3 A former punk rocker, Oklahoma's J.D. McPherson blew onto the scene in 2012 with a new kind of roots and rockabilly revival on "Signs and Signifiers," which became a favorite on 89.3 the Current. He's back with "Let the Good Times Roll" (out Tuesday) and a different and equally exciting retro sound. Imagine John Fogerty fronting the Blasters with an extra dose of soulfulness. McPherson's voice and sound are bigger — and we're all better off for it.
1 "Love and Information" is the theatergoer's equivalent of speed-dating — except that you're more likely to be glad you showed up. Frank Theatre's ensemble cast of 14 leaps its way through a play consisting of 57 — yes, 57 — micro-scenes, some less than 30 seconds long, at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis. By turns funny, sage and touching, Caryl Churchill's sound-bite exploration of the modern state of human connections and the ever-increasing onslaught of knowledge useless and profound has something for everyone. brownpapertickets.com/event/878257
2 Channel your inner Neil Armstrong and moonwalk down to the Bell Museum at the U to check out some bona fide lunar samples on loan from NASA. The moon rocks are on display during limited hours (1-4 p.m. today and next Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 16). If your Valentine is a space nerd, a U prof who was part of the original Apollo lunar-sample team will be on hand Feb. 14 to answer questions. www.bell museum.umn.edu
4 Stories about returning home can be poignant, funny, tender, sad. And those in "Journeys Home," an anthology of essays published by National Geographic, are all those things. Here Andrew McCarthy (yes, from "Pretty in Pink" and "St. Elmo's Fire") writes of his love for Ireland and his surprising find when he uncovers his roots. Prompted by his young son, the Star Tribune's Dave Hage takes the family to Norway. These 26 essays range from the prosaic (Illinois) to the mysterious (Tanzania), all with lovely color photos.
5 The second SpongeBob film submerges a dozen wee, TV-sized skits in ocean-deep seas of feature-length narrative. Yet for all its hit-or-miss moments, "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" weaves a silly — and often funny — spell. It's a scrappy little B movie that zips along rather entertainingly. It's the Red Bull of animated kids' comedies. It deliberately, merrily fuels a hyperactive, synthetic buzz.