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Your Weekly Pop Culture Mandate

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Your Weekly Pop Culture Mandate

Five things you may not miss this week, including Interpol, Tao Lin, and a documentary about Joaquin Phoenix’s beard.

 

MUSIC Interpol, Interpol 

Interpol

Wait, why isn’t Interpol the biggest band on earth? Sure, this new album breaks no molds (neither did its predecessors), and jaded twenty-somethings don’t buy music or attend concerts, but the kids! Interpol should be like Nirvana for the anti-jock, pro-goth youth of today. The band's brooding music doesn’t even make sense when the sun is out, that’s how teen vamp it is. September 5

 

MOVIES I’m Still Here, Casey Affleck

I'm Still Here - Joaquin Phenoix, Casey Affleck

What’s up with Joaquin Phoenix? Is he still rapping? Why does he look like Rick Rubin? These are the big questions that I’m Still Here dares to confront. While most people in Hollywood would settle such matters with press releases, Phoenix and Affleck have decided to respond with a documentary. Of course, the jury’s still out on whether Phoenix is any good as a rapper, but that only makes this more intriguing. September 10

 

BOOKS Richard Yates, Tao Lin

Richard Yates, by Tao Lin

Since so much of the publicity around twenty-seven-year old writer Tao Lin stems from his hipster cutesiness and self-promotional stunts, it’s sometimes hard to remember that he writes books too. But he does, and if you can stomach his self-conscious affectations, those books are often genius. Yates, his sixth, revolves around the ups and downs of a modern relationship, and all the sexual encounters, text messages, and gchats that come with it. Forget that the characters are named Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning; Lin relates to his generation like Bret Easton Ellis did to his. September 5

 

MUSIC Personal Life, The Thermals

Personal Life - The Thermals

Portland's The Thermals have a knack for turning their anxieties into fast, mercilessly fun anthems; their last two albums were especially steeped in political and existential themes. And while Personal Life still has that Fugazi spirit, it also recalls the band’s early days, when you weren’t sure if the group was contemporary or from one of the tapes your older brother used to bring home from college. September 5

 

MOVIES Heartbreaker, Pascal Chaumeil

Heartbreaker the film

From France comes the story of a man who gets paid to break up other peoples’ relationships, an activity that most men freely and inadvertently do themselves. Suave and always in control, the professional heartbreaker is eventually given one of the hardest missions in the world: seducing Vanessa Paradis. September 10