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The Big Ten

1 MUSEUM
GO FISH

For years, the Smithsonian has collected X-rays of fish as part of a research effort, and the images turned out to be stunning. Now, 40 of them are on display at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Conn., through January, as part of X-ray Vision: Fish Inside Out. The show will travel to nine other cities in the coming years. Never have fish innards been so sublime. NOW RUNNING

2 SOUND
ROCK SOLID

If you haven’t heard of California’s Rival Sons, you probably will soon. The band has been gathering momentum lately, honing a sound that’s equal parts Led Zeppelin and Black Keys, and securing spots opening for their forebears, AC/DC and Alice Cooper. Their infectious new album, Pressure and Time, is practically made for summertime. OUT NOW

3 VISION
HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD

There’s film festival fare and there are popcorn movies, but rarely do the two overlap. BIG SCREEN, at London’s O2 arena, is emphatically both. A monster celebration of all things cinema, it has previews of Hollywood releases, artsy premieres, and glitzy theatrics like the Live Special FX Arena. AUGUST 12-14

4 VISION
STRONG WORDS

Emma Stone, having nearly achieved household-name status, stars in The Help as courageous Eugenia Phelan, a college grad who returns home to Jackson, Miss., during the civil rights movement. Her friendship with two African-American women leads to a writing project about racism and changes the lives of everyone involved. AUGUST 12

5 PRINT
LEFT BEHIND

Serio-comic novelist Tom Perrotta (Election, Little Children) has a knack for isolating the peccadilloes of suburban life and spinning them into sweeping meditations on humanity. His latest book, The Leftovers, does the opposite: It takes a major event—the rapture, or so it might seem— and shows how a neighborhood responds to, well, not making the cut. AUGUST 30

6 SOUND
DUDE RANCH

On top of an Oscar, Jeff Bridges won some major country cred for his turn as dissolute troubadour Bad Blake in 2009’s Crazy Heart. He builds on it this month with a new self-titled record produced by his Crazy Heart collaborator, veteran roots producer T-Bone Burnett, featuring songs by Bridges and some of Americana’s leading lights. AUGUST 16

7 VISION
COMIC TIMING

In the action comedy 30 Minutes or Less, pizza deliveryman Nick (Jesse Eisenberg, reuniting with Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer) is given nine hours to rob a bank, lest he meet a highly unpleasant end. With the help of his best friend, Chet (the hilarious Aziz Ansari), the ordeal ends up being a lot funnier than it sounds. AUGUST 12

8 PRINT
VIVA MEXICO

Political scientist Jorge G. Castañeda spent years helping, or trying to help, govern Mexico. He served as a foreign minister under President Vicente Fox, and later mounted a run for president. Now, with his fascinating book Mañana Forever?, he’s focusing his efforts on examining the contradictions that make up America’s vibrant, if troubled, neighbor to the south. OUT NOW

9 SOUND
HONKY TONKIN’

Connie Smith has long been considered one of country music’s finest vocalists, despite her limited output. Long Line of Heartaches, her first release in 15 years (and second in 33), is classic honky tonk, produced by her husband, country legend Marty Stuart. Veering from upbeat to downcast, it’s a welcome return for a major talent. AUGUST 23

10 TV
RESPONSIBLE VIEWING

With coverage of environmental issues that goes deeper than the major networks’, the three or four linked segments in each half-hour episode of This American Land, airing this month on PBS, cover everything from the effects of snowmobiling in Yellowstone to bear-proof trash cans. It’s like Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth for conservationists and the people who love them. CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS

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