It's Tuesday, folks, and that means it's time for your weekly dose of music and movies from yours truly, Stephen Johnson, internationally recognized arbiter of all things notable, interesting and good in art and literature.
Let's start with the music coming out this week:
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It's Blitz-- I'm kicking off this list with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I have a complicated fan-relationship with this band. I used to really like their old-school no-wave sound. Then Rock Band came out and I had to hear that terrible, terrible "Maps" song a jillion times. I can't count how many amateur singers have wailed "Ma-a-a-aps, Ma-a-a-aps" in my house. And don't even get me started on that stupid drumline. So I decided I hated the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Then I heard some of their new record and decided to forgive them. I'm a pretty forgiving guy. It's a pretty good record.
- UGK: UGK 4 Life: Hip-hop legend UGK is back with a bunch of new tracks, all recorded before head pee-imp and ace-producer Pimp C shuffled off this mortal coil. This is the eight and last album from this crew and it is smokin'. Seriously.
- Flo Rida: R.O.O.T.S. (Routes Of Overcoming the Struggle) -- TheFeed's Frank Meyer and I disagree about this album. I think the single, "Right Round," is ridiculously hooky, catchy and awesome. Meyer thinks I'm an idiot. He's probably right: He's the producer of Freestyle 101, so he's a hip-hop insider and basically, I'm an idiot. Still...It's my post and I say, "Buy Flo Rida's record, or at least download the single from iTunes."
- Prince: LOtUSFLOW3R/MPLSoUND: Prince is a legend. This is his new 3-disc set. You will want to buy it.
- Queensryche: American Soldier -- This tenth album from Queensryche is nothing, if not ambitious. A concept album about war, told from the POV of a soldier on the front lines. It's serious and earnest, but it still manages to rock. This is new artistic ground for these rock warhorse, and attention must be paid.
As far as DVD releases go, here are my top picks:
- Slumdog Millionaire: You may have been putting off watching this Oscar winning flick because it's outside of your sphere of interest, but I tell you now: See it. Yes, it's about India. Yes, your mom would probably like it. But if you have any decency left in your soul, you will enjoy this movie. I give it eight thumbs up.
- Marley And Me: (Two-Disc Bad Dog Edition): I don't think you should watch mawkish dog-sploitation flick Marley and Me, but if you absolutely insist, please buy the "Two-Disc Bad Dog Edition" and get all the extra features.
- The Real Ghostbusters, Vol 1: They are finally putting the Ghostbusters cartoon out on DVD. Sure, it's really lame compared to the movies, but what isn't? Don't worry about it. Just sit back and relive the glory of your cartoon-watching youth with this five DVD set.
- Cthulhu: Here are the negative points about this flick based on a short story from H.P Lovecraft: The movie is called "Cthulhu" even though it's based on "A Shadow Over Innsmouth." They already made a movie based on "Shadow Over Innsmouth" called Dagon, which makes Cthulhu the second "Innsmouth" movie named after the wrong Lovecraft short story. It stars Tori Spelling. It's straight-to-DVD. On the plus side, people have been giving it really solid reviews and it's Lovecraft, for God's sake. I'm a fanboy. Sue me. At least join me in adding it to your Netflix stack.
- Chronicles of Riddick & Pitch Black : These are excellent movies and getting both movies for $36 bucks is bargain city, man.
- National Geographic: Journey to the Edge of the Universe: Okay, you need this. Seriously, not only will National Geographic make your brain smarter, this disc will bring your Blu-ray player and hi-def TV to their fullest glory. You need it. Trust me.
Finally, my Video from Left Field pick o' the week:
- Bellydance Egyptian Style - Modern Oriental: If you're tired of bellydancing in Norwegian-style or Australian-style, this DVD will set you straight. Plus, it's got girls with those finger bell things. How can you go wrong. Hot, spicy, belly action!
What did I leave off the list and what are you most excited about?