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Public Service BroadcastingPublic Service Broadcasting
Inform Educate Entertain: The DVD (Test Card Recordings)

One of the best albums from last year (in our Top Twenty in fact), get’s the DVD treatment which basically means this is the film footage that inspired and indeed provided the building blocks for the songs on the album. It is also what you would see if you caught them live (if the projector doesn’t break down as it does for the Beat-Herder Festival clip in the bonus section), so if you love the album you will love this even more as the vocal samples come to life and the original visual stimulus help drive the songs along. Bonus features include an audio commentary for each track by J. Willgoose, Esq about the stories and history relating to each of the songs and videos, a short ‘on the road' style diary, a mini documentary built around live excerpts from a recent show, two full live tracks and two promo videos plus a disarming interview with Willgoose about their career thus far and the BFI involvement in their music. Simply put if you have the album then you will probably want to add this to your collection, if however you have missed the PSB boat thus far this is a great place to climb onboard.
The Oracle

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Portnoy, Sheehan, MacAlpine, SherinianPortnoy, Sheehan, MacAlpine, Sherinian
Live In Tokyo (Eagle Rock)

OK so you’ll have to forgive me but I really wasn’t in any hurry to watch this (it’s been out for a while) as aside from Dream Theatre, and serial collaborator, prog metal drum genius Mike Portnoy I was struggling to place the other names – gimme a break I’m old. A little Googling turns up Derek Sherinan (amongst many other things) as currently keyboard prodding for Black Country Communion, Billy Sheehan as (amongst many other things), bass player for Mr Big and, to me at least, the real unknown, guitarist Tony MacAlpine who has worked with millions of people but to give you a notion of his chops here let’s pick Steve Vai. So, given the idiotically long list of people all of these guys have played with (look ‘em up), it’s a pretty fair bet that they can play a bit eh? Christ on a crutch can they? Really this is genuinely gobsmacking stuff as they cherry pick moments from their collective past and play the bloody bejeezus out of ‘em, this really is astonishingly accomplished prog metal, a bit like Return To Forever with massive great cojones. So, it took a while to reach the DVD player but the bugger’s welded there now.
The Oracle

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Tom Petty & The HeartbreakersTom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Soundstage: Live In Concert [Blu-ray] (UMC)

Initially recorded for a two-part PBS Soundstage performance (hence the break in the show halfway through), this collection of original and cover material will certainly be manna from heaven for most Tom Petty fans - especially the dip into Traveling Wilburys territory – and all captured on numerous hi-def cameras, in fact the sound and film are tremendous throughout, and if the audience are a little on the passive side, hey this is a made for TV show so what you lose in audience atmosphere you more than make up for in pristine reproduction. Cherry picking tracks throughout their career (including ‘I Won’t Back Down’, ‘You Wreck Me’, ‘Love Is A Long Road’ and ‘Refugee’) and tipping their collective hats to old rock and roll classics like ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’, ‘Little Red Rooster’ and ‘I Got A Woman’, plus country standards like ‘Rollin’ In My Sweet baby’s Arms’ and a spirited trot through JJ Cale’s ‘Thirteen Days’. If you are looking for a Tom Petty greatest hits show then this certainly isn’t it but it is just the sort of set a TP & The Heartbreakers fan should love. Sadly no extras but that’s a minor niggle, all in all a fine collection.
The Oracle

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Pink FloydPink Floyd
The Story Of Wish You Were Here (Eagle Vision)

Say what you want about Pink Floyd (and opinion here in the office runs from love to loathe), but you can’t fault their honesty, if they think they’ve fucked up, they’ll be the first to tell you so, all of which makes any Floyd documentary highly watchable. What makes this particular one even more so is the subject matter, the making of Wish You Were Here (on in the background as this is written and my word it’s good). Now you might imagine that this particular seam of Floydian history has been mined to exhaustion – the paucity of ideas going into the studio, the deepening of the bands schisms and of course Barrett turning up unrecognised during the recording of ‘Shine On…’ are all well documented – and yet nothing is lost in the retelling of this fascinating tale, and the addition of Storm Thorgerson’s album art stories (like setting people on fire in pre-CGI days), Gerald Scarfes’ live animation tales and Roy Harpers recollections of recording the vocals for ‘Have A Cigar’ (Which Roger Walters still hates) add lustre to an already fascinating story. Add original recording engineer Brian Humphries revisiting the master tapes at Abbey Road Studios and you pretty much have the full package. Also available on Blu-ray.
Ray Harper

