Lemon Jelly - 64 to 95 (DVD)
This is a DVD of the album of the same name with visual/graphics or animated videos which was released in 2005. Although I am not a doctor or do not have epilepsy myself, I would just like to inform those of you who do or who are sensitive to the following: this DVD does contain flashing or flickering imagery. Track/Video ... listing
'Come down on me' - Explosive sounding guitar, slightly fibre optic circles, moving in motion with the groove of the music. Shadow figures of a woman appear on the screen in kaleidoscopic form, bending & shaping her way to the movement of the rhythm. All in a red/fiery glow, ending in a swirl shape of a couple entwined together.
'Only time' - Black and white graphics, form into a conveyor belt with photo's on boxes moving along it. Wheels, cogs turning to 'If I only had time' in a slowed down voice. A structural x-ray of the machine is shown throughout. Zooms in on the centre of the cog wheel, opening a spiral (slightly James Bond style). A dark shadow figure of a man is walking on the spot, then noticed he was singing
'Things to pursue, 'If I only had time'. Photo images were then moving along from a square cut out of the top of his head in a slide show motion.
'Don't stop now' - White screen, red squares piled into columns turn and flash to the beat and the bass. Black jigsaw/flat pack box pieces pile up on high stacks, once again to the same flow of sound. Which continues till the end.
'Make things right' - A planetary, starry sky, clouds hover - camera moves to fluorescent fibre optic fantasy land of toadstools, plants. Flowers grow, a butterfly in the main frame flutters by; riding on the wave of the sea. Then flows under the sea, where jellyfish, plankton and eels glide by. The butterfly sings 'Only wanna makes things right'. You enter the mouth of the giant fish, which has human skeletons inside, travel through to his lower end and out there to a fairground outside.
'Shouty track - Lined paper is the backdrop, scribbled drawing slowly appears, creature's mouth opens. "AAAGGHH!"sounds, two creature's in the scene - one head banging swishing his hair the other with his fist up nodding. "OK then", "OK!" were the voices, as one of them volunteers to be clevered, arrowed and tortured in some way continuously, each time you here them speak.
Lots of retro images flash up on the screen such as cassettes or food items. Lots of fists in the air from a gig. Stools, barrels being thrown. Continuation of hitting each other ensues with clubs and all sorts in time to the music and guitar riff. Dark, sinister caper, fits with my sense of humour.
*a personal favourite*
'Stay with you' - Colourful rolling hills and stars move simultaneously (similar to a lava lamp in flow style). Shadows of birds in flight. Shadow figurine of a dancing girl/ballerina, figures of people dancing, dolphins diving in the air through the floaty rainbow wave moment.
'The slow train' - White screen, harmonising vocals, yellow graphic rectangular shape sliding along like a train across the back drop. This shape moves slowly along, then others in different colours are along side .
'A man like me' - Animated man with a green frog helmet on, then another man this time with a black helmet of a frog, waves a magic wand and red and white (sixties style) circles float around with a purple back ground. The green helmet man decides to run away the other man chases after him. Many surreal images emerge during the running including :- houses shooting lasers from their eyes, mountains firing aubergines and elephants firing mice from their trunks.
'Go' - A forest, slow movement of the camera moving across the screen, a shadow figure of a man to the left walks slowly across the images of land, grass, trees and fields. He has a transparency to him so you can see all the graphics of the changing scenery through him. Fast words move in motion to William Shatner's voice as he names places and uses exciting descriptive words to tell the tale.
Every piece of music of this album fits perfectly with the animation, and each of the shapes, colours and symmetry flows wonderfully into each video. Taking you on a modern , Psychedelic trip - naturally.
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Char Music to Harmonize Your Energy (DVD+CD)
When I first mentioned to my best mate of many years that I had bought this cd and dvd set for a quid in Poundland I got two immediate responses from her as well as an eye roll. First was that I'd been ripped off with a load of rubbish, and secondly that I must drunk. Actually I didn't feel ripped off getting both a cd and a dvd for the ... price I paid for it and secondly I was not drunk...just desperate and looking for some sort of enlightenment as well as some much needed energy, as this is meant to give us all according to the blurp on the casing.
How many of us with the lives we have are tired, stressed out and basically out of synch? I think most of us are knackered in this day and age with kids, jobs, lack of money and not enough sleep and so on.
