Wednesday, November 23, 2016

DVD gift guide: Peter Gabriel, MST3K, Santana IV, Iggy Pop, Gregory Porter

With the holidays fast approaching, there is simply no time like the present to begin thinking about great DVD titles to give as gifts  or to put on your own wish list for the season!

Artist: Peter Gabriel
Title: Still Growing Up + Live & Unwrapped (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Tell me more: The two-disc DVD release "Still Growing Up + Live & Unwrapped" features groundbreaking rock artist Peter Gabriel  in the early '00s performing some of his most treasured material. Still Growing Up boasts a wonderful full-length concert in Belgium that showcases incredibly powerful versions of "Red Rain," "Secret World," "San Jacinto" and "Digging in the Dirt." Bonus material on that title includes early studio footage of Gabriel and his band performing "Darkness," "No Way Out" and "Growing Up" ahead of the then-forthcoming 2002 "Growing Up Live" tour, as well as Gabriel appearing live on the BBC show "Later...with Jools Holland" playing "Downside Up" and "Father, Son." Information:

Title: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XXXVII (Shout! Factory)
Tell me more: One of the most unique and groundbreaking shows in the history of television, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is celebrated via the latest DVD box set ("Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XXXVII") featuring four previously-unreleased episodes. For 11 wonderful years MST3K somehow blended science fiction, comedy, pop culture and music together with aplomb in an unadulterated celebration of terrible moviemaking. Take "Escape 2000," an early '80s low-budget Italian film that allowed ample chances for the crew of the Satellite of Love to reference everything from Ziggy Stardust, the Talking Heads and "Purple Rain" to the Kinks, Eddie Money and Ringo Starr. Across the four movies, many of the crew's riffs are even sung. The latest MST3K set also features the '60s hot rod/rock 'n' roll film "The Horror of Party Beach," as well as "The Human Duplicators" and "Invasion of the Neptune Men." Information:

Artist: Santana IV
Title: Live at the House of Blues, Las Vegas (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Tell me more: A few weeks before the classic late '60s/early '70s lineup of Santana released their much-anticipated reunion album Santana IV album in April 2016, the group performed a special concert at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. The lineup of guitarist Carlos Santana, guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardist-lead vocalist Gregg Rolie, drummer Michael Shrieve, congas player Michael Carabello and several other players shine across the new concert film Live at the House of Blues, Las Vegas. Those who love that troupe's blend of heavy grooves and percussion get that from the get go with Shrieve, Carabello and percussionist Karl Perazzo offering up dynamic rhythmic interplay on "Soul Sacrifice" and follow-up "Jingo" with Santana layering the proceedings with his Latin-flavored lead guitar work. An extended version of the rock staple "Evil Ways" features all sides of the sweet-sounding ensemble with Rolie delivering his distinctive vocals and strong work on the keyboards while Santana and Schon (of Journey fame) trade blistering lead guitar work. Among the strongest tracks are the breezy "Anywhere You Want to Go," tandem-guitar propelled "Choo Choo" and dynamic freewheeling "No One to Depend On." The DVD includes a revealing interview with the band. Information:

Artist: Iggy Pop
Title: Post Pop Depression: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Tell me more: Filmed on the heels of the release of his acclaimed Post Pop Depression collaboration with Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme recorded mostly at Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, the newly released concert film and companion audio recording Post Pop Depression: Live at the Royal Albert Hall delivers on Iggy Pop's powerful blend of hard rock, punk and alt rock via a 22-song performance in front of an adoring crowd. In addition to potent new material (particularly the guitar-heavy "Gardenia"), Pop and his excellent band (including Homme) play bona fide classics including a remarkably tender take on "China Girl" and propulsive "Lust for Life" (the latter two which he co-wrote with the late David Bowie).  "Post Pop Depression" is available on DVD+2CD, Blu-ray+2CD and via digital formats. Information:

Artist: Gregory Porter
Title: Live in Berlin (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Tell me more: An amazing vocalist and top-tier songwriter, Grammy winner Gregory Porter's jazz-meets-soul style is displayed across the wonderful Live in Berlin (released Nov. 25, 2016). Backed by a sterling four-man band, the concert features the memorable blue-tinged jazz ballad "Hey Laura," uptempo medley "On My Way to Harlem / What's Going On" and rousing R&B tribute to his son "Don't Lose Your Steam." A singer able to sing with technical skill and emotional depth free of cliche, Porter is able to bring his life experiences, world issues and family ties brilliantly into song. The film features all of the songs featured on the accompanying audio CDs, with Porter providing narrative asides on the stories behind most of the tracks. Live in Berlin is available on DVD+2CD, Blu-ray+2CD and via digital formats. Information: and

Robert Kinsler

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