This week in popular culture: Avett Brothers, “Fantastic Planet” and a little bit of Townes

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The Avett Brothers, “True Sadness” (American/Republic). Speaking of being produced by Rick Rubin, these brothers’ ninth studio album and 12th overall is once again produced by label head Rubin. (June 24)

Rae Sremmurd, “SremmLife 2” (EarDrummer/Interscope). The second (and much-anticipated) album from this Atlanta-via-Mississippi duo sticks with the dirty South/trap music hip-hop that made them rising stars. (June 24)

91+DT5KfUAL._SL1500_“Fantastic Planet (The Criterion Collection).” Criterion puts René Laloux’s 1973 animated sci-fi classic on Blu-ray. As  Criterion notes, “Nothing else has ever looked or felt like (it).” Amen. From Roland Topor’s animation to Alain Goraguer’s space-jazz score, “Fantastic Planet” is a cult classic in ever sense of the term. With a new digital restoration and uncompressed mono soundtrack, an alternate English-language soundtrack for the subtitle averse, two early shorts by Laloux and Topor, a 2009 documentary on Laloux and more. You know someone who wants this or doesn’t know that they want it. (June 21)


Various Artists, “Heartworn Highway – Original Soundtrack (Light in the Attic). The soundtrack to the James Szalapski’s iconic 1976 Texas and Tennessee music documentary with performances from Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Young, David Allan Coe, Steve Earle and many others. The CD packaged in gatefold sleeves with two 30-page booklets. The double LP comes with a 20-page booklet. (June 24)

“Independence Day: Resurgence.” I saw the original on my 22nd birthday. (Look, it was a slow year, what do you want from me?) The whole crew is back except for Will Smith, whose character has been killed off. His spot in the story is replaced by Liam “the other” Hemsworth, which … dang, Will. (June 24)

Matthew McConaughey in "Free State Of Jones" 2016

Matthew McConaughey in “Free State Of Jones” 2016

“Free State of Jones.” Matthew McConaughey stars as Newton Knight, a Southern unionist who led an armed rebellion against the Confederacy in Jones County, Miss., during the Civil War. (June 24)

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