(500) Days of Summer

Studio: Fox Searchlight
Directed by Marc Webb; Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel

Jul 14, 2009 Cinema Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker

From its sardonic opening (a short preface of text that calls out an ex-girlfriend) to its final line of dialogue, (500) Days of Summer abounds with humor and romantic spirit, sparked by dynamic storytelling, fanciful imagery, a splendid music soundtrack, and a charismatic, star-making performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. More

Jul 14, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Cracker's 1992 radio hit "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)" famously noted "What the world needs now/is another folk singer/like I need a hole in my head." For the last 17 years, with a few notable exceptions, I have tended to agree with that sentiment. But after a recent Monday night, following the charming, confident performance of Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man on Earth), I find myself scouring websites and record bins for new folk. More

Jul 14, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

1995's wonderfully weird Bunny Gets Paid is a great rambling mess of post-punk, blues, and lo-fi haze. It also happens to be the first step toward the incredible music that Tim Rutili, Ben Massarella, Tim Hurley, and Brian Deck would go on to make as Califone, and hints at the style that Deck would come to refine as a producer for Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, and Modest Mouse. More

Jul 14, 2009 Books Web Exclusive

Secret Identity Crisis is an interesting meditation on sequential art as a reflection of, and sometimes commentary on, society. Costello, a Professor of Political Science at Chicago's Saint Xavier University, chooses to juxtapose the growth of the comic industry with the sticky concept of the so-called American "national identity," by using the ongoing stories of some of Marvel's biggest names as a giant funhouse mirror to warp and shine light on current events and attitudes. More

Jul 13, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Was anyone really crying out for a Stay Hungry reissue? Regardless, here it is, and even if it's not particularly groundbreaking, it still holds up well as a reminder that the band weren't the cartoonish buffoons they're often viewed as having been. More

Jul 10, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

To say expectations were low for Mos Def’s fourth album is being far too generous. But by the shameful standards Mos Def set for himself, any album with some semblance of effort was bound to be heralded as a return to form, and The Ecstatic puts forth that modicum of effort.  More

Jul 10, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

It was only a matter of time before The Onion's "Area Man"—that semi-anonymous schlub feted in the trade for often the most mundane achievements—would be awarded his own anthem. And he couldn't find a more able chronicler than bandleader Matt Wilson, whose stick-strikes give the icon a confident metropolitan strut. More

House of Mystery Vol. 2: Love Stories for Dead People

DC/Vertigo

Written by Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham. Art by Luca Rossi and José Marzan Jr., and David Peterson. Cover by Esao Andrews.

Jul 10, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Vertigo/DC's House of Mystery is the new ongoing series that reinvents the classic "Suggested For Matured Readers" franchise. This second volume, subtitled Love Stories For Dead People, collects issues #6-10. The romance-themed sequel to Room & Boredom has the same premise: a group of five strangers are trapped within a supernatural tavern where strange patrons pass the time regaling each other in outlandish yarns. The stories told across the bar stools this time pale in comparison to the five previous installments. The overarching plot, revolving around the secrets buried underneath a clandestine basement, fares much better. More

Blood: The Last Vampire

Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Directed by Chris Nahon; Starring: Gianna, Allison Miller, Liam Cunningham, JJ Feild, Koyuki and Yasuaki Kurata

Jul 10, 2009 Cinema Web Exclusive

Based on the cult anime series of the same name, Blood: The Last Vampire is a full-length remake of a shorter animated film. More