Have You Done Something Nice For Your Mailbox Recently?

Anna and Tess Knoebel over at Abe's Penny have been nice enough to send me some issues of their "Micro-Magazine." Every issue is four postcards (one a week for a month) that appear almost magically in your mailbox and bring together a photographer and a writer. It's an interesting project in this time when everyone who's doing something in the art and lit worlds are looking for interesting ways to present their work to people and actually have those people look at it.

Check out more at abespenny.com.

(below: 1.7 featuring Skye Parrott and Katherine Krause)


InDigest Picks

Invisibleby Paul Auster [Henry Holt]
+ Paul Auster's 15th novel is a structural marvel. Constructed ni four parts twisted like rope, the novel is part diary, part novel within a novel, part memoir-ish narrative. It's a complicated, insular novel that plays on the reader's expectations from a novel within a novel and the author's constant fight against reality and coincidence for the best subject matter. In the way that the wild happenings in a newspaper can feel forced or trite in a novel, Auster here utilizes the notion of a real life narrative told in a non-literary fashion (from one vantage point). He plays with the notion of coincidence and have that works on the page versus reality. He plays fantasy against memory and reality in a novel of both large and small scale drama that is surprising from the first to the last.

The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Musicby Ben Ratliff [Henry Holt]
+ New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff sits down to listen to music with some of jazz's biggest stars in this collection of essays. With the project Ratliff asks jazz legends to pick a few songs and sit down with him to listen. The music could be damn near anything, the only requirement is that the artist he is listening with did not play on the album. The resulting conversations are fascinating as the masters of the form talk about song structure and what makes a great recording. The conversations range from Ornette Coleman to Wayne Shorter to Pat Metheny, bouncing all over the place: Shorter's odd ramblings to Metheny's insistence that "glue" is what makes music work. This is must read material for any jazz aficionado, or even a great place to start if you just want to understand how to listen better.

Other Notable Releases: Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving, The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy by Bill Simmons

Poems of the Black Objectby Ronaldo V. Wilson [Futurepoem]
+ Wilson's newest collection of poetry pulsates in your hand. It feels edgy, even provocative. The book is constructed in parts, any one of which would have made a marvelous chapbook, but together the collection is something far more magnificent. I was a fan of Wilson's previous collection, Narrative of the Brown Boy and the White Man, which itself was not too tame, but I get the sense that this is the first time his voice has emerged as a fully formed being. There is something happening in this collection, the same way that you find O' Hara's distinct voice in Lunch Poems, Poems of the Black Object feels like this is Wilson's true voice. Raw, gruff, coy, elusive, playful and blunt.

Pelican - What We All Come To Need [Southern Lord]
+ Pelican continue to carve a special place in my heart with this release. Their unique brand of instrumental metal sounds as good as they've ever sounded on What We All Come to Need. Eight new tracks of sludgy, head-banging post-rock-cum-metal. This is a beautiful record.

Glass Ghost - Idol Omen [Western Vinyl]
+ Glass Ghost's newest album is somewhat reminiscent of Spoon's Kill the Moonlight. It really doesn't sound anything like it aesthetically, but there is that odd minimalist construction with occasional hooks tossed around, feeling natural, as though this all comes easily. Idol Omen will make my shortlist of albums that just aren't going to get enough love this year. A slightly esoteric list, I know.

Other Notable Releases: Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect, Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence, Morrissey - Swords, The Sight Below - Murmur EP, Sting - If on a Winter's Night..., Sun Ra - The Heliocentirc Worlds of Sun Ra Vol. 1,Teagan and Sara - Sainthood, Weezer - Raditude

In Theaters:
Skin (Anthony Fabian) [Elysian Films]
+ Skin has a lot of positive buzz going, not that that is always worth something, or indicative of anything. The film is heavy on the drama, but the stellar performances rise to the challenge. If you're trying to keep up with the Oscar bait that is trickling out already, you'll need to watch this one.

Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (Troy Duffy) [Apparition / Sony]
+ So, I haven't actually seen this one, but I'm a sucker for the original Boondock Saints and it's kitschy appeal. The gun-battles, the subdued story of vengeance. It's not a perfect film, but it executes the familiar revenge-of-the-common-man story well enough to make me excited. A sequel? Well, maybe it's not necessary, but I'm certainly interested.

