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The ghoulish rock heroes the Misfits can chalk up another career hallmark of pop-culture monster delight -- they're showing up regularly in the square ring, poised to rumble on WCW's Monday Nitro. What started out as an assist to wrestler El Vampiro has become a full-fledged new mutation of their classic old-school punk horror show. Geez, I remember waking up every day to a cold shower and the Misfits' "She" and some GBH on the boombox, back in 1987. Whew! Their current tour is a regular body-slammin' power chord of brooding -- snaking through the stage with GWAR one night, and onto WCW's Thunder the next. Go forth, young rock warriors! Go forth and rock thee! At first, I thought it was a cruel hoax, like Motorbooty magazine's faux wax museum and homage to the original Detroit droogies -- The Stooges -- residing mysteriously somewhere in Ann Arbor, Mich. But I have faith, so sign me up. Yes, raw power-psychedelic purists will need to take a few days off work to breathe deep from this crusty cake -- Rhino Records' Handmade boutique label has struck deep this past week as they've issued a limited edition six-CD aural opus documenting Iggy Pop and the Stooges' 1970s classic Fun House album. Detailing every recorded moment of of the four-day session from the original stereo masters, they've taken the body count from 36 minutes to seven hours. Lots of goodies are mixed in, like band conversation, alternative mixes and remastered singles. Unfortunately, all of Rhino's Handmade releases are only available from their Web site at www.rhinohandmade.com and are printed one time only in limited runs -- this box set has a printing of 3,000 copies, first come, first served... The coming attractions for the upcoming Andy Kaufman bio-pic Man on the Moon look great, and the soundtrack is simply terrific. The Warner Bros. set is due Dec. 14 and features the new R.E.M. track "The Great Beyond" -- look for them to perform it perhaps when they show up on Saturday Night Live on Dec. 11. The soundtrack seamlessly weaves a refreshing collection of film dialogue, classics like his "Mighty Mouse Theme" and Exile's disco era "Kiss You All Over," and an orchestral version of R.E.M.'s title track. Other fun twists include Jim Carrey's Kaufman rant as sleezebag Tony Clifton covering Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and a duet between R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Carrey's Kaufman covering the Fabian 1959 hit "This Friendly World," with Carrey riffing between a handful of Kaufman characters.

Television Alert

Late Night with Conan O'Brien hosts Garth Brooks on Thursday; The Chris Rock Show on HBO welcomes Nas on Friday; and the E! True Hollywood Story looks at the life and strange death of INXS singer Michael Hutchence on Sunday.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, Dec. 7:

and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change ...

Awol One -- "NME" (Celestial) underground hip-hop 12" single featuring Kol Keith and 2Mex. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony -- TBA (Ruthless / Epic). Sheryl Crow -- Live (A&M). Cypress Hill -- Los Grandes Exitos En Espanol (Columbia) Spanish language album. DJ Clue -- TBA (Roc-a Fella). The Hellacopters -- "Slow Down Take a Look" (Up) things get fuzzy on this new 7" single -- their fifth release this year -- with vocals by Scott Morgan of the Sonic Rendezvous Band. Juvenile -- Tha G-Code (Cash Money/Universal). Jack Logan -- Bring Me the Head of Kelly Keneipp (Backburner). Magnolia -- original motion-picture soundtrack (Reprise) featuring eight new songs from Aimee Mann and a cover of Harry Nilsson's "One" made most famous by Three Dog Night. Methods of Mayhem -- Methods of Mayhem (MCA) new project from Tommy Lee of Motley Cre featuring guests Kid Rock, George Clinton and Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst. Next Friday -- original motion-picture soundtrack (Priority) with Ice Cube, Mack 10, Wyclef Jean, Eminem and more. Notorious B.I.G. -- Born Again (Bad Boy/Arista) he'll never die as long as there's music in the can. Pink Floyd -- The Wall LIVE (Capitol). Raekwon -- Immobilarity (Columbia) the Shallah Chef of the Wu-Tang Clan second solo effort with guests Big Bub and the American Cream Team. Robert Schimmel -- Unprotected (Warner Bros) the new nasty boy of comedy from his HBO special. The Sopranos -- original television-picture soundtrack (Columbia). Sugar Spun -- Hollywood & Vine (Orange Peal). Various artists -- Boycott Radical Records (Radical) super cheap 25-track collection featuring Blanks 77, Road Rage, Inspector 7 and more.

John James can be found via cyberspace at yeahyeah@one.net

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