By: Danny Yellin
August 16th – Mad Men
The best show on television that you’re not watching is AMC’s Mad Men. The show has been widely critically acclaimed, receiving three Golden Globes and 6 Emmys in its first two seasons. Set in New York City, Mad Men begins in 1960 at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue. The show centers on Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the agency’s creative director, and the people in his life in and out of the office. It also depicts the changing social mores of 1960s America.
Don Draper and the boys of Sterling Cooper return for another season of sex, sexism, and advertising. Season three looks to top this year’s opener by tackling the country’s (and clients’) youth fascination with the show’s trademark witty cynicism and deftness in analogizing the present with the past.
The acting is phenomenal. Hamm’s intensity, John Slattery’s humor, and the entire ensemble—from Pete Campbell’s (Vincent Kartheiser) douche bag demeanor to Peggy’s (Elisabeth Moss) upstart girl attitude—is aces. Plus, Don already has a new mystery brewing, and some answers to last year’s cliffhangers will surprise you.
Seasons 1 & 2 are currently being shown on demand on Time Warner and Cablevision
August 21st – Inglourious Basterds
Inglourious Basterds is a epic ensemble war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Brad Pitt and Mike Myers. In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris, which is targeted by the soldiers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “two story lines converge. One follows a group of Jewish-American soldiers whose mission is to take down as many Nazis as they can get. They ambush and kill Nazi patrols, desecrating their corpses whilst leaving one alive to tell others. The other follows a young Jewish woman who seeks to avenge the death of her family at the hands of the sinister SS colonel known as ‘The Jew Hunter'”.
August 25th- Matisyahu’s “Light”
After numerous delays, Hasidic reggae artist Matisyahu’s third studio album, “Light,” will finally hit stores August 25. The thirteen-song set was recorded in numerous locations over the last year, including Jamaica, New York, Los Angeles and Virginia. Matisyahu collaborates with numerous artists and producers on “Light,” including prolific reggae rhythm team Sly & Robbie, Stephen McGregor, David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Sublime) and members of Fishbone.
Matisyahu says that the record was finished over a year ago, but touring duties and change over at Epic Records led to the decision to put it on hold. “A new president got hired at Epic Records – Amanda Ghost. She listened to it and wasn’t really feeling the single,” Matisyahu tells Billboard.com. “I went back in, met with a couple of producers, and made two more songs for the record.” Those last sessions yielded the tracks “For You” and “One Day,” the latter of which will be the lead single.
While “Light” retains the reggae/dub feel that Matisyahu is known for, several songs have him exploring new sonic and vocal territories. “It kind of just happened,” he says of the varied styles on “Light.” “The more I’ve been involved in music, the more I’ve been able to say I like this kind of guitar sound, this kind of production. So, I didn’t feel constricted by anything.”