Music » Culture Jamming

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


TV -- Starveillance: The latest show from the creator of Celebrity Deathmatch is another celeb-based claymation series. The weekly program (premiering at 10:30 p.m. Friday on E!) goes behind the scenes with tabloid bait like Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, and the Desperate Housewives cast, reimagining some of their most notable moments. Can't wait to see what it does with Britney's cooter slips.

CD -- Essentially John Mayall: This five-disc set by the British bluesman who discovered Eric Clapton includes three of Mayall's recent studio albums. There's also 2003's 70th-birthday concert, featuring appearances by Clapton and onetime Rolling Stone Mick Taylor. Best, however, is the rarities disc that stretches all the way back to the '60s, when Mayall mentored most of England's blues rockers, including members of the Yardbirds and Fleetwood Mac.

BOOK -- The Office Space Kit: Everything you need to combat the brain-numbing drudgery of corporate paper-pushing can be found in this goodies-packed set based on the cult flick. In addition to a book filled with tips on how to make it through the workday, the kit includes movie props like an Initech mug and a red stapler -- perfect for binding all those T.P.S. reports.

BOOK -- The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness: Steven Levy's exploration of the digital player that changed the way people listen to music includes interviews with everyone from Steve Jobs to Bono. Among other subjects, Levy probes the iPod's eerie tendency to return to certain artists time and time again during the random mode. Plus, The Perfect Thing takes a cue from the iPod's shuffle feature, mixing up the chapter order in each copy of the book.

CD -- Remixed and Re-Imagined: Name-brand DJs and producers like Coldcut, DJ Logic, and Groovefinder cut and paste some of prickly R&B/jazz singer Nina Simone's most famous songs, and the results are seamless. There's not much revelation here, but Simone's smoky croon is an ideal match to the chill-out beats applied to such classics as "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" and "I Put a Spell on You."

DVD -- Walt Disney Treasures: The latest batch of old-school cartoons for collectors includes two cool sequels: More Silly Symphonies and The Complete Pluto Volume 2. The latter features Mickey's pet dog in two discs of animated classics, including a bonus deconstruction of the mind-bending "Pluto's Judgment Day."

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- 1966 World Tour (The Home Movies): Bob Dylan's electric road trip is one of rock's all-time milestones. This DVD, however, features shaky behind-the-scenes footage shot by Dylan's temporary drummer, combined with contemporary interviews with people who had nothing to do with the tour. Worse, most of the music is performed by a Dylan tribute band. Watch Don't Look Back instead.

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