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Public Image LtdPublic Image Ltd
Live At Rockpalast
(Made In Germany)

PiL's Rockpalast TV special, recorded for WDR at Der Zeche, Bochum in Germany in 1983, finally gets a CD and DVD release – having previously surfaced as a very poor bootleg copy via a label called Headliner in 2011 entitled Addictive Live 1983, and is in fact still available on Amazon and should be avoided at all costs. This is something of an un-earthed treasure given that PiL DVD’s are as rare as hens teeth and if it’s sadly not the original line-up (Jah Wobble being replaced by Louis Bernadi and guitarist Keith Levene by Joseph Guida, in fact the only memorable PiL name here is long-standing drummer Martin Atkins) it’s still something of a thrill to see Lydon snarling his way through such classic tracks as ‘Public Image’, ‘Annalisa’, ‘Religion’, ‘Flowers Of Romance’, ‘Anarchy In The U.K’., ‘This Is Not A Love Song’, ‘Bad Life’ and more, and if anything it’s even more entertaining to watch, a very well behaved Lydon in interview with Alan Bangs. Extras, aside from the interview include several sound-check rehearsals and all in all is a very worthy addition to any music collection.
Jenny Hoon

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Lee PerryLee Perry
Upsetter: Life & Music of Lee Scratch Perry
(Weinerworld)

You don’t have to look very far in the music business to find eccentric people, I mean let’s face it you can get away with behaviour in the entertainment industry that would get your arse fired in any other line of work, however a good deal of this eccentricity is just wilful dicking about, if you want to move to a whole other level of consciousness, one that would leave most of us walking into walls and babbling you need look no further than Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, and yet it seems that Perry’s mind-boggling obsessions with fire, lunatic headwear (examples of the latter including a native American headdress, a tiara and, our particular favourite, a plate of fruit), his, frankly disturbing, stream of consciousness graffiti and his utterly incomprehensible religious views are all absolutely central to his peculiar brand of musical genius. This film, loaded with cracking archive footage, explores Perry’s absolutely pivotal role in the history of reggae, more or less inventing dub and launching Bob Marley on the world, but it doesn’t stop there, did you know he also produced the Clash, Simply Red and Paul and Linda McCartney (amongst many others)? In fact there’s a good deal to learn about the man and this film presents it all brilliantly, highly recommended.
Drew Bass

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Iggy & The StoogesIggy & The Stooges
Raw Power Live: In The Hands Of The Fans
(Wienerworld)

One of the few artists who is genuinely a far better option live that on record Iggy Pop nonetheless recorded several landmark albums with The Stooges, the first being the raucous Fun House and the second, it’s follow up, the equally deranged Raw Power, both of which went on to become hugely influential (although sold exceedingly poorly at the time). So fans were clearly delighted to learn that the reunited band were to play Raw Power live at the 2010 All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, six fans in particular were overjoyed as they won the opportunity to both film the show and then attend a Q&A session with the guys following the performance. Sounds like a recipe for disaster right? In fact fast cutting between the six camera positions works remarkably well (although the much jostled stage front position get’s far less footage aired) capturing the haphazard but exhilarating performance, even at 63 you’re never entirely sure what Pop is likely to do at any given moment, as various foreign objects and audience members litter the stage, none of which throws the bands concentration as they power through their seminal album and several other Stooges classics.
The Oracle

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Primal ScreamPrimal Scream
Screamadelica: Classic Albums
(Eagle Vision)

Another in this excellent series this time looking at Primal Screams finest hour wherein a bog standard rock and roll band who spent far too much time getting wankered and not enough time writing songs reinvent themselves (with major help from Andrew Weatherall), accidentally invent acid house rock and release a very real contender for the album of the 1990s. Detractors have been known to point to the fact that the album is only so good because Primal Scream are hardly on it but this proves that theory to be nonsense – Bobby Gillespie may well be almost as tone deaf as Ian Brown but the rest of the band can play like demons - and also proves that the band were in fact very instrumental in the albums direction, even if Robert ‘Throb’ Young did need some major convincing to have anything to do with dance music, which he initially loathed. As always the DVD release has plenty of extra footage that was never aired on the goggle box and it also comes with a CD of the whole album played live (Eagle Rock are also releasing a DVD of the live set).
Ruby Palmer

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Porcupine TreePorcupine Tree
Anesthetize
(KScope)

