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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Circuit Music 1
Circuit Music 1
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Review by Chris Hughes | posted January 15, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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Features: Tracks Include: 1) Sweden's THE CARDIGANS take a trip to the bowling alley to discuss "Gran Turismo" PLUS the controversial Jonas Ackerlund-directed video for "My Favorite Game" – as you won't see it on the big music-video channels. With four different endings. 2) Excerpt from WATCH ME JUMPSTART, a documentary about Dayton indie superstars GUIDED BY VOICES – plus an interview with singer Bob Pollard, an interview with film director Banks Tarver, and three bonus songs. 3) Los Angeles troubadour BECK meets his robotic match. 4) R.E.M. speak out on the loss of their drummer and their latest album, Up. 5) A live performance by GRANT LEE BUFFALO. 6) CAKE stop to small the roses in their hometown of Sacramento, CA. 7) Also: How VELVET GOLDMINE's nouveau-glam soundtrack was assembled, a music video from RIALTO, a history lesson from LIQUID LIQUID, fun, games and more.

The Movie:
If you've seen any of the Short Cinema Journal discs then you know what to expect from the Circuit Music series. Circuit Music is a DVD magazine focused on current popular and avant-garde musicians. Each disc is filled with interviews, music videos, alternate video tracks and more. This is the first disc in the series and it includes segments on The Cardigans, Beck, REM, Guided by Voices and Cake. The content is the sort of stuff you'd expect from MTV if they were really a music channel and not the home of teen soap operas like The Real World and Road Rules.

The Picture:
The disc is a compilation of video content from many sources so the quality of images varies from cut to cut. Overall the transfers seem free of compression artifacts and most of them have nicely saturated colors, good black levels and exemplary shadow detail.

The Sound:
Again, because this title is a collection of material from numerous sources you'll find that the audio differs from track to track. Some of the content is presented in standard Dolby 2.0 while others offer full fledged 5.1 audio. The authors of the DVD seem to have put a good deal of effort into making sure that the levels are consistent throughout so you won't find yourself fiddling with the remote.

The Extras:
Each segment has its own extras. For example; The Cardigans feature includes four versions of their latest video showing their attempts to tone it down to an MTV acceptable level. The Guided by Voices feature has five alternate audio tracks with songs, interviews and more. Other areas have similar extras and most include extensive text based artist profiles.

Conclusion:
The main factor determining your enjoyment of the Circuit music series is a lineup of bands that interest you. I really enjoy Cake, The Cardigans and REM so this title interested me. If you aren't familiar with those bands you probably won't have much use for this disc.
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