May 15, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

British singer/songwriter Polly Scattergood feels your pain. Your pain, and the pain of every young girl clutching a notebook filled with poetry. While it's difficult to doubt the sincerity of her convictions as they drip from every note and roll off every word of her affected shrill delivery, by the end of her eponymous debut you can't help but feel thankful puberty has long since come and gone. More

May 09, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The debut EP from these two teenage sisters from outside Stockholm, Sweden, is steeped largely in the folk traditions of artists such as Vashti Bunyan and Nick Drake. More

Modern Toss

IFC, Tuesdays, 11/10 Central

May 09, 2009 TV Web Exclusive

The producers of Modern Toss, the odd, ineffective little cartoon/live action hybrid being deposited on IFC viewers, seem to have confused the fact that shows like South Park are both rude and funny with the idea that rude is funny. But irreverence, or simple profanity, is no substitute for actual content. Promoters will try to argue that the show is too edgy for some, but in fact it’s too simple for most. These are half-clever sketches, done in an admittedly creative style, that amount to very little. More

May 09, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

First appearing in 1968, Astral Weeks has become one of the most critically acclaimed records of all time. With Morrison’s indelible vocals, adventurous arrangements, and evocative lyrics, the album manages to encompass pop, rock, jazz, folk, blues, and even classical categorizations without being merely a pastiche of them all. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Morrison and Co. performed the record in its entirety. More

The Venture Bros.: Season Three: Blu-ray/DVD

Studio: Warner Bros./Adult Swim

May 08, 2009 DVDs Web Exclusive

For the uninitiated, The Venture Bros. is an animated series that runs on Adult Swim. It concerns itself with the adventures of two (very) sheltered brothers named Hank and Dean, their father, Dr. Rusty Venture (ex-boy adventurer turned super scientist), and their Race Bannon-esque bodyguard, Brock Sampson. Despite the foibles and faults, these are the good guys, and every good guy must have an archenemy. Enter The Monarch, a man dressed as a butterfly who is more bent on killing Dr. Venture than on anything more nefarious (like, say, world domination). And as we join season three, The Guild of Calamitous Intent have deemed it necessary to assign a new nemesis to the good Dr. Venture: Sergeant Hatred, who gives new focus to the Monarch’s obsessions and more headache for his wife, Doctor Girlfriend (or is it Doctor Mrs. The Monarch?). More

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season 2

Studio: Warner Bros./Adult Swim

May 08, 2009 DVDs Web Exclusive

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, creators of Tom Goes to the Mayor, have eclipsed that unique and ambitious show with one of the most batshit crazy shows ever, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! The second season is now out on DVD; season four just finished airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. More

Defibulators

Corn Money

City Salvage

May 06, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The Defibulators (not defibrillators) are from Brooklyn's mushrooming indie scene, but not the one you'd expect. The six-man, one-woman band mingles Bakersfield swing, honky tonk, rockabilly, bluegrass, Dixieland jazz, and punk into a boozy concoction worth swigging until last call. It makes a lick of sense that The Defibulators are releasing Corn Money on gag-cartoonist and illustrator Andy Friedman's metro-roots label City Salvage. More

May 05, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Los Angeles folk singer Mia Doi Todd has described her first instrumental music album as "a good way to start the day, though it's not just for the morning. It's music to listen to while cooking dinner or making a list of things to do or taking a long, deep breath, or for writing your first screenplay." Todd's description seems apt when listening to Morning Music. Influenced by customary Indian, West African, and Middle Eastern music, this seven-track, 44-minute suite drones along as pleasant background music. More

May 05, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

House of Mystery was a staple DC anthology of the mid-1950s. Over the years the faces have changed but the premise remains fairly the same: put a bunch of people into a big scary house with plenty of mansards and macabre. This 2008 reboot by Jack of Fables writers Mathew Sturges and Bill Willingham infuses plenty of novel ideas and characters into this rather stale horror trope. The malignant caretakers of the 1968 iteration of House of Mystery, aptly named Cain and Abel, make a quick cameo at the beginning of Room & Boredom. From then on, readers are introduced to the small cadre of patrons that inhabit their strange environs: a bar "at the crossroads of reality." More