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October Media Review

November 5, 2010

A monthly review of the best in media/culture I have been digging for the past four weeks


TV
With October being “sweeps” month and all I’m pretty far behind on my DVR, I haven’t even watched the final two episodes of Mad Men yet! I thought after last season, the show might be on the decline but this season was perhaps the strongest yet. The acting is on another level and it deserves every award it gets. And if there is a show that can rival Mad Men in historical set design/costumes it is Boardwalk Empire, the best new show of the year. Two of the most unique and creatively written comedies I’ve ever seen started strong second seasons this month as well; Community and Bored to Death. Both are terrifically underrated. Eastbound and Down is really funny as well but doesn’t belong in the same class as the other two; Community and Bored to Death have terrific ensemble casts and clever dialogue, Eastbound is basically Danny McBride riffing off a script and coming up with some really hilarious stuff. The Office is better than I thought it would be but continues to be hit-or-miss in the twilight of the series; and 30 Rock remains the standard-bearer for network sitcoms.

 

Movies
I actually saw not one but two movies in theaters this month, I think this is a record since my son was born. The Town was fantastic. Sure it had the cliche’d “criminal with a good heart who wants out of the business after he falls in love much to the dismay of his violent, loose-cannon friend” premise, but that didn’t take away from the story or intrigue. Ben Affleck does a great job directing and acting. But the best movie I’ve seen this year is The Social Network. It’s not a movie about Facebook, its a movie about modern human relationships. It’s funny, dramatic, and thoroughly engrossing. And the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is phenomenal.

we have a new addition to "The List"

I finally saw Up in the Air when it started airing on HBO this month. I love this movie. I remember hearing from some friends that it didn’t deserve the Oscar hype it received last year, but I couldn’t disagree more.. Maybe its because I spend so much time on airplanes but I really think its message about relationships “weighing you down” is a powerful one. Not much you can say about Clooney, the guy is just solid in every movie he stars in. And Anna Kendrick is my new movies star crush … *swoon*

 

 

 

Music
Big Boi’s Sir Luscious Leftfoot … The Son of Chico Destiny was recommended to me by a friend whose tastes I trust but for some reason I drug my feet picking it up. It is really good, more creative southern hip-hop by Big Boi, almost makes your forget that Outkast probably won’t ever release another great record. At the other end of the rap spectrum we have Tyler the Creator- Bastard. I read this article about the young L.A. collective Odd Futures Wolf Gang Kill Them All (of which Tyler the Creator is the frontman) and was intrigued. Pitchfork is way too heady and hipster-ly intellectual most of the time and I figured that was the case with Tyler the Creator and that was the case a little. But make no mistake, this is something truly new happening in music right now, call it “lo-fi shock rap”? Its like 4chan spawned a rap group, kids with no taboos, no censors. And I must say, the beats are good too.

I’ve been a huge fan of Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s since their debut The Dust of Retreat only partially because an old college friend of mine played trumpet for them. I think Dust … is one of the best records of the past 20 years; their follow up Animal/Not Animal was good but a few notches below the predecessor. Recently the band’s personnel changed quite a bit and about half of the group (including my friend) left. I was skeptical that their new release Buzzard would suffer because of it but it is quite good, probably better than Animal. Richard Edward is the groups singer and songwriter and his songs remain strong with quality lyrics (and I’m not typically the type to pay attention to lyrics).

Amazon has a monthly “100 MP3 albums for $5” program. Its perfect for purchases like Social Distortion’s Greatest Hits. Check it out.

 

Print

The Invisibles v.2 Apocalipstick

I read more comic books than any sane 34-year-old  professional male should. And as far as the printed word goes, that’s prettymuch all I read this month. Daredevil’s books are pretty good right now as are Batman’s as Bruce Wayne returns “from the dead” under the skilled pen of my favorite writers Grant Morrison. I also started vol. 2 of Morrison’s incredible graphic novel series The Invisibles, post-modern, meta, disgusting, heart-breaking, it is regarded by some as one of the greatest comic series of all-time. I’ll be the judge of that.

What have you been digging on?


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One Comment leave one →
  1. khm permalink
    November 5, 2010 3:10 pm

    Right now I’m digging on this post; tight, informative—just enough info to let me say “yeah, i wanna know more” or otherwise.

    I’ve been melancholy with MIL’s health so I’ve been hitting the new-ish Corinne Bailey Rae disc “The Sea”… perhaps it’s chick music but she has really matured and her voice remains enchanting. A lot of wisdom in that collection of songs; a lot of it earned hard after her husband’s death. But today I woke up with a hankering for OK Go and The Cat Empire—go figure.

    Our TV hearts are true and faithful: loving the Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. I have to say this again: Steve Buscemi kicks ass ALL THE TIME. Ugly MoFo but sometimes that’s just what a story needs. We’ve been loving Modern Family—I don’t know how long it will hold up with one of the characters being a full on Michael Scott rip-off and another very hard to distinguish from Al Bundy. Great gay couple, though.

    You’re not going to believe this but I’ve picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I like neither zombies nor Austen but knowing this story line and characters so well and being in a haunted state it seemed irreverent and therefore proper reading. Its more imaginative and funny than I expected.

    Otherwise I’ve been wondering why I can’t write fiction.

    Love to all!

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