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Culture Jamming: Happy Campers 

Indie-rock Pioneers Top This Week's Picks


Camper Van Beethoven: Popular Songs

(Cooking Vinyl)

Back in the mid-'80s, before alt-rock had its own radio format, these California weirdos combined banjos, violins, Balkan folk stomps and psychedelic Americana on cuts like "Take the Skinheads Bowling." This 18-track survey of their career includes a handful of recent re-recordings of songs from their brief fling with a major label. But it's the raw, early cuts on this CD that helped shape indie-rock.




Television's horniest male crew returns for a fifth season at 10 p.m. Sunday, and the guys are still reeling from Vince's disastrous movie premiere at Cannes last year. While the fledgling actor retreats to Mexico, a couple of his buddies try to lure him back to L.A. Meanwhile, Vince's half-brother Drama (a spot-on Kevin Dillon) focuses on his own career, becoming a real pain in the ass in the process.


Escaped Maniacs


This two-disc set spotlights a 2005 concert by the reunited Stooges, who tear through most of their first two albums like they were still in their twenties. A couple of blah new songs round out the set, but Iggy Pop treats them as if they were just as monumental as "I Wanna Be Your Dog," crawling on the stage, hurling himself into the audience and showing off his ass crack. We doubt there are any other 58-year-old guys, or anyone half his age, carrying on like this.


The Individuals: Fields/Aquamarine

(Bar None)

The Individuals were an early '80s indie-rock band from New Jersey that recorded one terrific EP, a follow-up album and a few odds and ends before calling it quits. This CD gathers everything. The quartet shared a producer and a fondness for clipped jangle-rock with contemporaries and pals R.E.M. The latter eventually became mega-millionaires; the Individuals barely earned a footnote. Here's your chance to discover them.


Madden NFL 09

(EA Sports)

Now in its 20th year, the world's greatest sports game (for pretty much every console) piles on tons of new features and even more authentic gameplay. Madden 09's best addition is its ability to gauge how good or sucky you are and then adjust your opponents accordingly. The new BackTrack option is also cool … if you like Cris Collinsworth showing you, point by point, just how you screwed up that last play.

More by Michael Gallucci


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