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Apr 272012
 

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Second time around, this Guy Ritchie hyper-adrenlized version of Sherlock Holmes worked out much better. With arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty on the other side of the chess board, the battle of wits between the two adversaries underpins this sequel well. Once again, the relationship between Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and Dr Watson (Jude Law) is closely examined.

As with the first movie, the plot is simple enough. It’s 1891 and Professor Moriarty (played by the excellent Jared Harris) wants to start World War I so that he can reap millions after acquiring the major corporations in war-related industries. Nothing earth-shattering about that of course, it’s really how we get from point A to point B that will satisfy.

And satisfy it does, as Holmes and Watson – together with Madame Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace) race against time to foil Professor Moriarty battling an increasing array of deadly weaponry in the inimitable Guy Ritchie style. Until at the denouement, it boils down to literally Holmes and Moriarty facing off at a chess board. Echoing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Final Problem, Holmes and Moriarty fall together into the treacherous Reichenbach Falls seemingly to their deaths.

But things are not as it seems. After all, there is the third part of this trilogy to consider and not to mention the unresolved plot thread of the fate of Holmes’ paramour Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) as well. I for one cannot wait for the final installment of this intriguing modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.

 

STYX

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Mar 122012
 

The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Live DVD (Eagle Vision)

Nostalgia is a powerful force especially in relation to rock music. Much of 70s classic rock has faded into obscurity and remembered mostly by the young generation of the time. Styx is a band that had massive commercial success in the late 70s and early 80s but its platinum albums are not given much critical merit in the scheme of things nowadays. A shame really.

So how does one approach a live DVD wherein the band reproduces two of these best-selling albums (viz The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight) in their entirety? Especially when the main player (i.e. Dennis De Young) is no longer on board? Purely I suspect only as a well-crafted instance of nostalgic entertainment.

I would confess to being a big fan of Styx’s recorded output of this special era and songs like “The Grand Illusion”, “Superstars”, “Come Sail Away”, “Sing For the Day”, “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” and “Queen of Spades” still resonate with me strongly. So with that in mind, I must say that as an exercise in nostalgia this DVD succeeds wildly.

To his credit, Lawrence Gowan has filled De Young’s shoes (as singer and keyboards player) very well and to such an extent that if you didn’t look at him, you’d never think that De Young was absent. Gowan is an excellent showman and he possesses all the chops to keep anyone from missing De Young. Whether this is a good or bad thing is hard to say actually!

To be fair, the concert overall is top notch with the songs re-produced perfectly. Considering all the work and effort that was obviously put into the show, one cannot fault the professionalism of all involved. The sold-out audience lapped it up eagerly and if this DVD somehow gets new music fans to check out Styx’s discography then at least something more than mere nostalgia would have been achieved.

TALKING HEADS

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Mar 072012
 

Chronology DVD

Talking Heads. Now what more can one say of this iconic, legendary band? Especially when its legacy continues to seep into the contemporary indie-alternative rock scene. This DVD collects choice videos of the band: -

(a) from its early days as a trio (David Byrne – vocals, guitar/Tina Weymouth – bass/Chris Frantz – drums) in New York City’s famous CGBG where a shy Byrne never makes eye contact with the audience whilst nervously singing “Psycho Killer” and “The Girls Want to be with the Girls” to

(b) the accomplished quartet (with Jerry Harrison) as Byrne transforms into the confident frontman on classic Heads material like “Don’t Worry About the Government” and “Warning Sign” to

(c) morphing into a full-blown live act (embellished with backing singers, percussionists and extra musicians) with “Love –> Building On Fire” and “Burning Down the House”.

As a bonus, the DVD also includes a 35 minute South Bank Show documentary in 1979 and an interview with Byrne circa 1978. Not only that but every band member contributes to an audio commentary as well.

No other way to say this – if you’re a music lover, this DVD is essential.

