Friday, July 09, 2004

On the DVD player (This Ain't the Mudd Club Edition)

Last weekend when JennySlash was hanging out at her mom's after she got out of the hospital, I found myself at home alone for one of the only times in the last few years. My first inclination in that situation is to crank it UP! But instead of throwing a CD on or grabbing some MP3s, I put on the 15th anniversary Stop Making Sense DVD and turned up the home theater system to, well, maybe not 11 but pretty loud.

For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, it is one of the truest-to-the-performance movies of a rock concert certainly that I've ever seen. And a hell of a concert it was! Starting with a bare stage full of ladders and cords and a single mike and stand, David Byrne comes out with a boombox to provide the rhythm track and does a mesmerizing version of Psycho Killer. Out comes elfin Tina Weymouth for the next song, looking about a foot shorter than her bass. As she and Byrne are finishing Heaven, stage hands push the drum kit onto the stage and Chris Franz kicks in a fast march beat for Thank You for Sending Me an Angel. Then Jerry Harrison comes out looking like he just rolled out from under the Dodge Dart that he was changing the oil on to do Found a Job. By the time they launch into Burning Down the House there are 9 people on the stage (including P-Funk's Bernie Worrell) and if you're not off your dead ass dancing around your living room, there is something seriously wrong with you. I found it interesting in reading a number of reviews of the DVD that I'm not the only one that gets a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat by the time Life During Wartime is over. Through it all, I think the thing that would surprise most people that stopped listening to them after More Songs About Buildings and Food is the incredible energy and joy that is evident on the stage - a far cry from the stiff, shy performances that I understand they were known for in the CBGBs days.

You've got options with the DVD soundtrack, including a remastered Dolby 5.1 film soundtrack, a Dolby 5.1 studio mix that sounds like you're sitting at the soundboard at the concert and a 2.1 mix that sounds awesome when I pop the DVD into my audioediting computer with the Klipsch ProMedia speakers.

It's a unique concert movie - one that I highly suggest you at least rent even if you're not a huge Talking Heads fan. Actually being a huge Talking Heads fan and having seen them on the tour that produced the movie, the DVD was a must-have for me.
Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock,
we blended with the crowd
We've got computers, we're tapping phone lines,
I know that ain't allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives,
or in a suit and a tie
I've changed my hairstyle, so many times now,
I don't know what I look like!

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