• Hot off the heels of the third volume in KCRW-FM's Sounds Eclectic CD series, Boston's WBOS-FM has just released the second CD in its 92.9 Live from the Archives series of artists performing intimate tunes live in the studio.

• With a rush of new films opening over the next few weeks, nearly a dozen soundtracks hit store shelves this Tuesday. From sublime scores to the infectious beat of Punjabi wedding songs, all sorts of soundtracks are itching to get in between your ears and extend the film experience.

• This Tuesday the power-pop purveyors at Not Lame Records are releasing a new tribute to The Cars entitled Substitution Mass Confussion. As a salute to Cars bassist Benjamin Orr, who died of cancer in 2000, the CD benefits the American Cancer Society.

From "lip-stinking" to iPod envy, this past year was another whirlwind of technology gone wild and taste often misplaced. Bob Dylan went from hawking Victoria's Secret to his new signature wine, Planet Waves, and while perhaps better suited to sponsor a line of rolling papers, the Doobie Brothers followed suit with their own private label, Doobie Red.

The culture war is rising like my heating bill. Macy's and other Federated department stores have banned "Merry Christmas" from their customer greetings this season, so as not to offend. All references to Christmas are being stripped from public spaces, replaced with candy canes (sugar!), snowmen, and foil-wrapped presents (buy now!).

• For a number of years now the CMH Records imprint has churned out a bizarre array of tribute CDs under the "A Bluegrass Tribute to" banner, serving up a down-home finger-pickin' twist on artists including Metallica, the Dave Matthews Band, and Cat Stevens.

• Stubbs the Zombie, an upcoming new video game, takes players back to the good ol' zombie-killing days of the late 1950s, collecting modern acts time-traveling as well, covering early pop-rock classics for the modern age on the accompanying soundtrack.

• A terrific new charity CD is due next week, benefiting refugee assistance in Sudan's humanitarian crisis. Entitled Genocide in Sudan, the Waxploitation Records release features contributions from an amazing array of socially conscious artists, including Tom Morello's Nightwatchmen, Tweaker with Will Oldham, Danger Mouse with Murs, and DJ Spooky with Lee "Scratch" Perry.

• The "ignorance is bliss" mentality of SpongeBob SquarePants turned the freckle-cheeked barnacle into the prince of the Nickelodeon television network, but in two weeks he graduates to the big time with his own feature-length motion picture.

Political enlightenment is the buzz for this coming Tuesday, as three new CDs hope you swing by your favorite record store after voting your conscience. Virgin Records is releasing a eMOTIVe, a collection of politically minded covers by A Perfect Circle, featuring a bonus DVD and a limited edition with a bonus T-shirt.

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