Music » Culture Jamming

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


DVD -- Beavis and Butt-head -- The Mike Judge Collection: This massive box features more than 120 episodes from the TV series, a Special Collector's Edition of the movie Beavis and Butt-head Do America, and lots of bonus clips and music videos. There's almost as many "bung-holes," "ass-wipes," and "dumb-asses" here as in Congress.

CD -- The Best of Tim Buckley: Just like his son, Jeff, Tim Buckley died young: He was 28 when he overdosed on a mix of heroin and alcohol. That's not the only thing the Buckleys have in common. They both owned multi-octave voices that they put to good use on folk-jazz tunes. This compilation gathers 18 songs from the nine albums Tim recorded between 1966 and 1974. Don't miss his moving cover of Fred Neil's "Dolphins."

BOOK -- Da Capo Best Music Writing 2006: Our favorite year-end read includes many of the usual suspects -- Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, and Ann Powers, among them. Guest editor Mary Gaitskill skews a little heavily toward classical this year, with several essays about operas and orchestras, but the best pieces -- like Katy St. Clair's adventures with mentally disabled fans at a Huey Lewis concert and John Jeremiah Sullivan's attempt to grasp the Christian-rock movement -- will ring long after they're over.

VIDEOGAME -- Justice League Heroes: More than a dozen characters -- including Batman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman -- take on a bunch of evil robots in this action title for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PSP. But the best part is the two-player option, where you and a pal team up to save the world.

CD -- Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards: Tom Waits' three-disc set collects 54 tunes, most recorded over the past few years. It's designed as a travelogue of American song: country, blues, and waltzes included. Waits' trademark growl is the thread that stitches them all together. Several previously released rarities round out this sprawling, ambitious project.

TV -- 2006 American Music Awards: We couldn't care less about who goes home with a statue -- the AMAs are even less relevant than the MTV Music Awards. But this year's edition features some great performances across a variety of genres, including pop (Nelly Furtado), R&B (Beyoncé), and country (Dixie Chicks). The stars take the stage at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ABC.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Comic Relief 2006: Who knew this annual comedians-feed-the-needy special was still around? And would you have guessed that Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robin Williams still host? The only thing new about this year's show -- which airs live at 9 p.m. Saturday on HBO -- is that it aids Katrina victims. People who weren't funny 20 years ago headline (we're looking at you, Howie Mandel).

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