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The Week In Culture

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Monday, September 5

For a pleasant Labor Day surprise, wander over to NPR for a first listen of St. Vincent's Strange Mercy. One-woman outfit Annie Clark gets more guitar-violent than on Actor, with her haunting vocals still hovering at a safe distance above it. Then watch the first video from her album, "Cruel" (which premiered here on HuffPost Culture), because if you've never seen Annie Clark before, you should probably see her right away.

Tuesday, September 6

Charlotte Gainsbourg isn't just starring in a Lars von Trier film this year -- she's continuing in her family's musical footsteps, but sounding less Jane Birkin-esque with every move. Two years after the Beck-produced "IRM," Gainsbourg is back with the Beck-produced EP "Terrible Angels" (listen to the title track here). This collaboration made complete musical sense last time around, so we're glad they're sticking with a good thing. As for Beck, he's produced two other albums this year for Thurston Moore and Stephen Malkmus, but we're still waiting impatiently on that follow-up to Modern Guilt.

Twenty years after his last illustrated book, "Outside Over There," Maurice Sendak, 83, is back to charm and haunt children and adults alike with "Bumble-Ardy," a story that was first born as a Sesame Street segment in the 1970s. It follows a young pig who has never had a birthday party, but decides to throw his own when he turns nine. While on the show the protagonist was a boy, in Sendak's book it's a pig. He gave the Wall Street Journal a simple reason for why: "Boys tend, generally speaking, to be pigs."

"The Rachel Zoe Project" returns for its fourth season with a baby on board for our favorite neurotic stylist. We hope it doesn't drive her bananas, but we'll be tuning in to see if/when it does. The show premieres Tuesday night at 10/9c.

Thursday, September 8

New York Fashion Week kicks off Thursday night with its third annual fall party in cities across the globe -- Fashion's Night Out -- in which commoners are invited to gawk at celebrities, shop at lower prices, and store-hop for free champagne. For the 99.99 percent that are unable to attend fashion week, the fashion world fortunately has begun to catch up with the rest of the internet and is streaming shows live on YouTube.

Friday, September 9

Our celebrity-packed virus thriller has arrived, just in time to claim its place as our favorite blockbuster of the summer of 2011. Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion" -- starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and your mom -- follows the spread of a bird-flu virus that kills Matt Damon's wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, and begins to eat everyone else, too. Based on its reception at the Venice Film Festival, it sounds to be just what you'd think -- a thrilling, panic-inducing film that will make you develop OCD hand-washing habits.

Around the Web

The Week in Culture Pictures, Sept. 2 - NYTimes.com