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If there’s another current series as stunning to behold as Mad Men, it’s the gorgeous, smart and endlessly fascinating Rubicon, also on AMC.
THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF A
MID-AUGUST MONDAY MORNING
Before Things Crank back Up for the Second-to-Last Week Before September, Bud Scoppa Takes a Quick Trot Through What We've Been Watching and Listening To This Summer
A lively debate is going on among Arcade Fire fans as to whether there are more unforgettable songs on the sensational new LP The Suburbs or the band’s brilliant 2004 debut album Funeral. The earlier record features the universally adored “Revolution (Lies)," “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels),” “Neighborhood #3 (Tunnels),” “Wake Up” and “Haiti,”  while the new opus offers first single “Ready to Start,” the title track, “Modern Man,” “Wasted Hours,” “We Used to Wait” and“Sprawl II.” We’re crazy about “Month of May” as well. In case you were wondering about the oddball rhythmic pattern in “Modern Man” (completely throwing off crowds that try to clap along with it), here’s a musical explanation from veteran bass player Dennis Parker: “The intro and the verses each have a 5/4 bar that turns around the placement of the snare hits. it's not really that difficult—just one extra beat for every line of lyric.” Easier said than done… If there’s another current series as stunning to behold as Mad Men, it’s the gorgeous, smart and endlessly fascinating Rubicon, also on AMC. It would be criminal not to watch both shows in HD… If Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” is the most ubiquitous summer single, her “Teenage Dream” is the most artful. Katy, Bonnie McKee, Benjamin Levin, Max Martin and Dr. Luke all share credit for what comes off as her most personal song yet… Porn star Sasha Gray is the unofficial poster girl for season seven of Entourage, in which creator Doug Ellin has opted to dial up the raunch quotient, making for some sqiurmy moments, as in the episode coyly titled “Bottoms Up,” which finds E and Sloan gingerly experimenting with anal sex… Speaking of ramped-up raunch, the sixth season of Weeds premieres tonight at 10 on Showtime. It's followed by the debut episode of the Laura Linney-starring The Big C—meaning you’ve got some DVR programming to take care of before it slips your mind… We haven’t heard the entire Band of Joy album yet (it’s coming 9/14 on Rounder), but from the flavor and deep groove of the first single, a cover of Los Lobos’ “Angel Dance,” Robert Plant is picking up where he left off with the 2007 landmark and multiple-Grammy winner Raising Sand. The fact that Plant is pulling it off with a different producer—Nashville renegade Buddy Miller—and band suggests how much the artist himself has to do with this sustained and wholly authentic move into American roots music. A video of “Angel Dance” featuring co-writers David Hidalgo and Louie Perez and an album EPK can be found hereInception looms over the summer box office as dramatically as the cityscape of Paris looms over itself in the Christopher Nolan film’s signature scene… For our money (wait, it’s on basic cable), the most entertaining, and least demanding, summer series for the soothing of weary psyches is TNT’s Boston-set Rizzoli & Isles, which derives most of its energy from an extremely butch Angie Harmon, of Law & Order and Jason Sehorn fame. The show, which airs Mondays at 10 (same time as Weeds), is based on the series of mystery novels by Tess Gerritson… Jonesing for some new Kings of Leon? While you’re waiting for Come Around Sundown to leak, and/or the lead track to appear, leading up to the LP’s Oct. 19 release on RCA, you can more than make do with “TAOS” (they have it in all caps, for whatever reason) by veteran indie band Menomena. If I didn’t know better, I’d’ve sworn that was Caleb howling out the vocals and Jared laying down the shuddering fuzz-bassline. The track is from the Portland-based band’s fourth full-length, Mines, just out on Barsuk, which is offering free downloads of “TAOS” and “Five Little Rooms.”…
FANS WILLING AND ABEL TO RALLY ROUND THE WEEKND
Dept. of unintended consequences (12/1a)
VAUGHN'S FIRST MOVE: MATTERA TO THE TOWER
A company with no corner offices (12/1a)
U.K. MEET THE MANAGERS
Who's hot in Blighty? (12/1a)
RON PERRY: SUPERCHARGING THE BIG RED MACHINE
Hoodie man doin' work (12/1a)
SPOTIFY GIFT-WRAPS
THE YEAR IN MUSIC
How Swede it is. (12/1a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
ZOOM THANKSGIVING
We're virtually stuffing ourselves.
TRUMP'S LAWSUITS
He's lost 25 out of 26, and so tired of winning!
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