you're old enough to walk, you're old enough to rock!"
Volume 1 features performances by three bands - the Ohmies, Milkshake and the Laurie Berkner
Band. For those who might not know, Jamarama is touted as a "touring musical
festival for kids" and is sponsored by the cable channel Noggin.
Out of the three bands featured on the disc, there were only two I was
familiar with - Milkshake and the Laurie Berker Band - and I only knew one song
by Milkshake. In fact, it was my children who introduced me to Berkner. One
weekend they were singing a song about two blokes named Victor Vito and Freddie
Vasco and their culinary exploits involving burritos and spaghetti. I had no
clue what they were talking about, until I caught one of Noggin's bumpers
between their shows called "Move To the Music". After that, I quickly became
familiar with her thanks to the aforementioned bumpers and a program called
"Jack's Big Music Show".
The show opens with the Ohmies, a band that seemed to be a kid's version of a
jam band. They run through three songs - "So Much Fun Together", "Butterfly" and
"Up/Down Dawg" - that were pretty unmemorable. Next up was the Laurie Berkner
Band, the more popular of the three, who do two quick songs - "Pig On Her Head"
and "We Are the Dinosaurs". The final band, Milkshake, perform three songs -
"Bottle Of Sunshine", "Milkshake R n' R" and "ABC Of Me" - before all three
bands come back on stage for a brief reprise of "So Much Fun Together".
After watching Jamarama Live!
Volume 1, i'm not so sure there's much rocking to be done. Well, okay, that
might not be true, but they were 32 long minutes. In fact, my kids felt
the same way. When I started the disc, the Ohmies and their bright colors and
Parliament-Funkadelic-inspired wardrobe held their attention for a few seconds,
but then they wandered into their play room - at least until they heard Laurie
start singing "Pig On Her Head". They quickly made a beeline for the living room
and sang along until she was done. Milkshake held their attention, until they
did a song that wasn't featured on "Jack's Big Music Show".
Volume 1 has a picture that's pretty bad. I wouldn't say it was unwatchable,
but the colors aren't as bright as they should be and it looks as if it was shot
using a very early model camcorder. It's also shot in a widescreen 1.85:1 aspect
ratio with purple bars instead of the usual black.
Audio: If the video was pretty bad, the audio was downright terrible. I'm
not sure who was manning the soundboard during the concert, but the low hum of
feedback was noticable during most of the disc, particularly during the Ohmies
Extras: There are three "extras" on the disc. The first, "Monkey See,
Monkey Do" (2:31) is an animated music video that has some pretty terrible
animation for a pretty terrible song that I can't imagine kids wanting to hear
more than once - if that. Next is a music video for Milkshake's "Happy
Song" (2:59). I wasn't familiar with the song and it wasn't bad, but the video
was uninteresting. Lastly, there's something called "Jamarama Trivia", where
viewers are grilled with ten questions - four about Jamarama, three about Laurie
Berkner, two about Milkshake and one about the Ohmies.
Conclusion: Thanks to the terrible sound on this disc, I would have a
hard time recommending you do anything but Skip It. Running 32 minutes,
Volume 1 gives kids a small sampling of two bands they've seen on Noggin,
but the audio and video presentation is just too poor. If your kids are Laurie
fans, she has her own DVD which will more than satisfy her young fans (my kids
included) - otherwise, avoid this disc.