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Mission of Burma's latest made to be played loudly

Joe Gross, The Stuff

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Mission of Burma's 'Unsound' is their fourth since re-forming in 2003.

The folks in the band Mission of Burma have been a group the second time around far longer than the first, a brief period from 1979 to 1983 during which they released a couple of the best albums the American underground ever spit forth. Their excellent new record, "Unsound" (Fire), their fourth since the band re-formed in 2003, features tough, intelligent, post-punk rock music about adults and designed to be played loud by them. It will therefore probably sell about three copies.

The week after July Fourth is not particularly big for high-profile releases. Former System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian emerges with "Harakiri" (Serjical Strike/Reprise).

New Wave/ska titans the English Beat's three studio albums have been collected as "The Complete Beat" (Shout! Factory) complete with bonus tracks, a DVD and a disc of 12-inch mixes and Peel sessions.

Speaking of box sets, check out "Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection," a 150-page coffee table book with three CDs containing 57 tracks: a bunch of classics, 21 unreleased performances and six never-before-heard songs, including recordings from 1937.

On the DVD and Blu-ray front, classic rock fans are likely to dig the expanded version of "Jimi Plays Berkeley," which documents Hendrix shows at the Berkeley Community Theatre from May 30, 1970. This editions contains previously unseen performances of such stunners as "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and "Machine Gun."

They also can check out Austin residents Robert Plant and Patty Griffin (the latter as a member of the Band of Joy) on the DVD "Live From The Artists Den," a concert film from their tour. Look for such rebooted Zeppelin songs as "Black Dog," "Houses of the Holy" and "Tangerine," the Richard and Linda Thompson tune "House of Cards" and far more. Their 2010 show at Stubb's was just tremendous, and this looks to be much the same material.

The excellent mixed martial arts documentary "Fightville," one of the best docs of any type I've seen in the past few years, comes to Blu-ray today, while the strange and oddly wonderful cartoon "Adventure Time: Complete First Season" comes to DVD.

"Shadow of Night," the second book in history professor and fantasy phenomenon Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy hits shelves today, as does Yale law professor and novelist Stephen L. Carter's alternate history yarn "The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln."

Basketball fans will dig Jack McCallum's "Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever."

The shockingly well-titled "Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History" comes to us courtesy of Ben Mezrich, who wrote "Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook." You can practically see the screenplay about the true story of a NASA intern's attempt to steal moon rocks from a vault form before your eyes. It's your call as to whether that is good or bad.

Contact Joe Gross at or 912-5926