Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are best known for creating Captain America, but in the late '40s through the end of the '50s they helped pioneer romance comics. Most of the 21 stories in this great new book collection haven't been compiled before, and if you're not familiar with them, you're in for thrill after melodramatic thrill. My favorite: “Norma, Queen of the Hot Dogs.”
This overlooked band from Oberlin College released a handful of indie noise records starting in the mid '80s before disappearing. This terrific three-CD set collects their three albums – Star Booty, Umber, and Ben Hur – and adds some bonus cuts to fill in the pieces. The music hits harder now than it did then. It's heavy, complex, and downright brutal in its attack.
Michael Jackson: Immortal
Like the Beatles' Love, this album re-imagines and remixes some of Jackson's greatest hits for a Cirque du Soleil production. Unlike the Beatles' extravaganza, this one is more suited to the troupe's theatrical flips and trips. The dance jams (“Shake Your Body Down to the Ground,” “Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'”) get the biggest boosts, while the Jackson 5 medley, a highlight, bursts with fresh life.
Radiohead: The King of Limbs – From the Basement
Wanna see Thom Yorke break out in an epileptic dance fit right in your face? These intimate performances of songs from last year's The King of Limbs (plus a few extras) evolve as they progress, as the band adds layer after layer of sounds on top of electro-skeletal frames. It's a mesmerizing process, as the group and a few additional musicians find their way around these new tracks.
The Tuskegee Airmen, The Josephine Baker Story
Just in time for Black History Month comes the Blu-ray debuts of a pair of award-winning TV movies. Laurence Fishburne stars in 1995's The Tuskegee Airmen, telling the same story of black fighter pilots as the recent Red Tails. But it's way better. And Lynn Whitfield won a well-deserved Emmy for her lead role in the 1991 biopic about the American singer who became a hit in Paris in the '20s.