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Kings Of LeonKings Of Leon
Talihina Sky
(Revolver Entertainment)

Wherein we follow the Followill clan (three brothers, one cousin), via the odd live show and some studio footage, back home for a family reunion which resembles nothing so much as a cross between the Dukes Of Hazzard and Justified. If ever a documentary threw into sharp relief the huge differences between the UK and the US, then Talihina Sky does just that, and whilst every country on the planet can boast its own fair share of slack jawed yokels, it’s hard to imagine where else you might find a boozed up bevvy of backwoods types stood unsteadily in front of a huge flag whilst slurring their national anthem at a family gathering. As Lynyrd Skynyrd let us know in no uncertain terms, this is the land of 'god and guns' and you just need to lob some booze into the equation and bob’s your uncle (and possibly also your dad and your brother). Welcome to Talihina Oklahoma, a place where you really, really do not want to grow up and yet that is precisely what the warring and conflicted Caleb, Nathan, Jared and Matthew did and this hugely entertaining film, intercut with fascinating old family footage, really is a must see regardless of whether you like the band or not.
The Oracle

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The KinksThe Kinks
You Really Got me: The Story Of The Kinks (Voiceprint)

Given the importance of the Kinks in the overall scheme of all things pop-tastic you could spend a great deal of time looking for a documentary film of note and come up empty. Crazy eh – although no less crazy than the way this quintessentially English of bands struggled to make any impact in the UK charts in their later years? Now at last we have this, although it has to be said that it looks, and occasionally sounds, like it was edited by someone wearing boxing gloves with only the most rudimentary knowledge of the Davis brothers and company, but UK fans will be delighted with the great early live footage and US fans will doubtless enjoy the later videos and live cuts for tracks that hit big in the states but failed to worry the UK charts at all (and of course we can all enjoy Dave Davis’ increasingly ludicrous togs). If you are looking for a definitive Kinks documentary this really isn’t it, if however you are looking for some cool, seldom seen, early footage with the emphasis on plenty of music rather than in depth story then you could do a lot worse than pick this up.
Ray Harper

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KissKiss
Kissology Vol.2 1978-1991
(Eagle Vision)

Any devoted Kiss fan will doubtless know what the phrase ‘You wanted the best? You got the best!’ means. It means the band who pretty much invented that whole over-the-top rock and roll theatrical circus are about to bound onstage and spend the next few hours overloading the audience with a series of eye boggling effects – this of course only really means anything to older readers as even Britney Spears stage show is now so full of mad effects it’s pretty much a live requirement. In truth Kiss were never actually a very good band, musically and lyrically they would barely pass muster at your local pub, but in the days when watching most rock bands live meant staring a four static blokes in granddad vests, desert boots and jeans Kiss were a breath of fresh air. This is volume two of a four part set of box sets (each box set documenting a different era) all of ‘em loaded to the gunnels with live shows, TV appearances, audio commentary, and, in this case, their ‘so rubbish it’s fun’ film Attack Of The Phantoms, plus booklets and replica tickets, in short pretty much a Kiss fans holy grail.
Ray Harper

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KraftwerkKraftwerk
Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution
(Chrome Dreams)

OK, first things first this film is both long and it’s not only about Kraftwerk but a proper delve into late 20th-century German experimental music and as such is not for the faint hearted. This is a thorough look at the birth of krautrock, drone, ambient, electronic music and, in consequence, the influence on any number of artists who followed from Bowie to acid house and bands like the current heirs to the krautrock crown Oneida. Tracing the rise of German music from the influx of British bands, the free jazz movement and early electronic composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer, out of which rose bands like Can, Amon Düül, Tangerine Dream, Faust, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh, Kluster and Neu! Loaded with old photographs, rare footage and interviews with Karl Bartos, Dieter Moebius, Klaus Röder, Klaus Schulze, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and several million journalists, commentators and Krautrock fans. If there is any complaint at all it’s you probably need to do this in two sittings because there is oodles to take in, and most of the music comes in frustratingly short snippets, but this isn’t a concert film, it’s a documentary, and a pretty bloody exhaustive one at that.
Drew Bass

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Kill The MoonlightKill The Moonlight
(Plexi)

‘I’m a driver, I’m a winner, things are gonna change, I can feel it’. Those amongst you who have ever wondered what Beck’s song ‘Loser’ is about need wonder no more, ‘cos this weird ‘n’ wired slacker art movie is where both the above vocal sample and the inspiration for Beck’s worldwide hit originally came. Ostensibly the story of Chance a gormless fish hatchery worker, toxic waste cleaner, Kiss fan, drug dealer, second rate thief, wannabe stock car racer and the sort of chap other chaps take advantage of mercilessly, Kill The Moonlight is low budget in absolutely every sense of the word. Few of the performers are actors, sections are deliberately dubbed incorrectly and in one section Director Steven Hanft decides to reverse and upend the film, so anyone looking for narrative flow or method acting had best look elsewhere. Nevertheless if you know what to expect there’s plenty of chuckles to be found herein, and a wonderfully scrappy soundtrack (long deleted) which is also included in CD form and features unreleased tracks by Hanft and Beck’s early outfit Loser alongside several Beck exclusives and demented clatters by the likes of The Pussywillows, The Dynamics and The World Famous Blue Jays .

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KraftwerkKraftwerk
Minimum Maximum
(EMI)

Given that the CD release of this live material is already firmly ensconced in our top twenty albums of the year it will come as no surprise that we are very, very keen on this double DVD as well. As our contributing editor remarked after having caught this live show at the Royal Festival Hall last year it is amazing just “how the sight of four middle-aged men standing still behind laptops can be quite so hypnotic”, this is about as far removed from the big hair, tight trousers, phallic instrument thrusting concept of the live ‘pop’ extravaganza as it is possible to get (the Aphex Twin laying down behind the stage whilst large teddy bears dance to his atonal clanking accepted). The influence this band has had on dance music as a whole is damn near inestimable, even given lynchpins Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider’s ponderous work rate and this live set with newbies Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmitz prove Kraftwerk are as relevant and innovative in 2005 as they ever were. The staging, lighting and use of video, as you might imagine with such static performers, is most impressive, and also comprehensively lays to rest the concept that they have no sense of humour. Triumphant.

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