PLACEBO

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Mar 052012
 

We Come In Pieces DVD (Eagle Vision)

So if my recommendation for this live DVD is ‘strictly for fans only’ – would you take that positively or negatively? I mean, when you consider that UK trio Placebo has sold ten million records worldwide, then that’s a whole bunch of people who would be interested, right?

But seriously, as a non-fan myself, I found Placebo‘s androgynous image and 90s alternative rock approach enjoyable and interesting enough – especially as a sometimes Smashing Pumpkins listener – but beyond that I do not place much significance on the band in the history of rock music.

So definitely fans will want this excellent live recording of a 2010 gig in Brixton Academy with the highlights being lively renditions of “Nancy Boy”, “Ashtray Heart”, “Infra Red” and “Taste in Men”. Hardly essential but fans of 90s alternative rock will certainly want to check out We Come In Pieces.

Watch the trailer below.

QUEEN

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Feb 092012
 

Days of Our Lives DVD (Eagle Vision)

This “Definitive Documentary of the World’s Greatest Rock Band” was first aired last year on BBC TV Two in two parts. Now commercially available in DVD, the documentary is well worth repeated viewings especially if you are a Queen fan, which I wager would be quite a lot of you out there.

As a fan myself, it is easy to be caught in the thrill of Queen’s early years as they released one exciting album after another – A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, News of the World, Jazz and The Game – racking out numerous worldwide chart hit singles in the process. Some contemporary insight is provided by guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor and previously unseen footage is also brought to bear in order to flesh the incredible success that Queen obviously was (and still is)

The latter half of the documentary comes to a sad conclusion naturally with the untimely death of singer Freddie Mercury 20 years ago in 1991. It is difficult not to be choked by emotion if like me, you loved Mercury for his incredible talent, showmanship and charisma. The interviews can get almost unbearably personal as May and Taylor share their last memories of Mercury on video.

At the end there is a sense that even in this day and age, Queen’s legacy remains strong and May/Taylor have done a good job to ensure that the music of Queen will never be forgotten. Essential for all Queen fans.

 

CONTAGION

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Jan 242012
 

Movies are supposed to provide their audiences with an escape from grim realities. Some films however, do the exact opposite.

Steven Soderbergh’s ultra-realistic Contagion chronicles the life-span of a pandemic from ‘Day 1′ to a time where a vaccine is produced to return the planet to ‘normalcy’. Plot-wise it is really as simplistic as that but what keeps Contagion intriguing are the many interweaving stories of characters caught up in the web of the pandemic.

With a stellar ensemble cast including Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, Contagion is never short of star power (Singapore’s Chin Han appears as well) and whilst there are twists and turns along the way (as both Paltrow’s and Winslet’s characters do not survive the movie), the main plot is rather predictable. As mentioned before, Soderbergh’s intention was to represent how the world would react to a pandemic with all its attendant implications.

To such extent, Soderbergh has succeeded. Although it does make for frightening viewing for most part – I mean, who really gets scared by vampires, zombies or ghosts which we know do not exist? A pandemic (remember SARS, H1N1?) is a totally different proposition. Still, there is the underlying hope that despite the new threats the human race will always survive (as history has attested to many times).

Clean and efficient, with the feel of a documentary – Contagion comes across exactly that but ultimately a little cold, stark and humourless.

DEEP PURPLE

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Jan 112012
 

Deep Purple with Orchestra: Live at Montreux 2011 (Eagle)

I’m sorry but for me the spine of Deep Purple has always been Jon Lord and Richie Blackmore. You can take away anybody else but once Lord and Blackmore are not part of the equation, to me it’s not Deep Purple. Of course, the current incarnation of Deep Purple has had Don Airey on keyboards and Steve Morse on guitars for some time now.

Worse still, based on this DVD, it really seems that singer Ian Gillian has lost his legendary vocal chops as well. Not that it matters to the sold-out crowd at this concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival 2011. To compound the problem, the band is backed this time by a full orchestra to provide horns and strings to classics such as Highway Star, Maybe I’m A Leo, Woman from Tokyo, Space Truckin’ and Smoke on the Water. It’s not hard rock anymore I’m afraid. It’s all very soft, wet and flaccid.

