John Fogerty, The Long Road Home: In Concert (Fantasy)
Given John Fogerty's long recording absences and sometimes prickly public persona, it's been easy to forget the fact that the former Credence Clearwater Revival front man remains one of the most significant singer-songwriters of the past half century. A video companion to last year's first-ever career-spanning best-of CD, The Long Road Home, is a further attempt to remind us of that fact, as he works through 26 of his greatest hits. Shot during a performance at Los Angeles's Wiltern Theatre last September and helmed by Martyn Atkins (the director also responsible for Tom Petty's live-at-the-Filmore flick High Grass Dogs  and 2005's stellar Cream reunion DVD), the 105-minute concert captures Fogerty in fine form, as he seamlessly segues between CCR and solo classics. The track list itself is testament to the enduring power of the man's songbook, which ranges from familiar FM standards like "Proud Mary" to catalog chestnuts like "Rockin' All Over the World" through to newly penned gems like "Déjà Vu All Over Again." Fogerty hammers home each, playing and singing with a vigor that belies 60-plus years and reminds us that he remains a living, breathing rock-and-roll institution. — Bob Bozorgmehr
Most people are familiar with the eight seasons Bill Cosby spent as Dr. Cliff Huxtable, dispensing life lessons to Rudy and Theo while wearing sweaters that looked like Jackson Pollock canvases. That was The Cosby Show, an early staple of NBC's Must-See TV Thursdays and the series that revived the sitcom, not to mention the network on which it appeared. But The Bill Cosby Show was something different. Coming on the heels of his Emmy-winning turn as Alexander Scott in I Spy, Cosby's first sitcom (which ran from 1969 to 1971) bears no resemblance to his second take on the form. Collected here on four discs, the first season of The Bill Cosby Show plays more like Seinfeld, with Cosby's Chet Kincaid, a gym teacher at an L.A. high school, finding himself in a somewhat simple situation that spirals out of control by the time the end credits roll. It was ahead of its time in many ways, eschewing a laugh track and not shying away from real-life problems. It wasn't his biggest success, but as these episodes show, maybe it should have been. — Zac Crain
We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (Plexifilm)
Among the myriad music documentaries that have emerged in the past few years, none is as welcome or affecting as this film about San Pedro, California, proletariat punks the Minutemen. Director Tim Irwin and producer Keith Schieron have managed to capture the everyman essence that propelled late guitarist D. Boon, bassist Mike Watt, and drummer George Hurley from their humble blue-collar beginnings ("we're just dudes from Pedro") to becoming arguably the most respected and creatively ambitious band to emerge from the '80s American indie underground (a period documented thoroughly in Michael Azerrad's 2001 book, Our Band Could Be Your Life - the title of which comes from a Minutemen lyric). Built around Watt's and Hurley's narrative, as well as on archival band footage and new interviews with fans, friends, and fellow musicians (including Richard Hell, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, and Black Flag's Henry Rollins), the film charts an incredible run of albums and live performances that the band produced during its all-too-brief five-year career. At its core, the Minutemen tale is a kind of love story, a Damon and Pythias friendship forged between Watt and Boon, who met as teenagers and used music as a means to both celebrate and transcend their bleak working-class environs until it all ended suddenly and tragically with Boon's death in a 1985 auto accident. This two-disc set is loaded with a variety of bonus material, including deleted scenes and promo videos. But particularly welcome is a trio of complete live shows, including the band's notorious 1980 gig at L.A.'s Starwood club. Truly essential viewing. — B.B.