Sounds like: The fourth (and first major label) LP of emotionally-charged, thoughtful-man indie rock from Scotland is a pleasant—if not monotonous—listen.
Free association: “My heart’s beating like a baseball falling down stairs.” Alright.
For fans of: The Twilight Sad x Arcade Fire + the Shins, kilts, beards, sad bastards. (Bill Chenevert)
Sounds like: Excellent sophomore of Ruban Nielson’s fuzzy, hazy, blissed-out psychedelia steeped in classic rock and drowsy ‘60s-era production tricks
Free association: There’s an innocence, feigned or not, in his vocals that’s endearing.
For fans of: Tame Impala x White Denim + Neil Young, psychotropic drugs. (B.C.)
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
We The Common
Sounds like: Quirky and charming, the contemporary of ladies like Mirah and
tUnE-yArDs turns in one of her best efforts to date with folksy aplomb.
Free association: She’s better with her band, and this one’s very nicely produced.
For fans of: Cat Power x Joanna Newsom, Zooey Deschanel, shabby chic. (B.C.)
Sounds like: The fantastic debut of Canadian lo-fi grooves fueled by dance music, saxophones and oddball percussion;
a brilliantly funky batch of tunes.
Free association: Looks like saxy funk and chill rock are renewing their vows.
For fans of: LCD Soundsystem x Mac DeMarco, Ariel Pink/Foxygen, woodwinds. (B.C.)
No Love Lost
(Entertainment One Music)
Sounds like: The 33-year-old Jersey City-reppin’ emcee’s fifth is mediocre R&B-spiked hip-hip about women, with tons of guests.
Free association: Please just make a record full of “Pump It Up” remixes.
For fans of: Fabolous/French Montana/Wiz Khalifa/Lloyd Banks, fucking and fighting. (B.C.)
Coheed and Cambria
The Afterman: Descension
(Everything Evil/Hundred Handed, Inc.)
Sounds like: Their seventh and the second part of a double album (Ascension was last year) is more of the same: proggy, vaguely emo, sci-fi metal punk.
Free association: The man who loves this band is a man I do not wish to call a friend.
For fans of: The Mars Volta + At the Drive-In, Saves the Day, comic books. (B.C.)
Wednesdays, 10:30pm, Comedy Central
Captive audience: The League fans; alt-comedy nerds; people who like their sketch comedy really, really fast.
Moment of truth: Nick Kroll, better known as the lovably douchey Ruxin from FX’s The League, is the latest alt-comic to get his own Comedy Central sketch show, and it appears to be the best one the network has dropped so far. (Sorry, Important Things with Demetri Martin fans.) Literally a hyper-paced mashup, reminiscent of BBC skitcom The Fast Show and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (Tim Heidecker has even made a cameo on the show), Kroll uses his arsenal of characters to send up reality shows, satirize pop culture and basically create some weird, hilariously frenetic comedy.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy. (Craig D. Lindsey)
The Carrie Diaries
Mondays, 8pm, CW
Captive audience: Sex and the City fans; teenage girls; pervs. (This is the CW, after all.)
Moment of truth: Just when you thought you could have an easy life without having to deal with the Sex and the City phenomenon anymore, the CW has decided to take Carrie Bradshaw to high school. AnnaSophia Robb plays the teen version of Candace Bushnell’s prized creation, a virginal, fashion-savvy kid growing up in the ‘80s. Since this is basically a show for the youngsters, the R-rated ribaldry of Sex is nowhere to be found. It’s more about being angsty and melodramatic, which makes this show ultimately dull. But then again, I’m a grown-ass man. I shouldn’t be watching this in the first place.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy. (C.D.L.)
Thursdays, 8pm, ABC
Captive audience: The Da Vinci Code/National Treasure fans; Lost fans who miss being confused by a show.
Moment of truth: ER doc Anthony Edwards returns to TV in this weekly adventure/thriller, where he plays a skeptical magazine publisher who searches for his wife after she gets kidnapped by a crazed figure (Michael Nyqvist, of the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies). Apparently, clocks, Nazis, Apostles and the end of the world play into all of this. What is it exactly? I have no clue, since the baffling pilot makes it seem like whoever came up with this was making it up as they went along. This show may have a game plan, but I’m betting it’s gonna be more lost than Lost.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy. (C.D.L.)
Calendar: December 17-24
Calendar: Dec. 10-17
PW's Holiday Guide 2014