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Books

Heavy Rotation by Peter Terzian (ed.)

This is a book strictly for the upper middle class by the upper middle class, confessions of the comfortable. It could use a better program director, and a bit more variety on its playlist.

Television

Bea Arthur’s Subversive Sexuality

I would always rank Bea near the top of my desired celebrity conquests, alongside more conventional choices like Natalie Portman and Jenny Lewis.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Harper Perennial

Music

Mindy Smith: Stupid Love

On her third album, Mindy Smith still has the exquisite voice of a hummingbird, and the emotional fortitude of one.

Music

Caroline Peyton: Mock Up / Intuition

Recent reissues position '70s folkie Caroline Peyton as an undiscovered treasure, but she's more a performer of unrealized potential.

Music

Sex in the U.S.A.: Male Sexuality in Springsteen's American Dream

Born in the U.S.A. turns 25 this year. Hohman looks at how Bruce Springsteen stresses male sexuality as imperative to the American Dream on the seminal album, but asks, where does that leave the women?

Music

Deer Tick: Born on Flag Day

Deer Tick's boozy and bloozy sophomore album finds no future in America's present, and a troublesome comfort in America's past.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Partisan

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

The Numero Group

Music

Tommy James and the Shondells: 40 Years: The Complete Singles Collection (1966-2006)

Tommy James sells both the Shondells and his own legacy short with a chintzy, useless new "career-spanning" retrospective

Music

Josiah Leming: Angels Undercover

New EP proves a memorable American Idol also-ran was worthy of the big stage.

Books

Flying Burrito Brothers The Gilded Palace of Sin by Bob Proehl

Proehl refuses to worship at the altar of Saint Gram, acknowledging the myriad flaws of its creator alongside the brilliance of the music.

Charles A. Hohman
Music

Lily Allen: It's Not Me, It's You

On Lily Allen's sophomore disc, everything is no longer wonderful. But still catchy.

Music

Little Richard: The Very Best of Little Richard

Little Richard's Specialty hits stand the test of time, but the rarities in this package do not.

Music

The Urges: Psych Ward

The Urges' retro-rock goes for cheap thrills and raw power, but gets bogged down in mundanity instead.

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Rock and Roll Cage Match

Rock and Roll Cage Match: Music's Greatest Rivalries, Decided - Sean Manning - Three Rivers Press [$13.95]

Charles A. Hohman
Music

Jan & Dean: The Complete Liberty Singles

Two discs of Jan & Dean's Liberty singles make the case for delightful songs, but not for a legendary band.

Music

Inara George with Van Dyke Parks: An Invitation

Inara George and Van Dyke Parks can recreate antiquated boudoir music, but cannot push it into this century.

Music

The Pop Project: Stars of Stage and Screen

The Pop Project needs your love; offers hooky tunes in returns.

Books

Icons of Pop Music: Bob Dylan & Elvis Costello

Dissecting larger-than-life subjects, and their prolific catalogs, in compact form produces a kitchen sink approach that sometimes undermines the analysis.

Charles A. Hohman
Music

Chumbawamba: The Boy Bands Have Won

Chumbawamba sing songs of change, but the new album is more of the same.

Music

Sam Champion: Heavenly Bender

Sam Champion's bender is stuck somewhere between hellish and heavenly.

Charles A. Hohman
Music

Chris Difford: The Last Temptation Of Chris

Erstwhile Squeeze lyricist's "Last Temptation" contains nothing to rival "Tempted".

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