July Offers an Eclectic Celebration of Rock

by Robert Kinsler

From the ’50s rock ‘n’ roll-minded cult classic flick “Daddy-O” featured on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and a stunning look back at The Rolling Stones to the final release from power-pop champions The Knack and an ambitious look at the Continental Drifters, July has racked up an eclectic wealth of sonic riches.

rolling-stones_HydeParkArtist: The Rolling Stones
Title: From the Vault – Hyde Park Live 1969 (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: The Rolling Stones, Mick Taylor, Keith Richards

Tell me more: While the release of The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault: The Marquee – Live in 1971″ earlier this summer captured the band performing at an intimate club in 1971, the new “From the Vault – Hyde Park Live 1969” (available on DVD and Blu-ray) features the same stellar Stones line-up of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman in their first public performance together.

Captured at London’s Hyde Park on July 5, 1969 (and only two days after the death of former Stones guitarist Brian Jones), the concert also marked the Rolling Stones’ first full-length concert appearance in two years. “From the Vault – Hyde Park Live 1969” is more than a concert, offering up the full 8-song set along with fascinating crowd footage (look closely and you can catch Paul McCartney), interviews with a young Mick Jagger and the debut of young lead guitar great Mick Taylor. A fascinating and essential moment in the Rolling Stones’ impressive career.  Information: eagle-rock.com.

mystery-science-theater-xxxiiiDVD Title: Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXIII (Shout! Factory)
You might like if you enjoy: Mystery Science Theater 3000, Svengoolie

Tell me more: What possible reason would compel any sane person to watch “Daddy-O,” an awful 1958 movie that somehow tapped into the explosion of early rock ‘n’ roll and hot rod culture while getting it all horribly wrong. Look no further than the first of four must-see films skewered on the newly-released “Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXIII” collection. On “Daddy-O,” aspiring rock singer Phil “Daddy-O” Sandifer (played by singer-actor Dick Contino) somehow is able to pick up on girls, get pulled into a drug-running scheme and lose his best friend thanks to a solid story that somehow never flies on film. The most noteworthy aspect of the movie itself is that it provided young composer John Williams with his first-ever feature film score, while Joel and his two bots are able to entertain via their sharp-witted zingers and commentary. The other three films that get a well-deserved Satellite of Love treatment include “Earth Vs. The Spider,” “Teen-Age Crime Wave” and “Agent for H.A.R.M.” Information: shoutfactory.com.

the-knack_funhouseArtist: The Knack
Title: Live From the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun House (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: The Knack, Fountains of Wayne

Tell me more: Providing the final chapter in The Knack’s long and acclaimed career, 2001’s “Live from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun House” has been lovingly reissued and expanded courtesy of Omnivore Recordings. While the 17-song set includes the Los Angeles-based quartet’s biggest hits (“That’s What the Little Girls Do,” “Good Girls Don’t” “My Sharona”), the high-octane performance also shines via career-spanning material including the melodic “Can I Borrow a Kiss,” driving “Pop Is Dead” and the set-ending rollicking medley of “Tequila”/”Break On Through.”

Sadly, “Live From the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun House” would mark The Knack’s final release; lead singer-rhythm guitarist Doug Fieger died after a long battle with cancer on Feb. 14, 2010. Information: omnivorerecordings.com.

continental-drifters_driftedArtist: Continental Drifters
Title: Drifted: In The Beginning & Beyond (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Dawes, the dB’s, the Jayhawks

Tell me more: The two-disc Continental Drifters compilation “Drifted: In The Beginning & Beyond” is astounding, with the Americana-styled collective’s early course captured perfectly via a number of sweet demos, alternate tracks, live recordings and more. Featuring a number of talented members over the decade-long history of the group, the far-flung material ranges from the rousing folk rock-tinged “Who We Are, Where We Live” (featuring Vicki Peterson’s strong soprano) and Southern rocker “Side Steppin’ the Fire” to a freewheeling take on Gram Parsons’ “A Song For You” (featuring Peter Holsapple and Susan Cowsill providing lead and harmony vocals) and harmony-filled enthralling take on Neil Young’s wonderful “When You Dance I Can Really Love.”

The one bond that magically binds all the material across the 33-track collection is the strength of song craft and gifted touch used by the musicians to bring these songs to life. Information: omnivorerecordings.com.

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