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

CD -- Sly & the Family Stone reissues: Before all the drugs he ingested wrecked his brain, Sly was one of soul's most vital players. He could make you think and dance with the same song. The seven remastered albums in this long-overdue series range from good (Stand!) to great (Fresh). Best is 1971's There's a Riot Goin' On, a murky, funky Vietnam-era head-trip. The live and previously unissued bonus tracks are pretty cool too.

DVD -- Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan: It's a great movie, and it holds up to repeated viewings. But the reason to own this disc is for the bonus footage, including a zippy deleted-scenes montage. The faux-Kazakhstanian's visit to a doctor -- who gets plenty of details on just how Borat got gonorrhea -- tops the five extended and cut segments. The publicity-tour footage -- with Sacha Baron Cohen in character -- is also niiice.

VIDEOGAME -- Major League Baseball 2K7: Nothing gets us more pumped for baseball season than this annual favorite for the Xbox 360, PlayStation, and PSP. Improved features include updated stadiums and a more realistic outfield (fielders are in the general vicinity of the ball now). The new Signature Style element mirrors star players' facial expressions, batting rituals, and pitch deliveries. A home run.

BOOK -- Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life: John Sellers chronicles his infatuation with alt-rock in this funny, engaging read. While he suffers a bit from Klostermanitis (the space-hogging page notes are a little too much), Sellers isn't too ashamed to share his erstwhile enthusiasm for Huey Lewis. Plus, his New Order, Smiths, and Guided by Voices experiences rival any music geek's.

DVD -- Revenge of the Nerds: Panty Raid Edition: Booger and the boys from Lambda Lambda Lambda get a new-millennium makeover with an extras-packed disc that includes six deleted scenes, commentary by some of the 1984 movie's stars, and a nerd-proppin' featurette. Be sure to check out the unaired Revenge of the Nerds TV pilot. Without the raunch dressing ("We've got bush!"), it's not quite the same.

BOOK -- To Live's to Fly: The Ballad of the Late, Great Townes Van Zandt: Unbelievably, this is the first bio ever written about the much-lauded Texas troubadour, who died 10 years ago. The hard-living singer-songwriter (who, when he was alive, was a cult artist at best) penned "Pancho and Lefty" and other road classics. But -- as writer John Kruth details -- it's his alcoholism, depression, and generally fucked-up hobbies (like sniffing model glue) that make his tragic story so fascinating.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Everything Under the Sun: This three-CD, one-DVD box marks the seventh Sublime album to be released since frontman Brad Nowell OD'd in 1996. There's some good stuff here (early demos, outtakes from the breakthrough Sublime CD), but there's also lots and lots of crap (radio interviews, horribly recorded live songs). They should've called it Bottom of the Barrel.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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