since s.a. is laid up and layed out we have spent the greater part of this downtime wearing out the dvd player. anything and everything, movies and music viddys, rentals and backlog stuff, (goddamn wal-mart bargain bin), we watch it all. not that we ever watch regular tv at all anyways, other than news, the history channel and all the movie spots, it seems like t.v. really is a vast wasteland, now more than ever. so it is really great to have a substantial library to pick something that hasn't been viewed in awhile or been seen enuff. we're diggin' 'napolean dynamite' right now 'cos it falls in the latter catagory and we always love movies where the loser prevails. and 'cos it is just so damn funny . . .
when shopping we usually buy every music dvd we can find that we don't have, within reason, and lately have amassed quite a few great concert dvds.
here are a few of the goodies:
t.rex - born to boogie: this has finally made it to dvd, and it was worth the wait. ringo directed this semi-concert movie at the height of british t.rex-tasy in 1972, when all of england was abuzz about marc bolan. besides the restored movie, the extras include a making of documentary featuring marc's son, rolan bolan, interviewing all the parties guilty for the movie. it also contains both concert shows in entirety from march 18th, 1972 at wembley. it's a very heady package indeed.
the movie itself is a strange concoction of concert footage, fellini like surrealism, (ringo driving a car in a rat costume, while bolan babbles incoherently next to him), mtv-style segments, (a very good clip of 'children of the revolution', with ringo on drums and sir elton, doing his best dead-on jerry lee, playing pianny), and a strange picnic skit that has to be seen. this is still a very strange movie and it is easy to see why it went over the head of all those teeny-boppers when initially released. the concerts are fun to watch just for the mania that surrounded t.rex, it really is like the final scene of 'a hard days night'.
elvis costello - club date-live in memphis: i first saw elvis costello at 'jed's', a small club in uptown new orleans late 1977. it was a wild, chaotic show that drew all of the 200 punks in the city, (it was free!). it was the 1st tour with his soon-be-long-standing band, the attractions and elvis was still working on the edginess that would power the band during the next few years and lp's.
this dvd has all the power of the early days. elvis and the imposters, (steve nieve on keys and pete thomas on drums, holdovers from the attractions, along with newly added bassist davey faragher, who fits in very well), are unbelievably tight as they wheel around songs from every era of costello's long and productive career. the atmosphere of the little club in memphis is electric. from the opening assault of 'waiting for the end of the world' the set bobs and weaves around cuts from the album 'the delivery man', throwing in odd covers, (there's a blistering rendition of dave bartholomew's 'the monkey'), and a 5 song duet with emmylou harris that balances out everything nicely.
the real kicker here is the extras. the documentary 'off the beaten path' is an hour long trip with elvis, pete thomas and a hi-jacked pink caddie taxi from memphis into the mississippi delta. they hit all the legendary stops, tupelo, oxford and clarksdale, with elvis buying clothes and guitars in 2nd hand shops, and playing acoustic on the king biscuit radio show.
overall a very enjoyable trip with elvis exploring the roots . . . and the concert was good too!
the jimi hendrix experience - electric ladyland: i reluctantly bought this, thinking it would just be an overview of the album. imagine my surprise when this turned out to be one helluva documentary about the making of the landmark lp. all the regular suspects appear, jimi's engineer, eddie kramer, band members mitch mitchell and noel redding, manager and ex-animal chas chandler, jack cassidy, buddy miles and stevie winwood, who played on the album, very impressive. the film contains a lot of stuff that i had never seen or heard, old clips, remixes and photos. the joy of it is in the de-construction of each song. kramer is great as he flips the faders up and down on the console, explaining some of the high points of the lp. even noel redding is on board, sharing his home movies of the band on tour and memories of the recording, (he quit the band near the end of the sessions to form that no-hit wonder band, 'fat matress', remember them?).
for the money, this is one great deal. no extras, but the dvd itself is a goldmine for all hendrix fans, showing how influential and timeless his music will always be.
some other good rock dvd's out now . . .
eric clapton - sessions for robert j.
(eric's video ode to robert johnson, (a companion piece to his r.j. tribute cd's), with a killer band, including one billy preston on keys, and showing how the blues should be done)
the doors - live in europe:1968
(footage from the '68 tour with the jefferson airplane, many great moments with some scattershot commentary by grace slick and paul kanter, nice job this!)
crosby, stills and nash (and sometimes young) - long time coming
(excellent overview, and some wonderful old clips of the buffalo springfield and the byrds thrown in for good measure)
and here are some mp3s i ripped from the aforementioned dvd's (via yousendit for the next few days):
t.rex - jeepster (wembley 03-18-72 2nd show)
elvis costello and the imposters - waiting for the end of the world/radio radio (hi-tone club memphis 09-17-04)
the jimi hendrix experience - 1983 (alternative mix)
from the radio series 'the jimi hendrix story'