This week in popular culture: ‘Manchester By the Sea,’ The Rolling Stones and a lot more

“Manchester By the Sea.” Kenneth Lonergan’s new film, starring Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler, a complicated man who learns that his brother Joe (“Friday Night Lights” star Kyle Chandler) has made Lee the guardian of Joe’s son Patrick (a terrific Lucas Hedges).  Alternately crushingly sad and extremely funny, it’s easily one of the year’s most complicated movies. Look for a full review Friday, Dec. 2.

Kate Bush, “Before the Dawn” (Concord). A live album recorded during Bush’s 2014 residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, this genius’s first live shows since 1979. (Dec. 2)

Childish Gambino, “‘… Awaken, My Love!’” (Glassnote). The new one from multi-hyphenate Donald Glover, who does rap business as Childish Gambino. Quite frankly, it is very unlikely that this album will match the wit, power and smarts of Glover’s TV show “Atlanta,” if only because “Atlanta” was the best show of 2016. (Dec. 2)

John Legend, “Darkness and Light” (Columbia). You might next see Legend in the movie “La La Land,” but albums are his day job, and this one includes Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard, Chance the Rapper and Miguel. (Dec. 2)

51914591The Rolling Stones, “Blue & Lonesome” (Universal). For what is rumored to be their final album, the Stones go back to their roots as a blues cover band. Here are 12 tracks, recorded in three days, made famous by such folks as Howling Wolf, Memphis Slim and Magic Sam, complete with Jagger on harmonica, which he plays better than many realize. Based on the excellent first single, a rough-and-tumble spin through Little Walter’s “Just Your Fool,” this is the sound of guys in a room looking at each other as they play, which is probably how they should have been making records for, oh, the past 35 years or so. (Dec. 2)

Various artists, “The Hamilton Mixtape” (Atlantic). A collection of remixes and covers of songs from the instant-classic Broadway musical “Hamilton.” Look for contributions from Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, the Roots, Sia, John Legend, Regina Spektor, Usher, Jimmy Fallon, etc. (Dec. 2)

The Clean, “Getaway (Deluxe Edition)” (Merge). The iconic New Zealand pop band’s 2001 album gets a nice remastering along with an 18-song bonus CD that compiles the tour-only releases “Syd’s Pink Wiring System” and “Slush Fund.” Recommended if you like Yo La Tengo, the Feelies or, virtually any and all indie rock and guitar pop made over the past 30 years. (Dec. 2)

“Pacific Heat” (Netflix). An adult cartoon from Australia about an undercover cop on Australia’s Gold Coast. It looks a bit like “Archer.” (Dec. 2)


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