Music » Culture Jamming

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


CD -- The Clash: The Singles: All 19 singles by the world's best punk band are gathered on this boxed set, which is also available as a collection of seven-inch vinyl 45s. Famous fans like the Edge, Pete Townshend, and the Beastie Boys' Mike D check in with new essays, while more than 40 B-sides, remixes, and promo-only recordings round out the package. From "White Riot" to "Should I Stay or Should I Go," you won't find a more vital catalog.

DVD -- The Cars Unlocked: Twenty rarely seen live clips document the Ric Ocasek-led group -- from scrappy club band ("My Best Friend's Girl") to MTV-approved arena stars ("Shake It Up"). Backstage footage reveals that guitarist Elliot Easton -- who trashes a backstage deli tray, among other boorish behavior -- was a total dick.

BOOK -- Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell With the Rolling Stones: Robert Greenfield's look at the making of the band's best album -- a dark and woozy double record that ranks among rock's all-time best -- describes how the group's often meticulous recording process collided with sex and drugs to make this masterpiece.

VIDEOGAME -- Family Guy: This game -- for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PSP -- offers a mix of action, combat, platforming, and puzzle-solving. And it's just as lovably raunchy as the TV show, whose stars voice the characters. Gamers can play as dog Brian (who's fighting a paternity suit), dad Peter, and baby Stewie, who involves players in a convoluted plot to -- what else? -- take over the world!

DVD -- Humphrey Bogart: The Signature Collection Vol. 2: This seven-disc set features such Bogie flicks as the wartime thriller Across the Pacific and the black comedy All Through the Night. Best, however, is the three-disc special edition of The Maltese Falcon, the 1941 mystery noir that is one of Hollywood's greatest achievements. Two other versions of the movie (from 1931 and 1936) are also included, as is a newly discovered missing scene. Here's looking at you, over and over again.

CD -- Pretenders reissues: Before they became Chrissie Hynde's backing band, the Pretenders were a fierce, tuneful outfit that balanced blazing punk and sweet '60s pop. These expanded reissues of the group's first two albums -- 1980's self-titled debut and 1981's Pretenders II -- include lots of live and previously unreleased tracks.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Lose Weight! Get Laid! Find God! The All-in-One Life Planner: You know what's worse than self-help books? Fake self-help books. This step-by-step guide takes readers from womb (cut your own umbilical cord, suggest the authors) to tomb (cryogenic freezing will guarantee you a place in the next century). Along the way, there are tips on how to lose your virginity, deal with a midlife crisis, and move to Florida after retirement. Death has never been so inviting.

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