You can read previous incarnations here, here, and here.
On with the underrated...
Music: Walk the Moon
I downloaded the song Anna Sun as one of iTunes' free downloads a while back, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. It is such a fantastic and epic song that I bought their entire album the day it was released solely on the strength of the one single. And let me tell you the rest of the album doesn't disappoint. They're the band I wanted The Killers to become. Powerful and catchy pop songs that make you want to sing along. They have a somewhat electronic sound on some of their songs that I don't usually like, but somehow it just works on their songs. Ultimately they're just a killer band that has some earworms that you can't help but enjoy. Try listening to Anna Sun, Tightrope or Shiver Shiver and not sing them the rest of the day. Impossible. Also they'll be on Conan tonight. Tune in.
Music: Matt & Kim
Speaking of earworms. I'm not sure if you remember the music video of the two people stripping naked in Times Square. That was Matt & Kim. The video garnered the attention, but the music is really what remains and stands up. Daylight is probably their most popular song. You know it and don't even know it. What is most impressive is it's literally just Matt & Kim making all this great music. They incorporate so many styles from hip-hop to disco and any other genre you can imagine. But once you start listening to them, their sound is so distinct and unmistakable even with all these different influences. They have a new album coming out at in the fall. I'll be buying it.
Movie: Bottle Rocket
This movie came up the other day thanks to State I Am In. She posted a picture to Instagram of new picture frames on a book shelf. I saw her DVD collection underneath and couldn't help but comment on a few of the movies. Bottle Rocket being one of them. You've no doubt heard of Owen and Luke Wilson, and you're probably aware of the director Wes Anderson after Moonrise Kingdom just came out this summer and is being lauded by critics. This was the directorial debut of Anderson and the feature film debut of the Wilson brothers. It has all the flourishes found in Anderson's later films: eccentric characters, an old-timey feel, great music, complicated schemes hatched by the characters, missed love connections, quirky comedy, etc. It's just a fun and enjoyable movie. If you like The Royal Tenenbaums or Rushmore, you'll love this movie. If you've never seen Tenenbaums or Rushmore, start with this one and watch all the Anderson movies because they're really fantastic.
TV: Freaks and Geeks
18 episodes. One of the best television shows of the last 20 years only lasted 18 episodes, but it launched the careers of so many people. Judd Apatow. James Franco. Seth Rogen. Jason Segel. Apatow and Paul Feig (who later went on to direct Bridesmaids) were the men in charge, and this show has a lot of the Apatow themes: angst, lovable losers, underachievers, mismatched love interests and the perfect mix of drama and VERY funny comedy. It's just excellent television. And the thing that Apatow and Feig did so well was making it feel so real and relatable. So many shows and movies focus on the popular and beautiful kids. This show was all about the kids that 90% of us were in high school. It's the same reason we still look back fondly at the John Hughes high school movies of the 80s. These are characters we could see ourselves in. With the advent of DVD and streaming media, you can go back and watch the entire run and wonder what the hell NBC was thinking when they cancelled it.
That's all for this round. Go and listen, watch, enjoy all these things. If you don't think the stuff I like is that great that's fine. If you do, share it with someone.