Nov. 5, 2013
Blessed Feathers – Order of the Arrow
The Wisconsin duo of Donivan Berube and Jacquelyn Beaupre recorded their new album with producer Kevin McMahon (The Walkmen, Real Estate) in upstate New York, where they also recorded their Peaceful Beasts in an Ocean of Weeds EP. For Order of the Arrow, they aimed to capture "the polyrhythmic influences of 1960s African funk and blues and South American guitar patterns but with Bruce Springsteen's 'Nebraska' lyrics," and tracks like "Wide World," "Real Song for Emily" and "Salvation Army" succeed in pulling you in with their banjo twang, unique vocals and quirky lyrics.
Cut Copy – Free Your Mind (Loma Vista/Modular)
Cut Copy continues to get the world dancing with their fourth album, which was strongly influenced by the two Summers of Love that occurred after Vietnam and the years of Margaret Thatcher's reign, primarily the explosions of youth culture and communal celebration these eras embraced. One can't help feeling jubilant while listening to songs like "We Are Explorers," "Footsteps," "In Memory Capsule" and "Meet Me in a House of Love." Alexander Skarsgård fans should watch the video for the album's title track starring the actor. The Australian foursome just played HARD Day of the Dead, but if you missed their set you can watch them perform on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" Nov. 19.
M.I.A. – Matangi (Interscope)
From the opening minutes of the Sri-Lankan/British artist's fourth album, listeners know they're in for an experience that's more spiritual tinged than her previous efforts as she declares, "My words are my armor, and you're about to meet your karma" in "Karmageddon." M.I.A. continues to blaze her own trail through the pop landscape with Matangi, which is named for the Hindu goddess of music and learning, shining on tracks that are guaranteed to get you moving, like the title song, "Bad Girls" and "Y.A.L.A." Make sure not to miss her shows at the Belasco Theater Nov. 11 and 12.
Also available – Aloa Input's Anysome; Avril Lavigne's self-titled; Bright Eyes' A Christmas Album; Bryce Dessner & Kronos Quartet's Aheym; Butchers of Sky Valley's self-titled; Celine Dion's Loved Me Back to Life; Connan Mockasin's Caramel; Drag the River's self-titled; Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2; Heyward Howkins' Be Frank, Furness; Howe Gelb's The Coincidentalist; Jake Miller's Us Against Them; James Blunt's Moon Landing; Kitchens of Distinction's Folly; Latyrx's The Second Album; Left of the Dial's Idly By; Luscious Jackson's Magic Hour; Matt Zo's Damage Control; Melodic's Effra Parade; Melvins' Tres Cabrones; Midlake's Antiphon; Scott Stapp's Proof of Life; Sky Ferreira's Night Time, My Time; Stryper's No More Hell to Pay; Tech N9ne's Therapy
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (Ecco)
I had to read The Joy Luck Club in high school, and I fell in love with Amy Tan's writing. From The Kitchen God's Wife and The Hundred Secret Senses to The Bonesetter's Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning and Rules for Virgins, I've read all of the NorCal author's novels, so it's a sure thing that I will be adding The Valley of Amazement to my library. The book covers 40 years in the lives of two women, Chinese-American Violet and her white mother Lulu, from Shanghai "flower houses" to a remote Chinese village. As with most of Tan's works, the many facets of mother-daughter relationships are explored as they each struggle to navigate the challenges life throws at them.
Also available – Alex Ferguson autobiography; The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fanny Flagg; The Aviators by Winston Groom; The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin; Champion by Marie Lu; Double Down by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; The Frackers by Gregory Zuckerman; George Washington's Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade; Giada's Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis; The Great War by Joe Sacco; The Man Who Killed Kennedy by Roger J. Stone; The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith; Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen by Kay Robertson; Second Firsts by Christina Rasmussen; The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
Film – Roland Emmerich's White House Down pairs Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx as a police officer and the President, respectively, who are forced into action against a paramilitary group of invaders; Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon in Girl Most Likely; Grown Ups 2 reunites Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade; Amanda Seyfried stars as the titular character in the story of Linda Lovelace
Music – Ariana Grande's Her Life, Her Story; Dream Theater's Live at Luna Park; East End Babylon; Europe's Live at Sweden Rock; The Jimi Hendrix Experience's Hear My Train A Comin'; Justin Timberlake: Iconic; Oil City Confidential; One Direction's Up Close & Personal; Pearl Jam's Long Strange Road; Released: The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998; Rolling Stones' Sweet Summer Sun - Hyde Park Live
TV – Clear History; Duck Dynasty: I'm Dreaming of a Redneck Christmas; Ice Road Truckers: Season 7; Law & Order: The Thirteenth Year; Mad Men: Season Six; Magic City: The Complete Second Season; "Under the Dome"
Also available – As I Lay Dying; Attack; Bonnie & Clyde: Justified; Broken; Close to the Edge; Computer Chess; Deceptive Practice; Hava Nagila; The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition; The Greatest Ears in Town; Killer Holiday; The Last Light; Oui, Girls; Out in the Dark; Paranormal Whacktivity; Parkland; Passion; Prometheus Trap; The Rabbi Who Found Messiah; Renoir; Syrup