Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Plasmatics: Down on your Knees and Pledge Allegiance

what is it?

this 3.94 GB dvd is of a videotape edited from collected VHS recordings of television broadcasts and the quality varies depending on generation loss and the limitations of was mastered into a stand alone and index markers have been inserted at random..

I searched for this title on the internet and descriptions about what it contains vary wildly...

on my disc, in order, are...

1) tom snyder "a pig is a pig" + interview
2)"butcher baby" live on knon tx
3) "discount store" live for television
4) "butcher baby" live
5) a promo-clip quasi-video for "butcher baby"
6) tom snyder "headbanger" and "masterplan" + interview
7) single camera shot of a poorly lit full plasmatics club show...the audio is terrible and full of noise...impossible viewing
8) wendy t.v. interview footage from unknown tv show...features damned video
9) performance on some john candy show

there is a second volume entitled: The brainwashed do not know they are brainwashed.

I was a little more sober for this...Here we have:

1) Solid Gold: Performance and interview with a marionette (!)
2) 5:24 some tv news interview w/clips from live performance
3) "damned" video and some political rambling by Wendy on a talkshow
4) 19:08 w/ John Candy in some idiotic skit and then performance of metal priestess
5)29:58 a news report from Pasadena prior to a Perkins Palace show
6)32:16 some Japanese TV spot shot at a CBGB with a few questions answered by stotts
7)41:50 interview with sally jesie raphael, talk show is so insipid that this is excrucuatingly painful viewing video for do what i wanna
8)101:40 three numbers played and an automobile destroyed in a tv studio...rough quality of this footage lends it some hallucinatory air
9)115;30 interview on Joan Rivers and two numbers with the WOW band
10) Wendy shoots ping pong balls out of her vagina

how is it?

Obviously, the first thing anyone needs is the MVD Wendy documentary disc, which is worth viewing for the performance footage alone. Anybody who is interested in rock and roll owes real gratitude to the people at MVD who have put out a couple dozen essential disks over the last 10 years. The documentary is fairly well presented, except for the creators trying to edit any mention of Richie Stotts out of the story of the Plasmatics...A ridiculous act of bullshit

The Tom Snyder footage has just come out on the Shout Factory's punk versus tomorrow Shout Factory's punk versus tomorrow and that in itself is kind of worth watching in its entirety...I came away from watching a 50 year old TV show calling itself "tomorrow" and was really struck by how the banal irrelevance of talkshow is the same now as then, forever divorced timelessly from anybody really caring...You can shoot televisions and blow them up with dynamite, but once you become an image on the screen doing this, you're part of the TV problem...Or not. A contradiction alive in the work of the Plasmatics, who definitely pissed off and excited a great many people in their heyday.

How are these collections? The talk show stuff is interesting to see once or twice. There are performance segments on these discs I'd like to cut out and be able to play with the click of a button. There are segments that I'd like to have in better quality. But, then again, there are some of them that benefit from the washed out, hazy, jittery image.

Hopefully there is someone out there meticulously researching every conceivable detail about WOW and is preparing to reveal this all of this to us soon. In the meantime, HERE is some unattended website which gives us some details about the origins of the segments on these discs

AC/DC : 07/28/79 The World Series Of Rock

What is it?

2.88 GB disc PC authored,NTSC,MPEG2,AC3,720X480,29.970 fps

Two television cameras are capturing this for looks just like watching a local nightly new program in the 70's. The sound is good. There is no bottom end, however, if you are interested in a hearing a bass line or a booming kick drum, you are going to be disappointed... I've watched dozens of bootlegs that were of far worse quality, but the sound on this is probably a little too thin for AC/DC to put out officially and earn a few dollars from


problem child
sin city
bad boy boogie
the jack

How is it?


I was tempted to start out these reviews with a band I know a lot more about, but this disc is from some event Cleveland event billed as: "The World Series of Rock!" and seems a fitting way to inaugurate the proceedings...Is this really the greatest performance that has ever appeared on a rock and roll stage? Probably not, but you can see that a lot of people are having a really good time. If there really was a world series of rock, would AC/DC be the winner? Perhaps they aren't the most famous, most popular, or most financially successful pop stars in world history, but damn are they close AND they do kind of embody rock and roll in a generic sense. There is nothing political, or artsy, or puppet head film actor, or multidimensional about AC/DC: if somebody from Mars wanted to know what "Rock" was, you could hand them this disc and I think they'd get a fair idea.

