This wasn't a plentiful year for CD and DVD box sets, but there weren't many misses in this year’s crop of releases, either. Here are the best of the bunch to my ears and eyes, from Springsteen and Hendrix box sets to DVDs of legendary 'Soul Train' and 'T.A.M.I. Show' performances.
Bruce Springsteen hasn't played in Cincinnati since 2008, but various iterations of him promise to keep the local concert and record scene busy this fall. There are at least three major acts coming to town that — in the style and substance of their material — have been pronouncedly influenced by The Boss: Gaslight Anthem, playing Bogart's Sept. 22; The Hold Steady, playing the Southgate House Oct. 2; and John Mellencamp, performing at Music Hall Nov. 1.
Sure, the younger generation of musicians has the genetics and, more often than not, the chops. But the nepotism going on in the Rock world these days has to have aspiring and veteran musicians everywhere saying, "Brother, can you spare a gig?"
So I finally picked up the new Bruce Springsteen but haven't had a chance to spin it yet. And I'm hot to hear the new Heartless Bastards, but maybe I'll wait until the hoopla dies down and give it a review based on a little perspective. So what does that leave us with in the present tense? Quite a lot actually: new CDs from Ben Kweller, The Von Bondies, Roger Manning and Ladyfinger, plus a 1973 classic from British singer/songwriter John Martyn.
Musicians getting into acting is always a sketchy proposition (the opposite is also true: Joaquin Phoenix, please give up Hip Hop and go back to film immediately). But who would have thought that a musician becoming a talk show host would turn out so wonderfully? Elvis Costello's new talk/variety show 'Spectacle' is a fascinating slice of television airing now on the Sundance Channel (cable subscribers without Sundance can find episodes on their 'On Demand' services).