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Wednesday, January 6 2010

It Might Get Loud

Guggenheim’s portraits of the three guitarists are meant to emphasize and reemphasize the guitar’s limitless possibilities.

Tuesday, December 15 2009

Composing Outside the Beatles: Lennon and McCartney, 1967-1972

This is the rare rock documentary made for real rock fans. Its in-depth look into such a specific period clearly marks the intended audience as beyond the casual fan.

Sunday, November 22 2009

Eminem: Live from New York City

This Blu-ray release of 2005 concert depicts a burnt out Shady in a transitional state before his Relapse.

Wednesday, November 11 2009

The Secret Policeman Rocks!

It pains me to suggest that watching The Secret Policeman Rocks! is akin to swallowing a tablespoon of humanist medicine...

Monday, November 2 2009

All Tomorrow’s Parties

This more often than not pays proper attention to the artistic prowess on display, which saves it from playing too laboriously like someone else's vacation slideshow.

Sunday, October 25 2009

The Chieftains - Live at Montreux 1997

This DVD enthusiastically shows a collaborative collective at the peak of its prowess, melding many musical traditions with swift, deft fingers into its own interwoven representation of Irish culture.

Sunday, October 18 2009

Gogol Bordello: Live from Axis Mundi

Gogol Bordello's live DVD/CD might not win new converts, but it's wild enough to be one hell of a show.

Ringo Starr and the Roundheads: Live

Ringo Starr knows how to give his audience what they want, even when he's not giving them everything. This 2005 performance is a perfect example of showmanship, even if it's all too brief.

Wednesday, October 7 2009

Neil Hamburger: Western Music and Variety with Neil Hamburger

Neil Hamburger wants to annoy you; it works a little too well. If we laugh, it's out of relief – bad as we might feel, at least we’re not him.

Thursday, September 24 2009

Punk in London / Punk in England

Punk in London and Punk in England provide an addlebrained and occasionally droning but nevertheless vital window onto a revolt while it's in progress.

Monday, September 21 2009

Unwigged and Unplugged

These veteran comedians are first-class nitpickers. They spent six weeks rehearsing the songs, the banter and other elements of the two-hour-15-minute concert.

Monday, September 7 2009

Billie Holiday: The Life and Artistry of Lady Day

Almost 50 years later, Holiday's sad and partly triumphant story is still ours to trivialize, as exemplified here. Sad.

Sunday, August 2 2009

Return to Forever: Returns, Live at Montreux 2008

The music mostly as fusion fans will remember it: bombastic and amazing, mechanical and fleet, leaden and eventually freshly swinging.

Sunday, July 26 2009

Deep Purple: History, Hits and Highlights 1968-1976

A 20-minute live version of “Mandrake Root” would be enough to convince me to sniff glue, put a safety pin through my cheek, and forget how to play guitar, too.

Thursday, July 23 2009

Trevor Horn and Friends: Slaves to Rhythm

Trevor Horn possesses a signature pop savvy and excellence that links disparate musical worlds.

Wednesday, July 22 2009

Miles Davis: That’s What Happened, Live in Germany 1987

A bleak 1987 concert by Miles Davis, reminding us that the '80s (and certain legends) are best forgotten.

Sunday, July 5 2009

John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band: Live in Toronto ‘69

This was the moment that the Beatles broke up. It's tough to watch footage from that night as anything other than the beginning of the long denouement to an epic story.

Thursday, June 18 2009

Iron Maiden: Flight 666

Only Iron Maiden could pull a world tour like this off. The ecstatic reactions from India, to Australia, to Japan, to Central and South America, to Canada are all essentially the same the world over.

Tuesday, June 9 2009

Bruce Springsteen Road Trip: 40 Years of the Boss

The second disc is a keeper; the first, flick it out an open window and watch it fly.

Sunday, May 31 2009

Depeche Mode: The Dark Progression Unauthorized

A reverent and academic investigation of the band’s music, their rise to fame, and their lasting influence on the music world.

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