Music » Culture Jamming

Here are the week's best releases from the pop-culture universe:


CD -- Up From the Catacombs: The Best of Jane's Addiction: Once you get past the fact that the band's greatest song, the signature "Jane Says," is included only as an inferior live version, this is a sturdy 16-track compilation from one of the most influential groups of the '90s. Find out what Dave Navarro was doing back when he still had some cred.

CD -- Carnival: Our favorite Aussie alt-twanger, Kasey Chambers, returns with her best record in five years, a plugged-in blast that both confronts and embraces her new roles as wife and mother. Thankfully, Chambers eases up on the Lucinda Williams-like blues-rock that weighed down 2004's Wayward Angel, instead offering a blend of hook-filled pop, rockin' folk, and even some electronic blips and beeps.

DVD -- Elvira's Movie Macabre: Just in time for Halloween, these three sets, hosted by the boobalicious '80s TV star, feature spooky B-movie double features from the '70s. The films -- including the Italian export Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks and the political satire Werewolf of Washington -- aren't very good, but Elvira's between-scenes quips will leave you howling with laughter.

DVD -- From the Big Apple to the Big Easy: The Concert for New Orleans: This three-hour show is at its best when it sticks to spicy fare from N'Awlins. Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, and various Neville brothers lead a Madison Square Garden concert from September 2005. Avoid the star turns by Elton John and Jimmy Buffett, and head straight to the horn-soaked romps by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Rebirth Brass Band.

TV -- Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film: This original documentary is prime Friday the 13th viewing. Wes Craven, John Carpenter, and Rob Zombie talk about the appeal of such movies as A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and, yes, Friday the 13th while unspooling tons of gory clips. It airs at 9 p.m. Friday on Starz.

BOOK -- The Shape of Things to Come: Pop-cultural critic Greil Marcus charts the history of "the American voice" -- from treatises and speeches to poetry and music. Everyone from Sinclair Lewis to David Lynch to Sleater-Kinney plays a part in Marcus' heady and celebratory tome.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: It's official: Joe Eszterhas has now spent more time bitching about Hollywood than actually working there. His latest book -- subtitled The Screenwriter as God! -- offers tips on how to make it big. This from the mastermind behind Showgirls.

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