Top Picks: Jeff Bridges's CD, dinosaurs on Discovery Channel, 'Everything Must Go' DVD, and more
Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges releases first CD, 'Dinosaur Revolution' on Discovery introduces new species, Will Ferrell comedy 'Everything Must Go' comes out on DVD, and more top picks.
Dinosaur Revolution is a two-part, four-hour look at the latest lore about the largest beasts ever to wander this planet. Peppered with state-of-the-art graphics, this Discovery Channel journey features brilliantly colored creatures more akin to birds than reptiles and the show introduces new species, such as a Jurassic squirrel and a frog big enough to eat, well, a dinosaur. Debuts Sept. 4 at 9 p.m.
Sony Classical continues its archival masterwork releases with four Verdi classics. Remastered from the broadcast series, now available for the first time on CD: Don Carlo (1964), Il Trovatore (1961), Rigoletto (1964), and Un Ballo in Maschera (1955). The broadcasts feature such luminous voices as Leontyne Price, Robert Merrill, and Marian Anderson.
The Dude sings
Jeff Bridges has always been a musician. So he wasn't acting when he entered the recording studio a year after his Oscar-winning performance as world-weary country singer Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart." The music on his self-titled album is much like the Jeff Bridges we all know and love – honest, soulful, and very, very laid-back. Helmed by superproducer T Bone Burnett, Jeff Bridges features a who's who of tasteful players, and, while breaking no new ground, casts a most agreeable spell.
How to beat the heat? Try a new batch of songs from Fountains of Wayne, of course. Sky Full of Holes finds them still turning out wry three-minute gems, though our beloved quipsters of the quotidian are in a mellower mood. Thankfully, the whoa-oh-oh harmonies and hand claps stay intact. As with every Fountains disc, it's hard to believe they're not dominating singles charts with such delightful power-pop confections. Maybe this will be the one.
Don't be misled by the downbeat title of Eilen Jewell's new album. Queen of the Minor Key includes several torch songs – each one seared by Jewell's jazzy voice – but it's mostly up-tempo country, folk, and rock 'n' roll. Jewell injects sassy swing by employing a double bass that thrums like a power line, drums that gallop like wild horses, and guitars that twang in a "surf rockabilly" style. All hail the new queen of roots-rock royalty.
Life on the front lawn
Will Ferrell abandons comedy to take a turn for the serious in Everything Must Go, now out on DVD. He plays a salesman who has lost his job and whose wife throws all his stuff on the lawn, leaving him to decide what to do with his life – and his stuff. It may not be a cheerful film, but it is strangely inspiring.