If, like many here at TM-O towers, you hanker for the days when people could actually play and sing live and if, once again like many here at etc., you also enjoy loads of King Crimson-esque fiddly stuff, songs haring off in unexpected directions and very, very noisy bits then this DVD is very likely going to be right up your alley. Filmed in the Netherlands in 2008 when they were still touring the Fear Of A Blank Planet album (which kicks off the show in its entirety), this is a particularly well filmed and recorded document of what was clearly a cracking show (or couple of shows actually). Stand out track is the seventeen minute plus version of the title track, a monumental racket which careers around in a heroically mind boggling fashion and had me reaching for the replay button immediately it finished. Obviously if you are hoping for Lady Gaga style theatrics then this ain’t the show for you, it is after all just a bunch of pretty average looking blokes playing their instruments really well, something, in this scribes view, we could do with a great deal more of. Also available in Blu-ray format.
Ray Harper

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PermissivePermissive
(BFI)

Christ on a crutch this is grim, mind you the old lags in the office that recall trailing up and down the country in a Transit throughout the early ‘70s certainly attest to the verisimilitude of some of the scenes (although I am reliably assured that they certainly laughed a good deal more than this sorry bunch of misery-guts). The truth of the matter is that the free love generation morphed rather quickly into the take advantage of any available women generation and few who experienced it would not admit to at least some regrets, and this grim tale of wannabe groupie Suzy, whilst decidedly on the heavy handed side, will doubtless still strike a chord with many an old hairy loon-pant refugee. However it’s the soundtrack by prog rock legends Comus, and starring roles for Forever More and Titus Groan, that will excite many lovers of obscure old acid folk rock as will the bonus film Bread – a rather more ‘confessions of a…’ take on the whole groupie thing featuring none other than Juicy Lucy. Also guaranteed to raise a smile is the 1973 safe sex bonus feature 'Ave You Got a Male Assistant Please Miss? And the whole shebang comes beautifully packaged with a booklet filled with oodles of fascinating background info.
Josh Marks

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PrivilegePrivilege
(BFI)

Peter Watkins’ 1967 film – based on a story by ‘Til Death Us Do Part writer Johnny Speight – is about Steven Shorter (played by Paul Jones), a pop star managed by the government, the church and big business in an effort to control the unwashed masses by first offering them staged rebellion and then obsequious repentance, a sort of precursor to films like If...., A Clockwork Orange and even The Wall. In truth it’s pretty heavy handed (like the thinly veiled Hitler turn by a proselytising priest or the chain of nightclub/superstores erected in Shorter’s name where you can have a bit of a frug and then buy some dog-food), and neither Jones nor co-star model Jean Shrimpton were ever in danger of bothering any awards panels, but lest we forget when this was being made London had yet to really begin ‘swinging’, the closest thing to a film about pop stars was A Hard Days Night and scenes poking fun at the legions of backstage liggers (or leaners as they are referred to here), are spot on. Patti Smith was so impressed she even recorded one of Shorter's songs, 'Set Me Free', for her 1978 album Easter.
Josh Marks

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Pink FloydPink Floyd
The Pink Floyd And Syd Barrett Story
(Voiceprint)

Not a new story certainly, but still a fascinating one, John Edginton’s documentary charting the rise and fall of Syd Barrett tracks down pretty much anyone who knew or worked with the man (including all the Floyd crew), to tell the story of a genuinely innovative individual who dramatically unravelled, losing his way in tandem with his band finding theirs. There’s little doubt Pink Floyd would not have existed without him, but after whatever bad trip tipped him over the edge it’s equally certain that they needed to leave him behind to continue working because when he got involved he did his utmost to scupper any headway they had made. The film is full of great footage - including home movies - and disarmingly honest interviews, the interviewees seemingly doing their level best to honestly relate, what is after all, a dreadfully sad story, and is now expanded to two discs. Nicely packaged in a card box with an envelope of reproduction flyers, extra acoustic performances by Robyn Hitchcock and Graham Coxson and the full, unedited, interviews with all the members of Floyd (amounting to more than three hours of extra footage), this remains pretty much the definitive take on this story.

