James Blunt – Chasing Time: The Bedlam Sessions

James Blunt – Chasing Time: The Bedlam Sessions / 2006 Atlantic / 70 Minutes / http://www.jamesblunt.com / http://www.atlanticrecords.com / Reviewed 17 August 2006

Everyone knows who James Blunt is. This is due to the fact that eir song “You’re Beautiful” has been used in a number of commercials and been shown countless time on VH1 and other stations of that ilk. There are a number of reasons why individuals should pick up this DVD if they are fans of Blunt. Obviously, I’m not suggesting that they pick up this DVD if they are not already a fan, but for those people that picked up eir latest album, there are a few things that can only be found here. Continue reading “James Blunt – Chasing Time: The Bedlam Sessions”

Alien Ant Farm – BUSted

Alien Ant Farm – BUSted / 2006 Geffen / http://www.alienantfarm.com / http://www.universalchronicles.com / Reviewed 15 August 2006

Okay. There are a lot of things that one can see on this DVD. Of course, there are the videos that Alien Ant Farm put out. I had no idea that the band had any other videos besides “Smooth Criminal” and “Movies”, but there were apparently about four other videos that were shown to places like Fuse and MTv. Besides that, the band has though it prudent to put an entire live show of theirs on the DVD. So, there are about 12 more songs to choose from, many of which do not have a corresponding music video. There are a few other things on this DVD as well. There is a blend of documentary and interview for their “Road To Wreckage”. The disc finishes off with video commentary and a few other versions of “Movies” and “These Days”. For someone that wants to get up to date with Alien Ant Farm before picking up “Up In The Attic”, this DVD serves fans perfectly. Of course, I know that I can’t be the only one who does not remember Alien Ant Farm all that well from their hits.

Of course, “Smooth Criminal” was large and “Movies” had a nice second-single bounce, but “These Days” only came back to me in any form after seeing the musical, which has AAF crashing the BET Awards. “Glow” is another track that finally comes back to me after I hear and watch the video for a little bit. The tracks were somewhat big on TRL and the like for a few weeks, but they rapidly dropped off the radar soon after they were released. I want to say that “Glow” had a second life (maybe even bigger) in an acoustic version; I hope that actually existed and was unable to be added instead of me just dreaming it up. I would like to see something more in third parties discussing what effect that Alien Ant Farm had on their careers, seeing someone from Fall Out Boy or My Chemical Romance saying that “hey, Alien Ant Farm made me get into a band”.

The band may just be too new for bands to be influenced by AAF to have any major success at this junction. Perhaps if this DVD is released onto HD-DVD in the next ten years, there will be bands knocking down Universal’s door to tell the fans of the band how “Movies” made them start a band. The band may not have had the most famous or long-lasting career with their previous two albums, but chances are good that they can get again back into the spotlight with “Up In The Attic”. Pick up both the CD and the DVD and see how the band has changed and updated their sound in the last few years since their last album was released to the masses. This is fun, even though most of the kids that are just getting into music will have little, if any idea who exactly Alien Ant Farm is or was.

Rating: 6.2/10

Sammy Hagar and the Wabo’s – Livin’ It Up!

Sammy Hagar and the Wabo’s – Livin’ It Up! / 2007 Image / 112 Minutes / http://www.sammyhagar.com /

Sammy Hagar has been rocking for well over thirty years. Along the way, ey has created a high-end line of Tequila and has fronted acts like Van Halen and Montrose. This is admittedly the downside of eir career, and it would not be surprising for Hagar to start removing eirself from the public eye. However, there are some things that would preclude eir going to the glue factory, especially after releasing eir latest DVD, “Livin’ It Up!”. This DVD covers Hagar and eir band during a stop on their 2006 tour, specifically at their St. Louis stop. Continue reading “Sammy Hagar and the Wabo’s – Livin’ It Up!”

V/A – Jazz Legends, Volume 14

V/A – Jazz Legends, Volume 14 / 2007 MVD / 54 Minutes /

One would think that by the time that MVD got to the 14th volume of “Jazz Legends”, that they would have to be scraping the barrel pretty hard. This time, there are performances by Les McCann, Stephane Grappelli, Ben Sidran, and Mike Mainieri. While I am not familiar with any of these artists, this is due to the fact that jazz is typically not my forte. However, regardless of the fact that I am not familiar w Continue reading “V/A – Jazz Legends, Volume 14”

Lzy – 1996-2006

Lzy – 1996-2006 / 2006 MVD / 120 Min / http://www.lzy.pl / http://www.musicvideodistributors.com /

Where most of the DVDs released by Metal Mind and MVD have been foreign acts that played in Poland, Lzy is a Polish band. As one can guess, Lzy is a rock band, and this DVD captures a number of live performances over the course of their career. It seems like the vast majority of footage that is on this DVD comes from the post-2002 period, where there are only two tracks from before that period. This makes sense, as the band probably did not start their rise up the charts until a few years after they first started out. Continue reading “Lzy – 1996-2006”

Scott Cossu Trio – Islands

Scott Cossu Trio – Islands / 2007 MVD / 60 Minutes / http://www.mvdb2b.com /

Scott Cossu has been around in the jazz scene for longer than I have been on this earth. Ey started in 1981, I entered this world in 1983. That’s pretty impressive; this footage is as well. It is impressive not only for the cuts that are present, but rather because it is so sharp and well-recorded. Even now it is hard to get good footage, and Cossu was able to get it all the way back in 1986. This DVD does not have much on it besides the concert, only presenting interested viewers with a biography and a discography of Cossu. Regardless, this footage is a gem and worth the price itself. Continue reading “Scott Cossu Trio – Islands”

