This week’s music and DVD offerings

All the below recommendations are being released on Tuesday, June 26. Buy em, rent them from the video store, or pick them up at the local library. Chances you you might have some of these already, but hey this is the good stuff worth getting your hands on regardless.

Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger (Lost Highway Records)

Adams is back yet again and this time he’s mellowed out a bit, while retaining the strains of his country influences. This one sounds like a tighter package than previous efforts with bits of blue-eyed soul thrown in for good measure. Stand out tracks include: “Pearls on a String,” “I Taught Myself to Grow Old,” “Two” and “Halloween Head.”

The Beastie Boys – The Mix-up (Capitol Records)

Much has been made of the all-instrumental record. Pitchfork Media basically lampooned the album, but we say this is the direction the Boys should have moved in long ago. Without their odious rapping skills, the music here really shines through. The funk, rock, jazz and banging beats easily subsides into the background making this a welcomed party record or something decent to throw on while vacuuming your apartment.

Pharoahe Monch – Desire (SRC/Universal Motown)

The deft lyricist returns after a too-long absence. His latest delivers almost the same thrills as Internal Affairs did about a decade ago. Yes, this is only his second LP but the word-play and funky beats remain. Certainly hip-hop lovers should pick this up, in what’s been an otherwise ho-hum year for hip-hop.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (Anchor Bay)

This comedy-horror flick bombed at the box-office, but it’s worth seeing. Certainly one of the more inventive takes on the genre, as a group of college students film a documentary about a masked serial killer.

Black Snake Moan (Paramount Classics/MTV Films)

Craig Brewer’s follow up to the stellar Hustle & Flow. This time he’s got another Southern-fried drama on his hands with Sam Jackson as a blues guitarist who tries to help nympho Christina Ricci mend her sexually deviant ways. Seems audiences are split down the middle: either you love it or are repulsed by it. It’s worth watching to decide on your own, but we love it.

Shooter (Paramount)

This one comes straight from 1987. With Mark Wahlberg playing the action hero. There’s some kind of a plot, we’re not sure. It doesn’t really matter much. Cause afterall does anyone really remember the plot from Commando, Predator, Cobra, or Rambo? Exactly.

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