New year to feature many old favourites

Six established artists to release new material.

From the beginning of December until the end of January, pop culture publications in print and on screen publish litanies of lists. Although ‘best-of’ and ‘worst-of’ lists can become tiresome when they dominate social media, they are useful to casual consumers of media who may not have as much time as they would like to scour the endless internet looking for music, movies, and film. Here are a few albums and films, compiled with the help of the AV Club and Pop Matters, slated for release in 2014 that are generating excitement.

2013 ended with a surprise, and critically lauded, eponymous release from Beyoncé, which ensured that the music world, although not a homogenous entity by any measure, had momentum going into 2014. On Jan. 21, the popular punk band Against Me!, of punk hotbed Gainesville, Florida, released their first full length album in four years. The album, entitled Transgender Dysphoria Blues, is the band’s first release after singer and guitarist Laura Jane Grace came out as a transgender woman in 2012; it will be released via their own record label, Total Treble Music. The concept album is about a transgender prostitute and will be one of the first punk records to discuss transgender experiences.

In the world of hip-hop, anticipation has been rising for the collaborative LP by Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and California producer Madlib. The duo have released a few singles, most notably “Deeper,” from the album, entitled Piñata, which is slated for release on Feb. 4. As is the case with Against Me!, the highly anticipated album will be released via Madlib’s own label, Madlib Invazion.

Damien Jurado, the Seattle, Washington folk artist whose works oscillate between spare acoustic songs and lush orchestral arrangements, released his eleventh studio album, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, on Jan. 21 via Secretly Canadian. Although it is technically his eleventh album, the prolific Jurado has released dozens of EPs, singles, and collaborative efforts; most recently, and notably, Jurado appeared on two tracks from electronic musician Moby’s 2013 release Innocents.

In the world of film, three veteran auteurs are slated to release movies this year. Wes Anderson, whose The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore have been rereleased by the esteemed Criterion Collection, will be seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel hit theatres on March 7. The film, which revolves around a friendship between a hotel concierge, his friendship with a young colleague, and a bequeathed painting, features Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, and Jude Law, among many others. 

Paul Thomas Anderson, director of such acclaimed films as The Master and Boogie Nights, will be releasing his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s detective novel Inherent Vice. The novel has been called one of the most accessible pieces to come from Pynchon, who is notorious for his long, complicated works. Joaquin Phoenix, who worked with Anderson on The Master, will be featured in the film.  

Finally, Jean-Luc Godard, the French New Wave director who has been frequently cited as one of the most revered filmmakers of the twentieth century, will be releasing a film entitled Goodbye/Farewell to Language. Although Godard has been actively engaged with experimental and progressive film techniques since the 1960’s, this will be his first feature film in 3D. The divisive film technique may finally be embraced by critics and auteurs alike, depending on the success of Godard’s film, which is about a couple who suffer from communication issues that are mitigated by their talking dog. 

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