Here’s the deal. Every day here at the Metro Times, our mail delivery includes CDs, books and all sorts of other promotional items. A lot of it we can use and review – local-interest music, DVDs, etc. But we also get a lot of weird and whacky items that just kinda build up. So that’s where this idea came from. Each week (or at least most weeks) I’ll gather up some of the more interesting, freaky and brow-furrowing promo pieces and offer them up here for you. I could be about to show you anything.
On that note, feel free to send us anything to Brett Callwood, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220.
A crazy mixed bag this week. How to Win at Everything by Daniel Kibblesmith and Sam Weiner (Chronicle Books) gives solid if twee advice on how to be the best door-to-door salesman, how to give birth, how to lose weight, and everything in-between. It’s a coffee table book, the kind of thing you buy as a gift for your dad when you don’t know what else to get, but it does have some witty moments. Want to know how best to set your baby on a path to early development? “Use your hands to physically mold their mouths and tongues into the shapes necessary for human speech.”
The self-titled album from America’s Got Talent winners Forte (Columbia) is filled with shitty pop opera. America has far more talent than this. The versions of “Nessun Dorma” and “Unchained Melody,” in particular, are wretched.
Josh Ostergaard’s The Devil’s Snake Curve (Coffee House Press) is an unusual thing – a “cute” baseball book. The publisher describes it as for “left-leaning literary baseball fans,” which makes complete sense. Ostergaard uses baseball as a metaphor for America, and the horrible New York Yankees as a symbol for capitalism gone wrong. Wahay – we get to hate on the Yankees again.
The Rise & Fall of the ScandAmerican Domestic (Coffee House Press) is a collection of stories by Christopher Merkner, all set in the suburban Midwest. They’re both chilling and funny too, and oft-uncomfortable for people familiar with the settings. Merkner is really good at melding his observations with his imaginations into something hugely entertaining.
Finally, we’ve received preview discs to a bunch of discs that I’m going to whip through in brief.
Mob City - actually very good. Has that Shane dude from Walking Dead.
Marshall Law Texas - boring police same-old.
King of the Nerds Season Two – Oh, hell no.
Boston’s Finest - meh.
Cougar Town - they’re still making this shit? And what’s happening to Courtney Cox’s face?