Pop Culture Roundup: Lee "Scratch" Perry; Ex-Avengers; Walt Disney World, and more!

ITEM! NPR remembers the great, and very eccentric, reggae dub producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, who died this week.

ITEM! The new Black Film Archive, created by the Criterion Collection, details more than 200 films made between 1915 and 1979.

ITEM! Avengers co-stars Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans are reuniting for an action thriller titled "Ghosted."

ITEM! A new book about Rolling Stone's drummer Charlie Watts is zooming up the bestsellers lists following his recent death.

ITEM! ABC and Hulu will air a special honoring the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.

ITEM! Disney+ plans a new series based on the Rocketeer.

Watch a new trailer for the new Velvet Underground documentary airing on Apple+ starting Oct. 15


The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of music, cementing its place as one of rock and roll’s most revered bands. Directed with the era’s avant-garde spirit by Todd Haynes, this kaleidoscopic oral history combines exclusive interviews with dazzling archival footage. 

Pop Pic: Robert Mitchum


Coming up: Official release - Small Faces live in 1966

An upcoming official release of the Small Faces in their mod prime. Order now from Amazon.


"I am so pleased there is a record of us performing at this time. We were a great live act then and even though we started to have hits, our live act was never the same again. This gig is really what The Small Faces were all about... " 

                                                                                        Kenney Jones, 2021

Restored by Tosh Flood and newly mastered by Nick Robbins who have worked on all previous Small Faces remasters on Decca and Immediate. From the archive of surviving band member Kenney Jones, two sets recorded at the Twenty Club in Mouscron, Belgiumon, 9 January 1966, capture incredible live versions of well-known songs alongside tracks the Small Faces never recorded in the studio.

Deluxe gatefold CD digi-book designed by Phil Smee. Rare and previously unseen photos by Tony Gale. Printed inner sleeves and fully illustrated CD booklet with in-depth sleeve notes by Martin Payne (Making Time) feature exclusive interview with Kenney Jones. 

Best new comic book covers of the week

These eye-catchers should be in shops this Wednesday. I dig this 60s-style Ramona Fradon variant cover for Aquaman's 80th anniversary one-shot:

Pop Pics: Peter and Gordon


Coming up: Universal Classic Monsters - Icons of Horror Collection 4K edition

Out Oct. 5. Order now from Amazon.


From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. Universal Classic Monsters Icons of Horror Collection showcases 4 of the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and The Wolf Man. Starring Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and Claude Rains in the roles that they made famous, these original films set the standard for a new horror genre with revolutionary makeup, mood-altering cinematography and groundbreaking special effects.

Comic art: Unused Superman puzzle art by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer

Pop Pic: Maverick


Coming up: The Incredible Shrinking Man - The Criterion Collection

A spruced-up special edition of the sci-fi classic out Oct. 19. Order now from Amazon.


Existentialism goes pop in this benchmark of atomic-age science fiction, a superlative adaptation of a novel by the legendary Richard Matheson that has awed and unnerved generations of viewers with the question, What is humanity’s place amid the infinity of the universe? 
Six months after being exposed to a mysterious radiation cloud, suburban everyman Scott Carey (Grant Williams) finds himself becoming smaller . . . and smaller . . . and smaller—until he’s left to fend for himself in a world in which ordinary cats, mousetraps, and spiders pose a mortal threat, all while grappling with a diminishing sense of himself. 
Directed by the prolific creature-feature impresario Jack Arnold with ingenious optical effects and a transcendent metaphysical ending, The Incredible Shrinking Man gazes with wonder and trepidation into the unknowable vastness of the cosmic void.


• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• New audio commentary featuring genre-film historian Tom Weaver and horror-music expert David Schecter
• New program on the film’s special effects by effects experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
• New conversation between filmmaker Joe Dante and comedian and writer Dana Gould
• Auteur on the Campus: Jack Arnold at Universal (Director’s Cut) (2021)• Interview from 2016 with Richard Christian Matheson, novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson’s son
• Interview with director Jack Arnold from 1983
• 8 mm home-cinema version from 1957
• Trailer and teaser narrated by filmmaker Orson Welles
• PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

Video find: Trailer for 1970s "Battlestar Galactic" TV series

Hot Trax '71: Carole King, James Brown, Grand Funk Railroad

New songs on the charts 50 years ago this week.