Other Notable Releases: Gentleman Broncos (Jared Hess), The House of the Devil (Ti West), Micheal Jackson's This is It

Z(Costa Gavras) [Criterion]
+ Criterion gives the royal treatment to Gavras' masterpiece. It's a film of political upheaval and great power on the scale of The Battle of Algiers. If you didn't get to catch it last year when it made the rounds to theaters again then it's time.

Check out this great essay on Z at the Criterion website.

Fear(s) of the Dark(Etienne Robial, Blutch, Charles Burns and more) [MPI Home Video]
+ It's a perfect weekend to rent Fear(s) of the Dark, a film that brings together 6 visionary comic artists to create short pieces centering on fear. It's strikingly beautiful, a pinnacle of modern animation. This is a great film for any time, but you probably couldn't get a better film for a Saturday night in, because I'm sure you aren't going out on Halloween.

Other Notable Releases: Whatever Works (Woody Allen), Death in the Garden (Luis Bunuel), Orphan (Jaume Collet-Serra), The Maiden Hiest (Peter Hewitt), Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,

Hulk Vol. 3: Hulk No More(Jeph Loeb) [Marvel]
+ Jeph Loeb has made me interested in a series that has never previously interested me. Hulk (the series), in Loeb's hands, has given birth to the Red Hulk, an even more evil version of Bruce Banner's Hulk with origins we aren't quite sure about. The series has also brought about the thrilling decline of Bruce Banner, and I get the sense that this series is a ways from hitting it's stride. This volume collects issues #10-13 and Incredible Hulk #600. Red Hulk and his team, The Offenders, battle The Defenders, Hulk and Namor's team of heroes. It's a great lead in to the final decline of Banner.

Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2: World's Most Wanted, Part 1(Matt Fraction) [Marvel]
+ If only we could guarantee that the upcoming second installment of the Iron Man films was as engaging as this collection. With Norman Osborn taking over the government Tony Stark starts to try and erase all the information he acquired during the Superhero Registration Act while he was acting head of S.H.I.E.L.D. The final database is in his head, as he destroys each Iron Man suit and starts to erase parts of his memory he has to try and fight Osborn's goons while trying to just remember his name.

Other Notable Releases: Batman #692, Batman: The Widening Gyre #3 (of 6), Captain America Reborn #4, Dark Avengers: Ares #1, Dark Reign - The List: Punisher #1, Dark Reign - The List: Wolverine #1, The Flash: Rebirth #5 (of 6), Hulk #16, Kick Ass #8

Please Note: For some of the above recommendations we receive free review copies. It is InDigest's belief that negative reviews aren't worth as much as a positive review. Why tell you what not to do, when there are some great things to do? We only publish reviews of books, films, albums and comics that we've enjoyed to some degree. This is no reflection of the publisher's providing review copy.


American Life in Poetry: Column 240


We haven’t shown you many poems in which the poet enters another person and speaks through him or her, but it is, of course, an effective and respected way of writing. Here Philip Memmer of Deansboro, N.Y., enters the persona of a young woman having an unpleasant experience with a blind date.

The Paleontologist’s Blind Date

You have such lovely bones, he says,
holding my face in his hands,

and although I can almost feel
the stone and the sand

sifting away, his fingers
like the softest of brushes,

I realize after this touch
he would know me

years from now, even
in the dark, even

without my skin.
Thank you, I smile—

then I close the door
and never call him again.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2008 by Philip Memmer, whose most recent book of poetry is Lucifer: A Hagiography, Lost Horse Press, 2009. Poem reprinted from Threat of Pleasure, Word Press, 2008, by permission of Philip Memmer and the publisher. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.


What We've Been Reading


I'd always meant to read Paul Auster, but somehow I'd never gotten around to it before now. So I feel somewhat ill-equipped to write about Invisible,his forthcoming (and fifteenth) novel. The power of the book lies in its structure: it's divided into four sections, each of which tell part of the tale of Adam Walker, who, as a college student in 1967 gets entangled with Born, a creepy, charismatic professor, and his girlfriend, Margot. Decades later, Adam enlists an old friend to help him write his memories of that time. The plot itself feels intentionally melodramatic, but the way the story gets refracted through Adam's shattered perspective makes it a satisfying exploration of the functions of memory and the nature of authorship. With just the right amount of suspense and a surplus of sexual energy, Invisible shows what happens when the character in a coming-of-age story grows up to find he still can't make sense of the defining experiences of his youth.