So in many ways, this like a Vegas show version of the legendary band and of course, they’re perfectly entitled to continue to tour and bring the classic rock repertoire to willing fans worldwide but I don’t have to like it. Strictly for die hard fans only.

REAL STEEL

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Jan 092012
 

Simply put, the Shawn Levy-helmed Real Steel is a mash-up of the plots of two Sly Stallone vehicles, Rocky and Over the Top. Which is basically the underdog fighter who has to deal with his relationship with his estranged son. Only difference is instead of boxing or arm wrestling, it’s robot boxing.

Let’s pause for a while. Robot boxing? Why would that even become popular? I mean who really cares about two robots duking it out – there’s no pain and no blood – which is the usual attraction of physical contests, dating back to the age of the gladiator – so I had a hard time swallowing the main premise of Real Steel, that robot boxing is a popular sport in the time the movie is set in – the near future (as usual).

Ignoring that critical flaw, this movie is really a top notch sob-fest, an emotional manipulation from start to finish. The plot is simple enough.

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer now working in robot boxing and is basically down on his luck. His various robots lose fight after fight and he is heavily in debt. His main source of comfort is his late coach’s daughter Bailey (Evangeline Lilly) and even her support is waning. Then out of the blue, Kenton is informed that his former girlfriend has died and he needs to sign over custody of his 11 year-old son Max (Dakota Goyo) to Max’s Aunt Debra (Hope Davis) and her wealthy hubby Marvin (James Rebhorn). Naturally, Kenton is only concerned about one thing (money) and agrees to do so for the sum of $100,000. However, in the meantime, Kenton has to ‘babysit’ Max for the summer holidays whilst Marvin and Aunt Debra vacation in Europe.

Of course, you already know what will happen next. By sheer coincidence, Max is a massive robot boxing fan and through a series of more coincidences, Max acquires a robot called Atom which together with Kenton, somehow becomes a contender in the major robot boxing league! Thus, over the course of this time, the father and son begin to bond. Cue a dramatic setback – Kenton is beaten up by creditors in front of Max – and Kenton decides he cannot maintain a relationship with Max anymore. This does not last long so the duo are reunited just in time for Atom to face Zeus, the robot boxing world champion in the final fight sequence.

It’s every fight movie cliche played out over the course of the final 30 minutes but director Levy squeezes out numerous tear-jerking moments which ultimately do not amount to a hill of beans. Don’t get me wrong, if you park you intellect to one side for the duration of the movie, Real Steel can be an emotionally satisfying experience.

And with the film coping the ending of Rocky completely, can we expect Real Steel II to be far behind for the rematch of Atom v Zeus? Pure rhetorical question, I must stress.

LADY GAGA

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Jan 092012
 

The Monster Ball Tour At Madison Square Garden (Streamline/Interscope)

There is a moment early in this concert video DVD where Lady Gaga chokes up over the thought of being on stage and still feeling like a freak. It’s easy to be cynical about the whole exercise but it does come across as a sincere expression if that counts for anything.

A Lady Gaga show is a spectacle – elaborate dance routines, eye-catching costume changes, visceral sex appeal, colourful lights and yes, throbbing, infectious music. There’s no denying Lady Gaga’s obvious debt to Madonna but she manages to dominate the entire stage with her presence and personality that the audience will never think of influences and inspirations and be enraptured by the power of Gaga.

All the hits are delivered with glitz, aplomb and utter professionalism – The Fame, Telephone, You and I, Alejandro, Poker Face, Paparazzi and the like. That all said, it’s almost impossible not to watch the Monster Ball show and not think of Alice Cooper! I kid you not…

THE ROLLING STONES

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Dec 192011
 

SOME GIRLS Live in Texas ’78 (Eagle Vision)

The self-styled ‘Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World’ seemed to rejuvenate and reinvent itself in 1978 with the release of Some Girls, an album that incorporated elements of disco, punk and new wave into the Stones’ tried and trusted brand of blues-rock.

