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Blogcritics Editors’ Picks: August 23 through August 29

Okay, summer really is over now. Kids of all ages are hitting the books, parents all over are breathing a sigh of relief, and the days are getting shorter. Whether you're heading back to school or just looking forward to the autumn days ahead, make sure to leave room in your new routine to check in with Blogcritics every day.

Satire seems to have been the good word this week, but, as you can see from the selections, we'll also clue you in to what's good in music, movies, and more. Our politics writers will keep you informed on the run-up to the mid-term elections, and you're always invited to stick around for the conversation afterwards.

 

MUSIC

From Music Editor Connie Phillips:

DJRadiohead's Music Review: Willie "Big Eyes" Smith – Way Back is not only a thoughtful and entertaining review, but a nice little lesson on the blues.

Masked Movie Snob Tio Esqueleto, in Music Review: The Old Grey Whistle Test, Vol.3, not only looks at the collection of music but educates in the process. Don't worry, it's in a fun way.

Richard Marcus shares a bit of himself as he talks about what folk music means to him in Music Review: Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion Exploration New Hands, Old Music.

From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

We should know more about the music we listen to than just the notes. Few are more accomodating than Richard Marcus. He provides background and gives us a fair idea of how we'll feel and what we'll hear with his review of Richard Wagner – Der Fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman).

From Blogcritic Scott Butki:

My pick of the week is Matthew Milam's review of Cassie. It was a difficult piece to write since it was going against the grain, but he provided what we most need here – original thought, no matter how positive or negative.

BOOKS

From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:

We must all have a favourite book we've lent to a person who seemed like an upright, reliable type, and yet found it hasn't been returned. (Mine was a great anthropological study of an Iranian village – and can I remember the author or title?) Eric Whelchel had no trouble remembering the title or author, but has a great tale of how his copy of Jimmy McDonough's epic Neil Young biography, Shakey hit the road.

And as for our favourite authors, well many of us would like to offer an appreciation, but few have gone to the complete, enthusiastic lengths that Dan Traeger went in his excellent description of the work of Gail Simone. Follow a couple of the links and see if you think he's right…

TV/FILM

From Film Editor Lisa McKay:

El Bicho reviews the DVD box set Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier. Whether you own the original version or Redux, read this and prepare to open your wallet yet again.

The intrepid Iloz Zoc relays yet another chapter of "Rescue In Monster Land" and while we're along for the ride, treats us to a damn good review of Trilogy of Terror. Horror fans mustn't miss this one!

From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

I've not seen either of the shows Brad Schader talks about, but I've ordered the DVDs because of the things Brad said in Unemployed Earl Loses to Office Jerks.

From Editor DJRadiohead:

Stephen V. Funk commiserates with some Emmy Losers.

CULTURE

From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

Jon Sobel made my day and left me in stitches with Satire: Mel Call!

I'd go to the movies more often if I could go with someone like TV and Film Guy. Until I find that person, I will enjoy dutifully following his lead in Take Your Soul to the Movies.

From Asst. Music Editor A.L. Harper:

Chris Evans
kills me with laughter and slays Beyonce with his rapier wit in The Fall of Beyonce Knowles.

From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:

Let it be stated I've never used my editorial powers for ventures until now. Having said that, Chelsea Snyder's absolutely on point article about how people would look at her high school yearbook if she was a murderer was funny enough at the time it was published. But recent events (i.e., John Mark Karr isn't a killer, just a creepy guy) added a completely new dimension of profoundness and hilarity, thereby surpassing eHarmony.com in number of dimensions present at once.

POLITICS

From Politics Editor Dave Nalle:

Are Democrats Opposed to Democracy? by David Flanagan is an interesting take on some of the machinations in the Democratic struggle for identity in 2006.

King Nagin by John Guilfoil takes a look at some of the more childish behavior from Ray Nagin, whose general uselessness is becoming apparent to people of all political persuasions on the anniversary of Katrina.

Katrina One Year Later: Myths Still Prevail by John Bambenek is a reminder that JB can write a damned fine analysis when he's not overwhelmed by religious fervor.

From Asst. Politics Editor Mark Schannon:

The Return of Baghdad Bob
by Brad Schader is a riotous satire in the midst of the horror of Iraq.

No Child Left Without A Big Behind
is a sarcastic stab at the failed No Child Left Behind Program from Diana Hartman.

Diana Hartman does it again in Satire: President Bush and Polled Citizens Continue to Denounce Knowledge and Tom Cruise Dies, one of the best satires in ages, skewing everyone and everything in sight.

What Choices Will Latin America Make? by Howard Dratch provides excellent analysis of the lack of direction and foresight keeping Latin America's economies in such bad shape.

SPORTS

From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:

It's not that I feel bad for Browns fans like Zach Baker, but their patience and optimism is tough not to admire, because be it the Browns or someone else, we're all rooting for that one beloved, yet pathetic team.

Adam Hoff knows Pac 10 football, and when he talks Pac 10 football, you should probably listen – especially when it's an extensive preview of the conference.

GAMING

There were no picks this week.

SCI/TECH

From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:

"They have to cut five minutes out of Gustav Holst now." With that opening sentence, Chancelucky sets the tone for the rest of Planet Rodney Dangerfield: Pluto Gets Dissed, his very funny look at last week's biggest astronomical news.

About Lisa McKay

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