· Another in-depth DVD worth searching for was recently released by Chrome Dreams Media, in Syd Barrett Under Review: An Independent Critical Analysis. Not authorized by members of Barrett's family, Pink Floyd, or any of the record companies involved, the legendary tale of acid rock's original lost boy is told by a host of music writers from the early days of Melody Maker to the current staffs of Uncut and Mojo, mixed with rare black and white footage, live performances, and early interviews. From Pink Floyd's debut album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn (originally meant to be titled Projection) to his solo albums, Barrett's talent and psyche are examined by this host of storytellers, each reaching into the mystery of his collapse and eventual seclusion.
· This coming Tuesday, seven different record labels shake hands and salute Roy Orbison by authorizing 40 songs from the entire length of his career to create a new two-CD retrospective, The Essential Roy Orbison. Starting in 1956 with his "Ooby Dooby" debut on Sun Records, through his classic Monument Records years, and into his 1980s duets with Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris, even Def Jam Records contributes a nice selection in "Life Fades Away," from 1987's Less Than Zero soundtrack. Next month, Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will unveil an expansive Orbison exhibit, celebrating the 50-year milestone of that first single. And I'm all for the efforts of Roy's widow, Barbara Orbison, driving fans to sign an online petition to the United States Postal Service that they issue a commemorative stamp in his honor. If you're in the mood to cast your approval for other worthy postage-stamp candidates, the Web sites of Bobby Darin and Bill Monroe are also mounting campaigns for the prestige.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Sarah McLachlan on Thursday and Neko Case on Friday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Willie Nelson on Tuesday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien boasts Nada Surf on Friday overnight, The Hold Steady on Monday overnight and Richard Ashcroft on Tuesday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson features David Gray this evening overnight and The New Cars on Monday overnight; and Austin City Limits presents Damien Rice this weekend.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, March 28:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.
Boy Sets Fire - The Misery Index: Notes From the Plague Years (Equal Vision)
Shawn Camp - Fireball (Skeeter Bit Records) guitar fireworks and runaway country boogie from this Nashville singer/songwriter who's supplied many stars with great songs
The Concretes - In Colour (Astralwerks)
J DiMenna - Awkward Building (Exotic Recordings) terrific debut from this talented, multi-instrumental songwriter
Disaster Strikes - Liberty Toast (Alternative Tentacles) political punk fronted by union organizer J.R. Geoff Farina - Already Told You (Southern) CD EP from the former Karate member
Fell - Fell (Camera Obscura) new side project of Phineas Gage's Josh Wambeke
Five Deez - Kommunicator (Rapster) spacey, earthy, and mad rolling, this collective hip-hop from Cincinnati is boom-bappin' under the production of MC Fat Jon, dripping a little Kraftwerk, MC 900 ft Jesus and Steely Dan vibe into his mental peanut butter
Franz Ferdinand - "The Fallen" (Domino) new double-seven inch and CD single
Guariro - "Lo Siento" (Achala) excellent five-track CD EP of aggressive bi-lingual anthem punk, bristling with old-school chops
Just a Fire - Spanish Time (Sick Room) featuring current and former members of June of 44, Hoover, and Sweep the Leg Johnny
Knights of the New Crusade - Knight Beat (Alternative Tentacles)
Ligeia - Your Ghost Is a Gift (Ferret Music) produced by Ken Susi of Unearth
Lokbra - Army of Soundwaves (Lucid) set up the light show - my pick of the week is this Haight-Ashbury sound from an Icelandic quartet - swirling in space-journey jams and spooky white boy soul like a spinning Grateful Dead dancer tripping to chipper British invasion melodies, the Stranglers, Jane's Addiction, and the Verve
Massive Attack - Collected (Virgin) import-only two-CD best of
The Police - Everybody Stares: The Police Inside Out (A&M) DVD of archival footage collected by drummer Stewart Copeland
Red Animal War - Seven Year War (End Songs) collection of rarities, out-of-print seven-inch singles, and new cinematic punk from Grand Prairie, Texas
Otis Rush - Otis Rush & Friends: Live at Montreaux 1986 (Eagle Rock) with guests Eric Clapton and Luther Allison; also available on DVD
Janis Siegel - A Thousand Beautiful Things (Telarc) known best as one quarter of the Manhattan Transfer, her new CD features her interpretations of Suzanne Vega's "Caramel," Bjork's "Hidden Place," and the Annie Lennox-penned title track
SoCalled - The SoCalled Seder (JDub) with guests Matisyahu and Killah Priest
Wizardzz - Hidden City of Taurmond (Load) new side project from Brian Gibson of Lightning Bolt
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones (Interscope) produced by Squeak E Clean, and featuring the single "Gold Lion"
Rob Zombie - Educated Horses (Geffen) with guest drummers Josh Freese and Tommy Lee