This DVD covers that special era in rock history – perhaps the Stones’ last great incandescent moment of glory before descending into self-parody since. The main attraction is concert footage from a memorable gig in Texas, where Mick Jagger and company pulled out all the stops to demonstrate that even in their 30s the band was still a potent force.

Aside from the new material (Eg. Miss You, When The Whip Comes Down, Beast of Burden. Far Away Eyes, Shattered and Imagination), the Stones also delivered their ‘greatest hits’ with the usual aplomb – Honky Tonk Women, Tumbling Dice, Happy, Brown Sugar & Jumpin’ Jack Flash.

Bonus features include contemporaneous clips from Saturday Night Live, 20/20 and a 2011 interview with Jagger. For classic rock fans everywhere.

Also worth picking up – the latest reissue of Some Girls which includes an unmatched collections of outtakes that no Stones fans would want to miss.

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM

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Dec 092011
 

Lindsey Buckingham: Songs from the Small Machine, Live in LA (Eagle)

Producer. Singer-songwriter. Guitarist. Legend.

Whether as part of mega-band Fleetwood Mac or on his own as a well-respected solo artist, Lindsey Buckingham always delivered the goods. This DVD documents a show Buckingham performed in April 2011 in support of his last album, Seeds We Sow.

Consisting of two parts, the show opens with Buckingham literally solo with his acoustic guitar – the highlights being Trouble and Big Love – before Buckingham transforms into full band mode.

This is where the show truly takes off as familiar Fleetwood Mac tracks like Tusk, Go Your Own Way and key solo songs like Seed We Sow and Under the Skin get a solid airing. Spine-tingling moments abound with shimmering vocal harmonies, dynamic guitar work as well as Buckingham’s well worn tunes.

There is an excellent interview with the man himself as he shares about his musical history – from Buckingham/Nicks to Fleetwood Mac and beyond. Buckingham has intriguing insights concerning the success of Rumors, the story behind the making of Tusk and his writing process.

For true scholars of rock n roll, this is an essential one to take note of.

 

 

RAY CHARLES

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Nov 302011
 

LIVE IN FRANCE : 1961 DVD

According to the publicity blurb on the DVD jacket, the concerts featured in this DVD have been lost for 50 years and just newly discovered. Which is certainly a boon not only for music fans but also historians. Filmed at the 1961 Antibes Jazz Festival in France, this DVD features the legendary Ray Charles in his prime.

Covering two sets on 18th and 22nd July respectively, Charles is backed by the original Raelets and run the gamut from jazz to gospel, from the blues to rock ‘n’ roll. Charles himself is the consummate musician, equally comfortable with solo piano as well as singing, there is no denying the genius of the man and the tremendous influence over the popular music of the decades that followed.

The visuals are in sparking black and white, with choice audience shots edited together efficiently. The sound is pristine and Charles performs some of his greatest hits viz. Let The Good Times Roll, Georgia On My Mind, Hallelujah, I Love Her So and What I’d Say. On the last track, it isn’t difficult to see the impact that Charles had on the likes of The Beatles, for example.

Of course, this is 1961 so there is none of the flash or the glamour of modern day live spectacles but none of this diminishes the power and soulfulness of the musicianship and showmanship. Utterly essential for all pop scholars.

Buy Ray Charles: Live In France 1961 from Amazon

GOD BLESS OZZY OSBOURNE

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Nov 232011
 

Mention the name “Ozzy Osbourne” and chances are the notorious legend of the rock star biting off the head of a bat thrown on stage in 1982 will rear its ugly head (sorry). Pretty much the reputation of Osbourne is built on being the original singer of Black Sabbath and being the ultimate rock madman (primarily in the 80s, after being sacked by Sabbath).

This documentary attempts to present Osbourne in all his contradictory glory. The satanic figure who kneels in silent prayer before a gig, the drug-addled alcoholic who has been clean and sober for the last five years, the heavy metal pioneer who’s favourite band is The Beatles and so on.

