Sep 11, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

"Manic depression's a frustrated mess" goes the infamous Jimi Hendrix lyric, and Memphis garage rocker Jay Lindsey, aka Jay Reatard, can certainly relate. The mania of his music belies the morose depression evinced in the lyrics throughout Watch Me Fall, his desperate pleas subverting the heady instrumental rush. Whether he's matter-of-factly intoning, "All is lost, there is no hope" on the frantic fist-pumping opener "It Ain't Gonna Save Me," or confessing "I always play the fool," on the byzantine synth surge of "I'm Watching You," it's as though the music was recorded during an amphetamine binge, and the lyrics were scrawled during the subsequent crash. More

Sep 10, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

It’s a damp, humid Sunday evening and tucked away in a cobbled lane at the heart of Glasgow’s city centre, Stereo is the venue for the only Scottish date on Bill Callahan’s European tour. He’s promoting his latest release, Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, his second without his famous sobriquet. More

New Avengers: The Reunion

Marvel

Written by Jim McCann, Penciled by David Lopez

Sep 10, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

For fans of the West Coast Avengers series from the early 1980s, New Avengers: The Reunion scratches a certain long-neglected itch. And it also exposes, in a sense, the limitations of the 30-year+ serial story. Former couple Bobbi Morse (aka Mockingbird) and Clint Barton (known for most of his career as Hawkeye, but now going by the decidedly less campy and rather ho-hum identity of Ronin) hash out what remains of their relationship while playing at high-stakes superheroics. More

Polvo

In Prism

Merge

Sep 10, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

A beacon of vitality in the over-cerebral math rock scene of the '90s, Polvo ostensibly broke up in 1997 after releasing the polarizing, Eastern-tinged Shapes, a maddeningly ambitious record distantly removed from the avant-garde dissonance of their early discography. They've re-emerged with In Prism, and as far as unheralded reunions go, this one's a smashing success. It's a sprawling, psychedelic masterwork, rife with knotty tangles of discordance and serpentine riffs. More

Sep 10, 2009 TV Web Exclusive

The people at the CW network must think they've hit the jackpot, or at least hold the winning lottery ticket. Cashing in on teen girls' current vampire craze (Twilight etc.), The Vampire Diaries would seem to have the markings of a hit for the fall season. Based on a series of young-adult novels from the '90s, the show has all the ingredients that would seem to add up to a teen sensations: high school cliques, sibling rivalry, adolescent angst, drugs, family trauma, and of course, the aforementioned undead. Add in that it's written by Scream scribe and Dawson's Creek mastermind Kevin Williamson, and you've got what would seem like a sure thing. More

Sep 09, 2009 Video Games Web Exclusive

The best music-based video game has met the best band ever. The Beatles: Rock Band is here and will put a smile on your face in these tough times. The game's release coincides with the release of the band's remastered catalogue and charts the rise of the Fab Four from their early shows at The Cavern Club through their live swan song on the rooftop of Apple Corps headquarters. You'll have the opportunity to play along to 45 of the band's songs in the Ed Sullivan Theater, Shea Stadium, Budokan, and Abbey Road Studios. More

Sep 09, 2009 Music Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker

Don't let the cumbersome album title or the pictographic clown-butterfly intermezzos fool you. Danish trio Mew is surely grandiose, but still a few concept albums shy of bat-shit crazy. In fact, No More Stories is fairly tame in comparison to 2005's labyrinthine and gloomy song suite, And the Glass Handed Kites. Where Kites stockpiled instrumentation, No More Stories cuts the fat and makes do with the group's new orientation (bassist Johan Wohlert left the band to concentrate on fatherhood). More

Batgirl (Issue 1)

DC

Written by Bryan Q. Miller, Penciled by Lee Garbett, Inked by Trevor Scott, Cover by Phil Noto

Sep 09, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Much of the anticipation in the buildup to Batgirl #1 centered on speculation about the identity of the new Batgirl. The first issue wastes no time in the reveal; Batgirl removes her mask on page 8 after a bust-up with some illegal street racers to show that she is Stephanie Brown. More

Sep 09, 2009 TV Web Exclusive

Once you get past Glee’s uneven pilot, the real heart of the show starts to reveal itself with its next two episodes. What saved the hiccupping start were the musical interludes that were so jaw-dropping the rest of the story took a backseat. More