Friday, December 13, 2013

Music-minded Gift Guide Part 3: Psych, Jimi Hendrix, Big Star, Richard X. Heyman and more!

This year has been an especially good one in terms of exciting new DVD releases (most also available on Blu-ray) and album reissues. Here is my third (and likely final) roundup of new music-minded gift ideas.

Title: Psych: The Musical (Universal Studios )
You might like if you enjoy: Psych (the popular USA Network comedy drama)
Tell me more: Set to air on USA Network as a two-hour special event on Dec. 15, Psych: The Musical (available on DVD on Dec. 17) successfully fuses the series' long-running comedy-minded police procedural backdrop with that of a modern-day musical. Stars James Roday (Shawn) and Dulé Hill (Gus), as well as the regular cast members and notable guest stars (including Ally Sheedy, Barry Bostwick and Anthony Rapp) do plenty of singing and dancing in a story centered around a doomed Jack the Ripper musical staged in Santa Barbara. Psych creator Steve Franks not only directed and wrote the episode but penned the lyrics working with composer Adam Cohen to complete the musical featuring more than a dozen songs including the instantly-infectious "Santa Barbara Skies." Who knows, maybe this ambitious project will result in a new TV spin-off, "Murder He Sang."  Information:

Get Psych: The Musical here

Title: Jimi Hendrix  Hear My Train A Comin' (Legacy Recordings/Sony Music)
You might like if you enjoy: Jimi Hendrix, Ten Years After
Tell me more: As part of a year-long celebration of his 70th birthday, Jimi Hendrix  Hear My Train A Comin'  uses a combination of historic footage, vintage photos and audio recordings recorded during his lifetime and modern-day interviews with those who knew him best to offer the best-ever look at the legendary singer-guitarist. In addition to the documentary itself, bonus material includes color footage of Hendrix performing at his final performance in Germany, less than two weeks before his death. The release is available on both DVD and Blu-ray. Information:

Get The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hear My Train A Comin' here

Get The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hear My Train A Comin' [Blu-ray] here

Title: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Magnolia Pictures)
You might like if you enjoy: Cheap Trick, The Replacements, R.E.M.
Tell me more: Music aficinados not familiar with '70s cult hero Big Star shouldn't be too hard on themselves. The power pop outfit failed to chart with its 1972 debut despite widespread critical acclaim, and it was only years later that Big Star's impact began to hit home thanks to the efforts of groups such as the Bangles, R.E.M. and The Replacements who acknowledged their lasting influence. Drew DeNicola's involving new 111-minute documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is now on DVD and features the full-length story of the group, as well as a wealth of bonus material of interest to fans of the band including archival footage. Information:

Get Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me here

Artist: Richard X. Heyman
Title: X (Turn-Up Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Matthew Sweet, Cheap Trick, The Byrds, Crowded House
Tell me more: Power pop champion Richard X. Heyman's aptly-titled 10th album X is simply one of the best albums of 2013. Recorded in his home studio in New York City, "The Kit Factory," Heyman's musical talents are obvious; indeed he not only provides all the vocals but plays all the instrumental tracks too. Even more impressive are the songs, with the yearning "When Denny Dropped Out of the Scene," intoxicating "Be The One," Roger McGuinn-styled folk-rocker "Firing Line" and pop-rock gemstone "Somebody Has Finally Found Me" being among my faves. Information:

Get X here

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