InDigest Picks

Eating the Dinosaurby Chuck Klosterman [Scribner]
+ Another collection of essays from the master of personal musings on pop culture. Klosterman's wit and subtlety are unparalleled. In Eating the Dinosaur he tackles Garth Brooks, voyeurism, why people inevitably hate their favorite bands newest album, Mad Men, Rivers Cuomo and much more.

Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fictionby Kurt Vonnegut [Delacorte Press]
+ More fiction from Vonnegut. Shouldn't have to say much more than that. Get your fill. I don't think they'll be a treasure trove of unpublished works surfacing any time soon.

The Red Bookby C.G. Jung [W.W. Norton]
+ Consistently hailed as the most influential psychological work that has never been published, Jung's elusive Red Book is finally going to see light. Jung worked on this fever dream for years. As a Dante-esque fantastical parable it mirrors of the evolution of Jungian thought. This could either be a huge let down to Jungians or this could be the biggest release of the decade in psychology.

Other Notable Releases: Noir by Brian Azzarello, To Try Men's Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom by Newt Gingrich, The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk

Fire Exit: A Poemby Robert Kelly [Black Widow Press]
+ Black Widow, among others, is asserting that this flourishing book length poem will be one of the major works of Robert Kelly's 50+ years as a notable poet. Kelly is a prolific and established poet whose every work deserves some consideration. As usual, no exception. Check out some video of Kelly reading at the St. Marks Poetry Project in the meantime.

Flight of the Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky[Sub Pop]
+ New Zealeand's biggest export is releasing I Told You I Was Freaky, a collection of jams from the second season of their hit HBO TV series. Some of the best tracks: "Too Many Dicks [On the Dancefloor]," "You Don't Have to Be a Prostitute."

Atlas Sound - Logos[Kranky]
+ Bradford Cox's not-Deerhunter band releases their second LP, and it's great.
When Cox steps from behind the layers nostalgia-inducing feedback (Deerhunter) there is a more sensitive (but not too sensitive) side to his songwriting that can even touch something a little country-western (kind of) and it's a beautiful thing. In my mind teh current trajectory of Atlas sound eclipses Deerhunter in a big way.

Cox is currently starting a tour with Athens, GA based Selmanaires as his backing band (they also open and are worth catching if you're debating arriving late).

Other notable releases: Alec Ounsworth - Mo Beauty, Converge - Axe to Fall, Do Make Say Think - Other Truths, Excepter - Black Beach, Sufjan Stevens - The BQE Soundtrack

Night & Day (Hong Sang-Soo) [B.O.M. Film]
+ This glacial South Korean film follows painter Sung-nam after he is forced to flee South Korea on a drug charge. He lives on the edge in Paris. Never sure where his next meal is coming from (or that seems to be the premise, though he does alright). He balances his new working class lifestyle as an immigrant, with nightly phone calls from his wife back home, and his new-found love of a Korean art student studying in Paris. The film can be a little heavy handed at times. Striving to drive home the duality that has found it's way into Sung-nam's life. Or maybe it's just finally surfacing. The cinematography won't remind you of any of the other major names in South Korean cinema with their smooth round edges and over saturated lens. The picture is gritty and often quite dark. Yet, for all it's flaws it's a beautiful study of human infidelity and the short-sighted ways in which we forget what family means.

Night & Day opens Friday at Anthology Film Archives in New York. Potentially (and hopefully) hitting other cities soon.

Anti-Christ (Lars Von Trier) [Zentropa Films]
+ The Knowns: It's a striking, beautiful film. It'll get you thinking. It's a little nauseating, at times. This is one of the fall's must see films. The Unknowns: Will you throw up? (You wouldn't be the first.) Will the Oscars finally acknowledge Lars Von Trier's existence? How many people will actually go see a film with on-screen genital mutilation? (My guess? Fewer than are interested in flying robots from out space.) The film already feels as though it's the most talked about film of the fall. And that's no easy feat considering the subject matter covered in the film and the various ways it could turn people of all demographics off simply through it's grotesque scenes.

