Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains
This little-seen movie barely made it into theaters in 1981, so it's no surprise that it never received a proper home-video release. Stains follows a female punk-rock band (led by a sneering Diane Lane) that flirts with fame and fights with its tourmates, a group featuring members of the Sex Pistols and the Clash. The DVD debut includes commentary by Lane, co-star Laura Dern and director Lou Adler, Cisco's equally obnoxious dad. BOOK
Best Music Writing 2008
With so many blogs, magazines and websites dedicated to music, it's tough keeping up with everything. This annual offering pulls together some of the year's best essays, profiles and reviews. Writers from The New York Times, Pitchfork and Blender weigh in on everything from Norwegian black-metal band Dimmu Borgir to aging hip-hoppers Wu-Tang Clan to a look at modern-day disco in an amusing article titled "Gayest. Music. Ever." CD
The Best of Bob Dylan's Theme
Time Radio Hour Volume 2
Dylan's weekly satellite-radio program is one of the best on the air … and one of the weirdest. Each week, the venerable singer-songwriter picks a single theme (like, say, tears or trains), spins some related songs by his favorite artists (Hank Williams, Little Richard) and talks about them, often punctuating with jokey asides or surreal musings. This two-disc set gathers more than 50 cuts by such pop, R&B and country pioneers as Buddy Holly, Howlin' Wolf and Johnny Cash.
Love was one of the '60s greatest burnouts. Always a bigger hit with critics than with listeners, the Los Angeles rockers recorded a pair of moderate-selling albums before freaking out on 1967's Forever Changes, a hippie milestone. This tidy documentary includes interviews with most of the band's original members - troubled frontman Arthur Lee died shortly after he filmed his segments - and manages to pull together some revealing, if occasionally hazy, recollections of the era.
Ponytail: Ice Cream Spiritual
(We Are Free)
These Baltimore noisemakers create an awesome racket on their second album, blending room-filling guitar blasts with howls, screams, moans and the occasional one-syllable exclamation. Ponytail is an art-rock band, but there's melody hiding out in these caterwauling grooves. And on standout cuts like "Celebrate the Body Electric (It Came From an Angel)," seven glorious minutes are turned inside out as the band searches for footing.