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Culture Jamming: In The Beginning … 

An Evolution-minded Videogame Tops The Week

TOP PICK

Spore

(Electronic Arts)

Get your Darwin on in this super-fun videogame (for the PC and Mac) about a planet of multi-limbed, rainbow-colored and constantly evolving creatures. Things start at the very beginning, as your cells fight for survival in a pool of bigger, badder embryo. Eventually, they grow up, build cities and create spaceships that take them far, far away from home. It's kinda like The Sims, but with three-eared, poison-spitting blobs instead of Hawaiian-shirted jackasses.

DVD

Cool Hand Luke Deluxe Edition

(Warner)

One of Paul Newman's best roles - as a chain-gang prisoner and his failure to communicate - still resonates, 21 years after its original release. This remastered disc includes a making-of doc and commentary, but the movie (which netted an Oscar for co-star George Kennedy) is the real draw here: a funny, occasionally brutal drama about a guy who won't let the system beat him down. What we've got here is an American classic.

CD

Dan le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip: Angles

(Strange Famous)

This British duo (Dan is the DJ, Pip is the rapper) is big overseas, where its slang-stuffed, often biting rhymes topped the charts. This debut album aims for universality, dropping science lessons and sampling Radiohead. Best is "Thou Shalt Always Kill," a funny and fuming tirade against aging hipsters that sounds like LCD Soundsystem on holiday: "Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals, no matter how great they are or were/The Beatles were just a band/Led Zeppelin, just a band."Ê

DVD

The High School Flashback Collection

(Universal)

Three of the '80s best teen comedies - The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Weird Science - are gathered in this nostalgic set that makes a strong case for Molly Ringwald's total awesomeness. Bonus features include trailers, documentaries and a look at the Brat Pack (where have you gone, Judd Nelson?). Extra credit for the DVD's packaging, which looks like a school locker.

BOOK

33 1/3: Gentlemen

(Continuum)

The Afghan Whigs' 1993 CD about what dicks men can be is prime stuff for the 33 1/3 series (which breaks down one album in 125 or so pages). Writer Bob Gendron talks to band members - including frontman Greg Dulli, who confronted his Catholic guilt years before the Hold Steady's Craig Finn got around to it - and exhumes the demons behind the Whigs' greatest work, a milestone of '90s alt-rock.

mgallucci@clevescene.com

More by Michael Gallucci

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