Opening in the present, the documentary follows Osbourne on tour at various locations around the world – his rituals, his preparations and his process. Then, we are presented with a history lesson as Osbourne and various relevant interviewees – Black Sabbath members, his wife Sharon, his five children and even Paul McCartney (!) – share insights into the life and times of Osbourne.

Of course, much screen time is given over to accounts of Osbourne’s crazed antics that even outgross Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, no slouch in the rabble rousing stakes himself! Osbourne’s self destructive habits continue even as he is reinvented as reality star in the Osbournes, which unfortunately only cements his reputation as the aging rock star drunk.

However, there is a happy ending to the narrative as Osbourne reveals that he managed to pull his life from the abyss of alcoholism and drug addiction due to the example of his youngest son, Jack. A touching resolution to this cautionary tale of rock n roll excess. Ozzy and metal fans in general will no doubt enjoy the intriguing insights into Osbourne’s life.

View the movie trailer below

Buy God Bless Ozzy Osbourne from Amazon

PETER GABRIEL

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Nov 062011
 

NEW BLOOD: LIVE IN LONDON DVD (Eagle)

I have been a big fan of Peter Gabriel ever since I listened to my first Genesis LP, Nursery Cryme, all those years ago. Of course, Gabriel has been a wildly successful solo artist for a long time now and is well known for his pioneering work in music video, world music as well as championed human rights causes.

This concert recording captures Gabriel as he re-interprets his voluminous repertoire (and choice covers) with the backing of the 46 strong New Blood orchestra at the Hammersmith Apollo in March 2011. It’s heartening to note that none of the orchestral versions here lose the power or impact of the original songs. Tracks like Intruder, Wallflower and Biko are still rendered powerfully and with Gabriel still in good voice, each performance is memorable.

Familiar ‘hits’ are trotted out – San Jacinto, Digging In the Dirt, The Rhythm of the Heat, Red Rain, Solsbury Hill, In Your Eyes, Don’t Give Up – delivered with grand aplomb. By all accounts, one can only imagine the hard work that went into the re-arrangements of these songs into orchestration. The show also features the state-of-the-art visual effects that Gabriel is also famous for and so it is a complete Peter Gabriel performance and so much more.

By Peter Gabriel: New Blood – Live in London from Amazon

ROBIN GIBB DVD

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Sep 082011
 

ROBIN GIBB IN CONCERT WITH THE DANISH NATIONAL CONCERT ORCHESTRA

Few years ago, I caught Robin Gibb live in Singapore and was rather bemused that he decided to let a backing singer handle the lead vocals of Bee Gees songs that were originally sung by his brother Barry. Apparently, Robin himself noticed that anomaly as well and from this live recording, it’s clear that he has remedied that completely.

So in this concert (set in the idyllic surroundings of Ledreborg Castle in Denmark), Robin takes care of lead vocals of every song on the setlist. Which in itself is also hit or miss. I mean, well and good if its songs like I Started A Joke, Saved By the Bell or Massachusetts, all of which were originally sung by him but it’s a really off-putting to hear Robin try his hand at To Love Somebody or How Deep Is Your Love, when you’re expecting Barry’s sultry tenor.

Well, I suppose what I am saying is that in ideal circumstances, Bee Gees fans would rather see Barry and Robin sing these timeless tunes together but in the absence of that, this will have to do.

Buy Robin Gibb: In Concert at Amazon

SHERYL CROW

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Sep 052011
 

SHERYL CROW Miles From Memphis: Live At The Pantages Theatre DVD (Eagle Vision)

This concert video was taken from Crow’s tour in support of her retro-soul project 100 Miles From Memphis. As is often the case where artists undertake a change in musical direction, this also signals a re-interpretation of old material in the ‘new’ sound as well. Therefore, A Change Would Do You Good and Everyday is a Winding Road take on funkier tones. Even Crow’s signature tune – All I Wanna Do – is given the Stax-Motown treatment.

