TOP PICK – CD
Jimi Hendrix: Winterland
The latest wave of Hendrix reissues includes a pair of DVD releases and two CD sets, including this four-disc box that collects songs from six shows Hendrix played in San Francisco in 1968. There's plenty of previously unreleased material on Winterland, as well as lots of repeated songs (hope you like “Purple Haze” – it's here four times). A detailed document of one of the guitar hero's most celebrated periods.
House: Season Seven
TV's crankiest doctor returned for his seventh season last year, and we're not sure that many people noticed. There's still plenty to like about this show (these five discs include all 23 episodes), especially Hugh Laurie's performance as the bitter, limping doc. He's pretty much settled into the role so deeply that House has become one of the TV's most well-rounded pricks.
Sunny Sweeney: Concrete
Country singer Sweeney returns from a four-year hiatus (and label limbo hell) with a slicker, more polished album than her debut. She's still got one of the most genuine Texas twangs you'll hear these days, which perfectly fits songs like “Drink Myself Single.” Best is “Staying's Worse Than Leaving,” the hook-filled first single that Sweeney had a hand in writing. Welcome back.
The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Second Season
TV's other vampire show – the one where they keep their clothes on most of the time – got deeper and sexier in its second season, with the 22 episodes biting deeper into the plight of vampire lover Elena. Yeah, lots of the same plot twists that show up in Twilight and True Blood are here, but we love bloodsuckers. Plus, werewolves invade during this season, making things even hairier.
Hank Williams: The Legend Begins
These three discs collect a bunch of pre-fame recordings by Williams, including some he made when he was 15. He was still honing his skills then, so don't expect much from them. But the radio shows offer a peek into post-war culture that sold country music alongside products like Hadacol, a medicine that contained a whopping 12 percent alcohol. No wonder Williams didn't stick around long.
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