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by PopMatters Staff

2 Sep 2009


Russian Circles
Geneva
(Suicide Squeeze)
Releasing: 20 October (US)

SONG LIST
01 Fathom
02 Geneva
03 Melee
04 Hexed All
05 Malko
06 When the Mountain Comes to Muhammad
07 Philos

Russian Circles
“Malko” [MP3]
     

by Tyler Gould

2 Sep 2009


Michelle Branch
Everything Comes and Goes
(Warner Bros.)
Releasing: 10 November

When I think of Michelle Branch’s forthcoming country album, Everything Comes and Goes, I think of a conversation about God I had with an old girlfriend. I said that I didn’t believe but thought that true belief exists as a part of someone, on an essential, inviolable level, and there’s nothing anyone can say or do to compromise it. She looked at me like I was a third-degree blockhead, so I conceded that yes, perhaps the belief or disbelief that at first blush seems so essential and inviolable is actually the product of eons of cultural conditioning, concerted assaults from sinister, powerful forces in the world; this made sense intellectually, but was still a viscerally unsatisfying concession.

Judging from her new single, “Sooner or Later” (not a cover of the 1971 Grass Roots hit), Michelle Branch country songs aren’t all that different from Michelle Branch pop songs. The guitars are a bit twangier, and when she pronounces “about” it sounds more like “abayowt”, which is not a word, but the chords are still simple, and the lyrics are still melodramatic in so calculated of a way as to remain completely unobtrusive.

It won’t be her first country crossover effort (see: the Wreckers’ Stand Still, Look Pretty), and she’s still cooing just as coyly as she was when she first came out with whatever song it was that made so many of the shy brunette girls in my high school class want to learn guitar. She was speaking to people then and she’ll speak to people now. All the PR dollars in the world can’t mess with that certain je ne sais qoui that connects artist and patron: you’re going to love the new Michelle Branch, or you’re not. It comes out November 10th.

by Brian Parks

2 Sep 2009


Agora
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac
Releasing: 18 December 2009

Set in Roman Egypt, Agora concerns a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity with the hopes of achieving freedom while also falling in love with his master, the famous philosopher and atheist Hypatia of Alexandria.

Please take a step back so that American audiences may begin mass exiting the theater. But seriously….

This is the second English language film from acclaimed Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, whose first- The Others, was an enormous critical and box-office success. Will he be able to repeat that with Agora? Well, early reviews have been generally positive and have not given much reason for audiences to suffer through another Troy-esque debacle. And although it sounds as if the stunning visuals and great performances (led by the stunning and talented Rachel Weisz) don’t quite overcome the bloated 144-minute running time or a sometimes unfocused script, this certainly seems like one to mark the calendar for.

by PopMatters Staff

1 Sep 2009


Nick Cave
The Death of Bunny Munro
(Faber and Faber)
Releasing: 1 September

Nick Cave
The Death of Bunny Munro, Chapter 5 [MP3]
     

by Ashley Cooper

1 Sep 2009


In a not-too-distant future, machines are powered by an invention called the Great Machine have turned on humans, causing turmoil within human society. As a result, the human population has dwindled, and the machines were shut down. However, as the world collapses, a scientist gives life to nine creations in an attempt to revitalize civilization. These creations have survived the end of the human world and are given the task of working together and taking advantage of their collective attributes in order to battle the leftover machines, one of which is a massive beast.

9 is an animated film, and features the voices of Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly, Tom Kane and Alan Oppenheimer.

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