With the most important arrival finally here, it’s time to turn our attention to the lights on this Fall’s pop culture horizon. In no particular order, the non-goes-without-saying items (i.e. no FNL, Harry Potter or Mavis Staples) that this blogger is most looking forward over the next three months are:

1. Monsters (Oct 29th). Lots of sympathetic comparisons to our beloved District 9. AICN calls it “the best giant monster movie in years” which is enough for me.

2. Flamingo [Deluxe Edition]- Brandon Flowers (Sept 14th). It’s not terribly cool to say so, but I love this guy. Not even Bono is singing about salvation so shamelessly these days. Flowers really goes for it, clearly unafraid of sounding silly, and that’s hard not to admire. But of course, it wouldn’t matter if he didn’t have such an amazing way with a hook. 

3. Parenthood Season 2 (Sept 16th). I was a latecomer to this series from FNL’s Jason Katims. And while it may occasionally border on feel-good, more often than not it earns its heartwarming moments. It’s also nice to see a non-doofus father on television in Peter Krause’s Adam Braverman.

4. Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl- Donald Sturrock (Sept 14th). The long-awaited official treatment of the fascinating and complicated author.

5. Boardwalk Empire (Sept 19th). Duh. Michael Pitt looks even more frightening than usual…

6. Belle and Sebastian Write About Love (Oct 11th). Long time coming!

7. Pinkerton [Deluxe Edition]- Weezer (Nov 2nd). Forget about Hurley, and start praying that the remaining Songs From the Black Hole will finally see the light of day.

8. The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story(Nov 16th). 20 unreleased and unheard songs from Bruce Springsteen’s overshadowed classic, as well as a full-length, HBO-produced documentary.

9. Running Wilde (Sept 21st). The new project from Arrested Development’s Mitchell Hurwitz re-teams him with Will Arnett and David Cross, but thankfully in non-animated form.

10. The Walking Dead on AMC (Halloween). The other big post-apocalyptic project of the Fall, based on the underwhelming comic of the same name, all signs point to another smash for AMC.

11. Apple Records Reissues (Oct 25th). Following up on last year’s Beatles reissues, their embarrassingly dormant record label finally gets its act together and re-releases (or in some cases, releases for the first time on cd) their impressive non-Beatle catalog. Of special interest to Mockingbird readers are Billy Preston’s That’s The Way God Planned It and Encouraging Words, both lost classics of American gospel-rock. And then there’s the wonderful early Badfinger records, James Taylor’s debut, Mary Hopkin, Jackie Lomax, as well as a few stray/very rare Phil Spector productions. No word on when they’ll get around to the remaining George Harrison albums or any of Ringo’s stuff.

12. The Darjeeling Limited – The Criterion Edition(Oct 12th). Wes Anderson’s closest call with the theology of the cross (seriously!) also happens to be his least appreciated film. A characteristically whimsical take on grief, family and spiritual confusion, the initial DVD release did not do the movie justice. This one looks like it’ll be as fun as the film itself.

And that’s without mentioning U2′s Spiderman musical, the new MJ songs due in Nov, Mark Romanek’s adaptation of Never Let Me Go, Sufjan’s Age of Adz, The Mozipedia, Fincher’s The Social Network etc etc etc. Should be a good Fall! What are you looking forward to?

EXTRA SPECIAL THEOLOGICAL BONUS TRACK: Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt: The Holy Spirit between Wittenberg and Azusa Street – Simeon Zahl (Nov 16th)