Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout

Aug 15, 2007 at 12:00 am

Welcome back, my friends, to the column that never ends! Ladies and gentlemen, Jeffrey Morgan's Media Blackout #132!

Various Artists — Moogfest 2006 Live (MVD Visual DVD) :: When it comes to aural affection, Moog synthesizer adherents are the most avid. Jan Hammer hurts 'em with a solid set that spans his solo career, from his work with Steve Kindler and Jeff Beck to his Miami Vice days. Meanwhile, an unrecognizable Keith Emerson knifes away through a marathon performance of "Tarkus," using his trademark 15-foot-high patch board. Both lads still have their speed freak chops intact; close your eyes and you'll swear it was 1973. If you still delight in the classic Moog "bee-yow" synth sound, then this DVD's for you.

Rick Wakeman — Amazing Grace (MVD Visual DVD) :: Meanwhile, the world's greatest rock 'n' roll keyboardist sits down at the grand piano for an acoustic interpretation of the world's greatest rock of ages hymns. This one features live and studio performances along with — don't laugh — some truly evocative scenes of nature. Rick also personally introduces each hymn with an educational historical overview. And since his speed freak chops are still just as fast as Emerson's, it's interesting to compare Rick's reverent rendition of "Jerusalem" with Keith's electronic one on Brain Salad Surgery.

Various Artists — San Francisco Rock: A Night At The Family Dog (Eagle Vision DVD) :: Ralph "Jazzbo" Gleason presented this February 1970 show, featuring "Che" Santana and the Grateful Airplane. Che's set features a sweat-soaked "Soul Sacrifice" which demolishes the Woodstock version, while the Airplane do strident takes of "The Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil" and "Eskimo Blue Day." Major points deducted for Jorma's swastika pendant — kids, huh? — but even so, these bands never looked as good as they do here. Except for Grace "Does Anyone Have A Safety Pin?" Slick, who couldn't keep her dress on when I saw her front row center a month later at O'Keefe Center on the Volunteers tour. Back then it wasn't a "wardrobe malfunction" — it was called getting your six bucks' worth. Drool drool.

Bee-yowing you!

Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to [email protected]