Music » Culture Jamming

Hip to Be Square

Square Pegs on DVD tops this week's pop-culture picks.

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TOP PICK — Square Pegs: The Complete Series (Sony Pictures)
Way before she chatted about vibrators and blowjobs on Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker starred in this 1982 TV series about two geeky girls making their way through high-school hell. This three-disc DVD includes all 19 episodes from the cult fave, which features appearances by the Waitresses and Devo, who play a bat mitzvah.

CD — Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue: Legacy Edition (Epic/Caribou/Legacy)
Wilson's 1977 solo debut doesn't sound much like the music he made with the Beach Boys. It's more SoCal singer-songwriter than fun-sun rhymes. Since his 1983 death (ironically, he drowned), the record has taken on a sort of haunted majesty. The second disc of this two-CD reissue pulls together songs from a never-released follow-up album.

BOOK — The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars (Chicago Review)

We never tire of reading about famous people dying. This handy reference volume arranges entries chronologically, giving perspective to the last days of three Lynyrd Skynyrd members (plane crash — October 20, 1977), Joy Division's Ian Curtis (hanged himself — May 18, 1980), and Rick James (OD — August 6, 2004).

CD — Steinski: What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective (Illegal Art)

Back in the '80s, before rappers, DJs, and remixers got sued for sampling, Steve Stein cut-and-pasted some of the first and very best sound collages. DJ Shadow's monumental Endtroducing . . . is pretty much a tribute to Steinski's groundbreaking work. This two-disc set compiles 42 cuts of mashup masterpieces.

DVD — Popeye the Sailor 1938-1940 Volume 2 (Warner)
The 31 cartoons on this two-disc set stand as some of the most influential animated shorts ever created. Last year's Volume 1 loaded up on the classics, but these toons (starring the spinach-loving sailor, gal-pal Olive Oyl, and mumbling musclehead Bluto) burst with creator Max Fleischer's revolutionary style. Skip the companion DVD, Popeye and Friends Volume 1, which is for kids. This one's for grown-ups.

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