Me I have no kids thankfully (not something I've ever really wanted) but because I suffer with M.E, a thyroid complaint and a spine condition ,with noisy neighbours and a city centre flat I'm permanently left feeling exhausted and stressed out. Although I try to rest quite often something always needs doing or stops me. I do a review to keep occupied or do cleaning or something productive instead of just relaxing.
I struggle to get to sleep as I can't relax enough with noise from all hours coming from my neighbours and drunk people in the town and so I either wait till I think things have really gone quiet and then try get to sleep or I was downing a bottle of wine (or two), far too often to blank everything out which wasn't only on its way to making me feel alcohol dependent, but broke, hung over and grumpy but most of all even more tired out and it interfered even more with my M.E so I had to put a stop to it.
So like I say when I saw this cd/dvd for only a quid I had the attitude that if it works great, if not its only a quid I lost. My idea was to play at it night, quietly through my dvd player (which also of course plays cds) with earphones on to relax me and maybe help me fall asleep!
My mate unconvinced and wanting me to go see a psychiatrist at this point with all my new age bits and pieces and mumojumbo speak surrounding me laughed so much that the first time I watched the dvd and cd I locked her in my home, tucked her up in bed next to me and told her to at least give it a go....which she did!
Well what you get is one dvd box with two cds within it one of the cds is a brown colour and that it is a cd the other is olive green and that tells us it is a dvd and on both we are clearly told what they are. Within the case there is a colourful booklet that tells us all about our chakras which is what this cd is meant to harmonise, balance and put back energy kind of back into and help us to rejuvenate ourselves. The case it comes in as does the cardboard outer case and the booklet has a nice photograph of a very chilled out looking Char Margolis who is a spiritualist and believes in holistic therapies and she has written many books on the matter including this offering which was released in 2006.
Ok this runs for about 1 hour and its totally boring. I suggest only watching this once and getting it over and done with to be honest as Char speaks at length with Dr Robert Vinson who has composed and put together the tracks on the cd with her help. On the dvd we are told all about chakras, what they do and how music can help to soothe and energise them and the notes used that 'speak' to them and wake them up sort of thing.
I only watched this once as this almost put us to sleep watching this alone but the information is important so you can understand what the cd is meant to do, however I found the booklet much easier to read through than to watch all this boring stuff!
First off I better explain where and what you chakras are. I knew about chakras before I got this set and its always been a bit of an interest to me. Basically chakra's are energy points in the body and we all have 7 of them. We start at the bottom and work up so you have a root/base chakra which is situated at the base of the spine which is actually considered to be associated with the adrenaline gland and it handles basic survival and sexual energy. Then you have the second chakra point which is the Sacral Chakra kind of near your belly button area. This chakra is associated with the very centre of your emotions and gender identity. Then we move on to the third chakra which is between your naval and sternum and it is associated with the pancreas and this is meant to be a very powerful chakra which can control an manipulate any incoming energy. This is meant to align your brain with your physical being. Your fourth chakra is you heart one and this chakra allows you to channel love both inside and out of yourself. If this isn't aligned it can be difficult to keep a good perspective on things! The fifth chakra is the throat one and to do with the thyroid gland (important to me of course). The throat of course is the centre for great communication and making and keeping commitments. It is also the main chakra used by psychics and for hearing voices etc. The sixth chakra is the 3rd eye (brow). Keeping this in synch and clear is important for higher mental and intuitive abilities and is associated with the pituitary gland and finally the seventh chakra is the crown chakra and that is meant to give the highest level of spiritual knowledge.
The music on the cd lasts 1 hour and is split into seven compositions all lasting about the same length of time really. You can listen to the whole cd, meant to give us utter and complete relaxation an to leave us feel rejuvinated or you can simply listen to what you think you may need. After reading my little low down on chakras, if by now you believe they exist you can fully see the importance of opening them up and spring cleaning them from time to time and by doing so we are meant to feel reenergised, balanced and more positive.
Using The CD:
Its best to lie down, relax or meditate and half way after listening to this cd the first time both me and my mate fell into blissful sleep and awoke feeling amazing! Seriously! Even my mate loves this cd now as much as I do and she actually went and bought not only herself one but her mum one too!
