Music » Culture Jamming

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



CD -- Mass Appeal: The Best of Gang Starr: An undervalued '90s hip-hop duo, Gang Starr paved the way for such silver-tongued rhymers as Nas and Common. This single-disc compilation gathers 21 of DJ Premier and Guru's greatest cuts, like "You Know My Steez" and "Take It Personal." Be sure to marinate in Premier's groundbreaking jazz-inflected beats -- they've backed everyone from Jay-Z to Christina Aguilera.

TV -- 007 Days of Christmas: What better way to spend the holiday week than by watching Spike TV's seven-day, 18-movie James Bond marathon, which kicks off at 4 p.m. Saturday with The Spy Who Loved Me. It's the perfect primer for the remake of Casino Royale.

VIDEOGAME -- Call of Duty 3: Gamers storm Normandy in the latest chapter of the best war series ever. This time around, the action takes place on the front lines. That means there's nowhere to hide once the bullets start flying. Plus, there's plenty of hand-to-hand combat, making way for the totally gratifying act of pistol-whipping knife-wielding Nazis.

BOOK -- Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love: To her credit, Love doesn't gloss over her train wreck of a life in this scrapbook. The random notes, slapdash scribbles, and wandering thoughts of the former Hole frontwoman reveal the innermost feelings of one of alt-rock's most polarizing performers. She muses on music, Kurt, and fame. Tellingly, Love's Diary has more pictures than words. And yes, she's naked in many of them.

CD -- Legends of Country: Classic Hits From the '50s, '60s & '70s: The nearly five dozen artists found on this superb three-disc box of Top 10 hits include Johnny Cash ("I Walk the Line"), Patsy Cline ("Walkin' After Midnight"), and Hank Williams ("Jambalaya"). Genre-defining stars like George Jones ("He Stopped Loving Her Today"), Loretta Lynn ("Coal Miner's Daughter"), and Willie Nelson ("On the Road Again") also check in.

DVD -- Not a Photograph: The Mission of Burma Story: The influential Boston band released only one album during its four-year life. Twenty years later, the post-punk heroes reunited for a successful series of concerts (and a 2004 CD). This documentary chronicles the comeback while tossing in tons of archival footage of '80s-era Burma bashing away on fan faves like "Academy Fight Song."

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2006: The terminally unfunny Kevin Nealon hosts TBS' laugh-free look at the 30-second spots we fast-forwarded through on TiVo. Boringly, most of them are variations on the old animals-acting-like people gag -- whether it's football-playing horses or CareerBuilder monkeys going bananas. Note to TBS: They weren't funny the first time we didn't watch them.

-- By Michael Gallucci

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.