Culture Jamming

The top five picks for your collection this week


Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone


The Ramones guitarist started writing this book before he passed away in 2004. At turns sad, funny, and defiant, Commando takes all of Ramone's idiosyncrasies – he was a young troublemaker who grew up emulating his father, supported the Republican party, and shied away from risky behavior – and wraps them into a quick, fast read that puts his life in perspective just as it was ending.


The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved


Hunter S. Thompson's 1970 dispatch from the annual horse race pretty much introduced the world to gonzo journalism. This reading by Tim Robbins – who's accompanied by Dr. John, Will Forte, and others – echoes Thompson's hyper, rambling style, as the writer (along with illustrator Ralph Steadman) gets drunk, pisses people off, and maneuvers his way in and out of Kentucky's annual bacchanal.


Mad River: Jersey Sloo


Formed at Antioch College in Yellow Springs in the mid '60s, these bushy psych-rockers eventually found their way out west, where they recorded a pair of albums before disbanding. This vinyl record includes a handful of previously unreleased songs by the band plus an informative book detailing their history and what went wrong. It's eye-opening, and mind-expanding, stuff.


South Park: The Complete Fifteenth Season Uncensored

(Comedy Central/Paramount)

You pretty much know what you're getting with the 14 episodes gathered on this set: fart jokes, lots of bad words, and some of the sharpest cultural commentary to be found anywhere these days. The kids take on the iPad, teenage music fads, and Sarah McLachlan's depressing dog commercials. Extras include the first-ever behind-the-scenes look at the making of an episode.


The 20th Anniversary of The Bodyguard


This Blu-ray debut was supposed to mark the 20th anniversary of Whitney Houston's best movie, but instead it serves as a memorial to her galaxy-sized, if occasionally wasted, talent. The movie itself is kinda clunky – Kevin Costner plays a Secret Service agent protecting Houston's pop star – but the music holds up, especially the towering “I Will Always Love You.”

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