Another Tuesday, another much-anticipated DVD set taking precedence over the week’s less-than-stupendous music lineup. (September’s almost here, guys, I promise.) Take a gander, if you’re brave:


Hot on the heels of Lily Allen, Duffy, Adele, and that Grammy-winning wack job Amy Winehouse, the new invasion of sassy Bri’ish females continues in earnest with This is the Life, the spacey debut record from 21-year-old Scottish lass Amy MacDonald. She’s already drawing comparisons to Kirsty MacColl and Regina Spektor (let’s hope like hell Ms. MacDonald pulls stronger karma from the former, as the Buzz wouldn’t wish the latter’s incoherent insanity on anybody) and raves aplenty, although I have a sneaky li’l sneaky that the American marketplace has finally reached its saturation point on foreign-based kitsch, and that without a solid radio hit, Life may end up slipping through the cracks.

This could be gut-wrenchingly bizarre, but it could also be mind-blowingly brilliant: legendary crooner Glen Campbell, returning to Capitol Records (for whom he recorded all of his ’60s and ’70s touchstones) after a three-decade span bouncing around the musical map, strips away the pomp and bombast in a painfully intimate search for the heart of his artistry and resurfaces with Meet Glen Campbell, a covers project in which he offers his take on familiar material from the likes of Travis (“Sing”), John Lennon (a version of “Grow Old With Me” which I hereby predict won’t even approach Mary Chapin Carpenter’s shattering 1995 cover of same), U2 (Rattle and Hum‘s tender closer “All I Want is You”), and Green Day (a ballsy attempt at their iconic smash “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” this set’s first radio single). The inspiration for this album was clearly 12 Songs, the shockingly spectacular 2005 comeback record from Neil Diamond; only time will tell if Campbell, now 72, can capture a similar bolt of lightning in a bottle.

Last fall brought us a terrific best-of set from one of contemporary rock’s most dependable bands, The Goo Goo Dolls, and this week, they follow up with Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, a twenty-two track compilation of b-sides, rarities, and concert performances (including the original demo for their 1998 megasmash “Iris” and a rollicking live cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl”) which comes bundled with a bonus DVD containing all seventeen of their music videos.

If there’s one genre of television to which I’ll gladly surrender my heart time and again, it’s most certainly the teen drama, and while it may dishearten you to become aware that I am this cheap a date, the fact remains: so long as the guys are cute, the situations are trashy, and the angst-ridden melodramatics are off the charts, you can count me in every shot out of the gate. And from “Party of Five” and “90210” (can’t wait to see what the remake looks like when it debuts in two weeks!) to “Dawson’s Creek” and “Felicity” (still the genre’s gold standard, as far as I’m concerned; of all those young men the WB made superstars out of, none was cuter than the delirium-inducing Scott Speedman, whose devilishly divine Canadian accent — try as he might to wrestle it into submission — only served to send me further into catatonic bliss) to “The O.C.” and “One Tree Hill” (whose fifth season arrives on DVD next Tuesday, and whose previous four seasons are each on sale for under twenty bucks at Best Buy this week), I’ve been intimate with all of them.


And this week brings us the DVD debut of this television niche’s latest craze, as the abbreviated first season of the CW’s buzz magnet Gossip Girl arrives. I couldn’t be more thrilled about this, because — owing to a secret crush on Margaret Colin, the original Margo Montgomery Hughes on “As the World Turns,” and despite my general dislike of Kristen Bell, whose eternal crankiness on “Veronica Mars” never failed to rub me the wrong way — I became a massive fan of this series (and its preternaturally gorgeous acting company) when it debuted last fall, until the debilitating writers’ strike derailed the show’s increasing momentum. When the strike wrapped in the spring, I completely lost the thread on both this and “One Tree Hill,” which the CW paired off on Monday nights in an attempt to bolster sagging ratings and counterprogram against CBS’ older-skewing comedy lineup. Once upon a time, I would openly make fun of folks who would complain about not being able to find their favorite television shows after such a schedule shift, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t slip my mind every single week that “Gossip Girl” no longer aired on Tuesdays once it returned to the air in April with fresh episodes. (It would generally occur to me either five minutes past nine on Monday nights, or worse, some time the next morning, that I had missed my damn shows yet again, and I would curse myself for being an idiot, only to helplessly watch the cruel cycle repeat itself the following week.)


The “Gossip Girl” / “One Tree Hill” combo returns to the air the first week of September with their megahyped season premieres (I swear I’ve got it tattooed on my brain now!), and thanks to this new DVD set, I should be all up to speed by then. And if you’re in the market for some good, sordid fun, you will be as well.


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