08/08/2011 09:48 am ET Updated Oct 08, 2011

Culture News: This Week's Forecast

August 9

"The Magician King," the long-awaited sequel to Lev Grossman's 2009 "The Magicians" finally arrives. For those who savored the first installment of this Harry Potter for grownups style tale of a young man who discovers magic is real will be eager to get their hands on the latest novel, where our favorite characters are reigning in the fantastical land of Fillory and embark upon a new adventure.

For the smut-inclined among us, Nicholson Baker's "House of Holes: A Book of Raunch" will also be released this Tuesday. Described as a "Hieronymus Bosch-ian bacchanal," Baker's novel is jam-packed with sexual escapades involving animals, vegetables and more. Baker came to fame with "Vox," a lewd, experimental take on phone sex, so don't expect "House of Holes" to be anything less than deliciously vulgar.

August 12

Jay-Z and Kanye's highly anticipated collaboration album, "Watch The Throne" hits wide release Friday, though anyone who doesn't want to wait can get their hands on the tracks on iTunes Monday. We've heard "Otis," a tribute to singer Redding, already, but the entire album looks to be full of sonic delights. Follow along on our liveblog to get a preview of what's in store.

"Zombieland" director Ruben Fleischer unleashes his madcap bank robbery romp "30 Minutes or Less," starring Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, and Danny McBride. Two slightly inept would-be criminals kidnap Eisenberg's hapless pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest, and demand he rob a bank or be blown up.

If you're in San Francisco, you may want to check out the Outside Lands music festival, which starts this Friday and goes through Sunday. With a lineup featuring MGMT, Foster the People, Girl Talk, OK Go, Arcade Fire, Major Lazer and more, Golden Gate Park will be rocking all weekend long. The first annual "Taste of the Bay" festival will also provide a whole host of tasty local treats for festival goers.


New Yorkers will want to check out the Guggenheim BMW Lab, a partnership between the museum and the car company that will only be around for a month and a half. The pop-up museum will display a constantly changing collection of games, activities, panels and more, with a focus on what makes New York City tick.