· Record labels are unleashing DVDs at an increasing pace, well-conceived and generously filled with bonus material. Here's a healthy handful of new and forthcoming DVDs that demand attention. The Chrome Dreams imprint has just released its DJ's Complete Guide: All You Need To Know About the World of DJing, a British-produced step-by-step instructional DVD.
In the beginning of this film is an interesting statistic: Turntable decks are outselling guitars by 10 to one. For those who dream of becoming a basement mixmaster or center-stage DJ in a high-energy club, this 90-minute disc takes you by the hand, from choosing your first equipment to breaking down sophisticated finger wizardry between two turntables and a standard mixer. Lots of top talent pops in for demonstrations, most notably the scratch wonderboy Tazz.
· In celebration of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's current West Coast tour, Matador Records is giving away a bountiful 70-minute DVD of concert footage and bizarre foreign television-show appearances - free as a bonus disc with copies of Plastic Fang, while supplies last. Two videos are included, the rare clip for "She Said" and the amazing "colorform-esque" romp of "Sweet N Sour." Late next month Matador will release Slow Century, a two-DVD collection from Pavement, timed with the label's 10-year anniversary re-issue of the band's seminal Slanted & Enchanted. While the CD re-issue is pumped up with new liner notes, rare B sides, and outtakes, the double-DVD set satisfies all the senses, with an hour-long documentary, 11 music videos, and two complete concerts that are viewable from multiple camera angles.
· Most deliciously disturbing is Music Video Distributors' recent DVD re-issue of the Butthole Surfers' Blind Eye Sees All, documenting the young band at a particularly gonzo concert from Detroit in 1985. The original, long-out-of-print VHS release has commanded more than $100 on the eBay boards for the past few years, so it's high time someone gave this blessed madness a high-tech shine. The concert footage is raw and hypnotic, as is the extended interview with the band, sharing a large communal bed and comforter, with soothsayer Gibby Haynes at the helm of the babbling brook. Bonus material includes a nice photo gallery, a "Butthole Karaoke" feature, and the band's rare cover of The Guess Who's "American Woman," originally found on a five-inch clear-vinyl single tucked into the VHS tape's jacket.
· U2 has announced that its upcoming The Best of: 1990-2000 will contain two bonus discs in its first shipment, a DVD of videos for these selections and a limited-edition bonus CD of B sides. The DVD will also feature the 1997 documentary The Road to Sarajevo, comments by the clips' directors, and alternative versions of these videos produced for foreign countries. Two new tracks also pump up the CD, "Electrical Storm" and "The Hands That Built America," the latter of which is featured in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York.
· David Gilmour has announced the November DVD and VHS video release of concert footage culled from his January solo dates at London's Royal Festival Hall and his appearance at 2001 London's Meltdown festival. Simply entitled David Gilmour in Concert, the Capitol Records release features the Pink Floyd guitarist with bandmate Rick Wright, Robert Wyatt of Soft Machine, and Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats. The DVD will feature lots of goodies, from an interesting cover version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" to home-studio practice sessions.
The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Linda Thompson on Thursday and The Vines on Tuesday; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Coldplay on Thursday; The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn features Ice Cube on Friday overnight and Donny Osmond on Monday overnight; Last Call with Carson Daly sits down with David Lee Roth on Friday overnight.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, September 17:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change
Cannonball Adderley - Radio Nights (Hydra/Sin-Drome) re-issue of this fantastic collection recorded live at New York City's Half Note Jazz club in the late 1960s
Joe "King" Carrasco - Joe "King" Carrasco (Tornado) first time on CD for this 1978 document of Tex-Mex rock-and-roll
Casino Vs. Japan - Whole Numbers Play the Basics (Carpark) featuring Kurt Ralske of Ultra Vivid Scene
Charlie Christian - The Genius of the Electric Guitar (Columbia Legacy) four-CD box set of his 1939-1941 years with The Benny Goodman Sextet
Cober - The Breaker (Cobar Records) featuring vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sheila Bommakanti
Natalie Cole - Ask a Woman Who Knows (Verve) featuring a duet with Diana Krall
Shemekia Copeland - Talking to Strangers (Alligator) anticipated follow-up to the Grammy-nominated Wicked album from 2000
Miles Davis - The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux 1973-1991 (Columbia Legacy) 20-CD box set
Rick Derringer - Free Ride (Big 3/Beyond) new smooth jazz from the rock guitarist featuring new versions of his signature "Frankenstein" and "Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo"
The Flaming Lips - Finally the Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid 1983-1988 (Restless) three-CD collection of their first four albums and EPs, demos, rare tracks and choice covers
Aretha Franklin - The Queen in Waiting: The Columbia Years 1960-1965 (Columbia Legacy) two-CD set with six previously unreleased tracks
Jennifer Love Hewitt - BareNaked (Jive)
The Hope Conspiracy - Endnote (Equal Vision) Boston hardcore on tour this month with The Cro-Mags
Sondre Lerche - Faces Down (Astralwerks) from Norway
Lifehouse - Stanley Climbfall (Elementree/Dreamworks) also available in a limited edition with bonus acoustic tracks
Les McCann - Pump It Up (ESC/Ryko) all new with guests Billy Preston, Maceo Parker, and Bill Evans
Scars - Scars (Sanctuary) featuring monster guitarist Gary Moore, Skunk Anansie bassist Cass Lewis, and Primal Scream drummer Darrin Mooney
Megan Mullally & Supreme Music Program - Big as a Berry! (Varese Sarabande) new from the Will & Grace actress, featuring her covers of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe," Tom Waits' "Take It with Me," and The Beatles' "Bathroom Window"
Michael Schenker - Thank You 3 (Shrapnel) acoustic instrumental album from the UFO and Scorpions guitarist
Dee Snider - DeeVision: Twisted Forever ... Forever Twisted (Music Video Distributors) DVD re-issue with bonus material
Theory of a Deadman - Theory of a Deadman (604 Records/Roadrunner) hot off the Spider-Man soundtrack and on the new boutique label co-founded by Nickleback's Chad Kroeger
various artists - Disney Mania (Walt Disney) featuring *NSYNC's cover of "When You Wish Upon a Star," Anastasia's take on "Someday My Prince Will Come," and Smash Mouth's swing of The Jungle Book's "I Wanna Be Like You"
various artists - Dressed in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash (DualTone) with Kelly Willis, the Reverend Horton Heat, Redd Volkaert, Hank Williams III, and more
various artists - Mailorder for the Masses (Asian Man) with Link 80, Little Jeans, Skankin' Pickle, Alkaline Trio, and more
various artists - We're a Happy Family: A Tribute to the Ramones (DV8/Columbia) with Tom Waits, Metallica, U2, The Pretenders, Garbage, Billy Corgan, Static X, Motorhead, Rob Zombie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rancid, The Offspring, and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder
Paul Weller - Illumination (Independiente) import-only with Noel Gallagher of Oasis