1 Whether the Cactus Blossoms' "You're Dreaming" earns the old-school Minneapolis country duo the national attention they deserve — as a recent Rolling Stone plug for the album suggested — at least brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum can be satisfied with testing the waters their own way. The record arrived Friday from Red House Records with production by Oklahoma rockabilly star J.D. McPherson, who tastefully kept the arrangements minimal and vintage. That pushed the duo's Everlys-lovely harmonies even more to the forefront, especially in the floor-sweeping ballad "Queen of Them All" and the playfully rollicking single "Stoplight Kisses."
2 Seward Co-op's foray into the restaurant business, Co-op Creamery, is ground zero in the local-seasonal movement. Vegetables are often the star, but "vegetarian" doesn't do this place justice. Case in point: thick, cut-like-a-porterhouse cauliflower is caramelized to sweetness on the stove, slow-roasted and glazed with a vegan approximation of a spicy, funky XO sauce. It's paired with a cauliflower purée and shaved raw cauliflower, with bright lime and crunchy peanut flourishes, a combination that's as substantial — and as satisfying — as a well-grilled New York strip. (2601 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., coopcreamery.coop.)
3 In his debut novel, "Fallen Land," Taylor Brown has produced a literary gem set in the Civil War. Callum, a teenage orphan from Ireland, has thrown in with a band of murderous robbers. On a raid in Virginia, Callum meets Ava, whose family has been lost to the war. Together the two flee on horseback, only to be pursued into the middle of Sherman's march to the sea. If you liked "Cold Mountain," you probably will enjoy "Fallen Land."
4 When you see Charlotte Rampling's extraordinary intimacy and intelligence on-screen in "45 Years," you'll understand why she earned her first Oscar nomination. Married for nearly half a century, Geoff (Tom Courtenay) and Kate (Rampling) face conflicts lurking in the shadows, and the thought that they don't belong together. What unfolds is a fascinating suspense thriller about human relationships and a tender, stunning mystery. It's early, but "45 Years" may be one of the best films of 2016.
5 Timed to the video release of "The Martian," the downloadable strategy game "Tharsis" also concerns a disastrous trip to Mars. On this one, though, you might have to resort to eating former fellow crew members just to survive. In each round, various crises surface on the ship. You must decide where and how to deploy crew members to deal with the problems and avoid a game-ending disaster. A roll of virtual dice determines the outcome. This simply presented game manages to be oddly addictive.