dvd Archive

Blu-ray Review: Syncopation

Spend any time reading online forums discussing what currently-unavailable motion pictures deserve a proper reissue/restoration, and you’ll likely come across the title Syncopation. This 1942 black-and-white film is at its heart a conventional love story – in fact one with little conflict – but it has gone down in history as a legendary title thanks

Album Review: Todd Rundgren — At the BBC 1972-1982

Several years back, Todd Rundgren took a proactive approach to the myriad live recordings that exist documenting his long and varied career. A true renaissance man who engenders fierce loyalty in his fan base, Rundgren may still be a “cult artist,” but he’s one of the most well-documented ones. For many years (during the tape-

DVD Review: Scarred But Smarter

Plenty of bands have but one good album in them. In the old days – when record companies were still a thing – it went like this: band forms, usually around the songwriting skills of one or more member. Band gigs hard in obscurity. Band develops local following. Band gets noticed. Band gets signed. Band

Capsule DVD Reviews, January 2015 Part 2

Picking up where I left off yesterday, here are four more brief DVD reviews. Rockin’ the Wall Most people will agree that the communist regimes that ruled on the other side of the so-called Iron Curtain were repressive. What they may or may not agree on is the contention of this film: the manner in

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

DVD Review: The Complete Truth About De-evolution

Beginning in the 1970s, DEVO established themselves as among the most effective artists using using the creative tool of video in the musical idiom. Contrasting starkly with the the myth-making and glamor of most other music videos, the work of DEVO is deeply unsettling and provocative. Twenty DEVO music video clips (plus some relevant extras)

DVD Review: Looking for Johnny

One of the less appealing qualities of music culture –both in rock and jazz, at least – is a tendency toward romanticizing certain fallen characters. While there’s no denying the massive contributions of such figures as Jim Morrison and Elvis Presley, in death they have assumed oversize reputations that their lives and musical output don’t

Best of 2014: Videos

With 1/1/15 mere days away, it’s time for Musoscribe’s annual best-of lists. These are – of course — wholly subjective, and reflect my tastes and interests. I viewed quite a few music-related DVDs this year, and while quite a few were excellent (and none truly awful), four stood out. As it happens, all four concern

DVD Review: Very Extremely Dangerous

There are antiheroes, and there are antiheroes. One supposes that Jerry McGill is one. He certainly possesses a primary prerequisite: a worldview that measures everyone and everything though the whatt’s-in-it-for-me lens. I’m hesitant to throw around the terms narcissist and sociopath, but if you have a working knowledge of how those labels apply to a

DVD Review: BB King — The Life of Riley

I know people who argue that – as a creative work – the music documentary is dead. They point out that the medium has become a rote retreading of tired techniques; that every possible clever, creative or even interesting method of telling a story onscreen has been beaten to death, leaving only the shell of