What you really a Bon Scott era AC/DC fan- is a three DVD set which features this entire set and a whole lot else besides. It's called the early years and features:
Early Years Vol. 1

promo vids: -High Voltage -Jailbreak -Let There Be Rock

Apollo, Glasgow, 4/30/77: -Riff Raff -Dog Eat Dog -Fling Thing

HTH promo vids: -Highway To Hell -Shot Down In Flames -Touch Too Much -If You Want Blood -Walk All Over you

Arnheim, Holland 7/13/79 -Highway To Hell -Bad Boy Boogie -The Jack -Rocker -Whole Lotta Rosie

Sydney, Australia 12/12/76 -Problem Child -Baby, Please Don't Go

Toronto, Ontario 6/12/79 -Bad Boy Boogie -The Jack -Whole Lotta Rosie -Dog Eat Dog


Early Years Vol. 2

London, England Hippodrome '77 -Let There Be Rock -Problem Child -Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be -Whole Lotta Rosie -Bad Boy Boogie -Rocker -TNT

Essex, England University 10/28/78 -Live Wire -Problem Child -Sin City (!!!) -Bad Boy Boogie -Whole Lotta Rosie -Rocker -Let There Be Rock


Early Years Vol. 3 -

Can I Sit Next To You Girl (promo w/ Dave Evans '74) -Baby Please Don't Go (promo, Countdown '75) -Jailbreak (promo, Countdown '76) -Dirty Deeds (promo, Countdown '76) -Jailbreak (UK TV, 'So It Goes' 10/14/76) -Rock & Roll Damnation (!!!) (UK TV, 'Top Of The Pops' 6/24/78) -Sin City (US TV, 'Midnight Special' 9/6/78) -Highway To Hell (German TV 'Rock Pop' 9/8/79) -Touch Too Much (UK TV, 'Top Of The Pops' 2/7/80) -Baby Please Don't Go (live snippet, Australia, late '76)

Glasgow Scotland, Apollo 4/30/78 (*** = repeats from Vol. 1) -Riff Raff *** -Rock & Roll Damnation -Dog Eat Dog *** -Bad Boy Boogie -Let There Be Rock -Fling Thing *** -Rocker

Cleveland, Ohio "World Series Of Rock" 7/28/79 -Live Wire -Problem Child -Sin City -Bad Boy Boogie -The Jack -Rocker

I have these but I haven't really looked at them.

in addition to all this, I also have:

12/09/1979 Pavillion de Paris show Live Wire - Shot Down In Flames - Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be - Sin City - Interview - Walk All Over You - Interview - Bad Boy Boogie - The Jack - Interview - Highway To Hell - Girls Got Rhythm - High Voltage - Interview - Whole Lotta Rosie - Rocker - Let There Be Rock

As far as the World Series of Rock goes, the Cleveland Stadium hosted a dozen events billed with this title over a period of six years. I haven't looked into whether any footage of comparable quality exists for other acts. Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Journey, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, and the Scorpions were the 07/28/79 lineup.

If I was a little more of a completest for the band, I would look into how all of this overlaps with the first disc of the Plug Me In footage and go on to investigate what other videos are out there that might be of interest to the AC/DC fanatic...but 30 seconds into a casual search revealed that this could be done easily via the beautifully arranged where existing footage is divided into promos and shows...and shows are provided with setlists, screenshots, coverart, and camera angle diagrams(!)...All of which renders this blog entry more or less superfluous...Especially interesting is that the site has tailored some download options and done it in such a way that they don't exceed their bandwidth and overload their servers...Very interesting. My trading ended a couple of years ago and was limited to snail mail transactions. As I mentioned before, I've moved over to the blog neighborhood because I'd like to understand where the bootleg thing is all headed- and how it interacts with how official productions are made and distributed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

please allow me to introduce myself

I am setting out upon this blog for three reasons. First, to write some reviews of some of the discs that I have received- perhaps so that I can remember just exactly what it is that I have seen.  Second, I am interested in learning more about the nuts and bolts about how video is encoded and distributed- and how it will be encoded and distributed (if you are more familiar with something I don't understand, send me a line and let me know what's what) Third, I'd like to make a few passing remarks about some of the contradictions implicit in things related to "rock and roll."
the worlds first photographic image : courtesy of Wikipedia
The average bootleg trader has some particular musical group for whom they are a greatest fan.  By greatest, I mean: someone who possesses every single legitimate release, knows the words to every song, goes to as many concerts as they can, has all the t shirts and memorabilia, is a member of the audience regardless of failures and successes.  I'm going to write a little bit more about this relationship in the course of the blog, because it pretty much characterized the last half of the twentieth century. Finding the New Perspective that one can put this into is the challenge of Today. While there are a few bands that I am a pretty good encyclopedia for, there will always be someone on the internet who knows more about some artist than I do.  If I've written something wrongheaded and you're out there reading this: speak up.  For every artist that I mention, I will try to provide a link to someone who is more well-versed in their unofficial documents than I am...I'd even welcome the contributions of others, if you've written about some video and you want me to post it, I'd be happy to give it am airing here

As far as illegal things far as computer files being illegal goes...I'd like to figure that out as well, everyone would, as it's all changing so fast...Here's a shout out to folks that are trying to move with the technology: is rather new but seems pretty promising- was the trailblazer, and lately seems to refocusing their efforts away from music and more towards freedom of expression efforts...which, quite possibly, is more rock and roll than traditional rock and roll in these strange future days...