Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

More Ray Charles brilliance on a new CD, an auction for 'Battlestar Galactica' fans, 'Roxanne' out on Blu-ray, and more.

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Ray's full array

For true satisfaction, you only need three things: good friends, comfortable shoes, and Genius: the Ultimate Ray Charles Collection. Nobody should be without the third item, unless you already own a massive stack of Ray Charles albums. In this 21-track collection, you get all the iconic Brother Ray hits like "What'd I Say," "Hit the Road Jack," "Georgia on My Mind" and "Crying Time," plus a 24-page book packed with photos and notes on the recordings.

Grassland rhythms

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Hailing from a Kazakh community in northwestern China, Mamer's debut album Eagle (Real World Records) should lift this singer/songwriter into global fame. Performing traditional folk and original songs in his native tongue while accompanying himself on two-string lute, guitar, and jew's-harp, Mamer's mesmerizing voice suggests tenderly felt, nomadic yearning. Backing musicians on synthesizer and drums offer Western folk-rock embroideries to Mamer's simple shamanic-like songs. This recording presents an original Islamic-Central Asian flavor of torch and twang.

Puzzle play

Escape the Museum has been circulating as a Mac game for a while now, but its move to Nintendo's Wii system this month is sure to drum up a lot of new fans. "Escape" is a so-called "hidden object" quest – a sort of jazzed-up version of those pencil and paper games you used to play as a kid. But this one's set in a museum and rendered in vivid, colorful next-generation graphics. Got especially good eyes and a penchant for musty museums? "Escape the Museum" is for you.

Calling 'Galactica' geeks

Fans of the first-class television series "Battlestar Galactica" can purchase a piece of the action in a celebrity auction May 8, 9, or 10 by either showing up in Pasadena, Calif., or going online at www.auctionnetwork.com. More than 900 items will be on the block, including the bomber jacket worn by Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) in the "Daybreak" flashback scene, and the painting that Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) paints on Caprica before the Cylon attacks. A portion of the proceeds goes to charity.

No more bands on the run

Ever tried to trace where your favorite band was playing only to sift through endless sites and e-mails. Test out songkick.com, which lets you find concerts and track tours, receive alerts, and link to ticket sites.

Wooing words

Despite a schnoz for the ages, Cyrano de Bergerac is a cautionary antihero for modern times – the witty, intelligent poet who must stand aside for the merely handsome man to walk away with the woman he loves. Now, Roxanne, Steve Martin's sly retelling of the Cyrano story set in modern times comes out in high-def Blu-ray on May 5. Daryl Hannah plays the object of his great affections.

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