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Positively New Tunes

By John M. James · November 20th, 2007 · Yeah Yeah Yeah
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With its entire proceeds split between Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam America, next week's release of Waxploitation Records' Darfur benefit CD is worth searching for. Causes 1 is the first of a proposed Causes series of CDs, available on iTunes for 90 days and available as a limited edition physical CD directly from the label's site. Fourteen tracks were contributed to the effort from a top-notch list of participants, including Thievery Corporation, Bloc Party and Travis, which turns in a nice cover of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth." Other exclusive live versions and sessions come from The Black Keys, David Sylvian, Bright Eyes, The Cure, Animal Collective and Death Cab For Cutie, which turns in another cover, Julian Cope's "World Shut Your Mouth."

Just in time for the winter trifecta of couch, blankets and remote, a dealer's choice of new DVDs finds hot picks for every musical taste. Long anticipated in the DVD format, Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unpluggedperformance hits store shelves this week. Like the 1994 CD release, the DVD will feature 22 minutes not originally broadcast by MTV, as well as bonus sound checks and back stage antics.

Taking the DVD medium to a new level in interactive choices and high-end quality is AIX Records and their Collectors Edition series. Carving out a niche as a creator of HD Video/5.1 Audio DVDs, the label's John Gorka: The Gypsy Life is a true labor of love, with two discs in a gorgeous slipcase design. Featuring interviews, confessions, rehearsals and live footage from the McCabe's Guitar Shop stage (with fretless bass wizard Michael Manring), the double-sided discs offer four different audio/video ways to experiences the set. With its entire proceeds split between Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam America, next week's release of Waxploitation Records' Darfur benefit CD is worth searching for. Causes 1 is the first of a proposed Causes series of CDs, available on iTunes for 90 days and available as a limited edition physical CD directly from the label's site. Fourteen tracks were contributed to the effort from a top-notch list of participants, including Thievery Corporation, Bloc Party and Travis, which turns in a nice cover of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth." Other exclusive live versions and sessions come from The Black Keys, David Sylvian, Bright Eyes, The Cure, Animal Collective and Death Cab For Cutie, which turns in another cover, Julian Cope's "World Shut Your Mouth." ...

Just in time for the winter trifecta of couch, blankets and remote, a dealer's choice of new DVDs finds hot picks for every musical taste. Long anticipated in the DVD format, Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unpluggedperformance hits store shelves this week.

Like the 1994 CD release, the DVD will feature 22 minutes not originally broadcast by MTV, as well as bonus sound checks and back stage antics. ...

Taking the DVD medium to a new level in interactive choices and high-end quality is AIX Records and their Collectors Edition series. Carving out a niche as a creator of HD Video/5.1 Audio DVDs, the label's John Gorka: The Gypsy Life is a true labor of love, with two discs in a gorgeous slipcase design. Featuring interviews, confessions, rehearsals and live footage from the McCabe's Guitar Shop stage (with fretless bass wizard Michael Manring), the double-sided discs offer four different audio/video ways to experiences the set. ...

Neil Young is the subject of a new "independent critical analysis" documentary, Under Review 1976-2006, from the UK's Sexy Intellectual imprint. Clearly unauthorized by Young or his management, the producers of the film may not have had Young's blessing but the result holds a lot of love and respect for the man. Album by album and era by era, some of the biggest names in Rock criticism offer their insight backed by rare live footage and photographs, from the Village Voice's Robert Christgau and BAM magazine's Dave Zimmer to biography authors Johnny Rogan and John Einarson. One bonus feature rates your knowledge, calling itself "the hardest Neil Young interactive quiz in the world." ...

One of the most fascinating artist profiles of another creative icon has just been released in an expanded reissue. Told through the anecdotes and memories of peers, managers, girlfriends and the band members themselves, The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story features a bonus disc in the new edition, with full, unedited interviews from the original film and extremely up-close sessions with fans Graham Coxon of Blur performing Barrett's "Love You," and psychedelic son Robyn Hitchcock covering "Dominoes" and "It Is Obvious." ...

Back in 1981, Queen were one of the first bands to capture an evening's entire performance on 35 mm film, the results of which now make up Queen Rock Montreal, using the best of today's technology to wring every note and emotion from the master tapes. On line for a Blu-ray release this month, and also available in a two-DVD set with bonus Live Aid footage from 1985, the concert features a new commentary track by guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. ...

Need fuzz? This week Brink Video offers up a DVD tribute to that particular blistering guitar tonality in Fuzz: The Sound That Changed the World. Guitar players from Billy Gibbons and J. Mascis to Jon Spencer and Wolfmother's Chris Ross show their love for the little distortion box that makes it all happen, alongside studio recording secrets and a look at the classic pedal's new life in the former Soviet Union. ...

If Funk's more your flavor, check out Stranger: Bernie Worrell On Earth, a new DVD from MVD Visual that documents the talented keyboardist who became the backbone for a variety of associates, from Parliament Funkadelic and the Talking Heads.

Television Alert
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts Nelly Furtado on Thursday and Barry Manilow on Friday. The Late Show with David Letterman presents John Mayer on Thursday and Yellowcard on Friday. Late Night with Conan O'Brien boasts Rouge Wave on Thursday and Ben Harper on Friday. The Ellen DeGeneres Show gets chummy with Alicia Keys on Friday. And Larry King Live matches wits with Gene Simmons of KISS this weekend.

New Releases Coming Tuesday
All Angels ­ Into Paradise (Universal) import-only, featuring the quartet's Classical-meets-Pop cover of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U"; Blue Scholars ­ Bayani (Rawkus/Massline) old school Hip Hop from MC Geologic and DJ Sabzi, featuring a bonus instrumental CD in the first pressing; Carbonas ­ Carbonas (Goner); Common ­ Thisisme Then: The Best Of (Relativity/Legacy) featuring four bonus videos; Sheryl Crow ­ Hits & Rarities (Universal) impost-only, two-CD set with covers of Guns 'N Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" and Eric Carman's "All By Myself"; Genesis ­ Live Over Europe (Virgin) two-CD set recorded earlier this year during their Turn It On Again Tour;; Mudvayne ­ By the People... For the People (Epic) rarities and demos collection crafted by fans who voted for the song list, boasting a new cover of The Police hit "King of Pain" and two new tracks; Polkadot Cadaver ­ Purgatory Dance Party (Rotten Records) all new from three former members of Dog Fashion Disco; The Rumble Strips ­ Alarm Clock (Kanine) my pick of the week is this knockout new CD EP from the pump-up-the-brass Brit quartet that would have made fantastic tour mates with The Clash and The Pogues back in '84, featuring a must-hear, "funky-matador" cover of Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town"; The Successful Failures - Ripe for the Burning (FDR Label) catchy, rambunctiously coy power-pop from New Jersey with a Country Rock back beat; Justin Timberlake ­ FutureSex/LoveSounds: Deluxe Edition (Jive) expanded reissue featuring a new recording of "Until the End of Time" with Beyoncé; T.H. White ­ The Private Spotlight (Sky Council Records); Various Artists ­ Conquer the World: The Lost Soul of Philadelphia (Philadelphia International/Legacy) rare '70s Soul with The Soul Devaliants, Ruth McFadden, Bunny Sigler and Pat &The Blenders.

 
 
 
 

 

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