One last thing. Their campaign that almost was. Twitter posts the last few days from friend of a friend (etc.): "If you loved Bright Star and can only see one more film this year. Make it Anti-Christ." ...Don't believe the hype.

Other Notable Releases: Amelia (Mira Nair), Ong-Bak 2 (Tony Jaa Panna Rittikra), Rembrandt's J’Accuse (Peter Greenaway)

Fados(Carlos Saura) [Zeitgeist Films]
+ Carlos Saura is a master of the cinematic arts and has never received adequate attention. Despite special screenings of Fados at a number of galleries around the US and a theatrical premiere, not enough people ventured out to see the newest work by one of the masters. (And can I just throw out that his Blood Wedding is one of the greatest things to ever happen on film?) Well, now there is no excuse.

Other Notable Releases: Cheri (Stephen Frears), Howards End (James Ivory) [Criterion Edition], Paris 1919 (Paul Cowan)

Celebrating Peanuts: 60 Yearsby Charles Schultz [Simon & Schuster/Andrew McMeel Publishing]
+ Because you think you look too snooty with just a copy of The Complete New Yorker cartoons sitting on your book shelf, if for no other reason.

The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb [W.W. Norton]
+ R.Crumbs literal translation of the first book of the Bible in a graphic form has stirred the pot a bit. Crumb has maintained that it is a literal translation. His words can be translated as there is sex and violence, which the naysayers seem to want to deny exists in the Bible. (That's all there is in the Bible.) It's really a ringing endorsement that more than a few Holy Men have found offense in what looks to be one of Crumb's weirder endeavors.

Other Notable Releases: Batman: Streets of Gotham #5, Blackest night: Superman #3, Dark Avengers #10, Dark Reign The List: The Hulk (one shot), Dark Wolverine #79, The Invincible Iron Man #19, Punisher Noir #3, Skrull Kill Krew #5 (of 5), Vigilante #11


Hell Yes Dispatch: Call For Submissions! We Want to Know What Love Is!

Our friends over at Hell Yes Press are looking for some lovely submissions. Check out the call below and heed the warning. Which sounds right, but I'm not sure if there is really a warning anywhere here. Don't eay Mayo straight from the jar. You'll have a heart attack.

In your life, has there been heartache and pain? Well, now you can put it to good use!

Hell Yes is seeking work that explores relationships -- relationships that exist between people, between people and animals, possessions, inanimate objects, works of art, and/or other possibilities. We want work that tackles the shifting nexuses of bonds and ties.

But, really, let’s cut the shit: we are looking for love (poems) in all the wrong places. Please email us yours at hellyespress@gmail.com (subject: love poems) for consideration in this forthcoming anthology. Submission deadline to break hearts is Feb 14, 2010.

Happy, sad, or confused, get in the mood and send us some poems.

American Life in Poetry: Column 239


It’s likely that if you found the original handwritten manuscript of T. S. Eliot’s groundbreaking poem, “The Waste Land,” you wouldn’t be able to trade it for a candy bar at the Quick Shop on your corner. Here’s a poem by David Lee Garrison of Ohio about how unsuccessfully classical music fits into a subway.

Bach in the DC Subway

As an experiment,
The Washington Post
asked a concert violinist—
wearing jeans, tennis shoes,
and a baseball cap—
to stand near a trash can
at rush hour in the subway
and play Bach
on a Stradivarius.
Partita No. 2 in D Minor
called out to commuters
like an ocean to waves,
sang to the station
about why we should bother
to live.

A thousand people
streamed by. Seven of them
paused for a minute or so
and thirty-two dollars floated
into the open violin case.
A café hostess who drifted
over to the open door
each time she was free
said later that Bach
gave her peace,
and all the children,
all of them,
waded into the music
as if it were water,
listening until they had to be
rescued by parents
who had somewhere else to go.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2008 by David Lee Garrison, whose most recent book of poems is Sweeping the Cemetery: New and Selected Poems, Browser Books Publishing, 2007. Poem reprinted from Rattle, Vol. 14, No. 2, Winter 2008, by permission of David Lee Garrison and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.


Our Friends at Guernica Are Throwing a Party, And You Should Go

Our good friends at Guernica Magazine, the magazine that Howard Zinn (!) has called an “extraordinary bouquet of stories, poems, social commentary, and art” and Esquire called a “great online literary magazine,” is having a party to celebrate their fifth anniversary. If you are in New York on October 28 this is where you are going to want to be.