Listen to the updated Hot Trax '71 playlist on Spotify.

Carole King - So Far Away / Smackwater Jack

James Brown - Make it Funky Pt. 1

Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds - Annabella

Wilson Pickett - Call My Name, I'll Be There

Grand Funk Railroad - Gimme Shelter

Tin Tin - Is That the Way

Ray Stevens - All My Trials

Johnny Rivers with the Guru Ram Das Ashram Singers - Think His Name

The Persuaders - Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Ray Charles - Feel So Bad

Pop Culture Roundup: Werewolf By Night, Downtown Abbey, Rolling Stones and more!

ITEM! A second "Downton Abbey" film is in production

ITEM! NPR pays tribute to the late, great country singer and songwriter Tom T. Hall.

ITEM! The Rolling Stones U.S. tour is still on, despite the death of drummer Charlie Watts this week.

ITEM! Marvel is reportedly developing a "Werewolf By Night" Halloween special for Disney+.

Upcoming book by designer Chip Kidd examines Fantastic Four #1 panel by panel

Out Nov. 16. Available for order now from Amazon.


Timed for the 60th anniversary, the iconic and influential first issue of the Fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, deconstructed by award-winning designer Chip Kidd; with text by Marvel editor Tom Brevoort and historian Mark Evanier; and photographs by Geoff Spear

The first issue of Fantastic Four by legendary creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced fans to a now-iconic team of Super Heroes—Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Human Torch, and the Thing—ushering in the modern Marvel Age of comics. 

Kirby’s artistic contributions in this comic book revolutionized visual storytelling and brought a new reality to the way comics stories could be told, the ripple effects of which continue to influence comic book art to this day. 

Sixty years after its publication in November 1961, this reimagining by award-winning graphic designer Chip Kidd uses an original copy of the comic book (which initially sold for ten cents and now sells for astronomical prices in good condition) to present the classic story in a whole new way that is sure to engage both lifelong fans and the latest generation of Marvel enthusiasts. 

The book also includes text by Marvel editor Tom Brevoort and historian Mark Evanier (Kirby: King of Comics). Stunningly photographed by award-winning photographer Geoff Spear, Fantastic Four no. 1 is showcased as you’ve never seen it before—oversized and up-close—a panel-by-panel exploration of the entire issue that captures every single detail and nuance of Lee’s story and Kirby’s groundbreaking artwork, making it a must-have for every comic book collection.

Pop Pics: Lana Turner


New music out this week: Beach Boys, Marshall Crenshaw, Bill Evans, more!

Our weekly list of new releases of note. Click the links to order from Amazon.

Coming up: Rolling Stones "Tattoo You" 40th anniversary edition

A 4-CD set out Oct. 22. Order now from Amazon.


Tattoo You celebrates 40 years with the release of a brand new Super Deluxe 4CD Boxset which includes the newly remastered version of Tattoo You, Lost & Found, Still Life: Wembley Stadium 1982 plus a bonus Picture Disc pressing of Tattoo You and a 124 Page Book featuring over 200 rare photos from recording sessions & world tour + interviews with producer Chris Kimsey & photographer Hubert Kretzscmar. The package includes a special lenticular sleeve.

Pop Pic: James Garner and Eve Marie Saint


Video find: Fanny performs "Place in the Country"

Coming up: "John Coltrane - A Love Supreme Live in Seattle"

Impulse! Records will release a live recording of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane's seminal work, "A Love Supreme," on Oct. 8. You can order it now from Amazon


This newly discovered live-recording of a performance of the Love Supreme suite is a revelation. Recorded at The Penthouse in Seattle on October 2, 1965, this recording transports the listener to a prime seat for piece of musical history. While not studio-quality audio, the power of the performance shines through. This version is also of the full suite and features an expanded band that includes the same Classic Quartet and Pharoah Sanders in his first official gig as part of Coltrane’s group. 

