Alas I Cannot Swim, the first album by British folk-pop prodigy Laura Marling (who plays World Café Live Wed., Oct. 21), is almost two years old and I still can't get enough of it. It's mirthful and earthy, sometimes stunning, occasionally spooky and always charming.
Elizabeth Geiger's oil-on-linen Wedding Gifts is like a breezy autumn afternoon in the French countryside, where just-out-of-the-oven baguettes and fine china adorn well-worn tablecloths, a pitcher half-full of water awaits freshly snipped wildflowers, the wine bottle's empty and the folks around the table are content and maybe a little buzzed. It's somewhere we'd all rather be. Visit Gross McCleaf Gallery Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. for Geiger's opening, grab a glass of red, close your eyes and you'll be right there.
I tend to fall hard for biting, original television shows, i.e. ones that are always on the chopping block. (Veronica Mars, I still miss you.) Do me a favor and watch Modern Family (ABC, Wednesdays, 9 p.m.). It's about three disparate familial units ("traditional," May-December and gay), all united by patriarch Ed O'Neill. Special props go to O'Neill's preteen stepson, Manny (Rico Rodriguez II), the chubby junior Casanova who expertly contrasts his curmudgeonly step-pop.
I used to read about far-out Arthur magazine's magic workshops and psych rock shows that went down far, far out in L.A., and get jealous. No need to be green anymore: Last month, editor Jay Babcock teamed up with plants geek-about-town Lord Whimsy to host a terrarium workshop in Fishtown (2037 Frankford Ave., $10, arthurmag.com). And on Sunday, herbalist Aemen Bell will school attendees on potions and elixirs to "enhance love, dreaming and more." I heard it's BYO crystal.