Radiohead, Beck, White Stripes live on DVD
A best-of "From the Basement," IFC's nifty concert series, will soon be available on DVD. It's good, really good.
I was never much of a fan of music videos or MTV. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to watch a band act out a silly story or lip-sync to a make-believe "performance." Why not just shoot the band playing for real in a studio?
High points include the White Stripes. Jack's wailing vocal acrobatics and scorching guitar riffs bouncing off Meg's pounding drums on "Blue Orchid" are a sight to see. When Meg's really into it she rears back and sticks out her tongue.
Jarvis Cocker is a wild man, he and his band seem to be channeling late '70s Elvis Costello and the Attractions. OK, maybe it's Cocker's thick glasses that threw me off, but the music really does have an early punk vibe to it. Too bad there's just one cut from Cocker.
Radiohead opens the DVD and Thom Yorke closes it. Me, I preferred Yorke solo, playing an upright piano. There's a palpable quality in the sound of the instrument, every creak of the wood and clatter of the keys add dimension to the music. I love the way Yorke modulates his voice against those amazing chord changes, it's a commanding performance.
The "From the Basement" Dolby Stereo, Dolby 5.1, and DTS 5.1 mixes are you-are-there intimate. There's no heavy production, editing, tweaking, or effects to muck things up. You hear the "room," the sound of the singers and band filling that space. "From the Basement" is one of the best-sounding music DVDs I've heard in a long while. It's set for release on March 3 with a retail price of $14.98.