Music » Culture Jamming

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


CD -- Nashville Rebel: Waylon Jennings is a pioneering badass. Everybody from Kid Rock to Wilco has pledged allegiance to the shit-kicking wildman, who died in 2002. This four-disc box compiles nearly a hundred tracks, starting in 1958, when Jennings was part of Buddy Holly's band. The outlaw anthem "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?" remains one of the best-ever middle fingers to the music industry.

TV -- Decades Rock Live: VH1 Classic's concert series turns the spotlight on the Pretenders at 8 p.m. Friday. Incubus and Iggy Pop join Chrissie Hynde and her revolving band onstage for songs like "Message of Love." Garbage's Shirley Manson soaks in "Only Happy When It Rains," and an all-star encore makes glorious punk noise out of "Middle of the Road." After all these years, Hynde is still special.

TV -- Fuse Fangoria Chainsaw Awards: Splatter mag Fangoria -- which never met a power-tool-wielding psychopath it didn't put on its cover -- hooks up with nascent music network Fuse for a night of bloody honors. It starts at 9:30 p.m. Sunday with a black-carpet pre-show, followed by the ceremony, which pays tribute to the year's best horror flicks. Presenters include Chingy, Fall Out Boy, and Slipknot.

BOOK -- The Joke's Over: Bruised Memories: Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson, and Me: Ralph Steadman first met Hunter on a Kentucky road trip, where both got wrecked on booze and drugs. Steadman went on to illustrate most of Thompson's books and magazine articles. Steadman's funny, poignant memoir chronicles many of the pair's alcohol-soaked adventures. It's a miracle he remembers so much.

CD -- Serene Velocity -- A Stereolab Anthology: Nobody does space-age lounge pop better than Stereolab, as this 16-track compilation proves. Blending a vast electronic-music palette with sensual French vocals, the results sound like R2-D2 getting loose. Most of the songs come from the string of terrific albums the band released between 1993 and 2004, but several rare singles are also included. C'est magnifique!

DVD -- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2-Disc Ultimate Edition: Just in time for Halloween, 1974's indie shocker gets a new high-definition transfer and surround-sound remaster that makes all the screams crystal clear. The movie is as stomach-churning as ever, but it's the gaggle of bonus materials -- including docs, deleted scenes, and a blooper reel -- that makes this worth picking up. Best is the tour of the house where unlucky visitors were served for dinner, hosted by Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen. Who knew he was so eloquent beneath that flesh mask?

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Dance Factory: We like the premise of this PlayStation 2 videogame, which boils down to Dance Dance Revolution, using our own CD collection. Goodbye monotonous techno soundtrack, hello Drive-By Truckers! But while we appreciate the fact that we can now bust a move to any CD, the overall effect is pretty wobbly -- like doing the polka to Kanye.

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