You Call that Retirement?
So, Jay-Z's back in the game, you say? With a new album? And he named it after a mid-'90s Superman miniseries? Shit, that's geeky! The greatest rapper in the land looks to have a sweet album on his hands with Kingdom Come ($15.95, Everyday Music and Movies, 1313 W Burnside St., 274-0961, and other locations), favorable comparisons of himself to the Man of Steel included. Will the release live up to the hype? Maybe. Will it be named "record of the year" by every critic in the country? You betcha.
If it's Good Enough for Grandma...
Yeah, we talk big, but, secretly we all kind of love big, old-fashioned movie musicals. You don't get much bigger than the new Rodgers & Hammerstein Box Set Collection ($99.98, Suncoast, 1236 Lloyd Center, 288-8797, and other locations), a 12-disc bonanza with all the classics: The King and I , Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Carousel and State Fair, plus six discs of bonus features. That's like a lifetime supply of showtunes! Wow, how gay is that?
Late-night TV was Funny?
Remember when SNL was funny? I don't—I hadn't been born yet. But that doesn't mean I'm not going ga-ga for Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season ($45.49, Borders, 708 SW 3rd Ave., 220-5911, and other locations), the long-awaited eight-disc set of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner and co.'s first year of stardom. From "Land Shark" to the Blues Brothers, there's more funny here than allowed by law (and than anything you'll see on Studio 60).
Very, Very Super
For all of you who like your men with spandex outfits and burning heat vision, here's a DVD set that'll knock your red-and-blue socks off: Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition ($69.99, Borders, 708 SW 3rd Ave., 220-5911), packed with all five movies the Man of Steel's made to date, including an alternative cut of Superman II and hours of documentaries and commentary.
Never Can Get Enough Tongue
There are two ways people react to Chan-wook Park's revenge thriller Oldboy: total adulation or exhausted disgust. For film buffs of the former persuasion, Tartan Video has produced the Oldboy Collector's Edition ($35.95, Watch This!, 916 W Burnside St., 223-1791), a three-disc box set for the truly obsessed that includes the graphic novel that inspired the film, 10 gruesome deleted scenes, and a video diary from the production.
How Much Growling Can One Man Make?
Tom Waits is pushing 60, but time sure hasn't slowed him down. On Nov. 21 he dropped his latest musical bomb, Orphans ($39.99, Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside St., 231-8926, and other locations), a three-disc set of "a lot of songs that fell behind the stove while making dinner." That's a whole lot of Waits in a very small package, sure to be filled to the brim with growling, hooting and the occasional yelp.
Bound for Rock Stardom
A perfect choice for the lyricist of your budding indie-noise-pop band is a one-of-a-kind For the Record Journal ($8-$12, Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside St., 231-8926, and other locations), bound locally from 70-pound paper and the recycled covers of classic-rock albums. Scratched records have to go somewhere to die, and your bookshelf is better than the dump. Choose from the available stock or request a custom journal at 980-5593 or email@example.com.
Tunes for Teens
There's no place quite like Southeast Portland's Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, and people know it. Just look at the lineup that the Center put together for Safe Haven ($15, Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th Ave., 222-0990, and other locations), a fundraising compilation from Sarah Dougher's Cherchez La Femme record label with tracks from big-time acts like the Indigo Girls and Pink Martini, newish bands like the queer bears Sneakin' Out, and the now defunct Le Tigre and Sleater-Kinney. All profits from the firecracker collection go to further SMYRC's mission, so go ahead and buy one for everyone you know.
For the Reality-TV Crack Addict
Admit it: You spend way too much time watching the boob tube. 'Course, you haven't spent nearly as much time as the authors of Television Without Pity: 752 Things We Love to Hate (and Hate to Love) About TV ($15.95, Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651), a mercilessly funny encyclopedia of the best and worst of our national pastime. From ABC's after-school specials to Beverly Hills, 90210's Ian Ziering, it's all here.
Connecting the Clueless
Got a Lost addiction that just can't be sated? Stop sifting through freeze-frames and grab one of the four Lost Mystery of the Island jigsaw puzzles ($14.95, Barnes & Noble, Clackamas Town Center, 12000 SE 82nd Ave., 786-3464) to kill the long, lonely hours between episodes. A spoiler warning on the back of the box says the completed puzzles will reveal clues about the secrets of the hottest cult phenomenon on the air, so assemble with care.
Speaking of Nostalgia...
Remember Sega Genesis? Yeah, those were the days. Now you can relive all your fondest early-'90s memories with the Sega Genesis Collection ($29.99, Best Buy, 11703 NE Glenn Widing Drive, 253-1177, and other locations) for PlayStation Portable, which features over 30 classic titles including Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star and Altered Beast. Return to the good old days when blue-haired hedgehogs and hyperactive ninjas still outnumbered gun-wielding car thieves.
A Stocking Full of Whoop-Ass
Shopping for the film lover who seemingly has every deluxe, special and ultimate edition available? Don't worry, there are some great titles that have slipped through the cracks recently. Action lovers can't go wrong with the martial arts mayhem of District B13 ($19.99, Borders, 708 SW 3rd Ave., 220-5911, and other locations), a French film that proves it is possible to go over over the top. Cavite ($26.98, Suncoast, 1236 Lloyd Center, 288-8797, and other locations) is a dark political thriller shot in the Philippines, about a man forced into terrorism to save his family. Paddy Considine stars in Dead Man's Shoes ($26.98, Borders, and other locations) as a soldier who returns home to get revenge against those that wronged his younger brother.
For the Young, Sensitive and the Intellectual
Looking for less-testosterone-fueled films? Maybe something a bit lighter, family-friendly or off the beaten track? The Seat Filler ($19.98, Suncoast, 1236 Lloyd Center, 288-8797, and other locations) is a lighthearted romantic comedy starring Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child and Duane Martin. The Best of the Best of the Electric Company ($14.98, Suncoast, and other locations) features almost three hours of material from the groundbreaking PBS series. A Collection of 2005 Academy Award Nominated Short Films ($29.98, Borders, 708 SW 3rd Ave., 220-5911, and other locations)—the title says it all—is a mix of live-action and animated Oscar-worthy films that probably never showed at a theater near you.
It's a sure bet—Casino Night ($25, Hello, Portland, 525 NW 23rd Ave., 274-0771) rolls out the felt to turn any dinner table into a poker palace.
From the Folks who Thugged out Owls
The Run Up DVD is a compilation of interviews and conversations with over 20 contemporary artists around the world. Hear the voices of Mr. Cartoon, Futura and Heavyweight, among others ($20, Upper Playground, 23 NW 5th Ave., 548-4835).
We're So Going to Stay in Contact
Give your BFF the best freakin' photo cuff around. The Soho Photo Cuff ($20-$30, smoy.net) is constructed with vegan leather and dyed a variety of colors, including baby pink. Made hip in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hunter S. Thompson blew his head off with a shotgun. The Joke's Over: Bruised Memories: Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson and Me by Ralph Steadman ($26, Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 288-4651 and other locations)—he illustrated the cover of Fear and Loathing—doesn't shoot anything other than the shit about Thompson's life.
Buddha as a Boombox
Fans of Hermann Hesse can finally funnel chi to their ears. The Buddha Machine ($24.95, Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th Ave., 222-0990, and other locations) is a mini soundbox with nine different drone loops that allows a listener to think of nothing. Or Tony Conrad.
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