This week in pop culture: An excellent Dinosaur Jr album and a hip-hop family tree

“The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl: Adventures in Life and Love in the Heart of Dixie” by Jaime Primak Sullivan with Eve Adamson (Touchstone). The star of Bravo’s “Jersey Belle” writes about, well, being a Jersey girl in Alabama. (Aug. 2)

Dinosaur Jr., “Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not” (Jagjaguwar).The story of Dinosaur Jr. in the 21st century is one of the least likely narratives in the history of American indie rock. It is probably difficult for millennial indie rock fans (both of them) to understa

Dinosaur Jr., ‘Suicide Squad’ and Dolly Parton’s 43rd album in August photo
nd just how gnarly the split between singer/guitarist J Mascis and singer/bassist Lou Barlow was when Barlow left the band’s “classic lineup” in 1988. Mascis kept the name and kept making records. Barlow achieved his own underground stardom with Sebadoh and the Folk Implosion. But they continued to not be able to be on the same stage together.

Suddenly, in 2005, the o.g. Dino lineup existed again: Mascis, Barlow and drummer Emmett Jefferson “Murph” Murphy III. A new album, “Beyond,” complete with very vintage-STT-Records-looking artwork, appeared in 2007. Two more albums, “Farm” (2009) and “I Bet on Sky” (2012), followed, to the astonishment of everyone who remembered the animosity with which they disintegrated.

“Give a Glimpse” is the fourth studio album the original trio has made since their reformation; they have now made more albums reunited than they did the first time around. None of them are quite as game-changing as the trio’s original three, but the four 21st century albums are all good-to-excellent, which is to say, Dinosaur has managed to not embarrass itself, which is kind of amazing and not at all a guarantee. (Aug. 5

 “Hip Hop Family Tree Book 4: 1984-1985” by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics). Piskor’s ongoing series of oversize albums detailing the history of hip-hop is one of the very best things about contemporary comics-making. (Aug. 2)

 2016 Rio Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (NBC). Bring on the torch and the pageantry and the countries in various costumes and the swimming and archery and the weeping, oh, the weeping. (Aug. 5)

 “David Cross: Making America Great Again!” (Netflix). Cross’ latest comedy special was filmed in Austin during the Moontower Comedy Festival. (Aug. 5)

“Suicide Squad.” The next entry in the DC/Warner Bros. attempt to catch up to Marvel/Disney’s universe-building concerns a mess of villains pressed into government service, “Dirty Dozen”-style, for reduced sentences. With Viola Davis, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto as the Joker, looking like the president of a nu-metal fan club. Rumors abound of reshoots to lighten the tone. (Aug. 5)

Nels Cline, “Lovers” (Blue Note). The Wilco guitarist dials down the distortion for an album of love songs. (Aug. 5)

DJ Khaled, “Major Key” (We the Best Music Group/Epic). Look for guest spots by Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Jay Z, Future, Betty Wright, Rick Ross and more on this, Khaled’s ninth solo joint. (Aug. 5)


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