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 the founder of Dinosaur Jr., a new movie from the lead singer of Belle & Sebastian, the first book from the creator of the xkcd webcomic and more!
Tied to a Star - J Mascis
Dinosaur Jr. founder J Mascis is back with another solo album. Tied To a Star is a natural progression from 2011's Several Shades of Why — Mascis continues to explore a gentler side to his musical persona here than the quiet/loud sensibility of Dinosaur Jr. His nasal drawl is unmistakable, but the lo-fi distortion you might associate with vintage Dinosaur Jr. tracks like Freak Scene or Feel the Pain has been traded in for a much gentler acoustic treatment that's more folk-rock than indie rock. One high point is Wide Awake, where Mascis duets with Cat Power.
- $9.99 - Download now
The Man Upstairs - Robyn Hitchcock
Robyn Hitchcock's covers The Doors, Psychedelic Furs, Roxy Music and others in his new collection of 10 songs, which include a bunch of originals besides. Of course, those familiar with his oeuvre know Hitchcock loves to do covers (Robyn Sings is a double album of Dylan covers, for example). This time Hitchcock teamed up with legendary folk music producer Joe Boyd, who suggested making "a Judy Collins album such as Elektra would have released in 1967." It's Robyn at his most intimate, strumming a guitar with an occasional sparse accompaniment. Lovely, haunting, heartbreaking, and some of Hitchcock's best work in years.
- $9.99 - Download now
God Help the Girl
Stuart Murdoch — best known as the lead singer and songwriter for indie pop darlings Belle & Sebastian — has put his talents to the page as a screerwriter (and to the lens as a director) for God Help the Girl. Eve (Emily Browning, Sleeping Beauty, Sucker Punch) is a homesick Australian songwriter living in Glasgow, Scotland who links up with James, a struggling English guitarist, and Cass, and they create a pop band.
- $6.99 - Rent now
What If - Randall Munroe
If you don't know the name Randall Munroe, you've almost certainly seen his work. He's the artist who creates and runs the popular xkcd stick-figure webcomic. His stuff is entertaining, occasionally informative, funny and often just plain weird. Now he's gathered some of the odd questions he's gotten from readers over the years: "What if a Richter 15 earthquake hit New York?" or "What if I took a swim in a spent-nuclear-fuel pool?" and found the answers, with illustrations to match. The result is hilarious, edifying and often unsettling.
- $11.99 - Download now
The Uncanny Avengers Vol. 1: The Red Shadow
Coming out of Marvel's Avengers vs. X-Men series, The Uncanny Avengers sees both teams reborn as one: Captain America creates a new Avengers unit with both Avengers and X-Men working together. Their first foe is none other than The Red Skull, back with new powers and a new agenda.
- $8.99 - 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.
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