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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Just Push Play

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Just Push Play

Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story 20th Century Fox, 2005 (DVD) One of my best holiday gifts was from my sister this year. She gave me Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story. I have always loved Family Guy, but it’s even better when you can hear swearing and see naked cartoons in the bathtub. Stewie travels to find a man he believes is his father, but is really Stewie 30 years in the future. For anyone who hasn’t seen this yet, see it! It’s one long, really hilarious episode of Family Guy. – Devon Portney Kzenia Mack Letters from the Jalopy Kzenia Mack, 2002 (CD) This woman’s got a mochaccino in her voice and lightning in her hands.  Letters from the Jalopy is a self-produced studio album from Medford, MA guitar-teacher and folk-singer, Kzenia Mack.  Mack’s voice has at times the lilt of Joni Mitchell, the warm and low tones of kd Lang and the blues of old Bonnie Raitt. Her style blends such disparate influences with old-fashioned songwriting and scorching guitar-work.  She’s more incredible in her live performances than on this album, but Jalopy’s well worth a listen. – Shea Mullaney The Devil and Daniel Johnston Sony Pictures, 2006 (DVD) This documentary follows Daniel Johnston, a singer/songwriter who suffers from manic depression and delusions of grandeur.  We viewers are taken into a world where most would never venture, deep into the mind of a tortured genius.  Bare-bones sound and painfully honest lyrics have made Johnston a cult hero; his fans included David Bowie and the late Kurt Cobain.  Interviews, archival footage and home movies are weaved together with the same heartfelt honesty as Johnston’s music, making this the perfect way to tell a tale that begs to be told. – Michael Hogan The Dresden Dolls Yes Virginia… Roadrunner Fontana, 2006 (CD) The third studio album of a shining gem from Boston, The Dresden Dolls, is a bit different from their self-titled debut.  It nonetheless exemplifies their unique style, self-described as “Brechtian punk cabaret.” I constantly find myself humming the tune of “My Alcoholic Friends,” a song that my best friend humorously uses to describe our other friends.  Their piano-and-drum combination, while simple in set-up, provides a somewhat complex backdrop for thought-provoking lyrics. A definite suggestion for those who listen to bands like Panic! At The Disco and Boys Like Girls. - Amanda Huff Juno Reactor Labryinth Metropolis Records, 2004 (CD) A primal disc. A butt kickin’, whole body gyration groove.  This is not just a masterpiece of trance music specifically and electronic music in general, it’s a triumph of rhythm itself.  Watchers of The Matrix Revolutions might recognize the track “Mona Lisa Overdrive,” but make sure to listen to the entire album. “Angels and Men” will ‘trance’-port you to another plane of existence and “Navras” is more energizing than Red Bull.  This disc is perfect groove for late-night dance parties, but you could put it on repeat while writing that essay (or article) that just won’t come to you. – Lovechester The 13th Floor Elevators The Psychedelic Sounds of…. International Artists, 1966 (CD) In 1966 most underground garage bands were happy to drag their knuckles across raunchy Kinks covers. But something a bit more lysergic must have been in the Texas waters that spawned these lyte-psych acid causalities. Led by deranged-yelper Rocky Erickson and an electric-jug warble over a hazy sinister-rock jangle, if the Elevators didn’t single handedly invent psychedelic rock, they were at least the first to use the word in their title. – Denez McAdoo Versions of Woody Guthrie’s The Sinking of the Reuben James Homemade Mix (CD) My friend made me a looped mix tape of the different versions of “The Sinking of the Reuben James”, so I may continuously listen. The jam is dope. “What were their names? What were their names? Did you have a friend on that good Reuben James…” – Dan Roche