This week in popular culture: Alan Moore, Willie Nelson and a show about weed

51d51rlv44l“Jerusalem” by Alan Moore (Liveright). At 1 million words, perhaps this is one for the e-reader. But get ahold of this monster in whatever format, as one of the greatest fantasists of his generation (“Watchmen,” “From Hell” and so many other groundbreaking comics) delivers a surreal survey of his home of Northampton, England. A sprawling, post-modern epic in the let’s-write-about-everything tradition, it mixes fantasy, poetry, historical fiction and sci-fi. Look for passages that read like Joyce, appearances by Oliver Cromwell and Philip Doddridge, overlapping Dickensian storylines and world-building as only Moore can deliver. This one may be a very big deal for fans of Michael Moorcock, giant beards, extremely complicated comic books, James Michener, William Blake, Thomas Pynchon and guys who might worship snake gods. (Sept. 13)

Against Me!, “Shape Shift With Me” (Total Treble). The seventh album from Laura Jane Grace and company. Expect a whole mess of anthems. (Sept. 16)

Willie Nelson, “For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price” (Legacy Recordings). For his second album of 2016 and his 68th studio album overall, ol’ Willie delivers a tribute to the late, great singer, recorded at Ocean Way, where Price cut his final album. Vince Gill guest stars. (Sept. 16)

Led Zeppelin, “The Complete BBC Sessions” (Rhino / Atlantic). An expanded version of the classic BBC sessions set, now tricked out with eight previously unreleased songs. (Sept. 16)

“High Maintenance” (HBO). The web series about a New York marijuana dealer makes the jump to HBO for a six-episode run. (Sept. 16)

packshot1-768x768And from last week: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, “Skeleton Tree” (Bad Seed Ltd.) The band’s first studio album since 2013 and first since the tragic, accidental death of Cave’s 15-year-old son is a stunner, one of the year’s most powerful listens. Over sometimes almost ambient, gestural music composed by Cave and longtime creative partner Warren Ellis, Cave has never, ever sounded this exposed. A terrible beauty. A+. (Sept. 9)

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