The best in lo-tech entertainment -- The greatest books, DVDs and more

By EW Staff
Updated May 12, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

The best in lo-tech entertainment

On Tour

Please Leave Quietly
Turns out the road is one big blur, at least according to this live/ behind-the-scenes doc filmed during PJ Harvey’s tour for her 2004 CD, Uh Huh Her. Heavy on handheld camera work and collage-style editing, Quietly packs a punch as raw and immediate as the enigmatic artist it shadows. Plus, who knew shy little Polly Jean — who regales us with saucy discarded album titles like Muffed Up Plucking — could be such a hoot? (Out May 23)

T-Shirts

After Evers
Created for hoity-toity clothing label United Bamboo by a handful of Pitchfork-worthy bands (like Soft Circle, LCD Soundsystem, and Dungen), these shirts are smarter than your average concert tee. At $60 to $70 a hit, they’re not cheap — but then again, looking cool is priceless. (unitedbamboo.com or call 212-925-3311 for stores, out now)

CDs

Bang Bang Rock & Roll
If the Editors are the black-trench princes of the U.K. indie scene, and the Arctic Monkeys its brash dukes of dance rock, Art Brut are the unapologetic court jesters. Their debut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll, crackles and pops with side-of-the-mouth lyrics like ”We wanna be lapsed Catholic/Got the contraception/Haven’t got the knack yet” (from ”Good Weekend”). Manic, pogoing fun all around. (Out now)

Chulahoma-The Songs of Junior Kinbrough
In 1999, Black Keys singer Dan Auerbach was so moved after hearing the lo-fi laments of bluesman Junior Kimbrough that he quit college. ”There was nothing more those professors could help me with,” Auerbach writes in Chulahoma‘s liner notes. The Keys cover six of their hero’s tunes, keeping Kimbrough’s ragged glory intact. His widow even offers her blessing, in a poignant phone message that caps the disc, saying ”You about the only ones that really, really plays like Junior played.” (Out now)

Book

Toys: New Designs for the Art Toy Revolution
Designer vinyl action figures may not yet be regarded by bearded museum-curator types, but as this book can attest, these highly collectible creations — like any legit art form — are energetically tapping into a zeitgeist. Sylvan creatures and blinged-out rough-necks populate the pages of this tome, which is also peppered with Q&A’s providing insights into some of the industry’s most gifted pioneers. Suddenly, that Picasso coffee-table book seems rather passé, doesn’t it? (Out now)

CDs

Vox Popular
Here’s a band that understands the rare virtue of leaving fans wanting more. With their EPs Raised by Wolves and Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives, Voxtrot extract only the most upbeat offerings from the Smiths, adding in lovely Belle & Sebastian-style flourishes. Now go download the gently bopping gem ”The Start of Something” for free on their site (voxtrot.net) — and put that sucker on repeat. (Both out now)

DVD

Coachella
Finally, a film for those who haven’t had the wherewithal to trek out to the seven-year-old fest in the California desert. Highlights include Björk in ’02, the White Stripes in ’03, and Radiohead in ’04, with a second disc featuring short interviews with equally stellar talent like Mos Def and Tenacious D. (Out now)

Comics

On the Q.T.
What do manga heroine Lady Snowblood and British cartoon icon Modesty Blaise have in common — besides a penchant for battling evil in a state of undress? Both are beloved by Quentin Tarantino. Now you can be inspired to direct an estrogen-infused revenge flick thanks to Lady Snowblood: Vol. 1. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, read about Blaise’s adventures in The Puppet Master on the toilet?just like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction! (Both out now)

Art

3-D Album Cover: ‘Led Zeppelin’
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s a big balloon on fire — the cover of Zep’s debut in 3-D! Getting popped out later this summer: the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks and Metallica’s Master of Puppets, but not, mercifully, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s nude Two Virgins. (spawn.com, out now)

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