Your Weekly Pop Culture Mandate: Sept 28

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Five things you may not miss this week, including The Social Network, David Cross' new show, and a book of animal fables from David Sedaris.

MUSIC Halcyon Digest, Deerhunter

Halcyon Digest

On Deerhunter’s 2008 album, Microcastle, Bradford Cox found the perfect formula — a mix of Deerhunter's usual noisy art-rock and the dream-pop of Cox’s solo project, Atlas Sound. Smartly, Halcyon Digest keeps up the good work, giving us hypnotic rockers like “Revival” and “Desire Lines” alongside mellow, glitch-y ditties like “Earthquake” and “Helicopter.” And, just to prove they can cut loose too, they threw in the boozy “Coronado,” a jukebox jam made for tequila shots and make-out sessions. September 28

BOOKS Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, David Sedaris

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris

“I like jazz,” a male squirrel tells a female chipmunk during one of their awkward dates. When pressed by the chipmunk as to be more specific, the squirrel replies, “All kinds… especially the earlier stuff.” So go the vignettes in this pocket-sized book, a collection of animal fables in which furry woodland creatures struggle with very human problems — like prejudice, ignorance, and anal sex. The David Sedaris brand is powerful enough to make us buy anything of his, and here, as always, it’s his uncanny wit that makes it worthwhile. September 28

MUSIC King Night, Salem


Many bands can inspire ridiculous new genre names, but few can own them like "witch house" champions Salem. Once shrouded in mystery, the Michigan band popped up on underground radars last year when their creepy, grainy, snuff-like videos made the rounds. Now, a few EPs and an infamously bad live show later, King Night reminds us why we pay attention to the band at all: their music makes you fear for your safety, which is a rare — and exciting — feeling to get from today's music. September 28

MOVIES The Social Network, David Fincher

The Social Network - Jesse Eisenberg

“A million dollars isn’t cool,” Justin Timberlake says in this movie’s trailer. “You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.” That line might be apt, but is it interesting enough to make you see this aggressively marketed movie about Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg? Perhaps, but to further justify the price of a ticket, consider that both director David Fincher and actor Jesse Eisenberg typically work on above-average films. Besides, you don’t want to be behind on all the memes that’ll surely originate from this social-media tale. October 1

TELEVISION The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, IFC

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

A few weeks ago, IFC imported the new Kids in the Hall miniseries from Canadian TV. Now, the network is exporting David Cross to England for this twisted fish-out-of-water sitcom. Cross, as the titular Mr. Margaret, is assigned to a suspiciously lucrative position across the pond, where, of course, nothing goes right. Cross’ former Bluth-in-law Will Arnett plays his demanding boss, and all of Britain plays the backdrop to Margaret’s misadventures. October 1