Top Picks: 'A Murder of Crows,' Sufjan Stevens' 'The Age of Adz,' Mike Wallace's 'Politics & Presidents,' and More

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PBS documentary 'A Murder of Crows,' folk-rock Sufjan Stevens' new CD 'The Age of Adz,' lessons from an award winning journalist in '20th Century With Mike Wallace: Politics & Presidents,' and more recommendations.

Something to crow about

Scientists are now proving what Alfred Hitchcock already knew - that those loud-mouthed, glossy black-feathered friends are the smartest birds in the flock. Tune into PBS on Oct. 24 for "A Murder of Crows," in which researchers demonstrate just how much these smarty-pants fowls know and why the US Department of Defense is funding their investigations.

How to see the strange and wonderful

William Kentridge is a world-renowned South African artist profiled in the PBS special "William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible." A gentle, soulful film that traces his evolution into a mature artist in a complex country, this documentary is narrated by the artist himself and gives a lovely sense of how he aims to open our eyes to the strange and wonderful in the everyday. Airs Oct. 21.

The state of Sufjan Stevens

Choirs, orchestras, jubilant refrains, eerie melodies... add in electronica and you get the sense of "The Age of Adz," Sufjan Stevens's latest CD. Music from the folk-rock musician-conductor was popularized by his 2005 album "Illinois," the second installment in his so-called "50 States Project," after "Michigan." After going five years without updating the project, Stevens has admitted it was a mere publicity stunt. No matter. The 115-minute-long "Age of Adz" is a state worth enjoying in itself.

Peru's black rhythms

To get great recordings, find a great musician, put up a microphone, and press "record. …


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