- By Joe Gross American-Statesman Staff
Here are some of the best and highest-profile new releases in music, movies, TV and more on the horizon in May.
As always, dates are subject to change without notice.
1. “Twin Peaks” (Showtime). In a world with “Fargo” and “Legion” and “Riverdale” (especially “Riverdale”), it is hard to explain to millennials just how incredible (and bonkers) “Twin Peaks” was when it debuted in 1990. The idea that a filmmaker of Lynch’s stature would deign to work in television was nuts enough, but the narrative looseness, unkempt surrealism and sheer Lynchiness of the original show were an across-the-board mind-blower (not to mention the speed and pace of the second season’s decline — don’t @ me, second season “Twin Peaks” folks). The show ended on a legitimately terrifying cliffhanger and — save for the prequel “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” which was not without some problems — we never saw the weird little town again.
Until now. It’s no small thing for “Twin Peaks” to return 25 years later, complete with a stunning amount of the original cast — Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Mädchen Amick, Everett McGill, Russ Tamblyn, Ray Wise, Grace Zabriskie, etc. — along with Laura Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, Brett Gelman, Tim Roth and far more. Written by Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost and entirely directed by Lynch, with music by original composer Angelo Badalamenti, this is the television event of the year. It gets no more “The ’90s are back!” so we’ll see how it goes. “Twin Peaks” will premiere with a two-hour episode. Then, the premiere and an additional two episodes will stream online, and the series will be shown in weekly increments from that point onward. (May 21)
2. At the Drive-In, “in•ter a•li•a” (Rise). Some members from bands such as the Mars Volta and Sparta remember where the money is. OK, that was mean. Ladies and gentlemen, the pride of El Paso whose name isn’t Beto O’Rourke, making their first album in 17 years … At the Drive-In! (May 5)
3. Mac DeMarco, “This Old Dog” (Captured Tracks). Expect something mellow (dude was listening to a lot of James Taylor and Paul Simon) from this exceptionally chill indie-rocker. (May 5)
4. Slowdive, “Slowdive” (Dead Oceans). Speaking of the return of the 1990s, here is the shoegaze legend’s first album since 1995’s “Pygmalion.” The first single, “Sugar for the Pill,” is more guitar-dream-groove than wall-of-noise. (May 5)
5. Chris Stapleton, “From a Room: Volume 1” (Mercury Nashville). A massively anticipated album from this fellow, following 2015’s breakout album “Traveller.” Sports eight new originals and a cover of “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning,” made famous by Willie Nelson. “From a Room: Volume 2” will be released later this year. (May 5)
6. “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.” It is a comic book kind of weekend as the sequel to the surprise smash hit 2014 Marvel movie hits theaters. The whole gang — Peter “Star Lord” Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and baby Groot — must save the galaxy once again. Co-starring Kurt Russell as Ego, the Living Planet. (May 5)
7. Free Comic Book Day. As is customary for the first Saturday following the Friday opening of the year’s first big comic book movie, it’s Free Comic Book Day, during which you can go to your friendly neighborhood comic book shop and pick up a variety of free comics. Look for individual stores to have their own events, costumed employees and snacks. (May 6)
8. “Batman & Bill” (Hulu). In keeping with the weekend-of-comics theme, here is a documentary on Bill Finger, a writer during the Golden Age of comics and co-creator of Batman (and Robin, and Joker, and the list goes on). He is a fellow lost to history, mostly because Batman co-creator Bob Kane (known for decades as the sole creator) was a bit of a credit hog. (May 6)
9. Zac Brown Band, “Welcome Home” (Southern Ground/Atlantic). The very embodiment of frat-country releases their seventh studio album, just in time for the end of college finals and the start of summer vacation. (May 12)
10. Harry Styles, “Harry Styles” (Columbia). Styles, former singer with One Direction and possessed of some of the greatest hair in popular music, makes his solo debut. Columbia is praying it has another Justin Timberlake on its hands. (May 12)
11. “Anne” (Netflix). This is an eight-episode adaptation of the foundational 1908 all ages/children’s book “Anne of Green Gables,” about a complicated Canadian orphan girl and her adventures with friends and (adopted, more or less) family. You may make your own “bosom friends” joke here. (May 12)
12. Various artists, “The Bob’s Burgers Music Album” (Sub Pop). A double album with 112 songs from the first 107 episodes of one of the best animated shows of its era. (May 12)
13. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Look, I love a King Arthur movie. Even bad ones (2004’s “King Arthur,” we’ll never forget you). But let’s be real: Does anyone remember the last time a King Arthur movie made any money domestically? Or any movie set in the Middle or Dark Ages? Was it in the 21st century? They tend to do OK overseas, but not so much in the States. Anyway, this one stars Charlie Hunnam as Arthur and Jude Law as Vortigern. Yes, I will see it, but I will be astonished if anyone else does. (May 12)
14. “Snatched.” Amy Schumer is the daughter, Goldie Hawn is the mother. They go on vacation. Hijinks ensue. (May 12)
15. Faith Evans and the Notorious B.I.G., “The King & I” (Rhino). It is a sign of the times (and the age of the folks who remember Biggie firsthand) that this album, featuring unreleased Biggie vocals with original productions by DJ Premier, Just Blaze, Salaam Remi, Puff Daddy and more, with guests such as Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and Jadakiss, is coming out on Rhino, a label famous for reissues. Ouch. Are we sure these vocals aren’t Shyne? (May 19)
16. The Mountain Goats, “Goths” (Merge). Yet another in a seemingly endless string of excellent records from John Darnielle, singer and songwriter for the Mountain Goats. Featuring the excellent, Sisters of Mercy-referring single “Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds.” (May 19)
17. “Alien: Covenant.” Well, it certainly looks terrifying (and pretty gross). Ridley Scott continues his re-mining of the “Alien” franchise with this sequel to “Prometheus” starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir and James Franco, whom I can easily see being destroyed by a xenomorph. (May 19)
18. “Baywatch.” Baywatch, the movie. I just like typing that out: Baywatch, the movie. With Dwayne Johnson as the serious lifeguard and Zac Efron as the new lifesaving stud on the beach. (May 24)
19. The Beatles, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (50th Anniversary Edition)” (Capitol). Here it is, in multiple formats. The really big box set includes a new stereo mix of the 1967 album, supervised by George Martin’s son Giles; two CDs of outtakes; the mono mix of the album, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”; and two DVDs/Blu-rays. (May 26)
20. “Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)” by David Sedaris (Little, Brown). The author and essayist has kept a diary for more than 40 years. Here is more than 500 pages of Sedaris, chronicling some grim (though probably very funny) early days indeed to his rise to become one of the most beloved American authors around. I look forward to learning a lot about how Sedaris’ ear for the outside world works. (May 30)