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Bryan FerryTom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Runnin’ Down A Dream (SPV)

First things first, this is a shit load of Tom Petty, damn near four hours of documentary material, a full 30th anniversary concert and a bonus soundtrack CD, so if you’re a fan then this will be just about as good as it gets. From the interested onlookers point of view it’s a little long and this reviewer had to do it in two sittings but having said that it’s hard to see exactly what director Peter Bogdanovich could have hacked away, such is the quality of the material on show – including home movies, seldom seen TV footage and any number of famous talking heads – and to fans none of this will seem surplus to requirements. It would also have been nice to see some more personal material and even though his daughter does get a look in, this is a peculiarly male film, made about men and for men (indeed Petty himself insists that ‘this is a men's club’), fortunately Stevie Nicks gets a day pass for a soaring lurch through ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’, and at the end of the day Petty comes across as a likeable if overly serious man whose music stands the test of time very well.

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Russell PetersElvis
The King Of Rock n Roll
(Sony/BMG)

You may well feel that the marketplace needs another Elvis DVD like a seagull needs a playstation but this collection, showcasing twenty one of his number one US and UK hits and another nine classics culled from TV guest appearances, movies, concerts and his own television specials dating from 1956 to the 1970s, includes such classic Presley moments as his hugely provocative (for the time) performance in 1956 on the Milton Berle Show - ripping up ‘Hound Dog’ and prompting a flood of morally outraged complaints - or his 1957 performance on The Ed Sullivan Show filmed from the waist up so female fans (or indeed some male fans) wouldn’t get too hot and bothered by those famous gyrating hips and of course possibly the first ever music video ‘Jailhouse Rock’. Any self respecting Elvis fan will already have this stuff which is why Sony have included a 1960 press conference with the freshly shorn Presley on his return from the army and a 1972 press conference undertaken before a Madison Square Garden show, slim pickings for completists to be sure but it must be increasingly difficult to find anything relatively unseen, and for the casual Elvis fan this has pretty much everything you could want.

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Primal ScreamPrimal Scream
Riot City Blues Tour
(Liberation)

Ah, Bobbby, Bobby, Bobby... If ever a man was genetically indisposed to fronting a rock band it has to be Bobby Gillespie, gifted with a voice which can best be described as atonal and weak, and a dancing style best described as anaemic and limp (imagine Mick Jagger crossed with a J Cloth and you’re not far off), young Gillespie has made a career out of other peoples ideas – like Andy Weatherall, Terry Farley, George Clinton or Kevin Shields – and a talent for saying the right things in interviews. All of which may lead you to believe that this is a bit of a stinker, but amazingly such is not the case as the live show is pretty good, especially the second half which winds up with an incendiary ‘Kick Out The Jams’, and VFM is provided by a bunch of (although sadly not all) the bands videos – no ‘Kowalski’? ‘No Higher Than The Sun’? There is also a truncated interview with Mani and BG, which is bloody rubbish and best ignored, but on the whole, especially given that the band are not currently represented on DVD, this offers fans plenty of bang for their buck and comes recommended.

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PixiesThe Pixies
loudQUIETloud
(Plexi)

The first thing you should know about this film is it’s not aimed at Pixie newbies, if you are just discovering the band do a little homework first (read a bit, listen to the albums etc.), the rest of you can settle down secure in the knowledge that the subtext here is the Pixies were massively influential back in the day but earned bugger all themselves and Frank Black and Kim Deal are just as likely to clout each other as hug – although as it transpires it’s Dave Lovering who causes the most internal friction due to his transgressing the ‘no naughty substances’ clause laid down at the tours onset. Following the band from their first rehearsal and throughout the subsequent tour, what becomes immediately apparent is the fact that these are not natural buddies like, say U2, the conversations are stilted, and brief, the humour, whilst certainly present is nonetheless brittle and often terse, and nothing here really explains why it is that these four awkward and distant bedfellows become such a tightly honed and fearsome live unit when they hit the stage (oh yes, they’re still an astonishing live prospect). Compelling, fascinating and occasionally goosebump inducing this is yet another fine music documentary.

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****************************************************************** Oscar Peterson TrioOscar Peterson Trio
The Berlin Concert
(Wienerworld)

Recorded in Berlin (1985) when he was a sprightly 60 years of age Canadian jazz pianist and composer Oscar Emmanuel Peterson is held by many to be the finest jazz pianist of all time, and if you have never experienced the man in action rest assured this is not hyperbole. Filmed with the minimum of fuss (this isn’t Kiss after all), this ten track film catches Peterson in astonishingly nimble form for a pensioner, if he’s having any age related problems with his joints it certainly isn’t reflected in his playing, there are any number of pianists a third of his age who would struggle to keep up – although, lest we forget, Peterson’s genius is not just the speed at which he plays but the fluid beauty at which his mind and fingers work. Ably assisted by another legend, bassist Niels-Henning Oersted Pedersen, and drummer Martin Drew (their understanding of each other verges on the telepathic on occasions) this concert would make a fine addition to any jazz buffs collection. It would have been nice to find an interview lurking in the DVD’s nether regions, but around 80 minutes of astonishing bass, drum and piano virtuosity will just have to do.

