Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

An uplifting rock doc, a video of a video game, and a hot sauce to keep you warm

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of Rush in 1976 during the All The World's A Stage Tour (Photo: Fin Costello/Redferns)

Rush: Time Stand Still

With Rush’s 40-year touring career coming to an end, this documentary offers an especially lighthearted and uplifting look at the band’s legacy. Stocked with footage of Rush’s final tour and the band’s celebrity fans, it also contains one of the most involved looks at Geddy Lee’s, Alex Lifeson’s, and Neil Peart’s senses of humor. A great example of this is Lifeson’s “The Bag” character that he used to assume backstage by putting a bag with a face scrawled on it over his head. He would then entertain the bands Rush toured with. (For the most part. As Lee explains, KISS frontman Gene Simmons did not see the humor in this bit, especially when it cost him a night with two women.) The film also gives a huge thank-you to Rush’s fans, highlighting their experiences over the years and asserting their contributions to the band’s success. The remainder of the documentary offers candid interviews from the band and sheds light on the decision to discontinue large-scale tours, which to be fair, is a right they’ve earned. Available on DVD, it is great for music fans of all types considering Rush’s impact on the industry and the sheer zaniness of its members. [Becca James]


Giant Bomb’s Shenmue Endurance Run

The fellas who founded Giant Bomb basically invented the whole “Mystery Science Theater but for video games” formula that’s all over the internet these days. After launching the site, they started pumping out short-form videos, giving viewers a Quick Look at unadulterated footage from a new release, along with the hosts’ criticism and commentary as they played. Eventually, they created the Endurance Run, the Giant Bomb equivalent of a Let’s Play, where members of their staff play a game from start to finish and release a single episode from their adventures each day. Back in September, they kicked off a brand new run out of nowhere. The site’s New York-based staff, God bless them, set out to finish Shenmue, a cult classic that sets its revenge tale in as realistic a virtual world as was feasible in 1999. Really, that just means you can open a lot of drawers and you spend most of the game’s 20-hour run time walking around Japanese villages, killing time while you wait for businesses to open and people to show up so you can have awkward conversations with them about story revelations you already worked out yourself hours ago. Giant Bomb has since completed its playthrough, and the resulting video series is an amazing document of what it’s like to have your sanity completely ground to dust by a game as sadistically tedious as Shenmue. I will never play this game, but I will gladly watch and laugh along as other people suffer through it. [Matt Gerardi]

The Cheech Chipotle Hot Sauce


Way back in 2008, The A.V. Club did a story on celebrity foods, where we learned that just about everyone has a hot sauce. I didn’t expect much from Cheech Marin’s line, but I became an instant, zealous fan of his chipotle sauce—to the point that I order it by the boxful nearly a decade later. I’m like a weird Cheech hot sauce Johnny Appleseed, too. I’ve given untold bottles away to people who’ve liked it when I let them try some of mine, because I always have it on hand (there’s a bottle on my desk right now) and usually have a few extra bottles at home. What’s so good about it? The chipotle sauce is a perfect blend of flavor with heat—it’s not too hot, and it’s incredibly tasty. The ingredient list shows jalapeño, Tabasco, cayenne, and habañero peppers, along with molasses, cane vinegar, lime juice, garlic, onions, and the usual stuff, but they come together for something uniquely tasty in the Cheech. The downside is that it has almost ruined me on eating pizza without it. [Kyle Ryan]

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