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

DVD -- Career Bed/Sex by Advertisement: These sexploitation flicks from the late '60s and early '70s feature plenty of T&A and taboo topics, but the highlight is the campy dialogue ("You are a sewer!"). In the first movie, a shirt-averse stage mom helps her daughter sleep her way to the top. The latter film offers enough perverse behavior -- including nipple-clamped gals and a circle jerk -- to keep even Charlie Sheen happy.

BOOK -- The CollegeHumor Guide to College: Just in time for graduation comes this amusing survival handbook, which oughta prep freshmen for next semester. Its subtitle pretty much says it all: "Selling Kidneys for Beer Money, Sleeping With Your Professors, Majoring in Communications, and Other Really Good Ideas." It also dispenses plenty of helpful hints for those post-college years -- from clothes that don't need to be washed regularly to different uses for a bagel, depending on which drugs you're using.

COMIC -- 52: Taking its cue from 24, DC's yearlong miniseries plays out in real time. One issue will be released each week for a year. The plot has something to do with a world without Superman and Batman, but storytelling is secondary to the scope of this meticulously unfolding project. Bonus point for making its protagonists less annoying than Kiefer Sutherland.

DVD -- Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection -- Volume 9: The late, lamented MST3K featured a pair of smartass robots who verbally dissected really bad B-movies onscreen with a human pal. This four-disc collection includes Women of the Prehistoric Planet (from the series' rarely seen first season), the motorcycle-themed Wild Rebels, The Sinister Urge (a typically clueless look at the porn industry by crap-auteur Ed Wood), and The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, which, remarkably, is even worse than its title.

TV -- The Sopranos: The finale, for now at least, doesn't quite wrap things up, since eight more episodes are on the way next year. It does, however, set up Tony and his wiseguy organization for a possible showdown with rival captain Phil Leotardo (a simmering Frank Vincent). The Sopranos started with a literal bang this season, with Tony getting capped by his uncle; it ends (at 9 p.m. Sunday on HBO) with a different kind of bang that's every bit as explosive.

CD -- Taking the Long Way: The Dixie Chicks get aggressive on their brawny, Rick Rubin-produced new album. Singer Natalie Maines pissed off country music fans everywhere with her anti-Bush comments a few years ago, and as the first single makes clear, she's still "Not Ready to Make Nice." The Chicks' best album yet slices up and dishes out Americana in hearty portions of country, rock, and pop. Dig in!

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- The Best of Candlebox: The grunge era spawned an endless number of intolerable bands, many of which were linked to the genre by the most tenuous of connections. Seattle's Candlebox ranks high on that list. It had one huge hit, "Far Behind," and spent the rest of the '90s trying to replicate the power anthem, as this 15-song compilation makes tediously clear. Leave it far, far behind.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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