Pop culture round-up: ‘Pacific Rim,’ Jay-Z, more

My pop culture landscape was a little barren there for a minute, but then awesome movies and albums and songs were released, and – hallelujah.

pacific_rim_posterHere’s what I’m into right now:

“Pacific Rim” – if you read my column today, you know I love this movie. There’s not much more to it besides giant robots fighting giant aliens, and yes, it’s as epic and awesome as it sounds.
I joked before the movie that I didn’t want a whole lot of dialogue or emotion, just lots of fighting and destruction. There was a bit too much emotion and dialogue, but that’s OK, because the super amazing fight scenes were, well, super amazing. There were swords and giant ships and wings and it was wonderful. To top it off, the incredibly handsome Idris Elba was in it, and the movie had a great, strong female hero. Yippee!

 

“Magna Carta… Holy Grail,” Jay-Z – I’ve read plenty of complaints about the new Jay-Z record, but ya know, any Jay-Z record is better than no Jay-Z record. I love it. I love tracks “Holy Grail,” “Somewhereinamerica,” “Heaven,” “Picasso Baby,” and the video game sounds of “Tom Ford.” I’m a big Jay fan, so I’m a bit biased, but I’m enjoying it.

“I’m Out” by Ciara f/ Nicki Minaj – This is my jam right now. I LOVE Nicki, and she totally slays it. Ciara is, as usual, flawless.

“Oh Come On” by The Julie Ruin – The queen is back! Kathleen Hanna, best known for her bands like Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, has returned with her new band. If you loved her previous work, you’ll love the sing-songy punk of “Oh Come On.” The band’s full-length record is due out in September.

Water Liars – I’m in love with this Water Valley band. I interviewed the band’s lead singer-guitarist yesterday for the second time, and you can read a story about the band in Thursday’s Scene section. They’ll be playing in Oxford and Tupelo soon, so do yourself a favor and check them out. If you like folk-rock, you’ll dig them. I hate to put any genre on them, because even that doesn’t cover them, but it’s close enough.

What have you been into lately?