the Buzz for August 11th, 2008



While the industry gears up for fall, the typical August doldrums are in full swing, as evidenced by this week’s threadbare music lineup, but take heart: with a “new” Eva Cassidy album due at the end of the month, the sophomore record from Jon McLaughlin (one of last year’s most intriguing (and gorgeous) newcomers), an official live recording of Tori Amos’ historic early-’90s appearances at the Montreaux Jazz Festival (the bootlegs of which have been long-treasured amongst Amos’ rabid faithful), and breathlessly anticipated efforts from Ray LaMontagne, Annie Lennox (via a just-announced best-of set dotted with new songs), Michelle Branch, Whitney Houston, U2, James Taylor, Lee Ann Womack, and Oasis in the pipeline, autumn 2008 promises to be astonishing. All we gotta do is get there.


Easily the funniest and most enjoyable of the largely lamentable sitcoms that occupied the plum real estate following “Seinfeld” during the latter half of the ’90s (though — full disclosure and all — the opening episodes of “Veronica’s Closet” had their share of hilarious highlights, methought), Caroline in the City: The First Season lands on DVD this fine week. Starring Lea Thompson as the titular character, a cartoonist looking for love and laughs in the Big Apple, the series featured invaluable supporting turns from Amy Pietz (as Caroline’s best friend Annie, a dancer in the chorus of Cats) and Malcolm Gets (as Caroline’s illustrator Richard, a buttoned-up bundle of natty neuroses), and though I’m not sure there was a pent-up demand for this release — the show is hardly regarded as a beloved classic, even by those of us who were fans — I’ll be buying it anyway, if only to own a crisp, clear copy of the uproarious 1996 episode in which the priceless Elizabeth Ashley (whose brilliantly fiery dialogue delivery singlehandedly makes last month’s first-season DVD set of “Evening Shade” a worthwhile purchase) shows up and wreaks havoc as Richard’s outlandish mother. If you ever saw it, you know damn well why I’ll never again think of the state of Utah without smiling.