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****************************************************************** The PoliceThe Police
Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out
(Universal)

“In 1978, when I was a member of a struggling rock band called The Police, I scraped together enough money to buy a Super 8 movie camera. As soon as I raised it to my eye and started filming, amazing things began to happen.” Thus spake Stewart Copeland referring to the reams of wobbly hand held footage documenting his whirlwind six year journey from the second wave of punk bandwagon jumpers to global superstardom. The moral of the story appears to be ‘beware of what you wish for, you just might get it’, and whilst some people clearly come to terms with, and ultimately embrace, the superstar lifestyle (Mick Jagger, Bono and Freddie Mercury spring to mind), some find it incredibly limiting and Copeland definitely falls into the latter category. So whilst he is at pains to point out how the early years were a ball and everyone got on like a house on fire it was when they began swanning around on boats and helicopter-ing into shows that the fun went AWOL. Add a ‘lobotomized and de-arranged’ soundtrack created by Copeland from stage jams and studio recordings and the result is an entertaining 74 minutes of laconically narrated cinéma vérité.

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Prince Prince & TNPG
Diamonds And Pearls
(Warner Music Vision)

Two incontrovertible facts about the man previously known as ‘the man previously known as Prince’, one he has created some timeless, classic, go on let’s use the word genius pop music, and two he has no concept of the notion of quality control. Pick any Prince album after 87's Sign O The Times and you’re gonna have to wade through some fair old drivel in the search of diamonds (or indeed pearls). If only the same could be said for his filmic output which has been uniformly duff from day one and this, his long-form video released in support of the patchy Diamonds And Pearls is no exception – ‘Strollin’’ must rank as one of the worst things he has ever committed to any form of recorded media - what it does have tho’ is some blistering live performances from his, then new, outfit The New Power Generation, a smattering of daft disjointed narrative, some astonishing (good) dancing and some equally astonishing (bad) acting all linked up with interview footage and the album’s highlight, one of the dirtiest slices of clonking great funk ever recorded, ‘Get Off’, the video for which is as ludicrously camp and lascivious as the song itself.

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****************************************************************** Band Du LacPink Floyd
Pulse
(EMI)

After the bands headline grabbing Live8 performance and rumours – since scotched by Gilmour – of a possible reunion EMI must have been champing at the bit to get some Floyd product out there and we can only imagine the frustration they undoubtedly felt with Pulse taking longer to arrive than the average British summer (Gilmour and long-time Floyd producer James Guthrie laboured long to remix the concert into 5.1-channel Dolby Surround Sound before the project encountered further hold ups avoiding clashes with Gilmour’s solo album). But at long last Pulse has made it onto DVD and it's been worth the wait. Floyd fans of old will already be aware that this performance is from the bands Division Bell tour (boasting some astonishing laser, lighting, and projection effects all of which are now far better than on the original VHS release) but the real draw is the inclusion of 1974's Dark Side of the Moon, played in its entirety. The packaging and menu system are a joy (designed by old Floyd mucker Storm Thorgerson), the sound choices an audio buffs wet dream and there's more than enough extras, videos and tour gubbins to keep even the most dedicated anorak happy.

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****************************************************************** Iggy PopIggy Pop
Live At The Avenue B
(Virgin)

Looking ever more these days like the bastard dad of the Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis, Iggy Pop has always been something of a live phenomena, a reputation for dangerous, unpredictable, frightening and disturbing behaviour, never, ever accepting anything less than being the complete focus of a live venues attention, indeed it was hard to imagine how he could ever hope to even vaguely approximate the sheer dynamic instability that had became the trademark of his early years. Yet this astonishing man, easily double the age of some of his sidekicks (approaching three times that of some of the audience), remains the total epicentre of The Avenue B, a whirling dervish hurtling around the stage stuttering, jerking and spinning like a cartoon Tasmanian Devil still exuding naked aggression and a patent disregard for his own physical wellbeing (even though he’s clearly the fittest man in the room) – hanging precariously from objects and encouraging a stage invasion during The Passenger which he clearly has no idea how he’s going to clear for the next song – and by the time he’s reached the thunderous punk jackhammer of I Got A Right and No Fun the room is entirely his. A ‘lust for life’ doesn't even come close

