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Top Picks: Tenor Salvatore Licitra, the miniseries 'On Death Row,' and more top picks

Singer/songwriter Amos Lee and his band craft a funky, acoustic EP, composite sketch software creates images of literary characters, Hipcycle lets you be trendy and green, and more top picks.

February 29, 2012

On Death Row debuts on Investigation Discovery March 9 at 10 p.m.

Investigation Discovery

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Undeniable Amos

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It's time to get to know singer/songwriter Amos Lee. If you like Bill Withers, Bonnie Raitt, Donny Hathaway, John Prine, Ray LaMontagne, well, then you already like Lee. On his new six-song EP As the Crow Flies, with his gently funky, mostly acoustic band (think The Band) in support, the Philadelphia native charms us with songs like "Simple Things" – "I can't go back right these wrongs/Oh but these simple things keep me holding on." Give him a listen and you'll understand exactly what he means.

A face worth a thousand words

It's safe to say police composite sketch software hasn't often been used like this. On the website The Composites (http://thecomposites.tumblr.com/), artist and musician Brian Joseph Davis creates portraits of literary characters using a composite sketch program and the descriptions of the characters in the novel. So far, his creations include Tess of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," Humbert Humbert from "Lolita," and Edward Rochester from "Jane Eyre."

Affordable green

It's already trendy to be green, but hipcycle.com also makes it attractive and relatively cheap. The website sells upcycled products that can be used at home, work, or in the yard at reasonable prices, and many of the wares available are chic, too, such as the soap dispenser made from a green glass bottle. The company blog tells you how to upcycle everyday objects, including turning old magazines into colorful coasters.

A tenor in his prime

Best of Salvatore Licitra is a memorial CD collection of the tenor's career, which was cut short by his death in 2011. He was hailed as one of the leading tenors of his generation. The two-CD compilation includes operatic selections by Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni, and Ponchielli, plus five previously unreleased tracks.

First love

Like Crazy – a semi-improvised, microbudget marvel – explores the sexy, giddy, terrifying landscape of first love while managing to be both lyrical and tough-minded. Few films are as good as this one at orchestrating the rejuvenations and dissolutions of a love gone right and wrong. Its emotional honesty is comparable to Richard Linklater's great "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset." Out on DVD March 6.

Prison stories

German filmmaker Werner Herzog examines the system of capital punishment through the lens of four individual stories. He takes the viewer carefully through the details of the cases and in the end illuminates both the humanity and inhumanity of a legal system that allows for state-sanctioned execution. The four-part miniseries On Death Row debuts on Investigation Discovery March 9 at 10 p.m.

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