26 November 2007
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time….
Forgive me for talking about James Taylor again this week. I’m not obsessed, really, but I think One Man Band is worth mentioning again.
Thanksgiving was a lot of fun but tiring. After a day of visitors, including excellent wine brought over by my old friend, Sasha (also from Connecticut), and two games of scrabble with Abby and Rebecca, Friday was a time to settle in and not move. Abby and I spent the day inside, watched some TV and popped in the One Man Band DVD that came with the CD. Holy COW!!! What a treat!
As I mentioned last week we had gone to see him perform this show here in Los Angeles when he toured. That night was amazing and this DVD, Produced and Directed by Don Mischer, brought that home in more ways than one. First of all – who could think that you could recreate that night – but you can. The way it was filmed made you feel as if you were part of the audience, and not just a camera capturing the music and images of the evening. There were a lot of wide angle shots intermingled with some delicious close-ups but I never felt like a camera, instead I felt like a fly on the wall.
Thankfully Mr. Mischer did not use any cheap tricks and allowed the music and JT to speak for themselves. Where he could have brought the images that often played behind JT to the forefront, he instead allowed us to see them as someone in the third row would have seen them. Not using that production trick meant that I felt more involved in the ‘evening’ and less like I was watching typical concert footage. I felt that same way the first time I watched his 1993 release Squibnocket – a taped rehearsal on Martha’s Vineyard for his 1992 tour that was originally broadcast on The Disney Channel. Mr. Mischer also, thankfully, shied away from too many gratuitous audience shots that so many are guilty of. When I’m watching someone perform on a screen I don’t want to see annoying people singing along – I want to see the artist and their hands playing their instrument. There was, indeed, a healthy balance between the audience and JT.
While I admit since I had seen the concert first hand I may be slightly prejudicial towards liking this DVD, however, there is no denying that there was a magic to the evening that is definitely an art to recreate without making the viewer feel like an unwanted guest at a large party. Abby and I both felt that we were at the show again only with better seats and no noisy L.A. people on their cell phones.
The whole package of One Man Band, CD and DVD, is worth your hard earned cash. Sometimes there really is nothing better than an afternoon on the couch, shades drawn, candle lit, enjoying the passage of time.
Thanks for tuning in….Until next week…CHEERS!!