It's quite impressive what Guernica has accomplished in just five years. Some highlights include E.C. Osondu’s story “Waiting,” originally published in Guernica, winning the 2009 Caine Prize, Africa’s leading literary award. A panel discussion on activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, part of the PEN World Voices Festival, was featured in the New York Times. In addition, the Guardian, Salon.com, The New Yorker and other publications have all written about Guernica on their blogs and in their pages.

(Full disclosure: I am Guernica's Blog Editor. That being said, the reason I wanted to be a part of Guernica was, and continues to be, because of the voice they add to the political and artistic conversation that goes on daily in the world. I am consistently impressed by the content that appears on the site and am glad to be a part of it.)

Here's the press release:

Guernica Magazine Celebrates Five Years

with Bash Featuring Jonathan Ames,

Brooklyn Lager, Music, Food, Prizes

October 14 – To celebrate five years of award-winning coverage of international arts and politics, Guernica Magazine is throwing a birthday party on Wednesday, October 28, at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, NY. The Guernica at 5 benefit bash will feature a reading by author Jonathan Ames, the creator of HBO's Bored to Death, along with performances by a special musical guest. Partygoers will enjoy free food and drinks, including beer provided by Brooklyn Brewery, and will each receive a complimentary two-year subscription to Time Out New York.

Guernica at 5
Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 7-10 p.m.
powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY

“Guernica has a strong tradition of hosting provocative and exciting cultural events, and Guernica at 5 promises to provide even more of the energy that our followers have come to expect from us,” explained co-founder Joel Whitney. Guernica’s popular monthly New York City salons have offered the opportunity for writers, readers, and artists to gather together to share drinks and opinions. Recent Guernica events include a live conversation between Mia Farrow and Bernard-Henri Lévy, a sold-out Hudson River cruise, and a discussion on activist Ken Saro-Wiwa which was featured in the New York Times.

Tickets to the Guernica at 5 can be purchased online through www.mycommunitytickets.com for $45. The first 50 ticket holders will be automatically entered in a raffle to see Andrew Bird perform in Philadelphia on October 25. Funds raised by the benefit will directly support Guernica's ongoing mission to expand the grass-roots international arts and literary community. Members of the Benefit Committee include Mia Farrow, Tom & Susan Chehak, Mark Dowie, Tim Gray, Howard Zinn, and Wendell Potter.

ABOUT THE MAGAZINE: Guernica was founded in 2004 and has grown into an indispensable forum for cultural conversation. It has sparked discussions about the environment; published great stories, poems, paintings, and photos from around the world; and weighed in on topics ranging from the crisis in Darfur to the Iraq war. The magazine has featured heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, literary stalwarts, lawmakers, filmmakers, salsa gods, and cabinet members.

MORE INFORMATION: To arrange for an interview, press passes, or publicity stills,
contact Robin Beth Schaer at guernicamag@gmail.com.

What We've Been Reading

I'm reading In Cold Bloodfor the first time ever. How I'm this old without ever having read it is beyond me. But this book is rocking my socks off. The prose is both concrete and lyrical, and the story is just so horrifying. I'm happy to be making up for lost time.

I'm also reading The Beginning of the Fieldsby Angela Shaw. The aesthetics and the subject matter aren't my usual cup of tea, maybe, but this is also a really excellent book, full of concrete and lyrical writing, and my socks here too are in the process of being rocked off. Wonderful.

I just finished my bi-annual reading of TS Eliot's The Waste Land & Other Poems, as well as the last two parts of Beowulf. (I had the urge to read something in Old English. I had to memorize the first 100 lines of Beowulf, in Old English, when I was a junior in high school and I haven't read any Old English since. When I started working on this blurb I wrote a long apology for reading something in Old English, as though I had offended everyone's family. Fuck that. It was fun.)

I'm currently plowing through Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project.It's pretty great so far. Structurally, it's pretty wild. Though I feel like I've been saying that a lot lately. Maybe I've just become interested in structure and that's what I'm seeing but Hemon's flashing between this story that the main character is trying to uncover and that characters real life is done seamlessly. It's beautiful. Socks, consider yourself rocked.