Each one is different. Some are fast tempo, some slower all with no random mind jolting notes all. It is just soft music really. Each track consists of different notes of course to make a tune however each chakra is meant to respond best to a particular note:
Root/Base: Note of C, colour red
Sacral: Note of D, colour orange
Solar Plexus: Note of E, colour yellow
Heart: Note of F, colour emerald green
Throat: Note of G, colour Sapphire blue
3rd Eye/Brow Note of A colour indigo
Crown: Note of B colour violet
The reason I note the colours is cos some people may want to use crystals on chakras either when listening to this cd or just to energise them at any time. I personally own crystals so sometimes do place that colour crystal onto the chakra area either when listening to this cd or just alone to help reenergise and realign myself. I have a friend who also wears the colour corresponding to the chakra area from time to time too and she believes that works for her very well indeed!
Throughout each track you will detect a base note of the one given above highly within it. Some tracks or quite heavy and deep some more light hearted and whimsical but I have to admit that I find them all unique and rather relaxing.
Do I Believe This Set Works?:
For me yes I do and thats the main thing of course. I enjoy the music though not the dvd and find musically and the way its put together is great with a good high quality sound to it. I always seem to nod off to this but do I believe that the 'notes' speak to my chakras?.....Well not really though it soothes my troubled brow kind of thing and listening to this cd last thing at night, just after drinking a Horlicks and spraying lavender mist on my pillow feels a very positive step in the right direction for me an my frayed nerves.
Do I Recommend This Set?:
Actually yes I do. It looks a nice set and at a pound (I have only seen this in Poundland stores so far on the high street) I do if not for the music alone. However this set is available on Amazon priced at about a fiver and for a dvd and a cd that offers relaxation and balance into your life I'd give it a whirl if I was you and your into alternative things like I am! Also this is presented so nicely it would make a lovely little gift for someone who is into this sort of thing!
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Pink Floyd Live in Pompeii (DVD)
Before Pink Floyd became one of the biggest Rock acts in the world filling huge stadiums for their pyrotechnic fuelled concerts they were an alternative art rock band at the forefront of the burgeoning psychedelic and progressive rock scene. In those days the only stadiums they played (as can be witnessed from this DVD) were ancient ... roman amphitheatres.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
Filmed and recorded in 1972 before their million selling 'Dark Side of the Moon' album this DVD shows Pink Floyd at their psychedelic best. By this stage mercurial genius Syd Barrett had self destructed by a prodigious and ultimately damaging use of drugs. His musical vision was however continued by the rest of the band maybe in a slightly more restrained but nonetheless inventive and innovative manner. Pink Floyd's music at this time was as much an experimentation of the possibilities of record sound as much as it was about lyrics or melodies. For me this is their most interesting period encompassing some of their now less well known recording such as 'A Saucerful of Secrets' (1968), Ummagumma (1969) and Meddle (1971). Most of the music included in the original Pompeii concert is from these albums and the tracks chosen really suit the strange atmosphere of the deserted ancient Roman theatre in Pompeii and the location is in sharp contrast with the electronic instruments and recording equipment the band used and which is prominently on show.
The performance include in the film were not simply live renditions of the songs, they were recorded using studio quality 24-track recorders so the sound is first rate. The footage was directed by documentary maker Adrian Maben.
The first version of the film was supposed to be released in cinemas in November 1972 but due to certification problem the release date was put back. The eventual version released was 1 hour long and featured only the live performances but later versions included band interviews at Abbey Road Studios cafeteria and studio footage of the band recording some songs for 'Dark Side of The Moon'. This version I'm reviewing is the so called Director's cut released in 2003 is slightly longer at 92mins and includes the live footage and band interviews but also some added footage from the Apollo space program and computer-generated images of space and Pompeii as background to some of the musical sequences. Interestingly the original one hour recording with only live footage is included as an extra.
