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Tuesday, September 28 2010

‘Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire’ Is Presented With a Naked, Visual Immediacy

Gorgeous cinematography, resonant audio quality and reverent intimacy combine with stunning live concert performances and candid off-stage sequences to show Cohen at the peak of his popularity and the top of his game.

Seems Some Detours Were Taken In ‘Jackson Browne: Going Home’

Like so many artists who came into their own in the '70s (Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young), Browne couldn’t figure out the post-new wave Reagan years.

Sunday, September 12 2010

‘The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles’: A Generational Divide

More than 'just' the Beatles, it’s worth sitting through every second of every show to pretend you were there when it really happened, to see what entertainment and advertising were like in a bygone era and why a band singing about holding hands hit the country like an A-bomb.

Tuesday, July 13 2010

Black Sabbath: Classic Albums: Paranoid

Black Sabbath's classic second album is given a throrough dissection on one of the best releases in the Classic Albums series.

Thursday, June 17 2010

‘You Really Got Me’ Really, Really Got to Me

This utterly abominable hatchet job makes an unforgivable hash of one of the great bands of the British Invasion.

Wednesday, June 2 2010

Clutch: Live at the 9:30—You Won’t Hear a More ‘Fluid’ Live Show Than This

Featuring a performance of their first album, Clutch's latest live DVD is a guaranteed fan pleaser.

Tuesday, May 25 2010

Tupac Appears at the House of Blues, Briefly

Celebrating Death Row Records’ heyday of success and hedonism rather than the performance talents of Tupac Shakur, Tupac: Live at the House of Blues is a concert film that leaves a lot to be desired.

Thursday, May 6 2010

No One Has Ever Done Anything as Well as John Coltrane Played the Saxophone

If there is any artist worthy of celebration in our contemporary American Idol Apocalypse, John Coltrane should serve as both antidote and inspiration.

Wednesday, April 28 2010

In Search of Beethoven

Director Phil Grabsky has skillfully interwoven Beethoven’s personal life with his musical life to create an illuminating study of a genius.

Thursday, April 15 2010

Solos, the Jazz Sessions - Andrew Hill / Gonzalo Rubalcaba / Lee Konitz

With his circling hi-def cameras, colored lighting, and dramatic angles, Daniel K. Berman has given some great jazz the royal treatment.

Sunday, April 4 2010

T.A.M.I. Show Collector’s Edition

The pop acts are united by boundless energy, overenthusiastic talent, a wicked back-beat, and the overly polished performance style one gets from an entertainment industry predicated on social Darwinism.

Monday, March 1 2010

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live

Twenty-five years is a lot to put into context, but someone should have at least tried.

Thursday, February 25 2010

Odessey and Oracle (Revisited): The 40th Anniversary Concert

In March of 2008, the four surviving original members of The Zombies reunited to perform their masterpiece four decades after disbanding. The result is this breathtaking show.

Tuesday, February 23 2010

Soul Power

I am... Somebody, chants the crowd in one of Rev Jesse Jackson’s favourite call-and-response lines, a summary of the basic themes of the Pan-African program. I am... Somebody! Thrilling stuff.

Sunday, February 21 2010

The Devil Went Home and Puked: Robert Pollard’s Rock Show

Sorry Guided By Voices fans, but there's no nice way to put it: this tedious, bewildering, and often unwatchable collage of rare home video footage of Dayton's favorite indie rock heroes is just flat out terrible.

Monday, February 15 2010

Thin Lizzy: Are You Ready

Thin Lizzy: Are You Ready features the 110 minute, 1981 live performance originally recorded for the German television program Rockpalast.

Thursday, February 11 2010

Meshuggah: Alive

A combination of the powerful and the avant-garde, Meshuggah is as visceral and imposing an act as you'll ever see and hear.

Sunday, January 24 2010

Blackfield: Live in New York City

A solid document of a 2007 performance from the Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen-fronted band. But with only two albums out, a live CD/DVD seems a bit superfluous.

Tuesday, January 19 2010

Rolling Stones: In the 1960s

This two-disc set is a decent attempt at encapsulating the group's early career -- a formidable task given the complexities of both the band and the era.

Monday, January 11 2010

Jethro Tull: Live At Madison Square Garden 1978

Out of time and possibly out of touch, Jethro Tull was a band for people who craved intelligent and occasionally challenging music, played convincingly by exceptional musicians. How quaint.

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