Picture sleeve parade: Kate Bush singles

Pop Culture Roundup: The Hulk(s), Superman '78, Charlie Watts, more!

ITEM! Former Hulk Ed Norton has been cast alongside current Hulk Mark Ruffalo in an episode of Marvel's animated "What If...? series on Disney+.

ITEM! DC Comics' new "Superman '78" mini-series is a comic book sequel to the first Christopher Reeve super film.

ITEM! "The Show," a film co-scripted by comics writer Allan Moore will debut soon on various streaming services.

ITEM! Rolling Stones Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood posted tributes to the band's drummer, Charlie Watts, who died yesterday at age 80.

Coming up: Neil Young - Carnegie Hall 1970

A 2-CD set out Oct. 1. Order now from Amazon


On December 4th 1970, Neil Young played two legendary solo acoustic shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The 23 songs in this set (2 LP & 2 CD) have been mixed from the original ¼ inch tapes by Young and Niko Bolas. This is the early show which has never been bootlegged or circulated, and is the first release in Neil’s new “Official Bootleg Series”.

Pop Pic: Jack Lord


Watch: Long interview with Elfquest creators Wendy and Richard Pini

New books collect best "Doctor Who" novels by the great Terrance Dicks

Longtime "Doctor Who" fans know that Terrance Dicks wrote some of the best books adapting stories from show. In fact, I read some of his novels when they first published in the U.S. in the early 1980s, before every having seen the show. Now some of his best novels are being collected in "The Essential Terrance Dicks Volumes 1 & 2." 

You can learn more about the books and read an excerpt from them here. The books are available for order now on Amazon.

Video finds: The Troggs on "Beat, Beat, Beat," 1967

New comics collected editions out this week: Fantastic Four, Wonder Woman, Kull the Destroyer

Our weekly look at collected comics of note. Click the links to order titles from Amazon.

    Only an artist as immortal as John Buscema could fill Jack “King” Kirby’s Galactus-sized shoes on Fantastic Four! “Big John” joins Stan the Man on a timeless run in this collection of FF from the early ’70s: Johnny Storm and Crystal develop their romance, while Ben Grimm learns to change into Thing at will; Reed Richards takes on Annihilus and Janus in the Negative Zone, and none other than Doctor Doom teams up with the FF to face the awesome threat of the Over-Mind! Plus: Gabriel the Air-Walker debut as Galactus’ new herald, and he’s arrived on Earth to force the Silver Surfer to submit to the Big G’s will—or the Earth dies! All this plus the return of the Monster from the Lost Lagoon!
    COLLECTING: Fantastic Four (1961) 105-125, Annual (1963) 8-9 covers only

    Experience George Pérez’s Wonder Woman like you’ve never seen her before, in this Absolute edition of the celebrated creator’s reinvention of the Amazon Princess! For the first time ever, these treasured tales from the 1980s are receiving the Absolute treatment with larger pages to showcase Pérez’s magnificent artwork. In these stories, Diana’s first assignment takes her to Man’s World to teach humanity the ways of the goddess Gaea—no matter who objects!
    Collects Wonder Woman #1-14, plus tons of behind-the-scenes extras!

    Conan wasn’t the only Robert E. Howard sword and sorcery icon to be adapted to Marvel Comics! Following Conan’s breakout success, Roy Thomas set his sights on Howard’s legendary barbarian king of Valusia: Kull! Marie and John Severin contributed what many consider the creative highlight of their careers, in tales that showed how uneasy hung the crown on the head of Kull — especially when confronting wicked sorcerer Thulsa Doom! The art of Mike Ploog also features heavily, along with contributions from some of the era’s top talents…including Kull’s first appearance, drawn by comics legend Bernie Wrightson!
    COLLECTING: Kull the Conqueror (1971) 1-10, Kull the Destroyer (1973) 11-29, Creatures on the Loose (1970) 10, Monsters on the Prowl (1971) 16; material from Kull and the Barbarians (1975) 1-3, Savage Sword of Conan (1974) 9, Conan the Barbarian (1970) 10, Conan the Barbarian Annual (1973) 3, FOOM (1973) 14