Lifestyle’s Haute Highlights

Concert of the Week:

Mountain Man with The Decemberists

Those lucky souls who caught Jónsi’s transcendent performance at The Wiltern last October will likely remember the equally chilling opening set from Bennington, Vermont’s Mountain Man. Comprised of  Molly Erin Sarle, Amelia Randall Meath and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, the folk trio will open for The Decemberists at The Wiltern this Saturday night.

Speciliazing in three layer vocal harmonies that are both sensual and haunting at once and accompanied only by the occasional guitar notes, Mountain Man stands uniquely apart from the online buzz machine. The songs, some of which are disarmingly short, sound interesting on paper but are meant to be heard live in the stunning resonance of an intimate theater.

Song of the Week:

“Under Cover of Darkness” – The Strokes

If Julian Casablancas’s recent hinting of a large paycheck behind the reunion of The Strokes was troubling, the New York quintet’s first single since 2006 might help quash fears of a half-hearted come back. “Under Cover of Darkness” is the first released track off the band’s upcoming fourth LP Angles and is currently available for streaming at

The song begins with a pair of crisp, dueling guitars from Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi, sonically recalling the smokey heights of “Room On Fire.” Casablancas is as cynical as ever, crooning “I been all around this town, everybody’s singing the same song for ten years.” Hammond Jr.’s guitar solo drives the number home to a raucous finish.

As a whole, “Under Cover of Darkness” is no “Hard to Explain” or “Reptilia,” but its labored sounds indicate a band that has slipped back into its dancing shoes with relative ease.

Event of the Week:

Sex and the City Zoo 2

Sunday – 5 p.m.

Whether you’re in a long term relationship already or looking to take yours to Sheena-esque realms of passion, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) has the ultimate Valentine’s Day event for couples.

The second annual edition of Sex and the City Zoo 2 will take place this Sunday at 5 p.m. in the zoo’s Witherbee Auditorium.

The adults only event will feature a saucy spread of desserts and drinks, compliments of Whole Foods Markets and Herzog Wine Cellars, as well as a lasciviously worded lecture by zoo public relations director Jason Jacobs on the etiquette of mating in the animal kingdom. Jacobs will place particular emphasis on the benefits of staying single versus hooking up in the bush.

Tickets for Sex and the City Zoo 2 are $25 for GLAZA members and $35 for non-members. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the zoo’s current wildlife preservation and conversation projects.

Screening of the Week:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Sunday & Monday  – 8 p.m.

Arclight Hollywood will be hosting a series of pro- and anti-Valentine’s Day films throughout the weekend. Michel Gondry’s romantic masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is slated to play at 8 p.m. this Sunday and Monday night.

It’s difficult to decide which category Gondry’s film falls into. The idea of a broken couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) having their memories of each other surgically erased is cruelly tragic. And yet, Gondry takes his leads upon a psychological journey so thoughtfully photographed, written and acted that the story takes on Rilkean dimensions in spirituality and affection.

Only the hard-hearted will leave this one with dry eyes. Whether the tears well from a place of despair or amorous warmth, Gondry’s picture ranks among the greatest films of the past decade and the most powerfully filmed love stories of our time. See it in the immersive space of a theater while you have the chance.