Classic DVD Review: Dinosaur Jr Live in the Middle East

Full Title: Dinosaur Jr: Live in the Middle East
Director: Philipp Virus
Artists: Dinosaur Jr: J Mascis- Vocals, Guitar. Lou Barlow- Vocals, Bass. Murph- Drums
Year: Filmed in 2005, released in 2006
Set List:
1) Gargoyle
2) Kracked
3) Bulbs of Passion
4) Little Furry Things
5) Lose
6) Forget the Swan
7) The Post
8) Budge
9) The Lung
10) The Wagon
11) Raisans
12) Sludgefeast
13) Mountain Man
14) Chunks
15) In a Jar
16) Repulsion
17) Just Like Heaven

Comments: I’ve seen Dinosaur Jr live and without a doubt they are a tour de force, one of the most powerful live bands in the world. This concert in particular is special for two reasons: 1) It was not too long after their reunion, sixteen years after the demise of the original line up. 2) This concert is shot at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA (for the most part) the home state of Dinosaur. The venue is a small, comfy place and gives the band/DVD a certain character. It makes the performance feel homey and intimate. Typically, most Concert DVDs you see feel the total opposite. Since, the Middle East is my favorite venue, I also felt a greater connection and it seemed like Dinosaur was right at home. Overall, I enjoyed the performance and the band were incredible as usual, playing mostly 80s, You’re Living All Over Me (1987) material, which naturally added its own vibes and made the concert/DVD feel all the more like the good old times of the original Dinosaur years. With that being said, the band really carries this DVD. In other words, the DVD offers very little beyond filming the band and a few crowd shots, not much more. It is akin to a youtube video and for me this is surely not enough. In terms of bonus features, we have some treats: interviews with Thurston Moore, Kim Gordan, Steve Albini, Mike Watt, Mat Dillon, and others. They provide great insight and clear appreaciaton for the group. Here, we also see the lack of dedication for this DVD, for the footage itself is given little treatment and poor audio/lightning, but once again the content saves the viewer from running away. We also see a few performances from the band and a radio station performance/interview, which are decent.

Grade: 7/10- Great band, great show, but not a great DVD per se. Still if you’re a big fan I’d recommend it, I will watch it and enjoy it over and over again, because I’m just one of those kinda guys.

Classic DVD Review: Wildmen In Action

Full Title: Black Lips: Wildmen In Action
Concert Location: Madrid, Spain
Year: 2007 (concert itself: May 18, 2006)
Comments: THE BLACK LIPS! Naturally, since they are my favorite band, I really dig this performance. Musically, it’s a typical (which is atypical for almost every other band) BL show: fun, wild, and great, simple, stripped down Rock N Roll! Since this video takes place pre-Vice days we see no material off Good, Bad, Not Evil (2007) and 200 Million Thousand (2009), save “O Katrina!” which was recorded (or at least written) during the bedlam of the tragedy. We hear most of the Let It Bloom era classics along with some other early, sloppy, Lips era jams as well as some other unknowns, like “Hott Pistil.” My only complaint is that there are virtually no shots of the crowd, which is usally a crazy site to be seen. The show ends with Cole whipping out his wee wee and punishing it with his guitar. They then come back for an encore of “Wildman,” which is featured as a music video documenting the euphoric abandoment and chaotic times of their 2005 tour including Cole drinking his own piss and spitting it at the camera, ohh Cole… The video looks more like a trailer for a movie that was never released as far as I know. Also featured is the timeless music video for “Fad.” Here’s the set list:

1. Born To Be A Man
2. O Katrina!
3. Boomerang
4. Sea Of Blasphemy
5. Buried Alive
6. Stranger
7. Time Of The Scab
8. Dirty Hands
9. Not A Problem
10. M.I.A
11. Hott Pistil
12. Gung Ho
13. Hipi, Hipi, Horah
14. Take Me Home (Back To Boone)
15. Ain’t Coming Back
16. Make It
17. Juvenile
18. Freak Out

Encore: Wildman (after credits, so watch for it, I missed it the first few viewings!)

Grade: A-

Here’s a live video of”Wild Man,” they used to have a video for this DVD’s trailer, but I cannot find it, so y’all will have to settle fot his vid

Chris

Sonic Youth’s Future

BBC
Sonic Youth aren’t a band who shy away from hard work; they’ve already recorded an astounding 16 albums since forming back in 1981 and they’ve told 6 Music News there are plans in the pipeline to release a follow-up to their latest offering, The Eternal.

“We’re probably going back into the studio next year,” said the band’s Lee Ranaldo.

However, before they start writing the next album, they’re working on the soundtrack for a French teen film, which Ranaldo is very excited about; “We met the director in Paris and we liked what we saw.”

The band is also securing plans for a DVD release, combining footage from their recent 2007/2008 Daydream Nations tour. It will also include historic archive footage of them playing the record back in 1988.

Sonic Youth never gets old, literally (Thurston Moore’s appearance) and figuratively.