The seven key things to see, hear and read in January
The scoop on the month’s red-hot releases
In late 1970, Neil Young was in limbo. He’d left Buffalo Springfield as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and released a few modestly successful solo albums, but his temper tantrums—like the time he threatened to smash a Woodstock cameraman with his guitar—had eclipsed his work. It wasn’t until the next year, when he recorded Harvest, that Young launched into singer-songwriter super-stardom. Live at the Cellar Door is a collection of previously unreleased Young performances recorded in November and December of 1970 at the legendarily grotty Washington, D.C. jam house known for hosting Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters and Miles Davis. It’s a time capsule of that pre-Harvest period: the track list includes “After the Gold Rush,” “Old Man” and a rare rendition of “Cinnamon Girl” with Young on piano instead of guitar. Hindsight is half the fun—Young’s voice is in its larval stage, his trademark goaty yodel underscored by a wallowing desperation that mellows out on his later albums. It’s the sound of an artist on the verge of exploding.
Lurid mysteries, torrid affairs and evil twins galore: the new season of Pretty Little Liars, the teen noir starring Toronto export Shay Mitchell, hits every soapy sweet spot.
Jim Carrey’s sluggish return to slapstick will culminate this year in Dumb and Dumber To. In the meantime, fans can catch him in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
If anyone still doubts that Olivia Chow will make a run for mayor, the arrival of her new memoir, My Journey, should erase all uncertainty. The book is classic (and compelling) voter bait, cataloguing Chow’s most sympathetic talking points: her immigrant story, progressive platform and, of course, her relationship with Smiling Jack.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the aw-shucks ice dancers who won gold at the Vancouver Olympics, are CanCon’s most popular will-they-or-won’t-they couple. Their new reality series, Tessa & Scott, documenting the pair’s path to the Sochi Olympics, is sure to invite even more speculation.
Sam Mendes, the director best known for American Beauty and Skyfall, recently optioned Cobourg-born author Alan Bradley’s cozy Flavia de Luce mystery series for TV. The latest instalment, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, follows the preteen sleuth as she investigates her mother’s disappearance.
And now, for a political satire that has nothing to do with Rob Ford, check out the TV miniseries based on Terry Fallis’s hit 2008 novel Best Laid Plans, about a young Liberal aide who convinces his crotchety professor to run for Parliament.