'm forty-nine years old. I'm five-foot-nine, 170. The spandex is over. I've had three plastic surgeries. Still, who do you think gets laid more, me or you?”

Tattoos and Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen hits shelves on Thursday, September 23.

Tommy Jackson / Getty Images

Virgin Mobile’s Concert for a Cause

Whoever thought it was possible to get something for free from your cell phone provider other than unlimited texts? Virgin Mobile has forever raised our expectations with its Virgin Mobile Free Fest, which has all the indie cred of your average music festival minus the typically high entry fees. The fifth annual Free Fest takes place this Saturday and plays host to major acts from just about every genre, including Pavement, M.I.A., LCD Soundsystem, and Ludacris. Though Virgin is covering the entry fee there is a suggested $5 donation for the day-long festival, and all proceeds go to RE*Generation, Virgin Mobile’s organization devoted to youth homelessness. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

The Virgin Mobile FreeFest will take place on Saturday, September 25 at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD.

Post-Impressionists Pay a Visit from Paris

Art buffs in San Francisco will get a rare chance this fall to see seminal works from the collection the Musée d’Orsay in a new exhibit, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay. On display starting this week at the historic deYoung museum in Golden Gate Park, the exhibit is the second of two installations from the Musée d’Orsay, the first of which featured late Impressionist works from the likes of Monet and Renoir. On loan from the Parisian museum are household-name paintings like van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone and Self Portrait alongside later pointillist works from George Seurat and Paul Signac. There’s no telling when, if ever, these paintings will make it across the pond again, so if there were ever a time to plan a last-minute trip to San Francisco, this would be it.

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay opens at the deYoung branch of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco on Saturday, September 25.