1. Man Man, Rabbit Habits
Easily my favorite album of the year, out of all the hundreds of albums I have maxed my credit cards, drained my checking accounts, and sold my soul to purchase. Actually, I've purchased the three found in these mini-reviews. I dare you to listen to "Top Drawer," then excise it from your brain. Good luck. Man Man has fun with music, and if you don't like them, you're stupid.
Warning: Contains graphic drawings. Think about the phrase "Rabbit Habits," only applied to the people in your apartment.
2. Mates of State, Rearrange Us
I bought it despite Joshua Alston's scathing review, because I heard "The Re-Arranger" and found it irresistibly itchy. I'd never heard Mates of State before, so that could be why I found this record pretty and pensive rather than dull, with only one or two minor exceptions. Let the color schemes arrive. Oh, and screw you, Coldplay. At least, that's what I'm pretty sure the first track is saying.
Warning: Contains indy-like substance. May have been produced by a label that manufactures sentiment.
3. Tilly and the Wall, O.
Tap-dancing percussion is not a gimmick. Do not compare them to Sleater-Kinney. That out of the way: A fine album full of sweet hooks, and even sweeter tapping. If you like Sleater-Kinney, and are sad that their touring days are done, you might find consolation in the existence of Tilly and the Wall.
Warning: Contains an original artwork suitable for framing.
4. Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
The only movie on the list, part of my summer of film. I won't say much more than has already been said, except to note that the "War on Terror" parallel is made pretty obvious, not only by the whole "every democracy needs a tyrant from time to time" subplot, but by the SWAT-ted up cop who, under rocket-propelled grenade attack from the Joker, notes, "I didn't sign up for this."
Warning: Contains gratuitous chuckling violence.