It’s not Christmas yet. It’s the second weekend in November. Relax. Despite all the jingle-belling TV commercials and holiday music everywhere, we’re still two-and-a-half weeks away from Thanksgiving. Final exams, winter break, and having to explain your fall semester grades are still a safe distance in the future. In the meantime, let’s make the next couple of days count.
Week ten of the 2014 NFL season features not only looming playoff heat, but the Cowboys taking on the Jaguars in England. Closer to home, NCAA football action includes the hot-ticket Southern Methodist Mustangs at Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
Aside from Instellar, big screen releases include the Disney-Marvel team-up Big Hero 6 and the eerie ghost story Jessabelle. TV movies are abuzz, too, with Mutant Hunt debuting on SyFy and Lifetime premiering the sorority chicks gone dangerously wild thriller Dead on Campus.
Also on the tube, The Simpsons crosses over with Futurama. On a similarly geek-pleasing note, the first annual Breaking Bad Fan Fest takes place in Alberquerque.
The music fest Fun Fun Fun scorches Austin with an eclectic line-up, while the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival will be all beats and all bleeps all the time, albeit spun by some of the best-loved EDM acts on the planet.
For fast-traveling brew enthusiasts, a trip to the opening taps of San Diego Beer Week can be capped with a touchdown in suburban Chicagoland for the Elk Grove Village Beer Collectibles Show.’
Here are the 14 best reasons why this weekend won’t suck.
Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival
The seventh annual blowout of DJs, dance mavens, and techno wizards overtakes multiple venues throughout Williamsburg and Bushwick for two days of plugged-in racket-making, ecstatic gyrations, and accidentally knocked-over microbrews. Among the headliners are Galantis, Eats Everything, Huxley, Chris Malinchak and Omar S.
Big Hero 6
Disney’s adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Big Hero 6 is a technical wonder that also packs big laughs and a heart as huge and huggable as Baymax, the Stay-Puft-style robot at the center of story. Embrace your inner nerd and just let the movie pummel you with happiness.
Fun Fun Fun Fest
Austin, Texas never lacks for wildly eclectic live music, but the annual three-day Fun Fun Fun festival injects a massive dose of top-tier artists into the mix for an unforgettable experience every time. Friday’s headliners include Judas Priest, alt-J, 2 Chainz, Death From Above 1979, and Dinosaur Jr. Saturday features, among dozens of others, Nas, Modest Mouse, King Diamond, Fred Armisen. Sunday’s massive line-up will be wrapped up by Neutral Milk Hotel, Whiz Khalifa, Murder City Devils, and Flying Lotus.
San Diego Beer Week
Suds up in beautiful San Diego with the opening weekend events of the city’s annual ten-day celebration of liquid gold. In addition to tours of local breweries and samples from all over the globe, visitors can take beer classes, create their own brews, and, in lieu of having to choose a designated driver, revelers can travel from one locale to another by way of the “San Diego Beer Train.”
Gothic southern atmosphere and bloody Louisiana voodoo infuse the slow-burn fright flick Jessabelle with effective doom and dread. Luminous Australian redhead Sarah Snook, who stars as a haunted accident victim slowly piecing together what’s behind the hallucinations that spook her, is a hottie to watch—even (and maybe especially) when she turns scary.
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways on HBO
After its first three episodes, the HBO series Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways has proven to be an instant classic. The show chronicles Dave Grohl and company recording a single song in a different major city every week, with each installment exploring the local musical cultural. Following trips to Chicago, D.C., and Nashville, the new Sonic Highways sets down in Austin, Texas with local color provided (to say the least) by Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, legendary psychedelic legend Roky Erickson, and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers.
Trail Blazers at Clippers
The first-place Portland Trail Blazers travel south to take on the L.A. Clippers. At 3-2, the Clippers don’t seem to be such formidable foes but, even this early in the season, the Trail Blazers are shaping up to be a monstrous force going forward. After handily smacking down their Western Conference rivals the Dallas Mavericks 108-37, it will be interesting to watch what level of intensity they bust out against the Clippers—not to mention how they Clippers will try to meat (and beat) it.
Breaking Bad Fan Fest 2014
In a move as natural as the blue tint in Heisenberg-brand crystal meth, Alberquerque, New Mexico is hosting the first annual Breaking Bad Fan Fest. Go-kart races, a costume contest, trivia events, and panel discussions are the order of the day, along with the chance to meet cast members Steven Michael Quezada, Charles Baker, Jeremiah Bitsui, Luis & Daniel Moncada, and Max Arciniega. Do not bring meth, blue or otherwise.
Kim Coates (Tig on Sons of Anarchy) stars with Ashanti and Holly Deveaux in a SyFy Original TV movie about life on earth ten years after a catastrophic meteor crash. Leading ladies aside, it ain’t pretty. Genetically warped mutants run the show, forcing our heros to mount “all-out war” in a bid to reach a rumored safe haven. We’ve seen what Coates has had to contend with on SOA; a few post-apocalyptic mutants ought to be a piece of (fantastically bloody) cake.
Southern Methodist Mustangs at Tulsa Golden Hurricane
It’s been a rough go for the Southern Methodist Mustangs this year as they’re 0-3. The not terribly daunting news for them is that the Tulsa Golden Hurricane stands at just 1-3. That makes a win crucial for both teams for this Saturday’s showdown, so expect them to play like it.
Dead on Campus
Lifetime invites male viewers to tune in guilt-free for this Saturday’s premiere of the original movie Dead on Campus. Tackling the extremely serious and even more extremely sexy issue of sorority hazing run amok, Dead on Campus packs a lot of bra-and-panty-clad hazing into its potboiler plot, along with a seduction prank on a teenage nerd that leads to a viral video and, in fact, the title of the movie.
The recent Simpsons–Family Guy crossover actually proved to be less controversial than expected, but we should perhaps brace for a supernova of nerd tantrums when characters from Futurama drop by Springfield on Sunday night. “Simpsorama” reunites the entire Futurama voice cast and sends them on a mission to prevent Homer and Marge from “destroying the future.” Spoiler alert: they probably pull it off.
Beer Collectibles Show
Get your hangover to the Elk Grove VFW Hall in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, Illinois for the opportunity to deck your dorm room or frat house out in ultra-cool retro beer stuff galore. The Beer Collectibles Show boasts all manner of “breweriana,” including beer cans, signs (light-up and otherwise), trays, dolls, posters, beach towels, branded clothing, and microbrewery items. Admission is one glorious dollar, and be sure bring your own beer-related materials for free appraisal.
In the weekend’s big gimmick game, the Dallas Cowboys are favored to stomp the Jacksonville Jaguars, as both teams bring their two-game losing streaks to Wembley Stadium in London, England. Back on this side of the pond, AFC first-placers the Steelers take on AFC last-placers the Raiders, while NFC league-leaders the Cardinals do the same with NFC basement dwellers the Rams. Ouch. More balanced match-ups include the Chiefs at the Bills, the 49ers at the Saints, and the Giants at the Seahawks.