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Well, as you might know, we are entering a time of year where the only guarantee with new movie releases is that they'll either be very good and in limited release, or they'll be very bad and they're everywhere. This weekend doesn't see any particularly strong film releases—although plenty of fine ones remain in theaters—but it's a great week for music, with no fewer than three new albums worthy of your time and attention. So let's get to it.

Bob Dylan's 'Another Self Portrait 1969-1971: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10'

Why We Like It

Here's Rolling Stone's review: "This two-CD set of previously unissued demos, alternate takes, scrapped arrangements and discarded songs from more than 40 years ago is one of the most important, coherent and fulfilling Bob Dylan albums ever released." It might be one artist in a million who can toss his nearly half-a-century old table scraps without losing a shred of artistic integrity, but Dylan is nothing if not rare.

Luther

Why We Like It

Series three of the BBC's dynamite police drama lands on the third, and with it, one of the most gripping performances you'll see on television. Idris Elba (Stacker Pentecost in Pacific Rim) is London police officer Luther, a troubled cop whose determination to bring England's evil to its knees puts him at odds with the law he's supposed to be in service of. In short, if you're mourning about the lack of good TV these days, and you're missing this show, you're part of the problem.

The Dodos, 'Carrier'

Why We Like It

The Dodos don't have the indie-pop acclaim of bands like Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver, but in terms of thrilling proficiency, gripping songwriting and jaw-dropping moments of stunning immediacy, they belong in any honest conversation about the best indie band in America. Their latest, Carrier, is a tragic album inspired by the passing of their bandmate Christopher Reimer, who died last year. The result is an album that feels so intimate, you feel like lead singer Meric Long should be whispering these things in his bedroom. Instead, they're out there for all of us to hear. We're better for it.

Kon Tiki

Why We Like It

Out on DVD this week is Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's exceptionally well-crafted depiction of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl's journey across the Pacific. The film contains plenty of white-knuckle adrenaline, but also manages to be a meditation on mankind's need for adventure, and the troublesome spots it gets us in.

Franz Ferdinand, 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action'

Why We Like It

Franz Ferdinand is a band that hasn't dominated the cultural conversation since the garage rock revival of the early '00s went belly-up. But unlike peers like the Strokes or the Vines, Franz Ferdinand has been churning out superb rock and roll ever since, albeit at a slow pace. Their latest, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, is a disco-influenced mess of danceable rock and British punk, and it's spectacular fun.

4 Comments

Amy B. Nelson Mingo

1

Amy B. Nelson Mingo commented…

Luther is one of my favorites! I've been anxiously waiting for season 3 to land stateside and can't wait to binge watch the entire thing. Yay!

Christopher Heward

2

Christopher Heward commented…

Might be worth saying if you do watch Luther you might see somebody's bloody head rammed through a ceiling and other assorted pieces of violence, in case people were wanting a relaxing weekend...

Christopher Heward

2

Christopher Heward replied to Christopher Heward's comment

I don't watch much TV but saw Luther and thought it was well put together and enjoyable, lots of suspense, but just thought perhaps you should pre-warn people of the violence involved.

Wade Van Staden

4

Wade Van Staden replied to Christopher Heward's comment

Dodo's 'Carrier' is magnificent and unpretentious. Franz Ferdinand's 'Right Thoughts' asks a surprising amount of searching questions, if you're listening beyond the wowing keyboards and belly busting basslines :)

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