American Life in Poetry: Column 238


Though some teacher may have made you think that all poetry is deadly serious, chock full of coded meanings and obscure symbols, poems, like other works of art, can be delightfully playful. Here Bruce Guernsey, who divides his time between Illinois and Maine, plays with a common yam.


The potato that ate all its carrots,
can see in the dark like a mole,

its eyes the scars
from centuries of shovels, tines.

May spelled backwards
because it hates the light,

pawing its way, paddling along,
there in the catacombs.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2008 by Bruce Guernsey. Reprinted from New England Primer by Bruce Guernsey, Cherry Grove Collections, 2008, by permission of Bruce Guernsey and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.


InDigest Picks

Chronic Cityby Jonathan Lethem [Doubleday]
+ Lethem's newest book crosses the river from his beloved Brooklyn and utilizes Manhattan as a central location. The book is a meandering study of friendship and everyday observation as two odd friends, Chase Insteadman, the spouse of an astronaut stuck in space, and Perkus Tooth, a cultural critic with too little to do, wander on the margins of the cities elite.

Hear an interview with Lethem about the book at Amazon here.

Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Listsby The Onion AV Club [Scribner]
+ Inventory is a collection of some of those amazing lists you read every week in The Onion AV Club, with a lengthy intro by Chuck Klosterman. On top of the AV Club writer's lists there are lists from Andrew WK, Patton Oswalt, John Hodgeman, Zach Galifinakis, Paul Thomas Anderson, "Weird Al" Yankovic and more.

Grungephotographs by Michael Lavine and text by Thurston Moore [Abrams Image]
+ With a similar feel to Moore and Byron Cooley's No Wave, Grunge is a collection of photography that seeks to capture the zeitgeist. Grunge lacks the intimacy and sense that Moore is letting you in on a secret no one else knows about like he did in No Wave. Yet, there is something really spectacular about the photography here. Seeing Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Billy Corgan and others who've become something totally different in our over the last two decades (see: Chris Cornell's hip-hop album...blek); they are heroes, major rock stars now, but these photos are a beautiful reminder of where these people started, how the music they made at that time was the focal point of an underground movement that changed the trajectory of rock music in America.

Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights[Load]
+ Multi-hyphenated noise rockers Lightning Bolt come out with a new album that's just as noisy and incomprehensible as their brilliant Hypermagic Mountain. Oddly enough you can sense maturation in Earthly Delights, which isn't something that always happens with bands as loud and spastic as Lightning Bolt.

Preview their track "Collosus" from Earthly Delights here. [via Pitchfork]

The Flaming Lips - Embryonic[Warner Bros]
+ The last LP from Wayne Coyne and co. was a mixed bag. Some catchy tunes and some songs that were less than exciting. The good news for those of you who were also disappointed: Embryonic rocks. It's The Flaming Lips playing with their sound, evolving and taking risks again. It's an incredibly beautiful album.

Other Notable Releases: Anti-Pop Consortium: Fluorescent Black, Bob Dylan: Christmas in the Heart, Fuck Buttons: Tarot Sport, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down: Know Better Learn Faster,

In Theaters:
One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur (Curt Worden) [Kerouac Films]
+ This often surprising documentary tracks Kerouac as he deals with becoming an international phenom, an alcoholic and reluctant figurehead of a movement. He retreats to Big Sur and writes the novel of the same name. Friends remember the circumstances surrounding the book and, along with fans, read excerpts of the novel. The documentary illuminates the novel and is essential viewing for any fan of Kerouac.

Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze) [Warner Bros]
+ One of the fall's most anticipated films finally hits theaters. The build up from McSweeney's releases (both Egger's Wild Things and Heads on And We Shoot), The Arcade Fire laden trailers, coloring books, short films from Spike Jonze at MoMA and in the new issue of Wholphin, along with enough hype to choke The Killers and the rumored fights between Jonze/Eggers and the studio makes it a frightening weekend where we will remember how fallible the hype machine is, while, probably, still enjoying this film quite a bit.

Other Notable Releases: Black Dynamite

The Mighty Boosh Special Edition (Seasons 1-3)[BBC Warner]
+ If you aren't watching this show yet you've made a mistake. Now, go watch crack fox.