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The PoliceThe Police
Synchronicity Concert
(Universal)

Sting is officially the most irritating man in the world (with the possibly exception of Phil Collins) – is there anything more deeply annoying than a talented, good looking man who knows it? - add the well documented animosity shared by the tantric smirker and drummer Stuart Copeland and you should have a recipe for disaster. Yet it’s remarkable, not just how entertaining Mr Sumner is but also just how, almost telepathic, the rhythm section are, possibly one of the greatest ever in fact. Indeed The Police (helped in no small part by Andy Summers huge great swathes of guitar, filling all the necessary gaps left by a trio) were actually a superb live band, and are here captured in their prime by uber-video bods Godley and Crème belting out twenty-odd of the finest pop songs of the ‘80s. The whole package is then wrapped up with an interesting (if rather short) interview section with all three band members separately fanny-dancing around whether or not they are splitting up (although Andy Summers seems gloriously unaware that they were in fact playing their last show), four tracks especially created for all you multi-angle freaks and possibly the worst trailer ever

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Puddle Of MuddPuddle Of Mudd
Striking That Familiar Chord
(Eagle Vision)

The band with the most idiotic name this side of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin have, since being championed by the king of big-short whine rock Fred Durst, been following a career arc (in the UK at least) roughly parallel with the four non-Robbie members of Take That, which for those of us unable to ‘tap’ (titter) into their sub Nirvana clatter is no real cause for concern. But there are those (and that includes one or two of the more grungey elements at TotalMusic-Online), who find the lads appealing so if you number yourself amongst those that dig the Pudd’s Mudd’y thrash then this is a pretty fair approximation of what you would get should you ever encounter Wesley Reid Scantlin, Paul James Phillips, Gregory David Upchurch or indeed Douglas John Ardito armed with instruments and a room full of like minded individuals – in fact it’s probably a bit better as it’s all in 5.1. and you haven’t got some tattooed oaf moshing your shins to pulp. You get all the hits amongst the fourteen live tracks, four studio based acoustic versions and plenty of slacker mumbling for those keen on digging a bit deeper into the creation of songs like Blurry, Away From Me and many more

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Pink FloydPink Floyd
The Wall
(Sony Music)

Twenty five years after it’s original release on record, and twenty odd after making it’s first appearance on celluloid, Roger Waters grand folly – and let’s make no mistake here this is pretty much a Pink Floyd project in name only – finally makes the leap to DVD with embossed wall packaging, and the original poster included for good measure. Whether or not you will like this is of course entirely down to whether your willing to buy into Waters hugely overblown conceits. There’s little doubt tracks like Comfortably Numb, In The Flesh and Run Like Hell are classic Floyd but the previously reliable lyricist of Dark Side Of The Moon and Animals period PF – both of which contain some very pithy politicised vignettes - here mainly deals with the notion of rock stars losing the plot by, well, erm losing the plot really. Still Alan Parker creates some genuinely goose-bump inducing set-pieces, Gerald Scarfe’s cartoons are wonderfully obscene and even Bob Geldof’s rather mannered take on the lead role of Pink is OK. Add a bunch of après and post event featurettes (the retrospective versions being far the more interesting), and you have a set no Pink Floyd fan will want to be without.

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Russell PetersRussell Peters
Outsourced
(Warner Music Vision)

Why is stand-up comedian Russell Peters gracing the TotalMusic-Online pages? Well aside from the fact he’s a Hip Hop loving DJ and music routines often feature in his stage act Peters is an observant, personable, funny guy. Largely unknown in the UK his name might not immediately suggest a multi-cultural background – a Canadian of Anglo-Indian descent – but such is the case and his comedy focuses primarily on this cultural background, in fact cultural and racial stereotypes make up the majority of his act (an act helped in no small part by his excellent accent mimicry, although apparently he can’t do a Scottish accent). Naturally enough this approach can (and has) caused much controversy but his observations are delivered in an affable self-effacing way and by gently poking fun at everyone Peters’ philosophy that the world is rapidly shrinking, cultures are merging, and we're all going to end up, not white, black, brown, or yellow, but a nice shade of beige soon becomes apparent. This is not the comedy of hate, but of home-truths aimed at making us realise the sooner we are able to start laughing at ourselves the sooner we might stop killing each other.

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