The summer movie season, packed with hype-cycle blockbusters each with their own exhausting marketing juggernauts, always feels longer than it actually is, so you wouldn't be blamed for forgetting that "The Hunger Games" really no kidding is a 2012 movie, released this March. It arrives on an extras-jammed double DVD and Blu-ray today. The first disk has the movie; the second is a raft of extras, including documentary pieces on author Suzanne Collins, a making-of documentary, a conversation between director Gary Ross and film critic Elvis Mitchell, and get this all of the Panem government propaganda film we saw only bits of in the finished movie. Expect this to move briskly, if not fly, off the shelves.
Los Lobos approaches its 40th anniversary as a band with a 20th anniversary edition of its well-regarded album "Kiko." The reissued CD will append demos and outtakes. Additionally, look for "Kiko Live," a separate CD, DVD and Blu-ray of the band's 2006 performance of "Kiko" in its entirety, along with interviews and other material.
I remain vexed as to why bands do this, but Kiss (via producer Bob Ezrin) has remixed "Destroyer" from the original tapes and re-released it as "Destroyer: Resurrected." Remastering is one thing — it can enhance a recording or be destructive. Remixing is something else entirely — you are changing the original feel of the record. So consider this an entirely new "Destroyer," I suppose. Kiss nerds, have at it.
Remember Bloc Party? It's been four years since their last album. The new one is their fourth, and it is called "Four." British soul band the Heavy — of the once-ubiquitous song "How You Like Me Now?" — releases their new album, "The Glorious Dead" today. Yeasayer's third album, "Fragrant World," appears today as well, as does hip-hop/R&B crossover dude Trey Songz's "Chapter V."
Look for pop act Owl City's "The Midsummer Station," once-lo-fi psychedelic indie oddballs Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti's "Mature Themes," guitarist Ry Cooder's "Election Special," country dude Dustin Lynch's "Dustin Lynch" and ex-Fear Factory outfit Sunflower Dead's self-titled album.
And in the department of Things That Might not be Quite as Erotic as Someone Imagined, steel yourself for "Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album," a CD of classical music selected by "Fifty Shades of Grey" author E.L. James. No, really.
You know who had a busy 2011 and 2012? Joe Posnanski. The sports writer announced in March 2011 he was writing a biography of Joe Paterno and was given extraordinary access to Penn State football's legendary head coach. Then, in November, "JoePa" went from a universally admired leader who picked up a Presidential Medal of Freedom to a man who may or may not have known about truly savage crimes going on in his facilities on his watch. "Paterno" is in stores now.
Also look for the door-stopping American edition of George Orwell's "Diaries," first published in the UK in 2009. Some of it is banal (there is a whole lot about the weather and gardening), some of it is Orwell-as-well-rendered-demos, thoughts about the state of the world that would go on to inform his most powerful work.
On a lighter note, Terry Brooks, author of roughly eight billion (OK, 20) books in the 35-year-old Shannara fantasy series, returns to the world he made with "Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara," which apparently takes place 100 years after his 2005 Shannara book, "Straken." Dude and his elves are unstoppable.
Contact Joe Gross at 912-5926