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Thursday, October 20 2011

‘Robert Plant’s Blue Note’: Chasing a Sound

Robert Plant’s Blue Note posits that it is Plant's search for the emotionally expressive sound, the "blue note", that has led him on every musical journey he has taken over the course of his nearly 50 year career.


Wednesday, October 19 2011

He Performs This Way: ‘Weird Al Yankovic: Live! - The Alpocalypse Tour’

"Weird Al" live is as great a concert spectacle as you will ever see. If for some reason you can't make it, this DVD will do nicely in its place.


Monday, October 17 2011

‘Nirvana Live at the Paramount’: Stand Near This Fire

Nirvana were always like some neighborhood kid's angsty little brother: loud, intense, and thoroughly unguarded even as wise-ass irony leaked through the veneer.


Thursday, October 13 2011

Sunday, July 24 2011

‘Deep Purple: Phoenix Rising’: A Far Cry from Peak Purple

Jon Lord and Glenn Hughes recall Deep Purple's slow decline and sudden fall.


Sunday, July 17 2011

Lots of Talk, Little Action in ‘Neil Young’s Music Box: Here We Are In the Years’

Neil Young’s Music Box: Here We Are In the Years is an unauthorized documentary DVD in which music critics discuss Neil Young's musical influences, as well as his ongoing influence on his peers and musicians that have come in his wake.


Monday, July 11 2011

A Document Good Enough to Eat: ‘Bob Dylan: The Other Side of the Mirror’

The film showcases several songs from each year, both from the festival’s daytime workshops and nighttime concerts, and the music is often as startling as Bob Dylan’s physical and charismatic alterations.


Monday, June 27 2011

‘Spectacle with Elvis Costello: Season Two’ Gives Us Shows Worth Rescuing From a Fire

In Season Two of his interview-and music shmoozefest, Elvis Costello reveals his inner cheese.


Sunday, June 19 2011

‘Primal Scream: Screamadelica Live’: the 1991 Performance In Its Entirety

History suggests that there was something here, something, indeed, to write home about, something that made those in the UK so mad for Primal Scream.


Tuesday, June 7 2011

‘AC/DC: Let There Be Rock’: The Working Class Ethic, Amplified

AC/DC revitalizes the sounds of working-class life through their music, unleashing and claiming the vitality that capitalism normally disciplines and harnesses for the benefits of the bosses at the expense of the workers.


Sunday, June 5 2011

Pure Imagination in ‘Brian Eno: 1971-1977: The Man Who Fell to Earth’

This doc provides a look at one of the most exciting figures in rock music at his creative peak. So, how is it that it is so painfully dull and free of insight?


Thursday, June 2 2011

Something a Little Bit Different: ‘David Byrne: Ride, Rise, Roar’

David Byrne's theme of human optimism in the face of the dread inherent in an increasingly impersonal world continues -- a theme becoming more relevant with each passing decade.


Wednesday, May 25 2011

Louis Prima: In Person! His Wildest Performances 1936-1973

From early short subjects to appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, this is nearly 40 years of exclamatory madness.


Tuesday, May 10 2011

Wheedle’s Groove: Seattle’s Forgotten Soul of the 1960’s and ‘70s

This winning documentary sheds a light on a part of Seattle's musical history that probably very few residents of Seattle knew very much about.


Wednesday, April 27 2011

Sweet Mercy: ‘An Evening with Frank Zappa, The Torture Never Stops’

There has never been a rock artist like Zappa. Who else could combine Spike Jones and Stravinsky? Who else saw themselves as both Monty Python and Duke Ellington?


Tuesday, April 26 2011

‘The Lucksmiths: Unfamiliar Stars’ Is a Fun and Fitting Sendoff for this Hardworking Band

The Lucksmiths might remain unfamiliar stars, but this DVD more than makes the case for renewed appreciation.


Wednesday, April 13 2011

‘Heaven 17 Live at Scala’ Gives Us Those Chilly-Cum-Funky Electronic Tunes

In the early '80s, it was possible for England's postpunk pioneers -- New Romantics, Rude Boys, and assorted other malcontents -- to imagine themselves the center of the media universe.


Tuesday, April 12 2011

‘Stan Kenton: Artistry in Rhythm’ Doesn’t Swing, It Blasts!

A super-informative look at a great jazz bandleader, arranger, composer and educator. I was surprised by how ferocious and dynamic Stan Kenton's music is, both in the sense of a dynamo and in its rhythmic structure.


Wednesday, March 30 2011

‘Steve Reich: Phase to Face’ Suffers from Restraint

Do you hear that? It's the sound of the surface barely being scratched over Steve Reich's career.


Monday, March 21 2011

‘Heart: Night At Sky Church’: Praise the Rock ‘n’ Roll Goddesses

I love it when a famous band kicks into a famous song live. No matter how many times I’ve heard the song before, when that first familiar beat, note or riff rings out, I feel an indescribable sense of elation.


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