The Big TNT Show (1966)

I have to admit that “The Big TNT Show” isn’t nearly as good as “The TAMI Show.” Despite being a big sixties fanatic and lover of the styles and attitudes, “The Big TNT Show” suffers from being a pretty humdrum concert with an unusual line up. If anything the best way to watch and appreciate “The Big TNT Show” is as a sixties oddity that took a lot of what was coming in the decade, and what was popular and kind of mixed them together in one weird show with an enthusiastic audience. If anything there is a ton of good music and some raucous performances.

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Rush: Time Stand Still (2016)

Rush is amazing, and will always be amazing, and how they built their fan base was less around the media and hype and more around traveling. They were there on busses and vans, going through road after road, and showing up for the fans. No matter how tired, or sick, they always came to show fans what they were made of. This is what kind of made Rush feel less like a band, and more like visiting relatives that we loved to be with time and time again. What makes “Time Stand Still” such a bittersweet documentary, however, is that it chronicles the rise of Rush, and their beyond loyal fan base, but it also packs in the daunting realization that they can’t do this forever.

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The Song Remains the Same (1976)

Joe Massot and Peter Clifton’s excellent “The Song Remains the Same” is one of the best and most dynamic looks at Led Zeppelin performing for a massive audience. The directors able to grab a lot of their synergy by filming many of their solos and brilliant iterations of their classic songs with dynamic camera angles and strobing colors of red and stark blue. Though I’m not a fan of “No Quarter,” their rendition of it here is incredible, especially considering the way the performance as a whole is lit, allowing for a unique fever dream kind of visual that feels like Ken Russell dipped his fingers in the direction here and there.

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Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (1970)

It was the end of an era, the literal end of a movement, and the end of what many would know as “Woodstock.” We never did see the Woodstock here in further decades, did we? We instead saw much more corporate interference, much more MTV generation, and in the last festival, ultimate destruction. At least we have what is one of the most riveting and unique concert movies ever filmed. It’s a chronicle of a generation thought of ancient now, and looked back on mostly with fondness, as a decade where there was hope for peace, and hope for a better tomorrow. It was before America gave in to the seventies, where it became all bout decadence and hedonism.

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Judy Collins: A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim (2016)

Is it possible to have a more sublime combination than the erudite music of Stephen Sondheim and the ethereal song stylings of Judy Collins? This filmed concert, originally broadcast on PBS, features the legendary songstress performing the Broadway master’s finest works at Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall, backed by the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Glen Cortese.

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RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion (2016)

mst-reunionIn June 2016, the folks from Rifftrax finally granted longtime fans the privilege of watching an MST3K reunion. It was pulled off successfully and brought literally everyone who has ever been on the series to riff on some classic and awful educational short films. Not just that, but the crew also had the foresight to bring on Jonah Ray the new human host for the upcoming “MST3K” reboot to throw in some of his own riffs, and warm the audience up to his impending tenure on the Satellite of Love. I’m a big fan of Ray’s, and he has the same affable personality, and humble charm that Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson had that won fans over. I’m excited to see how he handles the antics on the new show. For fans that missed the live show, the performance is now available for purchase at Rifftrax, and I gladly paid to watch the two and a half hour performance by the entire cast, in person in front of a welcome audience.

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Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)

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There was different energy behind David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust that ensured you were in for a whole other wild experience unlike any before it. Director D.A. Pennebaker keeps the mystique and wild tone of Ziggy Stardust alive from the opening title and then is quick to jump right in to the line outside Ziggy Stardust’s concert zooming in on the type of lovable oddities and weird wonders that worshiped Bowie and his adored his music, bringing us in to the full arena of the kind of minds and hearts David Bowie touched.

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Monty Python: The Meaning of Live (2014) [Fantasia Film Festival]

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FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL

You really have to appreciate the blunt honesty of the Python crew at their age and why they decided to team together after three decades to tour once again. They needed the money. After a brutal court battle over the creative rights of “The Holy Grail,” they were all left generally low on cash, so they decided to launch a stage show tour of their best bits to garner some quick cash and help seal their debts. There’s no fluff on a documentary that loves the Python crew. They love their fans, they love their work, but they need the money, and I respect the hell out of that.

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