Best entertainment of the week: Lazaretto, Mr. Mercedes, Tim's Vermeer and more
Every week Apple adds tons of new media content on iTunes — music, books, movies and more. It's impossible to keep up with all of it, but it's not impossible to pick out the very best. Here they are! This week we've got new music from South Africa and America, a zombie show that's a parable for race relations, Stephen King's latest work and more!
Die Antwoord - Donker Mag
Die Antwoord is weird as hell, and you're either going to love it or hate it. This group out of South Africa raps in a combination of English and Afrikaans, embodying a "zef" lifestyle and culture (Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord describes zef as "poor but fancy"). "Donker Mag" ("Dark Power" in Afrikaans) is their third full-length album.
We've already seen/heard a couple of singles from it like "Pitbull Terrier" featuring Ninja, Yolandi's counterpart in full-on dog prosthetics as he goes on a bloody rampage, and "Cookie Thumper" (a song about a drug dealer's post-incarceration penchant for his girlfriend's bottom). If that gives you a sense that Die Antwoord is raw, cutting and holds nothing back, you're right. Almost every track on this album will jar you. Yolandi and Ninja's rapidfire multilingual raps are hard to keep up with, but DJ Hi-Tek comes up with some slammin' beats that are sure to keep you moving.
- $9.99 - Download now
Jack White - Lazaretto
Jack White's second solo album (yep, it's only number two, despite his prolific post-White Stripes work) is a blues rock record with White's trademark weirdness on full display. He goes from pedal steel guitar to mandolin to 8-bit noise on this record, so the results are occasionally a bit psychedelic and schizophrenic. He swings from rock and roll to blues to bluegrass in the blink of an eye, occasionally wavering into country and western for good measure. It's a polarizing record: If you're a fan of his past work you'll either love it or hate it.
- $10.99 - Download now
In the Flesh - Season Two
BBC America's "In the Flesh" is, on the surface, another variation on the popular zombie apocalypse genre — the dead have come back to life, and some have a hunger for human flesh. Others, however, suffer from "Partially Deceased Syndrome" (PDS). They are reanimated corpses who still retain a consciousness, and must find a way to integrate with a society that distrusts and loathes them. So "In the Flesh" becomes a parable for racism and xenophobia: an examination of what happens when any society is forced to assimilate a group they don't know, understand or trust.
Season Two picks up the story of Kieren Walker, a PDS victim who struggles to find acceptance between the living and the dead. A season one recap is available for free download, or you can grab the first season too.
Horror author Stephen King has thrilled and chilled his readers for decades. Now it's time for King to turn another page in his career as a writer of a hard-boiled detective novel. Mr. Mercedes is the result. It's ostensibly the first book in a trilogy, featuring King's new protagonist: William Hodges, a retired detective forced back into service following a horrific murder: eight people are killed when a stolen Mercedes plows into a crowd of the unemployed at a job fair.
- $11.99 - Download now
Famed 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer ("The Girl with the Pearl Earring") painted photorealistically long before photography existed. How did he do it? That's the mystery that Tim Jenison, a Texas inventor who helped create the desktop video market, has dedicated years of his life to solving, and he thinks he has the answer. Tim's Vermeer documents Jenison's efforts. The doucmentary was directed by Teller (of Penn and Teller fame).
- $17.99 - Download now
True Detective is set in three different time periods, following two different state police officers — played by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey — as they track down one vicious series of ritualistic killings in deepest, strangest Louisiana. Richly textured, supremely well written, directed, and acted, True Detective is both beautiful and horrifying, something HBO has gotten very good at.
- $30.99 - Download now
Your movie, TV, and music picks?
There are my media picks for this week. What have you found in iTunes that you love? Let me know in the comments.