New this week:
We eased into our end-of-the-year coverage by catching up with some of the albums that fell through the cracks this year. This week, we reviewed Woods and Menomena, which were both respectable. We also reviewed Alt-J, which somehow wasn’t as good.
- We celebrated Thanksgiving in many ways, although being slobs in front of the TV seems to be a common thread.
- We did, however, have our turkey day more together than these 20 impromptu TV Thanksgivings.
- Kyle Kinane kicked off the holiday season with a joyous account of how much he hates “Little Drummer Boy.”
- Intrepid gamer John Teti tested out the Wii U for all of us, and he had some not-great things to say about it. Specifically, he noted “Not even a key party in The Castro would force its guests to dick around with so many weird-looking toys.”
- Reasonable Discussions tackled the age-old question of burning out vs. fading away, thanks to a reader question about the new Soundgarden and Green Day albums.
- Mos Def’s ex-wife has a poorly written, hanger-on’s tell-all that’s positively full of breathless tales of handsome men. How could we not read it for Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club?
- Breckin Meyer plays a liberal blogger who threatens to move to Canada after John Kerry loses the 2004 election. Rather than the setup to a really crappy joke, that’s the plot of a really crappy movie that made its way straight to Commentary Tracks Of The Damned.
- Julia Child tried to teach us how to cook with these 10 episodes of The French Chef, but we still plopped our cranberry sauce out of a can.
- Annie Zaleski talked about the record that brought sexy back to indie rock.
- Patton Oswalt had some advice for Dane Cook, and was willing to share it with you, along with stories from pretty much his entire film and television career.
- We passed out somewhere around the ninth slice of turkey, but if we hadn’t, this article on 30 Rock’s unlikely longevity would have inspired us to do a marathon.
- Avanti! reminded us how falling for a movie can be like falling in love.
- Guy Fieri and Saturday Night Live reminded us that laughing at your desk like an idiot can be a really nice break in the day.
- Jason Heller grappled with hardcore’s aging problem as new releases from Green Day and Bad Brains make him question whether the genre was ever supposed to grow old.
- Meanwhile, Kathleen Hanna still sees reasons to keep the riot grrrl movement alive with a new label and new Bikini Kill reissues. She also said some pretty great things about feminism.
- We made you a mixlist of 15 songs about VD. It is the inevitable follow-up to last week’s songs about porn.
What are we arguing about this week?
A New York Times trend piece about hipsters and irony did everything that combination of words was meant to do by lighting the Internet up in defense. Josh Modell saw it as an opportunity to say some nice, heartfelt things.
See: Life Of Pi offers gorgeous visuals from director Ang Lee. Or there’s Red Dawn, if you’re trying really hard to avoid greatness.
Read: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe tells the exhaustive history of the publishing house, including the rift between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and Marvel’s early ’00s renaissance.
Listen to: Massive Attack’s excellent Blue Lines, which gets the reissue treatment 20-plus years later. Or listen to Rihanna’s new record if you want to feel really uncomfortable about celebrity and society.
Laugh at: Kyle Kinane’s second comedy album, Whiskey Icarus, gets an A from Genevieve Koski.
Watch: Ben And Kate has its best episode yet, and Parenthood gets an A, while New Girl, Happy Endings, and Don’t Trust the B---- In Apartment 23 turn in solid Thanksgiving episodes.
The A.V. Club in your town:
Prepare yourselves, Chicago. Our New Cult Canon tour is bringing Bad Santa to the Lincoln Hall Wednesday, November 28. We’ll pretty much all be there, and we’re bringing director Terry Zwigoff along for a post-show Q&A. Then we’re sending Zwigoff and Nathan Rabin straight to Seattle for a second screening and Q&A on Thursday, November 29 at Central Cinema. Both screenings will have free samples of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. To buy tickets and see whether the tour is coming to your town, check out our website for the schedule.