Pop stuff: What I'm reading, watching, hearing, etc.

Mojo, November 2012 issue. I regularly pick up Mojo, if just for the record reviews. They cover such a huge breadth of releases and the mag has many times tipped me off to new music I enjoy. But the features are generally interesting, too. even if the story is about a band I don't follow, or don't care for. Like Z.Z. Top.

These guys, featured on the cover of the U.S. edition of the November issue, never did much for me, though I found their 1980s videos amusing. The Texas boogie blues thing just never caught my musical interest. But the story is interesting, highlighting the band's past brushes with Jimi Hendrix and Roky Erickson and their various career struggles.

There's also a good story about the last days of the Jam, a band I really do like. This punk/mod revival band turned out many great singles and was huge in the UK. Their disbandment was a huge disappointment to many, but something that needed to happen.

The companion CD that comes with this issue is a good one: Featuring mod-scene pop, soul and reggae tunes and a couple of Jam rarities.

Record Collector, October 2012 issue. This is a mag I only rarely pick up, as I'm more interested in just listening to music, not in collecting rare 45s and LPs, etc. (although, you'd be hard-pressed to recognize that, with all the LPs, 45s and CDs around this place). But there's a great cover feature on the Kinks in this issue and a long interview with Ray Davies focusing on his work in the mid-60s, my favorite Kinks era.

It's definitely one to pick up if you're a fan of the Kinks circa 1964-68.

The Skeleton Key. This past weekend, I figured we'd watch one of the half-dozen or so horror classics I DVRed off TCM recently during their Halloween programming. But my son wanted to watch this one off Netflix. He'd seen it with friends before, but my wife and I hadn't even heard of it.

Released in 2005 and starring Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands and John Hurt, it's not too bad, with some suspenseful, yet predictable scenes, and a couple of neat twists. I still want to watch those old horror films off TCM, though.

This Land is Your Land: The Folk Years. I found this 2002 box set on Time-Life/Rhino for $7.99 a a used record store recently and it's a major score.

Some of the tunes (Byrds, Dylan, etc.) I had before on other records, but it's still a great way to gather other songs not in my collection.

The set features folk revival and folk rock tunes from the early to mid 60s by the Limeliters, Brothers Four, Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Arlo Guthrie, Tim Hardin, etc., and even some stuff I wouldn't necessarily put in the category, such as Chad and Jeremy, the Seekers, Van Morrison, etc.

But it's all in the great sound typical of Rhino at an unbeatable price. Worth cruising the used bins for.