*2003 DIRECTOR'S CUT VERSION TRACK LISTING
'Echoes, Part 1'/'On the Run' (from 'Meddle' 1971/ 'The Dark Side of the Moon' 1973)
'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' (B-side of 'Point Me at the Sky' single, 1968)
'A Saucerful of Secrets' (from 'A Saucerful of Secrets' 1968)
'Us and Them' (Studio Footage from 'The Dark Side of the Moon' 1973)
'One of These Days'(from Meddle, 1971)
'Mademoiselle Nobs' (filmed in Paris)
'Brain Damage' (Studio Footage from 'The Dark Side of the Moon' 1973)
'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' (from 'A Saucerful of Secrets' 1968)
'Echoes, Part 2' (from 'Meddle' 1971)
*1972 ORIGINAL FILM TRACK LISTING
'Echoes, Part 1' (from Meddle, 1971)
'Careful with That Axe, Eugene' (B-side of 'Point Me at the Sky' single, 1968)
'A Saucerful of Secrets' (from A Saucerful of Secrets, 1968)
'One of These Days' (from Meddle, 1971)
'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' (from 'A Saucerful of Secrets' 1968)
'Mademoiselle Nobs' (filmed in Paris)
'Echoes, Part 2' (from Meddle, 1971)
The first to say is that after you have put the DVD on and made your selection of the main title or the original concert in the special features section your screen will go black, don't worry, gradually you will hear the faint sound of a heartbeat but still black screen, don't worry even after 30 seconds don't worry there isn't a fault with the DVD it's just a Pink Floyd DVD.
THE 1972 ORIGINAL
Now I'm going to do a rather unconventional thing for a DVD review, I'm going to review one of the special features before the main title. Why? Because the special feature is the original concert footage from the original 1970's release and I feel we need to take a look at this first before talking about the later Director's cut. In fact if you buy this DVD I would urge you watch it this way round.
Both versions begin with Echoes part 1 which in many ways is a track that serves as a musical link between what Pink Floyd were to become with DSOTM and later albums and what they were before this. You can hear in Echoes the more melodic and well constructed composition that was to become their trademark sound in the rest of the 70's, the sonic experimentation that had been their trademark has slowly given way to a more polished sound with Gilmour's guitar very much in the forefront. And yet this track is only a taste of what is yet to come since the rest of the music in the original recording is firmly grounded in an earlier more experimental sound. We get a feel of the more psychedelic sound of the Floyd on the next track 'Careful With That Axe Eugene' where the band use their instruments and vocals to create a rather disturbing but compelling rhythm. Things then get very weird with 'Saucerful Of Secrets' a cacophony of reverberating sounds and musical instruments all just about held together by a slight central percussion thread, if you were watching this DVD in an Amsterdam coffee shop and had partaken in some Hash brownies just before the start you'd been in stoner heaven by now! The strangest track on the DVD is 'Mademoiselle Nobs' a slow down and dirty Blues instrumental with 'vocal' by well trained Afghan Hound! This is the only track on the original version that is not based in Pompeii it was in fact filmed in Paris while the band was mixing the final recording.
The choice of songs in interesting spanning a lot of the early Floyd (post-Barrett) including some outstanding tracks my favourite being the dark and hypnotic meandering 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun'. Whether by design or by accident the choices of song seem to allow each of the band members to take centre stage at different times. Thus Wright take the vocals on the first track Water is prominent in 'Careful with That Axe Eugene' playing the gong with great gusto, Nick mason's drums come to the fore during 'One Of These Days' and Gilmour shows off his guitar skills in more than one song.
The Director uses many visual techniques some more innovative in 1972 than they are now, to fill in and expand on the music. So at different times we get images of Pompeii, close up of the wonderful mosaics and distant shots of distant shot of Mount Vesuvius looming menacingly in the distance above the amphitheatre all accompanying the music. Many of the images are used as ghostly overlays to footage of the band playing; some are used in split screen mode and slow motion close-ups. A couple of the tracks are filmed at night when the amphitheatre is decked with enormous lamps and bulb backlighting the band as they play. There are also images of steaming volcanic pool and larva flows interspersed through the tracks. There is also a film within a film aspect to it as we often see footage of the cameras filming the band performing. The look of the film is excellent; the picture quality is great and unusual due to the use of the October morning and evening lights when filming. The colours have deep blue/grey tones in the morning sessions and much richer red orange and brown tinges in the evening. The director did a fine job setting the recording up and using the unorthodox surrounding to best effect.
