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Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

Delightful 'Pushing Daisies' now out on DVD, surging dance music from Congo's Kasai Allstars, a documentary about the fabled Warner Bros. studio, and more.

Courtesy of Warner Sisters

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Friends' vacation pics aren't always riveting, but if your friend is award-winning photographer Art Wolfe, you get to travel along as he takes them. In Episode 1 of PBS's second season of "Travels to the Edge," airing Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m., we visit the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. From the dancing red-crowned crane to the majestic stillness of Mt. Fuji to the crush of the Naked Man Festival (G-rated), we learn about the Japan encountered by Wolfe, who captures moments of grace we might otherwise miss.

surging dance MUSIC

"In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic" is an ungainly yet apt title for this CD of tunes by the Kasai Allstars. Combining traditional, trance-inducing, ritual polyrhythms with traditional and modern musical instruments colored through buzzing electronic distortion, this Congolese group creates surging dance music. They sound like an aural equivalent of "magic realism" fiction: archaic yet futuristic, surrealistic yet coherent. This third release in the "Congotronics" series on the Crammed Discs label might just start a "buzz" for this crew.

sacred strains

If you're in southern California during the next 10 days, you'll discover that the triennial World Festival of Sacred Music is in full swing (until Sept. 28). Whether your taste runs to master throat singers or prayer drumming, there is something for everyone in the greater Los Angeles area. Check out the calendar of events, which serves as a mini-world tour of the music of worship at www.festivalofsacred



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