Culture Jamming: Touchdown!

NCAA Football 09
(EA Sports)
What better way to celebrate the back-to-school season than with this features-stuffed videogame for pretty much every platform? NCAA has become just as indispensable as Madden’s annual offering, and it keeps getting better each year. The latest edition includes an online dynasty that spans a whopping 60 seasons and a mode where mascots take on mascots. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve seen Michigan State’s Sparty backflip to a touchdown.

Beijing 2008 — The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
Got Olympic fever and wish you could lift several hundred pounds of weights over your head without rupturing vital organs? This game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is your ticket. Events include cycling, gymnastics, archery and, yes, weight lifting. Multiplayer works best, since it’s all about setting and breaking records. Besides, it sure beats staying up until 4 a.m. to catch the badminton finals on TV.

The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician
(St. Martin’s)
This how-to book offers struggling musicians tons of advice on making it big. Of course, you can ask yourself why you never heard of the two struggling musicians who wrote the book and play in a Chicago joke-band called Beatnik Turtle. But that doesn’t mean their chapters on creating podcasts, generating publicity and getting gigs aren’t useful. It just means they’re not listening to their own advice.

Shine a Light
Martin Scorsese’s other rock movies — The Last Waltz and No Direction Home: Bob Dylan — are huge in scope and ambition. His latest (now on DVD) keeps things relatively small. Shooting a pair of Rolling Stones concerts at an N.Y.C. theater in 2006, the esteemed filmmaker keeps his usual camera tricks in check as he lets Mick and Keith run through their catalog of hits. Guests Jack White and Christina Aguilera fit right in. 

U2 reissues
Before they became world-conquering superstars, Bono and the boys were a scrappy Irish post-punk band with more drive than chops. These deluxe reissues of U2’s first three albums — 1980’s Boy, 1981’s October and 1983’s War — chart the group’s evolution; you can practically hear Bono’s rocker-messiah persona take shape on War. Each two-disc set tags on B-sides, live tracks and other rarities.
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