Sunday, April 03, 2016

A musical tour of the universe: Mystery Science Theater 3000, 'Southern Family,' Malawi Mouse Boys

A wide range of new releases truly celebrate the far-flung corners of this world and beyond.

DVD Title: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XXXV (Shout! Factory)
You might like if you enjoy: Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic
Tell me more: With the impending re-launch of the comedy sci-fi classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 later this year, now is a great time to rediscover original episodes of the Peabody Award-winning series (also known as "MST3K") that ran 11 seasons on The Comedy Channel/Comedy Central and later the Sci-Fi Channel. The newly-released Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XXXV features the Joel, Mike, and their robot pals Tom Servo and Crow offering up a galactic spaceship full of quips while watching four B-movies. "Being From Another Planet" will be of particular interest to music fans. The crew of the Satellite of Love delivers dozens of zingers related to all things music; where else will you find references to Abba, Jerry Garcia, Neil Diamond, the Alan Parsons Project, the Monkees, the Bee Gees, Jackson Browne, ZZ Top and even composer John Cage that come amidst the showing of a bad science fiction flick? A bonus feature includes a new interview with composer Richard Band who scored the the film (originally titled "Time Walker"). Other previously-unreleased episodes featured on the new MST3K set include "Teenage Cave Man," "12 to the Moon," and "Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell." Information:

Purchase 'Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXV' on DVD here

Artist: Enrique Bunbury
DVD Title: El Camino Mas Largo (Eagle Rock Entertainment/700g Films)
You might like if you enjoy: Heroes del Silencio, David Bowie, Alejandro Sanz
Tell me more: American audiences are just catching up to Spanish rocker Enrique Bunbury. Originally a member of the legendary Rock en Español outfit Heroes del Silencio that enjoyed tremendous success throughout the 1980s and early '90s in their native Spain and around the globe, the native of Zaragoza, Spain has enjoyed subsequent success as a solo artist. The aptly-titled DVD title El Camino Mas Largo ("The Longest Road") chronicles Bunbury's 2010 tour, which kicked off on Nov. 11, 2010 when he performed to more than 90,000 fans in a single show in Mexico City; Bunbury's trek eventually brought the Spanish singer to the U.S. with his wife and pet cat in tow for what would ultimately prove to be an experience that was as much about examining his own life as it was reaching new audiences in America. This film (the DVD includes behind-the-scenes, the official trailing, deleted scenes and more) will obviously be of interest to fans of Bunbury, but will likely interest lovers of Spanish rock, world music and compelling music documentaries too. Information:

Purchase 'El Camino Mas Largo' here

Artists: John Paul White, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Jamey Johnson, more
Title: Southern Family (Elektra Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Americana, the Civil Wars, Shooter Jennings
Tell me more: "Southern Family" is the latest collection released through the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Spotlight Music program; the 12-track collection features a slew of fantastic recordings showcasing some of today's top-tier Americana and country music artists. Highlights (and there are many!) include John Paul White's affecting "Simple Song," Zac Brown's traditional country-mining "Grandma's Garden," Brandy Clark's beautiful "I Cried" and Jamey Johnson's self-penned acoustic gem "Mama's Table." In addition to the fine musical offerings, the collection comes with recipes from four of the artists (including John Paul White's Black Walnut Cake and Miranda Lambert's Mama's Meatloaf). Information: "Southern Family" is available exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations and online at

Artist: Malawi Mouse Boys
Title: Forever is 4 You (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Vusi Mahlasela's "Say Africa"
Tell me more: As infectious as it is exotic, Malawi-based group Malawi Mouse Boys' album Forever Is 4 You (set for release on April 8, 2016) has such a beautiful spirit it won't matter whether or not you understand the intoxicating Chichewa language used by the singers. Produced by Grammy winner Ian Brennan, Forever Is 4 You is the gospel group's third album release but marks the first time one of their discs has been released in the U.S. There is truly songs that are joyful ("Ndiyenda Nkuunika" which translates into "I Walk in the Light" and "Zikutamanda" meaning "It Is"). There are times when the material turns more melancholy (such as with the sparse "Ndatopa Nawe" meaning "I'm Tired of You"), but even there the spirit of the Malawi Mouse Boys shines through with pure elation. Information:

Purchase 'Forever Is 4 You' via Amazon

Robert Kinsler

1 comment:

newwavegeo said...

I think I'd really like some of the 'Southern Family' collection. I really need to obtain a copy.