The Last Third of the Year
As we ease into Fall and the last third of the pop cultural year, I thought it appropriate to list the pop culture things I am most looking forward to:
10. The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, Alex Ross
The little classical music I listen to tends to be 20th century music, and Ross is one of the best music writers around, so I'm very much looking forward to his book. According to early reviews, Ross does a good job of doing musical analyses for the layman, something that very few writers can do effectively. The Publishers Weekly review also highlights a close reading of my favorite opera, Peter Grimes for acclaim. Very eager to read this one.
9. Reaper (The CW)
This wasn't on my radar, but I've read enough buzz and good things to have me very interested. Conceit is that our main character must bring in escapees from hell, per a deal his parents made with the devil when he was born.
8. Magic, Bruce Springsteen
The first single, "Radio Nowhere," makes it sounds as if this will be a welcome followup to The Rising. While not a Bruce fanatic, I like the Boss just fine, and this sounds like it could be a very solid album of rock and roll.
7. U2: PopMart Live from Mexico City
The epic, overproduced PopMart tour comes to DVD at last. I must have it.
6. Chrome Dreams II, Neil Young
A new Neil Young album! Haven't heard anything about it, but I like much of is recent output, and am curious to hear this.
5. The Golden Compass
The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman is one of the best kid fantasy (but not really) series I've ever read; this film of the first book looks (so far) like they nailed the tone and look perfectly. I'm optimistic that they got the story right too.
4. Pushing Daisies (ABC)
The show, about a guy who can bring the dead back to life with a touch, and send them back to death with a second touch, looks just great. Creator Bryan Fuller's Dead Like Me grew on me with its off-kilter blend of black humor, pathos, and fantasy, and this looks similar in tone, if a little more stylized. And with Kristin Chenowith is a supporting role? Sold.
3. Returning TV
How I Met Your Mother, The Office, Scrubs, and 30 Rock most particularly.
2. Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello
Costello is opening for Dylan on his tour. I am simply not intelligent enough to comprehend the sheer awesomeness of this. Will I actually get there? Maybe. Maybe.
1. Sweeney Todd
I still haven't heard any of the cast member sing, but remain stubbornly, willfully optimistic that this will be the first Sondheim film adaptation to get it right.