Crow is in splendid voice throughout, backed by a crack band of musicians which provide the necessary soul authenticity to pull off Crow’s soul venture. At the very end, I Shall Believe is delivered in a vintage gospel blues piano ballad style that simply brings the house down.

This DVD is essential viewing for all Crow fans and also lovers of that special soul/R&B era.

Buy Miles From Memphis Live at the Pantages Theatre at Amazon

DEEP PURPLE

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Aug 102011
 

DEEP PURPLE Phoenix Rising DVD (Eagle Vision)

Eagle Rock has been paying attention to the lesser known aspects of legendary British hard rockers, Deep Purple. Having recently re-issued the first three albums of the original lineup, Eagle Rock has now released (through Eagle Vision) Phoenix Rising: The Untold Story of Deep Purple Mark IV. This covers the brief period during which founding member Ritchie Blackmore had left Purple to form Rainbow and guitarist Tommy Bolin was brought in to fill Blackmore’s considerable void.

This DVD basically covers features a 30 minute previously unreleased live concert video filmed at the Budokan Hall in 1975 and a 80 minute documentary basically chronicling the numerous problems that beset this lineup of Deep Purple, including drug problems (bassist Glenn Hughes and Bolin) and especially a disastrous tour of Indonesia.

The live concert video is really purely for historical purposes as the quality (sound and vision) is rather poor, especially when compared to Mark II’s triumphant Made in Japan LP. Equally so is the documentary which feature in-depth interviews with keyboardist Jon Lord and Hughes where the focus is very much on the excesses of 70s rock. Both of these videos will probably only interest diehard Mark IV fans.

I guess Eagle Vision themselves sensed that what was on offer was a little light and so what does make the DVD intriguing are the two collectible booklets reproducing an original Deep Purple 1976 magazine and rare photos as well as original vintage Purple articles. Again, for fans only.

Buy Phoenix Rising at Amazon

MILES DAVIS

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Aug 052011
 

MILES DAVIS Live At Montreux DVD (Eagle Vision)

Regular PoP visitors will be aware that I am not much of a jazz music buff but there’s no denying the exalted position the legendary trumpeter Miles Davis holds in the annals of modern music. This DVD collects Davis’ performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival over the period 1973 to 1991.

Mostly revolving around five sparkling clips during the 80s, this DVD presents Davis in his later years, where funk plays a bigger part in his jazz-rock fusion. Highlights include the frenetic Speak: That’s What Happened (1984), the pumpin’ synthesized Code MD (1985) and the polyrhythmic Heavy Metal Prelude (1988). Also significant are the inclusion of two excerpts from 1991, when a visibly aging Davis delivers The Pan Piper and Solea from his classic Sketches from Spain (1960), with the aid of a big band. Gorgeous to behold!

A insightful interview with guitar hero Carlos Santana concerning his recollections of Davis is also included as a bonus feature.

Buy at Amazon

DAVID BYRNE

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Jun 192011
 

DAVID BYRNE Ride, Rise, ROAR (Eagle Vision)

When it comes to concert films, ex-Talking Head David Byrne has of course been involved with the seminal Stop Making Sense (directed by Jonathan Demme) – and definitely knows about making the best out of the medium.

This concert film is unique in Byrne’s ambitious concept of mixing up his music with modern dance – resulting in a sinewy, kinetic display of sight and sound. Drawing from the classic Talking Heads repertoire (Once in a Lifetime, I Zimbra, Road to Nowhere, Burning Down the House, Houses in Motion, Life During Wartime and Heaven) and material from recent collaborations between Byrne and Brian Eno, there’s no denying the power and appeal of these songs, especially when combined with exciting dance movements.

A wonder and pleasure to behold.

Official Site

EPISODES: SEASON ONE

 TV  Comments Off
Jun 132011
 

With the rash of Brit TV comedies being adapted by American networks (Office and Shameless being prime examples), it seems logical that sooner or later, some bright spark is going to produce a comedy about a Brit TV comedy being adapted by an American network!

