Dan DeLuca’s Mix Picks: Beastie Boys book, Mike Judge’s cartoon funk and Ariana Grande’s grateful goodbye
Plus, Richard Buckner with John Train and the Travelin' McCourys.
Beastie Boys Book by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz. The 570-page art book/memoir by the surviving Beasties — better known as Mike D. and Ad-Rock — details the exploits of the pioneering Caucasian rap trio whose third member, Adam Yauch (aka MCA), died of cancer in 2012. It's a graphically eye-popping, photo-rich affair with guest contributions by friends of the band such as Spike Jonze, Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and original drummer Kate Schellenbach. (Spiegel & Grau, $50.)
Richard Buckner. Drawling troubadour Richard Buckner made his name in the alt-country 1990s with Bloomed, a sparse poetic set blessed by Lloyd Maines' steel guitar that was reissued on the Merge label four years ago. Buckner has recorded sporadically, but his 2013 album Surrounded is a gorgeously rendered group of songs composed on electric autoharp that shows his gift is still intact. Philly Americana standouts John Train open in their configuration as the duo of Jon Houlon and Mike Brenner. Sunday at Johnny Brenda's.
The Travelin' McCourys. The band led by bluegrass brothers Ron and Robbie McCoury released their self-titled first album — which includes enticing covers of Waylon Jennings, Grateful Dead, and Nick Lowe songs — this year, but they're a fabulously tight road-tested unit who have been backing up their dad, Del, for three decades. Wednesday at Ardmore Music Hall.
Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus, Season 2. After recounting the hard-living ways of classic country acts, the creator of Beavis & Butthead and Silicon Valley shifts his focus to funk, chronicling musical and off-stage exploits of such black music greats as George Clinton, James Brown, and Rick James, with a vivid mix of vintage footage and animated cartoon interview subjects. Friday at 10 on Cinemax and On Demand.
Ariana Grande, "thank u, next." At first it seems snarky and needlessly cruel, particularly as the pop star's first song to be released after the end of her engagement to suddenly not-so-on-top-of-the-world Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson. But, no, it turns out Ariana Grande is not mocking her exes but showing sincere gratitude for what they've given her. "One taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain," she sings in the catchy kiss-off that has also been a gift to social media meme makers.