03 July 2007

To Do List

I'm really just posting these here so I'll remember to buy them later. But feel free to snoop.

1- Tim Buckley - "My Fleeting House" DVD
For people who enjoy music, the bounty of long-lost performances circulating on sites like YouTube provides an essential missing component of the careers of any number of musicians. From concert footage taken from Bob Dylan’s Renaldo and Clara film to clips of Brill Building stars on local teen programs to outtakes from Woodstock, it’s evident that the pre-MTV pop music video library hasn’t been served all that well by the people who own the rights to the footage. "My Fleeting House" is an attempt to correct this problem, and takes as its subject a performer who wouldn’t show up on any Behind the Music-style radar: Tim Buckley.

Because the audience for a Tim Buckley DVD is likely very small, one might wonder why anyone even bothered with this project. The proof’s on the underside of the shiny disc, folks: these clips vary from acceptable to entrancing, there are a lot of them, and they fill a void that, no matter how tiny, was still dying to be occupied. I mean, we’ve seen all the “iconic” late-Sixties rock-and-roll footage we can stand, because the only people who were thought to warrant being filmed at length were the biggest of the stars. Everyone else is lucky to have any video evidence of having existed at all. So when someone like Tim Buckley, who is the very definition of a cult figure, turns out to have more than a dozen worthwhile TV performances rotting in archives on multiple continents, by all means let’s preserve that stuff!

2- Siouxsie - "Dreamshow: Live at the Royal Festival Hall with the Millennia Ensemble"
Siouxsie’s artistic evolution is nothing short of astounding. Is that graceful lady performing in front of a sophisticated orchestra really the same girl who began her career hanging out with the Sex Pistols and other malcontents within England’s emerging punk rock scene? Although she began her career as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Siouxsie Sioux later broadened her stylistic horizons by forming The Creatures as a duo with Banshees’ drummer, Budgie. This current show features a healthy selection of music from both the Banshees and The Creatures, which may be why it is listed under the singular Siouxsie name.

Siouxsie with strings shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to anybody. After all, this woman with the dramatic eye makeup has always been distinctively theatrical. Her performance of “Obsession”, which is slow and smoldering, is smartly orchestrated. Same goes for “Kiss Them For Me”. But nothing benefits more from all these swelling violins than “Dear Prudence”. This cover of The Beatles’ psychedelic favorite is more full and powerful than ever during Siouxsie’s latest live take on the song.

It should also be noted that this is an extremely healthy portion of Siouxsie music. The concert itself is approximately 143 minutes long, and that’s not counting the DVD bonus material. Naturally, there are plenty of Banshees favorites, including “Cities In Dust”, “Spellbound”, “Peek-A-Boo”, and, of course, “Christine”, about that strawberry girl, banana split lady. Siouxsie doesn’t do a whole lot of talking outside of introducing her musicians. She does, however, complain about the stage’s low temperature. “I may be the ice queen,” she quips, “but I like it f#cking hot.” YES!

3- Leonard Cohen - "Under Review 1934-1977"

This guy hated it, but I think it sounds interesting and I could use some finishing school on Cohen. I'm just a fan, no expert.

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