Continue reading »

PRIMAL SCREAM

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Jun 022011
 

PRIMAL SCREAM Screamadelica Live (Eagle Vision)

One of my biggest regrets in rock ‘n’ roll is missing the Primal Scream gig at Zouk some years back due to some stupid work commitment. Well, of course, this latest CD/DVD set of Screamadelica Live does not quite make up for that but it sure comes close.

The DVD is a live recording from 2010, when Primal Scream performed its seminal album – Screamadelica – in its entirety. Aided by a gospel choir (dressed in white) and an awesome background film by Jim Lambie, Screamadelica Live is the next best thing to being there, I suppose!

Yeah, judging from the happy faces of the punters at the Olympia, everyone had a pretty good time. Band was in fine form, audience was up for it and those great songs (which redefined dance rock for a new generation) – Movin’ On Up, Higher Than The Sun and Loaded – still resonated wildly.

The DVD also features a bonus feature labeled the “Rock and Roll Set” and includes Jailbird, Swastika Eyes and Rocks to present a more comprehensive snapshot of the Primal Scream oeuvre. The CD does not include this set, for your information.

Recommended for 90s music fans.

RORY GALLAGHER

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May 132011
 

RORY GALLAGHER Irish Tour ’74 (Eagle)

Although fairly marginalized now, the late Irish blues-rock singer-guitarist Rory Gallagher was a superstar in his prime – selling in access of 30 million albums worldwide. Gallagher’s style mixed up blues, folk, rock and even elements of prog rock in his passionate manner.

This DVD  follows Gallagher on his 1974 Irish tour – splitting time between live performance and backstage interviews. The former demonstrates Gallagher in his element – visceral and earthy – whilst the latter finds Gallagher the man as he shares with us his different guitar techniques, like a genial teacher. Highly instructional.

It’s clear that for Gallagher it’s all about the music, and his fans. Often, Gallagher would be approached in public and he would make a point to spend a little time chatting with his fans, such rapport translated on stage, where a rapt audience drank in every riff, lick and solo.

A true legend, gone but not forgotten. Relive those magickal moments…

INXS

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Mar 202011
 

INXS Mystify DVD (Eagle Vision)

Michael Hutchence was the quintessential rock frontman and his relatively short life span (3 years shy of 40) lived up to the moniker adopted by his world-famous band, INXS. This DVD presents Hutchence and INXS live in Germany, a couple of months before his tragic early demise. The performance is top notch and all the classic hits are trotted out and delivered with panache and verve e.g. New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart, Need You Tonight, Suicide Blonde and so on.

Also included bonus tracks from the first appearance of the band on the German TV show, Rockpalast back in 1984, when the band played a more pure form of post-punk, although Hutchence’s smoldering sex appeal is already in strong evidence.

Recommended.

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FRANK ZAPPA

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Jan 242011
 

AN EVENING WITH FRANK ZAPPA during which… The Torture Never Stops (Eagle Rock)

The late Frank Zappa was an iconoclastic songwriter-singer-musician that butted heads with the conventional music industry on his own terms. Talking classical, jazz and pop-rock music and molding these genres into his own avant garde perspective, adding to the incongruous mix satirical, absurdist lyrics, Zappa exerted his singularly weird sound and vision onto the music world till his untimely death in 1993.

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VELVET REVOLVER

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Jan 042011
 

VELVET REVOLVER Live in Houston (Eagle Rock)

This DVD – featuring a live recording of a VR gig in 2005 – seems a little bit of a retrograde move for the band, considering that lead singer Scott Weiland left in 2008 (to reform Stone Temple Pilots) and the the band is auditioning new vocalists. Of course, the irony is that VR guitarist Slash and STP will be performing in Singapore with back to back shows very soon. Sheer coincidence, I am sure. But who knows, maybe Weiland will be the ‘new’ VR singer again!

Continue reading »

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