Tune-Yards' "Whokill": Once you get past first impressions (the band's official name and album title use odd capitalization), the second album from Oakland-based artist Merrill Garbus unearths something exciting. Rising out of a nimble maze of swirling vocal loops, percussion and horns, Garbus' expressive voice shines throughout, creating a new kind of world music that sounds inviting no matter how you spell it. Start with the Afropop-dusted single "Bizness."
Bobby Cannavale in 'Win Win': Another quietly genial study in pitch-perfect storytelling by writer-director Tom McCarthy, this film featuring the ever-beleaguered Paul Giamatti mixing moral dilemmas and high school wrestling gains an extra boost from Cannavale, who also appeared in McCarthy's "The Station Agent." As Giamatti's stunted but superficially successful best friend, Cannavale expertly delivers goofy laughs without sacrificing his character's humanity.
Comedy Central's 'The Comedy Awards': If there's one TV genre that doesn't need further expansion, it's awards shows. And while comics and comedies often go underrecognized, Comedy Central became part of the problem last week with this clumsy Oscars-styled gala, complete with jokes that fell flat and overlong speeches. Given the subversive talent on hand helped give us "South Park" and "The Colbert Report," how did this show turn out so drearily conventional?
Coachella: Another year, another installment of this rite of spring, where a scene-loving chunk of the city heads to the desert for overpriced hotels, sweltering heat and the occasional 45-minute concert. A fine tradition, sure, but with a bill that's reliably long on top-line talent (Arcade Fire, Kanye West, Big Audio Dynamite) but short on bands that haven't already played in smaller, less-heated venues, this seems like a good year to watch online from a distance.