ON THE RECORD
Sounds like: The Smiths guitarist and Modest Mouse member’s honest-to-goodness first solo LP is a great, moody indie Brit rock record with modest ambitions.
Free association: He can do no wrong; his decent is everyone else’s awesome.
For fans of: The The/The Pretenders/Moz/Talking Heads, iconic guitar sounds. (Bill Chenevert)
Autre Ne Veut
Sounds like: A solid sophomore from the New York hermit whose ear for a melody is professional —a jingle writer turned glitch-pop pioneer heavy on the R&B.
Free association: This R&B renaissance is happening, and I am so not mad.
For fans of: How to Dress Well/Ariel Pink x Perfume Genius, disco R&B. (B.C.)
(Paper Bag Records)
Sounds like: The Italo disco-worshipping Swedish duo dwell in synths and dance music on their third, a chill and ambient electro record for relaxing or raging.
Free association: Every once in a while, you get hints of Robyn, and it’s thrilling.
For fans of: The Knife/Chromatics/Junior Boys/Erasure x Annie, delicate disco. (B.C.)
Sounds like: The electro persona of French house producer, Vincent Belorgay, a zombie via a Testarossa crash who returns to make beats and driving music.
Free association: Practically custom-built for the Drive soundtrack. And Sega.
For fans of: Daft Punk x Justice + Digitalism, Fischerspooner, 8-bit inspiration. (B.C.)
Sounds like: A heavy, stonerific headphone listen from Trevor Powers that’s strong but dark, rich-layered textures of synthetics.
Free association: He went long and complex to make sure we know he’s a musician.
For fans of: Washed Out, EMA/Freelance Whales x Grizzly Bear, creative nerds. (B.C.)
Atoms For Peace
Sounds like: Radiohead’s Thom Yorke shies away from a namesake solo album and opts to create with Nigel Godrich, Flea and all-star studio studs.
Free association: The most exciting introduction here is the Afrobeat chunks.
For fans of: Ultraista/Four Tet x Grimes, The King of Limbs, Yorke’s dance moves. (B.C.)
ON THE IDIOT BOX
The Client List
Sunday, 10 p.m., Lifetime
Captive audience: Tacky TV shows that are supposed to preach female empowerment; fans of titties.
Moment of truth: Let’s cut to the chase here: This so-called drama has got to be the best worst show on television right now. We’ve got a sassy-as-hell Jennifer Love Hewitt as a Texas mother of two who works at a day spa that provides extra, kinky treatment for its more powerful clients. The second season opener has her continuing to keep her services secret (especially from the authorities) while taking on new responsibilities. I wish I could tell you this show is a so-bad-it’s-good guilty pleasure. But remember, it’s on the heavy-handed Lifetime channel, which means it’s more shameful than shameless.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy. (Craig. D. Lindsey)
The Jenny McCarthy Show
Fridays, 10:30 p.m., VH1
Captive audience: Middle-aged harlots with drinking problems; people who love gossip; fans of titties.
Moment of truth: Here’s another awful show starring a chick guys used to fap it to back in the late ‘90s. VH1 creates its own Chelsea Lately clone by giving the low-brow blonde/anti-vaccination activist/former Playboy Playmate of the Year her own talk show. On this noisy, immensely cluttered half-hour of TV, she boozes it up with VH1’s reality-show celebs, dishes out pop-culture news and does the same hammy shit that wasn’t even amusing when she did it back in her younger, MTV days. After watching five minutes of this, it’s shocking how anyone could possibly take this woman seriously.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy. (C.D.L.)
Sundays, 10pm, History
Captive audience: Prestige-drama lovers; Game of Thrones/Spartacus fans; fans of titties. (There’s not really much breast-baring on this show—just thought I’d just throw it in there one last time.)
Moment of truth: History—Sorry, but it’ll always be the History Channel to me—finally gets in on the scripted-series game with its own savage, sultry, period-piece drama. The incessantly smirking Travis Fimmel stars as legendary Norse figure Ragnor Lodbrok, a curious Viking warrior who was determined to hit the open seas and see what new lands were out there. Gabriel Byrne shows up as the villainous, paranoid earl who wants to put the kibosh of Lodbrok’s plans. With its mix of graphic action and sordid storytelling, this show proves to be a proper substitute for those waiting for the new season of Game of Thrones to start airing.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy. (C.D.L.)
PW's 2015 Gift Guide
Calendar: Nov. 25-Dec. 2
Artie Lange knows the score
Calendar: November 18-25