Andromeda – Playing Off The Board

Andromeda – Playing Off The Board / 2007 MVD / 205 Minutes / http://www.musicvideodistributors.com /

This Swedish progressive metal act has been around a relatively short time, providing their own take on the prog scene since 1999. The band has been able to cut four albums in that time, and this DVD shows the band touring in support of their last album – 2006’s Chimara. Instead of merely focusing on the tracks from their latest album, Andromeda pick out a selection of tracks from both the past and present, seemingly representing all albums equally well. Out of all of the progressive metal DVDs that have been released in the last few months, Andromeda’s “Playing Off The Board” has to be the one that is most jam-packed with valuable extras.

Taken all together, this DVD ‘s features will keep fans interested for almost three and a half hours. This includes the 12 tracks played during the live show, along with two different interviews, three different mini-documentaries, and older live videos for three of their prior hits (“Arch Angel”, “Extension of the Wish”, and “Crescendo of Thoughts”. Andromeda’s music rips through listener’s ears, while the band comes through with a personality that is sadly lacking in many metal-related acts. Fans both old and new alike will like the progressions each member contribute to what are very intricate and difficult arrangements. This DVD acts more as a capstone for the band, as it is the culmination of all the band had created and worked on for the last seven years (to that point).

By including older tracks at this concert, the members of Andromeda weave together a story about their existence as a band. The added features on this DVD further explicate the story and given individuals the full bit of information about the band. This is an essential purchase for any fan of Andromeda, and will undoubtedly keep individuals sated until 2008 or 2009, whenever it is that Andromeda is able to release their follow-up to “Chimara”. I may not have been familiar with the act before this DVD came across my doorstep, but after focusing in on the band for the entirety of the 205 minute runtime, I feel like I know a lot about this Swedish powerhouse. Andromeda is an act that speaks to the current, even when one considers that they would have succeeded just as well in 1987 as they do in 2007. This timelessness is just one of the many things that makes this band so compelling.

Top Tracks: Eclipse, Two Is One

Rating: 7.0/10

Acid Drinkers – The Hand That Rocks The Coffin

Acid Drinkers – The Hand That Rocks The Coffin / 2006 MVD / 120 Minutes / http://www.musicvideodistributors.com /

Man, I really feel bad that I do not know any of the acts that MVD and Metal Mind are putting out onto DVD. Acid Drinkers have a great lineage, as the band started in 1985. The band didn’t really get started on their path until 1987, when they added a former member of Turbo as a drummer. Along the way, they have released over 10 different albums of stuff, so a DVD at this point seems downright deserved. The footage on this DVD is from two different days on tour, from the Warsaw and Krakow dates of their tour.

Twelve tracks await listeners; the band ends with a cover of Johnny Cash’s classic “Ring of Fire”. The track list of the live show takes a number of cuts from all the Acid Drinkers albums; the band starts the show with “Anybody Home” and “Backyard Bandit”. However, the live show is not all that is present on this DVD. Also present is an amazing documentary on the band, called “Chasing the Acids”. While the other features of the disc are nothing to terribly interesting (besides the additional interview), the documentary along with the video of “Hate Unlimited” make for a full DVD. Despite the amount of time that they have been a band, the composition of Acid Drinkers on this live show DVD are fresh and impressive.

The band has not lost a step, and it feels as if the rough edges that may have been present on earlier releases are gone due to their maturity as a band. For those fans that have everything else that Acid Drinkers have released up to this point, “The Hand That Rocks The Coffin” is the next step until the band comes out with their next album. Short of buying a double-disc greatest hits of the band, “The Hand That Rocks The Coffin” is a perfect introduction to Acid Drinkers. Their brand of hard rock meets progressive comes through clearly as day on this DVD, to the degree that this could almost double as a studio album. Acid Drinkers are yet another talented prog rock band that MVD and Metal Mind have determined are deserving of a DVD. Hopefully fans will pick up this album and start purchasing other pieces of the Acid Drinkers collection, because they truly are a diamond in the rough.

Top Tracks: Poplin Twist, Slow & Stoned

Rating: 6.5/10

Mind Key – Habemus Poland

Mind Key – Habemus Poland / 2006 MVD / 125 Minutes / http://www.musicvideodistributors.com /

Mind Key is going to be releasing their new album here in the next few months. How could they get any more publicity before the album is released beyond putting out an amazing live DVD? This 120-plus minute DVD, released jointly by MVD and Metal Mind, shows the allure of this rock band in the live context, both in Warsaw and Katowice. The obvious focal point of this DVD has to be the live show, which features 12 of the bands hits from the past, present, and future of the band. Continue reading “Mind Key – Habemus Poland”

Galahad – Live In Poland

Galahad – Live In Poland / 2006 MVD / 200 Minutes / http://www.musicvideodistributors.com /

Galahad has been around for over a quarter century, and for some reason, I’ve completely missed their contributions to the larger music scene. Apparently, I’m about the only one, as there are literally tens of thousands of websites chronicling their work over the past few decades. The band comes down in the progressive rock side of things, and they also seem to bring a high amount of value to their fans. This DVD, “Live in Poland”, has over 200 minutes (well over three hours) of footage for individuals to chew on. Continue reading “Galahad – Live In Poland”