DVD Review: Freak Jazz, Movie Madness and Another Mothers

The back catalog of Frank Zappa is massive, and massively intimating. Never the most commercially-minded of artists, the virtuoso Zappa recorded and released more than fifty albums during his lifetime. (His estate has more than doubled his catalog, with all manner of posthumous releases; his so-called “100th album” is due out soon.) With albums that

Capsule DVD Reviews, January 2015 Part 1

Every so often, I do a set of capsule reviews. Those short-take looks at CDs are a way of clearing my backlog. There’s so much good music out there – so much that I want to tell readers about – that it’s impossible to get to all of it. So the capsule reviews help a

Hundred-word Reviews: DVDs

Reviewing DVDs takes more time than albums, since when previewing them, I can’t do much else than sit there and watch. So it takes me awhile to get to DVDs. Thanks to the recent snowpocalypse/snowmageddon/your choice of silly weather epithet, I’ve had some time to curl up in front of the TV with a nice

Best of 2013: DVDs

Yesterday I did a quick round-up of notable album reissues from 2013. Today it’s DVDs. Click on the titles for a full review (except as noted). Brian Wilson, Songwriter 1969-1982 Those British folks at Sexy Intellectual have only improved since they began their worth series of in-depth critical looks at the bodies of work of

DVD Review: Brian Wilson, Songwriter 1969-1982

A few years back, a British based concern called Sexy Intellectual released a 2DVD set, Brian Wilson, Songwriter 1962-1969. This three-hour-plus(!) documentary took an in-depth critical look at the work of the Beach Boys leader. Focusing less on the pop culture angle and more on serious analysis of his songwriting, its influences (and influence) and

DVD Review: Strange Fruit – The Beatles’ Apple Records

Update 5/2014: Apparently everybody’s happy now, and the video is available on Hulu. — bk Update 4/2012: I have just learned that Apple Records has intervened to halt distribution of this DVD. Maybe that explains why I have received several — not one, but several — queries from parties connected to some of the artists

DVD Review: From Straight to Bizarre

A new DVD from Sexy Intellectual – the outfit responsible for informative and incisive docu-DVDs on Brian Eno and many other influential figures in music – takes an in-depth look at the record labels Bizarre and Straight. Started by Frank Zappa and his business partner Herb Cohen, these labels sought initially to document the “freak”

DVD Review: Brian Eno 1971-1977: The Man Who Fell to Earth

First, the bad news. The people who put out this new critical analysis/history DVD obviously spent no more than a few seconds thinking up a title. What they came up with – Brian Eno 1971-1977: The Man Who Fell to Earth – makes little sense, calls to mind a project Eno had nothing to do