Endocrine Movie Reviews
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The photography on the concert itself was dark and drab, nowhere near the quality of Jars of Clay's music videos. This was a modern recording, so why is it only in 224kbps 2.0 stereo? What about a PCM or Dolby Digital 5.1 mix? The 2.0 stereo sounded almost as if it was really 2.0 mono.
"ten:thirty" was boring. A collection of home movies shot during recording with the band doing mostly nothing, edited with short commments by the band members.
Also, couldn't they have included some music videos from "The Eleventh Hour" as bonus material.
If "Jars Of Clay" is reading this review, they might want to consider hiring an experienced crew to film, edit, and mix the concert, and an experienced DVD author for better navigation.
Now onto the good points (there are plenty.) The songs are (as always) excellent. Ok, I'm a big Jars fan- but i don't think anyone will be unimpressed. The arrangements are awesome, the band brilliant and the vox superb. A truly enjoyable musical experience in my opinion. The four acoustic tracks are excellent-i love the new arrangements! The 'artflick' is great, a bit short but awesome. ten:thirty wasn't too bad either, and the bonus 'frail' track was awesome. I'm really really happy with this purchase: i think its excellent. And if there are any muso's reading this, then i suggest even more for you guys. Jars are truly talented boys, and are seriously inspiring. Love the lyrics too.
Ok, thats it. Go check this out. Its great!
1. Commentaries that takes places *during* the performances. What's up with that? The music should not have be interrupted.
2. Really cheesy landscape shots during the performances. I'd preferred to see just George and his piano.
3. I absolutely hated the new rendition of The Cradle. Ugh. The "new" Thanksgiving fared much better, however.
4. He doesn't play Colors/Dance -- arguably his best song.
The Rat Pack cool pose that worked so well in the 50s sits badly on a aging man. Little things give the lie to this pose: his terrible hairpiece, the fact that each time he tries to lean on the piano his arm slips. It brings to mind the notorious "Welcome Home Elvis" tv show he recorded in the 50s, during which he sang a skit of "You Make Me Feel So Young" with daughter Nancy. Frank's part was "You Make Me Feel So Old", and he would have done better to sing that during this London concert.
Having said that, if you are a Sinatra fan then this is a fun DVD to own. It's good to see him singing My Way, the tape is in colour and he is not yet at the stage where he struggles for breath and goes purple on high notes. Grace Kelly is far too mannered in her introduction and her "amusing" story about Christmas in Africa with Frank and Ava Gardner goes down like a brick with the audience (an astoundingly poor choice of story since that was the pre-From Here to Eternity time when Frank's career had hit its lowest point and Ava was constantly humiliating him).
Interesting to compare this tired performance to video recordings from the 50s or 60s when his powers were strong and he didn't need those irritating gestures because his voice and his eyes were compelling and hypnotic. The Man and His Music DVDs are a better buy than this one, but I am glad that I have this one in my collection.
This might not be Sinatra at his best, but he opens with his standard trademarks (with the exception of George Harrison's "Something," sings some sad tunes, tries out some unusual or new songs, and finishes off with both an timeless and modern trademark of his.
His first six numbers were his trademark songs, plus the Beatles "Something." It was all good, with "I Got You Under My Skin" being his weakest of the night when he almost messes up the timing. He does mess up lines of a few songs, but as a first time listener, I really didn't notice it that much and the guy quickly jokes out of it. Not perfect, but I've seen worse from other performers.
The second half of his show was called "Songs for Losers" and the only one I really enjoyed of those three was "One for my Baby." "Didn't We" was okay, but I couldn't stand "I Get Along Without You Very Well" at all.
The final half of the show has Sinatra doing a new number called "I'll Drink The Wine." Since I didn't have time to just transcribe the "true meaning" of the song, I just enjoyed it for the tune. It was a very good tune. The song "I Have Dreamed" only brought back memories of me as a teenager turning on A&E in 1994 and seeing Sinatra singing this. The ending is pretty cool.
Then Sinatra does "My Kind of Town" and finishes off with a cool version of "My Way." It isn't perfect, but Sinatra doesn't joke his way out of this song, as he had done with the others. Instead he makes some great covers that a first time listener would accept as the true lyrics. For example, "make it clear" actually sounds better than "say it clear" and "I grew tall, through it all" just sounded so cool to me. Like it was meant to be sung that way. Another performer had the same way about him when he changed the words to "I stood tall, when I went bald."
This might not be Sinatra at his best, but if you can accept a guy that has a great talent, that goofs off a little bit, then this should be part of your collection, even if you are a first time Sinatra-fan.
At short notice, HSH the late Princess Grace of Monaco graciously substituted as compere for the evening billed as "Night of Nights." The (charity) event was in aid of the National Association For The Prevention of Cruelty to Children to whom the proceeds and Television fees were paid; HSH Princess Grace and Messrs Hope and Sinatra meeting all of their own costs and in Mr Sinatra's case those of his musicians.
