Arcade Fire's The Suburbs
So much has been written about this album that adding my own two cents feels extraneous. Yet since its release, it's all I've listened to, all I've wanted to hear. While I marvel at the construction and layering of the songs, it's the content that seals the deal for me. Whether I approach it from an academic perspective (valiant fighter of sprawl and protector of community identity that I like to think I am) or from a personal one (child of the suburbs who grew up to get hives from strip malls and low-density subdivisions), this is a complete and utter winner for me, an instant classic. These are songs I'll be listening to for years to come. (And you've seen the brilliant interactive video for 'The Wilderness Downtown' by now, yes?)
'The Town' was a much-welcomed bridge into Serious Movie Season for me, living somewhere in between plodding drama and action flick. As a vehicle of things to come, I'm happy to have this movie chauffeur me into a more highbrow cinematic season. I'm also happy that it promises much more from Ben Affleck, whose talent as a director and a writer is no longer something to wonder about, but something to get excited about. And c'mon, this is Boston. One of my places. It's also a fantastic cast doing good things. And it's a climactic scene in that "cathedral of Boston" I know and love, Fenway Park. It's a damn good flick that came to us at just the right time.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Sometimes I feel like books wait for you until just the right moment. This one had been on my to-read list for a year before I found it in a $5 clearance bin, at which point I forgot about it for two more years. But last week, there it was in wait, with the kind of protagonist I adore (wunderkind with a head for academia and a heart full of growing pains), intellectual discourse that's only funny if you get it (and then it's hilarious), a cast of well-developed characters, a crash-course through revolutionary action and a study in dissent, and a big, fat, stay-up-all-night mystery. Go read it.
Kate told me ages ago I'd enjoy this flick, and sure enough, the girl knows my taste. Add this movie to your Netflix queue now. Just do it. It's hilarious and awkward and poignant and all those things that can happen when the loudest scenes are family fights at the dinner table. Find out what "botero" is. See Andy Garcia in his first role I've EVER enjoyed. Marvel at the final scene on the street, which is an absolutely brilliant five minutes of comedy.
What's on your to-hear, to-read, to-see list these days?