Music » Music Feature

Culture Jamming: Balls Out

A Brit Bash Tops This Week's Pop Culture Picks

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TOP PICK

The Secret Policeman's Balls

(Shout! Factory)

Since 1976, Amnesty International has hosted benefit concerts starring everyone from English funnymen Monty Python to English rocker Peter Gabriel. This three-DVD box gathers five shows from '76 through '89 featuring many stellar performances, including an unplugged Pete Townshend and a pre-House Hugh Laurie.

CD

Bee Gees: Odessa: Deluxe Edition

(Reprise)

Before they raised their voices and tightened their trousers for the disco explosion, the Bee Gees were a Beatlesque pop band that dabbled in folk and psychedelia. This extras-stuffed three-disc set celebrates the 40th anniversary of the group's most mindbending freak-out, which is loaded with baroque arrangements and flowery orches-tration. Wild!

CD

Pat Green: What I'm For

(BNA/Sony BMG)

Singer-songwriter Green's twangy ruminations on girlfriends, factory workers and long nights of drinking pack more hooks than almost anything else coming out of Nashville these days. Best: "Country Star," a name-dropping riff on Nickelback's bloated "Rockstar," complete with Big & Rich, Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood references.

BOOK

Saga of the Swamp Thing Book 1

(Vertigo)

Before he wrote the best comic book ever (Watchmen - duh), Alan Moore penned the almost-as-excellent Swamp Thing. This volume gathers the first eight issues in Moore's run. The leafy creature's stories combine com-plex characters, rich storytelling and a breakdown of comic convention - traits that Moore would explore and elevate even more in later works.

DVD

Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun

(Capitol/EMI)

Wilson's gooey, cluttered concept album about California was way too gooey and cluttered. But this live performance practically redeems the whole mess. Watching the large group of musicians - string players, horn players, some guy who plays the triangle - put all the pieces together in a crammed Hollywood studio reveals plenty of music-making magic.

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