Top Shelf Tuesday - January 6

January 6, 2009

The new year is here and we're back with Top Shelf Tuesday. This week, get the lowdown on Ed Harris' Appaloosa, a critically acclaimed double LP from Animal Collective, and killer action from Saints Row 2.


Ed Harris, who directed and starred in his second directorial effort, put together a very decent western with Appaloosa. Now it’s on DVD and Blu-ray with enough extra features to keep you stocked up on gun-slinging goodness. Additional scenes, commentary by the director and screenwriter, and four featurettes fill out these discs. Fans of the western will appreciate this modern offering in the genre.

The Wackness, director Jonathan Levine’s paen to 1994 in New York, is now on shelves on DVD and Blu-ray. This unsung feature will probably find its audience now that it’s available on disc, which is unsurprising considering its humor and wit. Some of the special features include commentary by Levine and actor Josh Peck, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and others.



Experimental Baltimore noise-poppers Animal Collective are back and are sure to set the blogs ablaze with yet another critically-acclaimed LP. The album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, is named after the Columbia, Maryland venue of the same name and might be their biggest release to date. With idiosyncratic sounds and sing-along melodies, this group seems to be one of the few bands on the scene creating an "original" sound. Post Pavilion even received a rating of 9.6 from Pitchfork, the highest score it has given since September 2004. Merriweather Post Pavilion is the band’s ninth studio album and you can scoop up the double LP on vinyl today. The official CD release is set for January 20, 2009.

Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing (Live in Germany) is a brand new release containing a classic early live show from 1979. This live set captures the original band in their first brush of international success. A very fresh Mark Knopfler is front and center with his trademark Dylanesque vocals and unbelievable guitar picking. The live set of course includes beloved numbers from their breakout self-titled debut LP as well as a batch of tracks from their sophomore album Communiqué.



Hyper-violent GTA wannabe, Saints Row, has extended their franchise with a sequel which is available on PC this week.  Saints Row 2 offers a few things no game in the GTA series can, though.  The most notable of which is 2-player coop mode.  This allows you to wreak serious, savage, blood-soaked havoc with the best of friends.  Remember, there is no "i" in "bludgeon to death."  There's not even one in "rocket launcher through crowd of cops."

The Wii virtual console has resurrected the puffy-bodied bad-guy sucker, Kirby, for well-connected Wii users this week with Kirby's Dream Land III.  King Dedede (another joke Carlos Mencia stole?) is out to get his digitized claws on Dream Land.  But unlike previous installments, the most heroic of marshmallows has some help in his floaty battle against evil.  Kine the Fish, Coo the Owl, and Rick the Hamster are all on board to save Dream Land for the third time.