Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's Go to the Videotape

In the past couple of weeks I have seen some really well-done documentaries and a concert video I think you should seek.

'Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out' was put together by drummer Stewart Copeland and is completely based on footage he shot from his own Super-8 camera from 1978 through the band's demise. It's pretty interesting to see the juxtaposition of a hungry but happy trio in fleabag hotels and clunky cars, seemingly, one minute, and in a state-of-the-art studio at an exotic locale with the world on a string the next. Copeland's narration is humorous and insightful, particularly as things are falling apart. This is a must watch for Police fans, although the 2006 Sundance Film Festival entry has been around long enough that I assume many admirers have already seen it. If you have Showtime, you may still be able to catch it there. That's where I saw it.

My obsession with all things Michael Nesmith continues. 'Live at the Britt' chronicles his complete performance at the Britt Festival's 30th anniversary show back in 1992. The trip to Jacksonville, Oregon, would have been totally worth it. First and foremost, Nesmith's old friend and pedal-steel aficionado "Red" Rhodes is in his backing band. The rest of the fellas, however, I don't know at all, and the bad hair and their new-age percussion added little to the experience. I wish it could have been "Red" and Michael alone like on my favorite album of his, "And the Hits Just Keep on Comin.'' That leads me to the shows bright spot. We get a couple of songs back to back from that great LP. In fact, most of the first half of the show are songs from his early '70s solo albums, with a Monkees classic thrown in for good measure. There's a quick ode to 'Elephant Parts' before he performs some "new" songs that I have to admit I don't know. The show ends with "Rio" and a Nesmith-only encore of "Different Drum." The picture quality has a bit of a "video" feel, but the sound more than makes up for the amateurish look.

The rave reviews of Mike Watt's latest project has me on a Minutemen and fIREHOSE kick. That's cool when you consider Watt's new album was inspired by his old band after he listened to them for the first time in years. This documentary, 'We Jam Econo - The Story of the Minutemen,' and his participation in it was really what started Watt on this path. So, Watt is jamming econo again, and we are listening to his stuff again. There is some great footage from a band that ended tragically and way too soon. This is the most well done of the lot. Check out the trailer below... then pull out your old copy of 'Double Nickels on the Dime.'

No comments: