St. Vincent “New York” video still (Director: Alex Da Carte)

The album to listen to

St. Vincent, Masseduction

“[Masseduction] is [Annie] Clark’s best, most cohesive musical statement yet. Lyrically, the record revolves around moments when a façade of control starts to crumble—when anxiety starts to overwhelm (‘Fear The Future’); when drugs used to regulate moods become an emotional and physical crutch (‘Pills’); when pleasurable things become painful memories (‘New York’). There’s a sense of futility to this slippage, as if turning into what you fear (or hate) is inevitable. ‘I can’t turn off what turns me on,’ she intones repeatedly on the Bowie-esque title track, a glossy treatise on fame’s seductive qualities and the catch-22 of online instant gratification.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The movie to watch

The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)

“As Matthew, the more ostensibly put-together of the Meyerowitz boys, [Ben Stiller] has a scene of such tender vulnerability that it makes you wonder if you’ve ever really seen the terrific actor he keeps hidden behind the various Zoolanders on his résumé. [Adam] Sandler, meanwhile, hits new notes of underachiever pathos. As with his two most celebrated departures, Punch Drunk Love and Funny People, there’s a meta dimension to the part, which finds him playing a gifted artist who’s squandered his talent. (Sound familiar?) But [Noah] Baumbach doesn’t so much subvert the actor’s common tricks—temper tantrums, silly ditties, and a general hangdog quality are all accounted for—as chisel an affecting character out of them.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The show to watch

Mindhunter

“Although it was created by The Road screenwriter Joe Penhall, Mindhunter most prominently bears the creative fingerprints of David Fincher, who’s an executive producer and directed the two first episodes. The moody atmosphere, the meticulous camerawork, the interest in the criminal mindset—Mindhunter’s opening salvo could be the Thomas Harris adaptation Fincher never got to direct. Like Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, it’s a contemplative spin on the Criminal Minds model, a cerebral procedural of visually rich pulp. If it can do a better job of maintaining those Fincher flourishes than House Of Cards did, Mindhunter might turn out to be the next great Netflix drama.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The book to read

Ray Padgett, Cover Me: The Stories Behind The Greatest Cover Songs Of All Time

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“Oft-dismissed as catalog filler, covers can be so much more. The best qualify as reinterpretations that resonate with wider audiences and become bona fide hits in their own right. Think Whitney Houston belting out Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” […] This ability to outshine and ‘cover up’ an original piece of music is a possible origin of the term cover, according to music writer Ray Padgett, author of Cover Me: The Stories Behind The Greatest Cover Songs Of All Time. Padgett has run the Cover Me blog since 2007, and as an authority of this genre of music, he realizes the impossibility of discussing every significant cover, so he limits his book to a detailed history and analysis of 19 seminal songs.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The podcast to listen to

The Polybius Conspiracy, “The Player

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“Unlike other gaming urban legends, the legend of the mysterious, unmarked arcade cabinets that housed Polybius remains vibrant, if only because skeptics can’t disprove such a threadbare theory. That theory involves a game that in the early ’80s briefly popped up at a few arcades in the Pacific Northwest. Anyone who played it, legend goes, suffered headaches, nausea, and other physical ailments. New series The Polybius Conspiracy centers around the most notorious tale to emerge from the legend: A kid named Bobby, an avid gamer, was allegedly abducted from his home one night after playing.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.