30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (Deluxe Edition) is the Pick of the Week

New releases include Dylan tribute concert, Beck's first record in 6 years, Muscle Shoals documentary and soundtrack, and much more!
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This week sees new albums from a lot of artists I've heard of, but not really listened to and a Blu-ray upgrade to an old celebration of one of my very favorites.

In October of 1992 a virtual who's who of musicians gathered at Madison Square Garden to pay tribute to Bob Dylan releasing his very first Columbia Records album.  It was a sold-out show and live-cast to millions around the world.  

It seems crazy that the event took place more than twenty years ago, making the celebration more of a mid-career retrospective than a real looking-back bash.  Dylan has recorded numerous albums since then and some of his best songs.  It kind of makes me wish they'd put on another gig to celebrate this half of his incredible career.

I did not lay down my money for the pay-per-view at the time but I've since watched it and listened to it and while its not the greatest concert ever (too many changes to make it that) its still a terrific and eternally fascinating show.   The list of performers covering Dylan is as long as it is varied including Neil Young, Richie Havens, Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder, Rosanne Cash, Tom Petty and many, many more.  They played some of his biggest hits and some really obscure numbers.  

This deluxe edition sees the concert upgraded to High Definition for the very first time and includes a 39 minutes Behind the Scenes feature plus three performances that have never before been released  by John Mellencamp, Nancy Griffith and Booker T.  That's the Blu-ray version.  The CD only has been remastered and includes Sinead O'Connor singing "I Believe in You" and Eric Clapton doing "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright."

Every day is a good day to celebrate Bob Dylan.  In thirty years of music he changed the landscape of what music could be.  This shows was a wonderful celebration of the man and his music and its now my Pick of the Week.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

St. Vincent - St. Vincent:  I mentioned there were albums coming out this week by folks I've heard of but not really listened to.  Well here's the first one. I've heard at least part of Actor by her, but it didn't make enough of an impression for me to remember it.  But I keep hearing good things so I should probably give this a listen.

Muscle Shoals - Various Artists: Muscle Shoals, Alabama is responsible for creating some of the most important music over the last several decades.  Everyone from the Rolling Stones to Paul Simon, Bob Dylan to Lynrd Skynrd have recorded in that city.  A new documentary about the town and its legendary studio is out on DVD this week and so is its soundtrack.  It features songs from Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, The Staple Singers, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and more.

English Oceans - Drive-By-Truckers: I'm more familiar with former member Jason Isbell's solo work than I am with this band, but I dig him enough and I've heard enough good things about them to give this new one a shot.

Workbook 25 - Bob Mould:  I'm ashamed to say I've never really listened to Hüsker Dü.  They should have been right up my alt-rock alley back in the day, but for whatever reason   I never gave them a spin.  I did dig his very brief stint in the band Sugar, but lost track of them through his various solo albums.  Not long after Hüsker Dü's break-up in 1987 he released Workbook a collection of songs that is long since out-of-print and also highly regarded.  Its now being re-leased with some extra songs and a second disk of a live  performance by Mould in 1989.

Live from the Artists Den - Rufus Wainwright:  Another artist I should know better, but I don't.  This was first aired on PBS and consists of a concert recorded in May of 2012.  The disk includes five songs that were not broadcast.

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Various Artists:  The soundtracks to Wes Anderson films are always interesting.  This one includes a score by Alexandre Desplat and a bunch of traditional Russian folk songs.  

Overstep - Mike Gordon:  Phish's bass player goes solo.

Morning Phase - Beck:  I've never been able to get into Beck.  I can't quite put my finger on why but he's never really resonated with me in any meaningful way.