The Tragically Hip Hipeponymous (Universal)
The Tragically Hip reek of the '80s to '90s transition—those good old days when some guys wore entirely too much denim and let their hair flow free like the wily roots riffs and alternative rock they played on their guitars. Twenty years later and The Hip, with tamer hair and less denim, decide to create a gorgeous retrospective (their first) with 37 of their best songs, a concert DVD of a 2004 performance and another DVD with all of their denim-laden videos and special bonuses, all bound together in a venerable looking book which includes nearly 50 pages of art.
Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto Records)
When I was 16, in an attempt to turn me "punk," some older friends loaned me a stack of their albums. I started bumping The Misfits, Bad Religion and The Decedents in my Volvo, but the Dead Kennedys never caught on. Now listening to the 25th anniversary re-release of the band's first album, I wonder why. Maybe it was because they loaned me Frankenchrist. Anyway, if you don't already own this album, here's your chance to buy a deluxe edition that includes a DVD with a documentary about the band's beginnings, the making of this first album and Jello Biafra's run for mayor. And by the way, down with hippies.
Various Artists Crunk Hits (TVT Records)
Damn, I want a chalice—and right about now some Hennesey and Red Bull would go soooo nice with these jams and the booty dance I'm working in my chair. These are the same exact jams you hear when your drunk ass rolls into da club at midnight. And hell, there's even a track all about spinner rims, which reminds me of my tricked out Volvo. As far as raps with heavy drug references, sexual innuendo and machismo, this is probably the bottom of the barrel. But despite totally ordinary beats and lyrics, this is a really good mainstream rap compilation, if you, like me, sometimes need it to get by.