TOP PICK – VIDEO GAME
The original Portal – part of the awesome Orange Box – was mind-bending, revolutionary, and quite maddening if you didn’t know what the fuck you were doing. This sequel (for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC) is all of those things … and more. The story’s secondary to the gameplay, as you blow holes to slip through time and space. One of the year’s very best.
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry/Race With the Devil
Like many outings in the “Action-Packed Double Feature” series, the latest pairs two cult movies from the ’70s – one that plays like a drive-in leftover and one that totally rocks. The meh one (Dirty Mary Crazy Larry) stars Peter Fonda as a mechanic on the run from the law. Fonda’s much better in Race With the Devil, with cross-country RV tripping and angry Satan worshipers.
Jimi Hendrix reissues
The latest bout of Hendrix vault cleaning yields two CD reissues, 2004’s Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix, which includes covers by Eric Clapton and Cee Lo Green, and South Saturn Delta, a 1997 compilation of rare tracks. But best is Band of Gypsys (Live at Fillmore East), a 1999 documentary about Hendrix’s post-Experience band, making its DVD debut.
If By Yes: Salt on Sea Glass
This collaboration among indie-rock journeywoman Petra Haden, art-popper Yuka Honda (who used to be in Cibo Matto), and two members of Japanese electro group Cornelius isn’t nearly as trippy as you’d think, considering those involved. In fact, it’s an occasionally soulful work that plays around with pop conventions. But there’s still plenty of weird stuff going on too.
The Best of Leon Russell
Russell’s on a roll lately, making an album and performing on Saturday Night Live with Elton John, and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So now’s a good time to catch up on what all the fuss is about with this 16-song compilation of cuts from his long career, going back to the ’70s (“Delta Lady”) and running all the way through to last year’s Elton collab.