With the fall rush of releases now upon us, a dedicated music fan can be eatin' new DVDs and albums for breakfast, lunch and dinner this week from the likes of Mumford & Sons, Katy Perry, Toots Thielmans, Queen, Green Day, Shemekia Copeland and more.
Video Watch: Given Gizmo Guy's multimedia nature, new video concerts/documentaries gotta come first.
A week after the release of Bob Dylan's swirling "Tempest" comes the terrific, British made documentary "Bob Dylan and the Band- Down in the Flood" (Sexy Intellectual/MVD) which chronicles their long association and synergy. Contains many a rare still and video clip, plus new insights from Ronnie Hawkins (who first brought the Band together) and The Band's enigmatic Garth Hudson - who never shows the white of his eyes.
Also getting a very good once over is the late Queen front man Freddie Mercury with the video documentary "The Great Pretender"(Eagle Vision) chronicling his solo projects and a gay lifestyle which exposed him to AIDs. Much happier is the newly restored and remixed double DVD/Blu-ray collection Queen "Greatest Video Hits" (Eagle Vision) featuring absolutely amazing DTS surround sound treatments just perfect for this hyperbolic, histrionic band.
Color me crazy for Katy Perry's "Part of Me" documentary (Paramount). The "Alice in Wonderland" style costuming and scenary for her 2011 stage show was deliciously daft. And you come to like her as a person, too. Gizmo Guy has seen more dramatic 3-D concert visuals. though.
Hearing the master jazz harmonicat Toots Thielmans and his European Quartet in concert at "90 Years"(Challenge Jazz) is sweet. Watching the group performing in Tokyo and New York on the companion bonus DVD is to die for. (But not you, Toots!)
Album Overload: Let me put in a big tout for blues titan Shemekia Copeland's most diverse and mature "33 1/3" (Telarc) and her show this weekend at World Cafe Live in Wilmington.
Ditto for the ever resilient Pete Seeger's two releases on the local Appleseed label. "Pete Remembers Woody" - Guthrie that is - in stories and songs. Separately, he collaborates with Lorre Wyatt on a fine collection of righteous new anthems "A More Perfect Union" voiced by Pete and friends like Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Dar Williams and Emmylou Harris.
The spiritually minded, neo folksy sophomore set "Babel" by Mumford and Sons (Glassnote) is a bit one note for my ears. More appealing in the crunchy granola acoustic vein is "A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart" (Sugar Hill) as performed by the new to me Black Prairie.
Green Day's punky pop 'Uno!" (Reprise) oft seems predictably "by the book," though I laughed at their anti-electronic music rant "Kill The DJ."
The first in 13 years album by Ben Folds Five "The Sound of the Life of the Mind" (Ima Vee Pee Records) is true to his/their heart rending, theatrical, piano pop nature. Feel free to tour behind it, guys.
Alt twangster John Hiatt is his reliably wry, raspy and philosophical self (though relying more on backing singers these days) with "Mystical Pinball" (New West). "I Know How To Lose You" made me lose it, too.