It is especially notable for Mr Sinatra's performance of the rare Lenny Hayton arrangement of George Harrison's "Something" and of course the beautiful Nelson Riddle arrangement of "I Get Along Without You Very Well" which is performed incomparably and last but not least, the rare Gordon Jenkins arrangement of "One For My Baby."
"I Will Drink The Wine" written by the son of accomplished Anglo-Canadian singer Marion Ryan was a new Sinatra "pop single" and like present day "pop" pales by comparison with that of Rogers & Hart, Cole Porter etc. It is notable merely that it reflects the post "flower power / love child" influences which had such a dibilitating effect upon Western civilised countries.
Accompanied by accomplished jazz musicians and LSO string section, Sinatra is in fine "Basie" form and brings a "looseness/improvisation" and humour to his readings which sets them apart from those in the recording studio.
In his 50's the voice may not have been as sweet as it was in his 20's but the depth of his readings of the ballads make these performances far superior. The key change in "I have Dreamed" proved, if proof were needed that "retirement" the following year should never have been a consideration.
In a word this concert is "incomparable."
The Americanization of this Story of the creation of Japan set me off a bit. The CD is much better.
The picture quality is pretty good (looks like it may have been a laser disc?)and is acceptable for DVD.(Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells concert seems to be the best quality I have seen to date) The sound quality would have been better if had been in PCM.But still a great disc.
All in all, I do highly recomend the DVD. It is Mike's only american DVD you can by that is in an NTSC format. If you like Mike I recomend buying a PAL or SECAM DVD deck and TV. Then buy the european DVDs that are available over in europe. But that is if your a big fan of Mike Oldfield. And can be expensive with shipping and handleing.
If you like MO. Buy this DVD. You will not be disappointed.
Trust me even if you don't know me.
Yes the music is great, but the sound cuts in and out and the video looks murky. Also, the stage lighting is so dim that you can barely see the horn section, the background singers, or the percussion players. As a result, the cameras focus strictly on what is happening at the front of the stage, basically just Fela and the dancers. It makes the whole experience feel flattened and two-dimensional. You start wondering just what is going on back there in the dark.
Worth buying only as a historical artifact.
Merle's voice is unreal, and his band is tight and right on the mark.
The camera angles, etc. really pull you in to the 'essence' of each show, and the audio is, in my opinion, CD quality and worthy of praise for a live recording.. very well done
A MUST HAVE FOR MERLE/COUNTRY FANS!!! PERIOD!
If you're looking for a Garth Brooks or Shania Twain glitz and glimmer Vegas-style concert.. look elsewhere. This is a songwriter and poet at work here, and the SONGS and the SINGER are the show.
Disappointing, however was the fact that the songlist on the back cover shows 'My Favorite Memory', which is not present... Willie appears for "Sing Me Back Home", but the cover indicates that he also appears on 'Just Stay Here and Drink'.. which does not appear at all until the second episode/show (and, no Willie). I've viewed this on and off for a couple days.. and I either blinked, looked away, etc. but I did not see Mr. Paycheck at all.
There are other inconsistencies with what the back indicates, and what's really there, but it does NOT take away from what IS there. I was really looking forward to seeing what the cover SAYS is there, so a small bit of frustration was initially present.
I believe some editing took place after the packaging had already been finished.
If you're even CONSIDERING this item (which you obviously are, or you wouldn't be reading this).. JUST CLICK "BUY".. You'll love it!
1) I Love You (McBride)
2) Broken Wing (McBride)
3) Independence Day (McBride)
4) China Grove (Doobie Brothers)
5) Black Water (Doobie Brothers)
6) Long Train (Doobie Brothers)
7) Everyday (Matthews)
8) All Along the Watchtower (Matthews)
9) R.O.C.K. in the USA (Mellencamp)
10) Pink Houses (Mellencamp)
11) Don't Cry No Tears (Young)
12) When I Hold You In My Arms (Young)
13) Whiskey River (Nelson)
14) Stay All Night (Nelson)
15) Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys (Nelson)
16) Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Everyone)
17) Amazing Grace (Everyone)
1) Farm Aid Featurette
2) Farm Aid Background (written information)
3) DVD-ROM Link to Farm Aid Website
Available in Dolby 5.1 Surround and PCM Stereo
Total Running Time (including special features):
Coming only 18 days after the September 11th attacks, the concert took on an extremely powerful spirit and overall tone - there was something about the communion of several thousand people from all walks of life and fans of all different genres getting together with some amazing music for a ten-hour concert celebration. The 2001 Farm Aid concert would be transformed into a celebration in support of more than just the annual Farm Aid cause, but America as a whole. With all the focus in late 2001 on music and its ability to raise funds and symbolize a national spirit, Farm Aid would benefit from even more national attention due to its timing.
