Tablet Life & Arts

Arts writers’ picks for week of Feb. 23

The Star-Telegram arts writers spotlight what’s rocking their world this week.

1 Narco Cultura: While it’s not getting any attention as an Oscar nominee in the documentary category, this look at the crossover between Mexico’s cartel culture and music from the region was one of last year’s most eye-opening docs. For some, the drug outlaws are heroes to be revered in song. This offers a different perspective on the violence and chaos that has plagued much of the border region. Out on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday.

— Cary Darling

2 “New York in the 1980s: Urban Theater”: Yeah, the ’80s are back in a big way and the carcass of the ugly decade is being picked clean. The latest volley of nostalgia is coming from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, with the announcement of its fall exhibit, opening Sept. 21, that will examine the energy and theatricality of 1980s art. Chief curator Michael Auping says, “If you wonder why the art world is like it is today, refer to the ’80s.”

— Gaile Robinson

3 The Brave Combo Accordion Book: Artists Peter and Donna Thomas were commissioned to create a book for the University of North Texas’ Special Collections. They collaborated with Carl Finch, founder of the Texas rockapolka band Brave Combo, and the result is a historical account of the group’s timeline, fixed to the bellows of an accordion. The book will be on view through May 9 in the Sarah T. Hughes reading room, 4th floor of the Willis Library, on the UNT campus.

— Gaile Robinson