ALBUM | The reunion of the Afghan Whigs for 2014's Do to the Beast was an unexpected delight — unexpected because no one was really asking for it, with the exception of diehard fans, a delight because lead loverman/lothario/lyricist Greg Dulli proved to be still in fine fighting form. While that collection was full of guitar crunch à la early '90s album favorites like Gentlemen, the Whigs' new IN SPADES pushes the music in more interesting directions, from string-laden chamber pop to chill electronic flourishes to some of the classic R&B moves that Dulli has always enjoyed. Songs like "Oriole" and "Toy Automatic" are fine additions to an increasingly intriguing catalog, one that now stretches back three decades, all of it revolving around Dulli's singular, raspy croon.
TV | BBC import/Amazon show CATASTROPHE wasn't exactly light and fluffy in its first two seasons. Its examination of a one-night-stand-turned-pregnancy-turned-marriage, while consistently hilarious, was comfortable in its dark humor, and the new third season gets even more serious for Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, the show's creators and writers who play the couple at center stage. Unemployment, alcoholism, infidelity and elderly dementia might not seem like typical sitcom fodder, and that's the point. Catastrophe is a brilliantly real world, albeit one populated with atypically sharp-tongued, smart characters. The six-episode seasons are maddeningly short, but that means you can start at the beginning if you haven't seen it and catch up in no time.
TRAILER | Maybe you, like me, are fairly ignorant about World War II history, particularly from any perspective other than the American one. Maybe you, like me, don't really care about Harry Styles' acting career, but love pretty much anything Kenneth Branagh does. Maybe you, like me, are willing to give director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception) the benefit of the doubt even if you have an aversion to overblown, overlong historical dramas. The second trailer for war drama DUNKIRK is a beauty, and has me eagerly awaiting its July 21 release. Do yourself a favor and Google it. ♦