THE 2003 DIRECTOR'S CUT
The biggest change musically from the original release is the inclusion of the 'Dark Side of the Moon' (DSOTM) material which obviously had not been made when the live sessions in Pompeii were first recorded. I suppose in later years with the massive commercial success of DSOTM it was too tempting not to include anything from that album on a later release and possibly attract fans on Pink Floyd who might not be familiar with their music before that time. The band interviews mostly filmed in the Abbey Road studios and some I believe in Paris are interspersed in between the tracks. Although they are not in depth really no more than a few sound bites and some larking about by mainly Waters and the interviewer they do provide a hint of slight divisions in the band and how strongly the loss of Barrett was felt. Gilmour was still the new boy at this stage and you do feel that he's still even four years on he's still finding his feet in the dynamics of the band. There is also some more serious talk about the nature of the music and how it's developing and how the nature of the ever more complex sound they are trying to develop necessitates taking so much equipment on tour. All this is interesting but I feel it is an unwelcomed interruption to the flow of the music and does tend to breaks the spell that had been set up when you see the band playing in the inspiring surrounding of the ruined theatre. Possibly the interviews should have been relegated to the special features section too. In many ways while the DVD is still great to watch the changes are a little unnecessary and don't really improve on the original. The fact that the original is also included on the DVD goes some way to rectifying this. My other grumble is the inclusion of the DSOTM material, it really doesn't fit into the Pompeii recording and while it is fascinating to see the band in the studio developing some songs that were to feature on DSOTM it feels like an add on and not integral to the original recordings. Having said this tracks that are included 'Us and Them' and 'Brain Damage' are excellent.
The director's cut also features some extra footage of the band messing about near the volcano, some computer generated recreations of the some of the buildings in Pompeii and their destruction by the volcanic eruption and some stock footage of the Apollo mission landing on the moon, strange to say that manned space exploration now seems a little dated.
Overall the original film work better for me musically and visually but the later version does include some interesting things and presents the music is a slightly different way which is also worth seeing.
OTHER SPECIAL FEATURES
*INTERVIEW WITH ADRIAN MABEN- This is a 25 minute interview with the director done in 2003 explaining how the he first met the band and how the project got started. There are some good insights into the band's psyche at the time and some good anecdotes about the problems faced with making the film. Maben makes some interesting observations about how to film rock concerts in general and how he saw this as an anti Woodstock exercise where the audience was not present and the music rather than the audience reaction takes centre stage. He also talks about why Pompeii was such a good location for the project.
*ALBUM GRAPHICS - A selection of artwork from some of the Floyd albums DSOTM, UMMAGAMMA, MEDDLE and SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS.
*MAP AND HISTORY OF POMPEII- A short potted history of Pompeii and the eruption.
*ODDS AND SODS- Photos of Bootleg album covers and some of the original posters amongst other things.
*PHOTO GALLERY -band photos and one of Nobs the dog!
PINK FLOYD ARE: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, Nick Mason
Director: Adrian Maben
Producers: Alex Darbyshire, Mark Fenwick, Michèle Arnaud, Nick Ryle, Reiner Moritz
Format: Anamorphic, Colour, Full Screen.
Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles: English, Japanese, Georgian
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Hip-O Records
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
Run Time: 92 minutes
This is an essential addition to any Pink Floyd fans collection more so if your interest in Floyd like me ends with 'The Wall' and tends to increase the further back I go. One thing that is striking about the original film even when presented as the distracting director's cut is how bold a project it was both technically and artistically. I can't think of many other live recordings that match up to it in terms of innovation. Maybe in today's music industry it would not be made. The package of extras is great and seeing you can pick it up for less than a fiver if you're a fan this is a no brainer.
'Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii - Director's Cut' on DVD is available to buy from Amazon uk for £4.45 including free delivery at the time of writing this review.
Highly recommended for all Pink Floyd fans!
© Mauri 2012
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Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / Blu-ray released 2008-12-01 at Eagle Rock / Features of the Blu-ray: PAL
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / DVD released 2005-02-07 at Universal / Features of the DVD: DVD-Video, PAL
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / Director: Peter Neal / Blu-ray released 2012-04-30 at Odeon Entertainment / Features of the Blu-ray: Dolby, HiFi Sound, PAL
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / DVD released 2012-01-30 at Eagle Rock / Features of the DVD: NTSC
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / DVD released 2012-03-19 at XXL Media / Features of the DVD: PAL
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / DVD released 2011-11-21 at Eagle Vision / Features of the DVD: NTSC
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / Director: Daniel E Catullo III / Blu-ray released 2012-03-26 at DC3 Global / Features of the Blu-ray: Dolby
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / Actors: Daniel O'Donnell ... / DVD released 2012-03-05 at DMG TV / Features of the DVD: DVD-Video, PAL
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / Blu-ray released 2012-03-26 at Parlophone / Features of the Blu-ray: CD+Blu-ray
Genre: Music DVDs / Exempt / Blu-ray released 2012-04-09 at Sony CMG
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