I'll get to the shortfalls later, but what this DVD effectively does is provide a great highlight reel for an unbelievable show. What's here is fantastic stuff - the picture and sound quality are impeccable, and all the performances included (although I am not a big country fan and will almost always skip McBride's set) are worthwhile. The highlights for me are Dave's incredible "All Along the Watchtower" (the best version of this I've heard from him to date, with great touches by Willie Nelson's harp player Micky Raphael), Mellencamp's "Pink Houses" (which really summed up the spirit of the night), and both of Neil's songs. "When I Hold You In My Arms" is performed beautifully by Crazy Horse, a version I prefer over the one released on "Are You Passionate?"
The Doobie Brothers delivered a greatest hits type of set, which was just what people wanted to hear. Willie, as always, was great, and Martina McBride's set included some modern pop/country radio staples that even I recognized.
You get to see what I saw sitting in section G, looking back at the thousands on the expansive lawn behind me, lighters raised to show what seemed like a million little lights under the dark Indiana sky. It clearly got to Mellencamp as well, who responded, "Keep it up you guys, that's great."
Willie's set is done in his typical hurried style, running through some classic country, blues, gospel, and folk staples in two minute laps. The encore brings nearly everyone (no Dave or John) back out on the stage for "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "Amazing Grace."
The "Special Features" section of the DVD also includes a Farm Aid Featurette: a 7-minute mini-documentary briefly profiling a number of family farmers and allowing them to tell their own stories. The featurette also includes footage from the concert itself, specifically of Neil's typically outspoken rant, but also footage of Dave Matthews' "Everyday" and Mellencamp's "Pink Houses" intermixed with footage of families working on the farm. It does a good job of getting the general message across but spends virtually no time on the specific problems facing family farmers today.
While admittedly, most people who watch the DVD will do so solely for the musical performances, with all the potential the DVD technology brings, it would've made much more sense in my opinion to include a longer documentary. It could've included footage of the factory farms causing the problems, the environmentalist perspective, and the lack of attention Washington D.C. pays to true family farmers. Sadly, this disc missed the boat in that department, and this theme of coming up short of potential is mirrored in the musical side as well.
As I mentioned, what's here is fantastic, but it falls far short of "what could have been." Dave Matthews hadn't done many solo gigs prior to this (unless you count the very early '90s), and the performance he gave was quite powerful, including a lot of material from the Lillywhite Sessions which would eventually become "Busted Stuff" (such as "Grace is Gone" and "Bartender," also classics "Satellite," "The Song that Jane Likes," "One Sweet World," and others). Mellencamp played a supercharged set including his classics "Jack and Diane," "Small Town," and "The Authority Song." Neil's set also included feedback-laden takes on "Love and Only Love" and "Rockin' in the Free World," in addition to the farm anthem he plays *every* year: "Mother Earth."
But all of those songs are missing. Granted, including the entire broadcasted portion of the show would have required two discs worth of space, but there is certainly a lot more room on this disc that went unused. Martina McBride gets three songs, as do the Doobie Brothers and Willie, but John, Neil, and Dave (three of the biggest draws Farm Aid has, and who with Willie form the Board of Directors) only get two each, which is a crying shame.
This disc was originally offered by Farm Aid itself as a donation incentive during the 2002 campaign, so in reality it was completed this past summer. Hopefully Farm Aid will get in the habit of releasing these more often, and use them as a tool to both spread word for the Farm Aid cause as well as act as a fund-raiser. How nice would it be for both Farm Aid viewers and attendees to be able to purchase each year's performance on DVD in conjunction with watching or attending the next year's?
CMT butchered its coverage of the 2001 concert, breaking in the middle of many songs to cut to commercials by the likes of Burger King (seriously). Thankfully, they righted the ship a little in 2002 and broadcast the full sets, which were limited to something like 40 minutes each. News about the 2001 DVD didn't break until the fundraising campaign really kicked into high gear in mid 2002, so who knows - maybe a DVD from 2002's performance is waiting a few months down the road?
Other suggestions for improvement in case anyone from Farm Aid or Pioneer Entertainment is watching:
1) This show had firefighters and other volunteers collecting 9/11 donations in firefighter boots out in the gigantic grass parking lot - it would have been nice had a film crew gone through that process to provide more of the perspective of the attendee. It certainly was an unforgettable experience for me, and I think DVD viewers would have appreciated it. Nothing overly long (like this review); if you've seen the opening to Neil's Red Rocks DVD, I'm thinking of something like that.
2) The DVD-Rom feature is limited simply to a link to the Farm Aid website; this could've been expanded to include other groups who participate in and support the Farm Aid cause, such as the Missouri-based organization which produces the red "Stop Factory Farms" shirts, credible sites with more information on corporate farming and the hazards it brings, statistics on environmental and health damage, etc. Many people wouldn't bother with them, but for the little time it'd take to include them, those who would use them would appreciate it.
Getting back to this disc, if you like any of these artists or just great quality music combined with a worthwhile cause, I have to recommend this disc despite its shortcomings. It does a good job of capturing the overall vibe of the evening and includes some incredible performances. You don't have to forget about what you're missing to really enjoy what's here; I still love it and will watch it often.