Sunday, November 25, 2007

DVD reviews: Oasis, David Bowie, ALT DVD, Mott The Hoople, Ghostland Observatory

'Tis the season to have to spend way too much time figuring out what to get friends & family for the holiday. As we've done in the past, here's our guide to one of our favorite gift categories, the music DVD...

OASIS - Lord Don't Slow Me Down

This treasure-trove of footage from their 2005 world tour is cut into documentary form, and is remarkably coherent without use of any narration at all. Sure, the Brothers Gallagher ruffle may folks' feathers with their rockstar and often juvenile public behavior, but after watching this doc and seeing the ridiculous lifestyle they lead (and just how annoying the grind of having to mingle with annoying fans, annoying radio personalities, and annoying hangers-on is), it almost seems that some of their posturing is justified. Bonus commentary is available from Noel, Liam, Andy & Gem, should you feel the need to sift through some thick accents.

A second disc of their homecoming show at Manchester City's home grounds, featuring 16 songs, shows that despite their age the band's live set is every bit passionate and compelling as the fierce early tours that solidified Oasis' place in Brit-rock history.

NYC fans will be pleased to find last year's Q&A with Noel Gallagher at CMJ is included here as an bonus feature.

Amazon's got this disc for a mere $20 this week, making it quite a bar-goon.

DAVID BOWIE - Glass Spider (DVD + 2CD Set)

This set is a MUST for Bowie fanatics & completists, and also for fans of completely over-the-top rock & roll multimedia extravaganzas. Shot in Sydney in 1987, the concert footage shows Bowie in his late Eighties "Not as out there as Ziggy, Not as cool as the Thin White Duke" mode, and taking advantage of every sort of stage prop, projection, and insane costume idea available at the time.

Musically, the show is pretty terrific, especially considering the possibilities of the massive stage show overpowering the songs...but that never quite happens. And it's an awesome sight to witness Peter Frampton trading licks with longtime Bowie sideman Carlos Alomar on a song as classic as "The Jean Genie".

The DVD features 22 tracks, and the two CD's (which were recorded in Montreal on the same tour) include 25 tunes, most of which are also on the DVD. The audio tracks understandably pale in comparison to watching the same songs on that giant stage, but still are pretty great nonetheless. "Heroes", "Young Americans", and "The Jean Genie" in particular are scorching.

Buy at Amazon.


ALT DVD is an ambitious NYC/Philly/ATL-based digital magazine "dedicated to covering progressive culture through music, film, art, business, and social activism".

Boasting insightful interviews with soulster Omar, documentarian and Clash-cohort Don Letts, OG dancefloor banger Little Louie Vega, and renaissance man/artist Carl Hancock Rux, this DVD features a style laid back and lo-fi enough to draw you into the makers' sense of purpose and make you feel like part of their own crew.

A nice start to hopefully a long and fruitful series. More info here.


From a series of shows recorded for the beloved Austin City Limits television show, this document of Ghostland Observatory's national TV debut is proof how they've converted packs of music fans into GO devotees one concert at a time.

For fans of garage rock and electro-beats alike, this is one of those rare DVD's that you can put on a at a party and get people moving the same way a well-crafted mixtape would do.

Buy at Amazon.

MOTT THE HOOPLE - "Under Review"

From the always insightful "Under Review" series comes this new "ultimate review and critical analysis" of the music and career of Mott The Hoople.

Remarkable in the fact that it deals nearly equally with the history and exploits of the whole band and not just Ian Hunter, this documentary features all kinds of great rare footage and interview with band members, as well as associates including mega-Mott fan (and Hunter solo album producer) Mick Jones of The Clash and original MTH Fan Club president Kris Needs, who gives details of the bizarre assortment of Mott fans he's banged into over the years, including Morrissey and Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazair Bhutto (!!). There's a ton of great live & studio music here, including the classics like "All The Young Dudes" and "All The Way From Memphis".

Mott The Hoople has always been underrated in terms of its influence on the evolution of Rock & Roll, and this doc serves as a nice primer on a band deserved of a much higher profile in music history.

Buy At Amazon.

No comments: