October 15, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT


Secret Machines on Tour Trust us, spend your hard-earned cash on the indie-rock tour of the season: Lead-heavy psych-rock trio the Secret Machines open it up, while glam gloomy Guses Interpol make both Goth boys and girls scream for more. Check for tour info at http://www.thesecretmachines.com. (From Oct. 11 through Nov. 11)

DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS Let’s get the obvious out of the way: U.K. quintet Dogs Die in Hot Cars sound scarily similar to caffeinated art-pop geniuses XTC. But, please, don’t let that stop you from picking up their excellent new debut, Please Describe Yourself (V2), which, again, could be an XTC cover band. A damn good one. (Oct. 26)

’90s Nostalgia VH1 used to have a monopoly, but now the record biz wants some of that Gen-X reminiscence cheddar. Ten Years Gone: The Best of Everclear reminds us how much Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray jacked from them, while Supergrass Is 10: The Best of 94-04 (both Capitol) reminds us how overlooked the shaggy trio are. Old Enough 2 Know Better: 15 Years of Merge Records (Merge) and Matador at Fifteen (Matador) prove that post-Nirvana alt-rock didn’t totally suck. And Korn’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Epic) and Lest We Forget: The Best of Marilyn Manson (Interscope) make us really happy that nü-metal is fading away. (Out now; Matador out Oct. 12)

Wu-Tang And they said it couldn’t be done. All nine members of the mysterious, indefatigable Wu-Tang Clan actually appeared at a concert on July 17, 2004, in San Bernardino, Calif. That evening’s hits-packed set is captured in all its messy glory on Disciples of the 36 Chambers: Chapter 1 (Wu-Tang/Sanctuary) and a companion DVD. Or, if you prefer your elliptical Wu rhymes without crowd noise, pick up the new Legend of the Wu-Tang: Wu-Tang Clan’s Greatest Hits (BMG). (Disciples CD out now; DVD and Legend out Oct. 26)

DISCO LIVES Don’t believe the haters, disco’s not dead. For proof, check out these new releases:

Unclassics (Environ) is DJ Morgan Geist’s Übercool compilation of porn-soundtrack-worthy Euroboogie; Kings of Disco (BBE/ Rapster) is a more traditional divas-and-strings collection of ’70s oldies; and gritty N.Y. production duo DFA give the dormant genre a rowdy attitude adjustment on DFA Compilation #2 (DFA), where the classic grooves collide with post-punk guitars and noisy feedback loops to create disco for the blogs-and-beer crowd. (Unclassics and Kings of Disco out Oct. 26; DFA out Nov. 2)


And It Don’t Stop (Faber and Faber) Like a backstage pass to the studio, the after-party, and the boardroom, this collection of ”the best American hip-hop journalism of the last 25 years” brings insights into the personalities that’ve been creating, performing, and selling beats and rhymes from way before you rocked Cross Colors jeans and parachute pants. (Don’t lie, yes, you did!) (Out now)


Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 (Activision, All Consoles, T) Viva La Bam‘s Bam Margera joins the series and challenges skateboarder Hawk to a World Destruction Tour. The controls take time to master, but virtual bruises are way cooler than real ones. (Out now)

Def Jam Fight for NY (EA, All Consoles, M) Button-mash your way to the top of the hip-hop food chain in this fighting game that lets you face off against Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and yes, even Lil’ Kim. (Out now)

Star Wars Battlefront (LucasArts; PC, PS2, Xbox; T) Why watch those Star Wars battles on DVD when you can take part in them? That’s the premise behind this blast-’em-up that spans Episodes I (Naboo, here we come!) through VI (hey, you can shoot Ewoks!). Choose your allegiance, pick a conflict, and then get ready to rumble, using weapons and vehicles like an AT-ST or an X-wing. The single-player game is mildly diverting, but the online multiplayer is more fun than Saturday night at a Mos Eisley cantina. (Out now)


Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching Karen O spew beer all over herself (and the crowd), snag a copy of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow, which documents a couple of fierce live gigs at San Francisco’s Fillmore last March. Bonus: No need to bring a towel. (Oct. 12)


Loki (Marvel) In case you didn’t know, Loki is the trickster of Norse mythology — for every one of thunder god Thor’s acts of heroism, Loki pulls off a vile, deceitful one in his hunger for power. Loki is, after all, the prince of lies, and the whole of the godly plane of Asgard is set against him. This miniseries (written with an ear for the legendary by Robert Rodi and evocatively painted by Esad Ribic) offers a bizarro premise: What if Loki did the unthinkable…and won? What if he finally sat upon the throne of Asgard, with the mighty Thor in chains awaiting execution? Every villain should be so lucky to get such classically mature treatment. (Out now)

You May Like