"Time on Earth" by Crowded House -- It's their first studio album since 1993's "Together Alone," and it's a pop gem. Now lead by Neil Finn, the newly reformed Crowded House has always been a master of lyrical detail and melody. This new album, dedicated to the band's original drummer, Paul Hester, who died in 2005 is a bit mellow, at times, but it shines on "Don't Stop Now," "She Called Up," "Transit Lounge." Honestly, the whole album shines, even the tune "Silent House" that was co-written by the Dixie Chicks. It's what pop music should be. Download it today and see the band live on Aug. 17 at The Pabst. -- Jeff Sherman
Weekend Preview on FM 102.1 -- Warning: shameless self-promotion up ahead. This week, I start a new gig, gabbing about upcoming weekend events with dynamic radio duo Kramp and Adler on FM 102.1 (WLUM). The segment -- called the "OnMilwaukee.com Weekend Preview" -- airs around 9:30 a.m. every Thursday. The format is similar to my guest spots on the recently euthanized "Weekend Spin" that aired on WISN (1130 AM). -- Molly Snyder Edler
Roasted squash over pasta -- I found this recipe on the Post Punk Kitchen Web site and it's easy and delicious.
1 butternut squash
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon pine nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried sage
Salt and pepper
Cut the squash into half-inch cubes, and the garlic into small pieces. Put these with the pine nuts, chili flakes and sage into the roasting pan and pour the oil over everything.
Stir so that everything's covered in oil, then bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it's nearly ready, cook the pasta. Mix the pasta into the roast squash, add lots of salt and pepper, and serve. -- Julie Lawrence
Skinny Cow low-fat ice cream sandwiches -- The little one in my house has developed an affinity for these treats and it's hard to blame her. The ice cream is rich and creamy and you won't get sticker shock from reading the nutrition information label: 140 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. That's a relatively guilt-free treat on a hot summer day. -- Drew Olson
LTB Jeans -- I don't think they are available locally yet. Although there are rumors that J. Bird's new men's section may carry them. Anyway, LTB jeans are great. Stylish, funky (but not too funky) and good fitting. Check ‘em out online here. -- J.S.
Okkervil River -- Austin, Texas seems to be a virtual breeding ground for musical talent and seven-member indie-folk-rock band Okkervil River is yet another shining example. Earlier work -- like 2005's "Black Sheep Boy" and "Black Sheep Boy Appendix" -- are driving, emotional, nearly epic works for literature and sound, but it is the band's latest, "Stage Names," that hoists Okkervil River to a whole other level of intensity and brilliant song craftsmanship. Frontman Will Shef writes like a mad poet and sings as if his heart might explode if he doesn't get it all out. "Stage Names" comes out Aug. 7 and the band plays Sept. 17 at the Pabst. -- J.L.
Scordato's tutu cookies -- I'm a fan of those round, sugar coated Sicilian delights called tutu. They're chocolate cookies with walnuts inside and a partially transparent coating of once-syrupy sugar. They're sweet and the softness of the cookie gets a boost from the snap of the coating and the crunch of the walnuts. Sciortino's does good ones and so does Canfora, but last week I introduced myself to Scordato's version and they're great, too. Scordato's is located at 5011 W. Howard Ave. -- Bobby Tanzilo
HDNet -- The first national television network broadcasting all of its programming in 1080i HD, this creation of Mark Cuban and Philip Garvin is a must-stop during late-night channel surfing runs. The content looks so spectacular that you'll be drawn into watching movies and music programs you don't care about just so you can marvel about the picture quality. -- D.O.
Michoacan paletas -- Nope, these aren't Popsicles. These are paletas (pah-leh-tas) and they started in Michoacán, Mexico, though you can now find them in Milwaukee's Mexican neighborhoods -- where they are sold from a pushcart by a bell-ringing vendor -- and Latin grocery stores. Look for the white carts marked "Paletería La Michoacana," then enjoy these amazing treats made with sweetened milk, cream or juice and studded with nuts or fruits (such as kiwi, pineapple, mamey, guanabana, tamarind or banana). Sometimes they even have one called "mango con chile" which is frozen heat heaven. Don't bother with the bubblegum -- it's just as gross as the bubblegum ice cream we American kids grew up with. -- M.E.
Bitburger beer -- "Bitte ein Bit." Or,a Bit please. This is a great beer. Brewed in Bitburg, Germany since 1817, it's crisp, clean drinking. Check the Web site and give it a try. -- J.S.