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OVERRATED/UNDERRATED

Nomo, ESPN's '30 for 30' and more.

November 08, 2009

UNDERRATED

Nomo: With Fool's Gold and Vampire Weekend bringing African rhythms and textures to indie listeners, we recommend inquiring ears seek out this six-piece from Michigan. Mixing Fela Kuti's Afrobeat drive with contemporary nods to post-rock dissonance and looping electronics, Nomo is a cool-burning dance-funk party waiting to happen. Start with this year's "Invisible Cities" on Ubiquity Records.

ESPN's "30 for 30": We've grumbled about the self-promoting sports network in the past, but they've nailed it with this gripping 30-part documentary series. Tapping a variety of filmmakers such as Barry Levinson and Peter Berg, the series looks at the personal sides of events including Gretzky's shocking move to L.A. and the rise and fall of the USFL. These aren't just sports stories; they're human ones.

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OVERRATED

Bon Jovi: We may incur the wrath of New Jersey here, but when did these '80s pop-metalers become respected rock titans? We get that people are excited about the new album, but what's with the lionizing Showtime documentary "When We Were Beautiful"? We know the band is adored and somewhat better than Warrant, Winger or Ratt, but we're not ready for a world where Jon Bon Jovi is the new Tom Petty.

Enhanced CDs: We understand record companies are eager to add whatever bonus content they can to the fading CD format, but can they at least be sure it's done correctly? We've been eager to listen to a number of new albums on our computers only to have them either not be recognized or crash our whole system. Weren't these the sort of bad things that would happen if we downloaded albums illegally?

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