Friday, May 06, 2016

Sights and Sounds: 'Cop Rock,' 'Manhunter,' GRAMMY Museum program, Courtney Barnett, Goo Goo Dolls

After several long weekends of covering music in Indio (first Coachella, followed by Stagecoach), I'm actually looking forward to relaxing at home and taking in some entertainment from the comfort of my couch! Here is a roundup definitely geared toward taking in some music on the home front.

I'm highlighting several upcoming releases, as well as special live programs and TV appearances featured throughout the month of May 2016...

Cop Rock is finally coming to DVD on May 17, courtesy of Shout! Factory. All 10 episodes of the Steven Bochco 1990 series that blended police drama with rock-styled musical theater (including songs composed by Randy Newman), Cop Rock was truly episodic television ahead of its time. To quote the media release: "Cop Rock is finally on DVD - a cause for both celebration and a long-overdue reappraisal of a series that has been called one of the most unusual programs of all time."

Speaking of upcoming Shout! Factory releases, one of the best horror-thrillers of the 1980s, Manhunter (1986) is being released as a special Collector's Edition on Blu-ray on May 24, 2016.

Of special interest to music fans are some just-announced bonus features that focus on the music of the Michael Mann-directed film, including interviews with composer Michel Rubini, Barry Andrews (Shriekback), Rick Shaffer (The Reds), Gene Stashuk (Red 7), and Gary Putman (guitarist of the Prime Movers, whose song "Strong As I Am" is particularly memorable. Singer Gregory Markel's vocal performance ranks as one of rock's most compelling performances).


The GRAMMY Museum has announced a number of upcoming programs, including "Reel To Reel: CNN Original Series: The Eighties," where the Los Angeles museum will host an exclusive screening of the new episode "video Killed the Radio Star" at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18. The program is free.

The episode, "video Killed the Radio Star," delves into the advent of the digital revolution as MTV launched and audio CDs began to replace vinyl LPs. A panel discussion will follow the screening featuring journalist/filmmaker Nelson George and The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs.


Courtney Barnett / Photo: Danny Clinch
In other news, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett will be featured as the musical guest on the season finale of Saturday Night Live airing on May 21.

This will mark the first time Barnett will play on the popular NBC-TV show. The episode will be hosted by former "SNL" cast member Fred Armisen, who will close out the late-night franchise's 41st season.

Barnett was terrific when I caught her full set at Coachella last month. Her acclaimed album Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit deserves all of the accolades it has earned since its release in March 2015; the disc is out now on Mom+Pop Music.


Goo Goo Dolls' new album Boxes is out worldwide today via Warner Bros. Records. The album's first single, "So Alive," will be performed by the band on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on May 12. "So Alive" was the #1 most added song at Hot AC radio upon release, and is already charting at #23 and climbing every week. Information:

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