BOOK: Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies
Writer Brian Coleman documents the making-of stories behind three dozen classic rap albums in this fascinating read. Old-school records by Eric B. & Rakim (Paid in Full) and Public Enemy (It Takes a Nation of Million to Hold Us Back) duly receive the most page time. Insightful interviews with the hip-hop stars who created them bring the noise.
TV: American Body Shop Comedy Central's latest series (which premieres at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday) is set in an auto repair facility staffed by manic mechanics. While some of the characters (like a one-note pervert and an immigrant who can't speak a word of English) and set-up (watch customers get gouged!) could use a tune-up, the crew manages to rev some original laughs. Our favorite is the guy who tackles oil changes like they're rocket science.
CD: Daydream Nation: Deluxe Edition Sonic Youth's 1988 masterpiece gains a whole extra disc of live cuts and cover songs—including tunes by the Beatles, Captain Beefheart, and Neil Young. But it's the original noise-rock classic that still resonates almost two decades later. Breaking down and building new alt-rock rules, the NYC combo's best album served as a template for a whole generation of feedback-loving hipsters.
VIDEO GAME: Forza Motorsport 2
The year's best racing game (for the Xbox 360) features more than 300 Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis for gamers to test drive. The customizable autos let players install everything from engines and rims to bolt-on superchargers. And don't expect to walk away undamaged from crashes: Leadfooting it around corners results in piles of twisted metal scattered over the track. Start your engines!
The mega-popular music festival has been rocking British hippies, hooligans, and ravers since the early '70s. Julien Temple's eye-popping documentary includes recollections by the fest's organizer, a primer on the usually quiet town, and performances by David Bowie, Björk, and others. Most of all, you get a sense of the community's free-for-all spirit. It's a celebration of sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and lots and lots of mud.
COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE: Dylanesque Bryan Ferry is quite capable of applying his suave croon to choice cover songs. His terrific early solo albums were filled with them. But on this CD and companion live DVD (available separately), the Roxy Music singer's rich voice can't quite grasp the intricacies of Dylan's wordy tunes. "Positively 4th Street" and "Gates of Eden" were meant for ragged interpretation, not lounge-like smoothness.