Dusan Makavejev: Free Radical- Eclipse Series 18 [Criterion]
+ Eclipse series is one my favorite things happening in the world of cinema. The Eclipse series (by Criterion) restores important, but marginalized, films that have never seen a DVD release in the US. Even if I know nothing about the films being released I get excited. Previously releases of Sam Fuller's early studio work, the first screenplays of Bergman and Flamenco films of Carlos Saura have made my loins throb.

Deadpool #900[Marvel]
+ Deadpool hits his 900th issue (is that right?) with a 104 page epic comic. Might as well buy this now before Ryan Reynolds ruins any enjoyment you get out of Deadpool. The whole Merc with a Mouth thing is great when it's written but when Ryan Reynolds keeps blathering on it becomes, not surprisingly, quite painful. (He was only in around five minutes of Wolverine and I wanted him dead.)

Other Notable Collections: The Batman Chronicles Vol. 8 (various), Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk Vol. 1 (Damon Lindelof, Leinil Francis Yu)

Other Notable Single Issues: Red Robin #5, Batman #691


What We've Been Reading

The past few days I've been reading Michael Thomas's novel Man Gone Down.It won the International Impac Dublin Literary Award this past summer, and I'd read a lot about its unabashed literary-ness, its fearless exploration of race in contemporary America, its tender depiction of a man who has long since given up hope of finding his place in the world. And while I can't yet say I love the book (I'm only about 100 pages in), it's fascinating to see the unnamed narrator spiral deeper into digressions and ruminations as the pressure builds to make a new start in life. It's always hard to watch someone fail in real time, and even harder to watch them fail because they are mired in exhuming the past, but Man Gone Down demonstrates that there can be a kind of beauty in it, too.

Moby DickThis shit is incredible. The Pequod is ribbed with whale bones. I'd put in a vote for the most badass book in American literature. Plus it's funny.


Minneapple in the Big Apple

Check out this nice piece on InDigest and the 1207 Reading Series over at the Minneapple in the Big Apple blog.

InDigest Picks

The Wild Thingsby Dave Eggers [McSweeneys]
+ Maybe this is just in New York, but it seems everywhere I turn there is something reminding me that Where the Wild Things Are is about to come out in theaters. Based on the children's story, and tied together with the screenplay for the film co-written by Eggers and director Spike Jonze, this is a more in depth version of Where the Wild Things Are. It's a dark, beautiful story that Eggers has adapted. You should of course get the fur-covered edition (pictured to the left).

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Sonby Michael Chabon [Harper-Collins]
+ Chabon's first work of non-fiction is a series of intertwining essays that essentially amount to an auto-biography. Chabon's writing is always a pleasure to read. Reviews have already called this an "instant classic" (never heard that before), yet there is not reason to believe that this is not the case when it comes to work by Chabon. It seems that so much of his work does, all cliches aside, become an instant classic.

The Mountain Goats - Life of the World to Come[4AD]
+ The newest disc from John Darnielle is what you would expect, and yet still a little surprising. Every song on the album is named after a bible verse, which Darnielle explained/refused to explain as soon as the track listing was announced. The religious overtones make it a fascinating extension of Darnielle's discography, as he's always had a sort of intrigue with the stories of religion, while maintaining an agnostic stance. The Life of the World to Come is a great album that hits all of your favorite Mountain Goats tropes: piano ballads, catchy sing-along moments, Darnielle's rambling bellow and his wry sense of humor.

No Age - Losing Feeling[Sub-Pop]
+ The young Noise pop duo leaves LPs behind for their formerly favored EP format. It's a killer disc, that is only missing a waft of their fantastic collaborations with Bob Mould from their last tour and ATP appearance.

In Theaters:
Good Hair (Jeff Stilson) [Chris Rock Entertainment]
+ This Chris Rock hosted documentary seems to be of the mind that docs can be fun [gasp]. Rock travels the world stopping in laboratories, beauty salons and talking to people on the streets to discover the "mystery behind African-American hair."

Comics/Graphic Novels:
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four(Jonathan Hickman, Sean Chen)
+ I may have said this once or twice before, but Dark Reign is the best thing that's ever happened to the Marvel world. The collections of the comics, such as this one, are just starting to come out. If you haven't been keeping up with the comic world here's a good spot to start immersing yourself in Dark Reign. The Fantastic Four series isn't the best thing happening in Dark Reign, but, so far, everything has been pretty fantastic in this world.