Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: Men with Emotional Problems Edition

Remember that creepy interview Joaquin Phoenix did on "The Late Show" last year where he was completely disengaged and David Letterman totally called him out? Well, now Phoenix is apologizing to Letterman, saying that it was all part of his I'm Still Here rapper character. Performance art is so weird.

The complete schedule has been announced for this weekend's Virgin Mobile Free Festival! There are plenty of exciting like LCD Soundsystem, Pavement, Joan Jett, but apparently not T.I., who was originally part of the lineup but has some legal woes (the schedule is subject to change, so maybe he'll make it). The act I'd be most stoked about, if I were going? Chromeo. Super fun, danceable, synth-heavy music with more than a hint of '80s. I'm pretty sure my colleague, Jonathan L. Fischer, doesn't share my excitement. But he will be at Merriweather, taking the festival in and plotting some sure-to-be fun coverage of the event for Arts Desk.

I'll admit it: I'm a Top Chef slut–I'll consume anything they put out. I'm pretty thrilled with the new show in the franchise, "Top Chef: Just Desserts." It's exactly what the title says: Top Chef, but just desserts. And the cheftestants are crazier than ever. Or, at least one is. After last week's concoctions with basil buttercream and curry chocolate, I thought Seth was going to go far. But I have never seen someone emotionally implode the way he did last night–and three times, at that. He seems to have the emotional and social aptitude of a five-year-old. I don't say this lightly, but if there was ever an example of a person with autism on reality TV, I think he might be it.

WaPo's heaping praise on D.C.-area native and American University professor Danielle Evans' debut collection of short stories, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. I've read the book and it's awesome. I'm speaking to her later today; look for the interview tomorrow on Arts Desk, in advance of her appearance and Barnes & Noble Bethesda.

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