...and the 4 other things you should know about this week – including the film that prompted last week’s most confusing Twitter rant, the book written by our favourite German football expert and the late summer festivals to keep the fading dream aliveMore
Knowing what hot messes side projects can often turn out to be, when Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys announced that with his newly formed band, The Arcs, he wanted “to do my thing and get extra weird”, we were steeled for the worst. As it happens, Yours, Dreamily, the debut album from The Arcs, which he formed with long-time friends and collaborators Richard Swift and Leon Michels, plus Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon, Kenny Vaughan and an all-female mariachi band called Mariachi Flor de Toloache, is so rambunctious and confident it’s hard to imagine they haven’t been Auerbach’s main concern all along. It’s full of metallic blues guitar, butch-yet-blousy choruses, thumping drums, judiciously deployed brass and a spirit of louche, late-Sixties motorcycle hippy-Mexicana and is as polished and pleasing a side project as you could dare to hope for.
Yours, Dreamily by The Arcs is out on 4 September (Nonesuch)
The release of American Ultra in the US caused a minor Twitter outrage last week when poor audience figures sparked Max Landis – the film’s screenwriter and son of the legendary John – to lament its eclipse by horror sequel Sinister 2 and biopic Straight Outta Compton. At first glance, his pointed remarks about American audiences' lack of hunger for creative produce seem fair enough. The film, directed by Nima Nourizadeh, is certainly original: duo Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg play perpetually stoned teenage couple, Mike and Phoebe, who wile away their days in small-town West Virginia until Mike discovers he has a secret past as a highly trained CIA operative – the same organisation that now consider him a threat and want to kill him. The film’s fast pace and action scenes tend to crowd out the leads’ romantic chemistry, but the US box office figures were even more of a damp squib, making just $5.5 million. And with a backlash comes a backlash-to-the-backlash, suggesting Landis is not so afraid of a sequel or reboot as he claims. Still, if you want a unique slant on the classic stoner film, American Ultra is a toke of fresh air.
Out on Friday 4 September