Indigo Girls

Watershed - 10 Years of Underground Video

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Theatrical Trailer(s) No
Rating Other Trailer(s) No
Year Released 1995 Commentary Tracks No
Running Time 66:21 minutes Other Extras Discography
Featurette - Video Yearbook 1997
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Susan Lambert
Epic Music Video
Sony Music
Starring Amy Ray
Emily Saliers
Case Amaray
RPI $34.95 Music Indigo Girls

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio Full Frame
Macrovision ?Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, in credits

Plot Synopsis

    In the dark ages of rock music, otherwise known as the late 1980s and the 1990s, whilst searching for something worthwhile amongst the rubbish of the eras, I stumbled inadvertently across an album by a duo with the rather unusual name of Indigo Girls. I knew nothing of the duo, nothing at all of their music and for all I knew they came from Mars, but none of that mattered because everything I needed to know was right there on that CD - the music. It was one of those moments of revelation when you discover a lost treasure, and it headed me off into whole new vistas of music that I had previously avoided. Of course, the first thing that needed to be defined was exactly what sort of music this was. In this incessant need to tag every act with a genre, I have heard the Indigo Girls called everything from folk, folk-rock, to new country and more. What do I care what "tag" you place on on this music? I just love the stuff. But if you were really to push me I would probably opt for the slightly inaccurate label of New Country.

    Over the years I have learned a little more about the duo, but I still don't give a damn about what genre you want to toss them into - the one thing that I do still give a damn about is that I still like their music. As the title suggests, what we have here is virtually a collection of home video bits and pieces that document the career of the duo from the early days in Atlanta, Georgia through to 1995. As a result of the rather diverse sources of the material, we have what in pure terms is something of an eclectic mix of music and other stuff surrounding the duo, brought together by interview material and interspersed with a number of complete videos of some of their fine work. The complete titles comprise:

    If you are requiring technical merit here, then you are really going to be disappointed. If, however, you are looking for something of an insight into the Indigo Girls, then I doubt that you can do better than this collection. It is not especially long in minutes, and certainly not especially great technically, but this is music with genuine soul. I love it - I hope you will, too.

Transfer Quality


    As suggested, the technical aspects of the video are not great - after all a lot of this was shot for pure home use and in some rather iffy ways and locations. However, any deficiencies in the transfer are completely the result of the source material and cannot be blamed on the actual transfer itself. Indeed, if the truth be known amongst a sea of grainy, poorly defined source materials, this is a very good transfer of that material. However, it is an NTSC formatted disc and therefore you will need a display device capable of handling an NTSC signal in order to see anything at all.

    The transfer is presented in a Full Frame format and is of course not 16x9 enhanced.

    All sorts of problems exist here - grainy picture, lack of detail, poor definition and so on, but all is as a result of the source material and, whilst perhaps not intended to look that way, is the unfortunate by-product of the source material. Despite all the inherent problems however, you soon ignore them as the music engrosses you. Overall, given the source material, this is not too shabby an effort and certainly is as good as the source material is going to allow. There were no low level noise problems in the transfer.

    This is a wildly divergent transfer as far as colours go, but again is a reflection of the source material. It is really quite decent, but of course nothing like what we would expect from a feature film. There did not appear to be any problems with oversaturation of colours at all, nor were there any problems with colour bleed.

    There did not appear to be any MPEG artefact problems in the transfer. There did not appear to be any significant film-to-video artefact problems in the transfer. There did not appear to be any film artefact problems in the transfer. Of the source material, the same cannot be said.


    "It's A Sony" - to quote their adverts of a few years back, and therefore exhibiting the usual problems that seem be the trademark from this source on their earlier DVDs.

    There are two audio tracks on the DVD, an English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 effort, as well as sampling the Linear PCM soundtrack. As usual from this source, the reference to Dolby Stereo on the packaging is incorrect - it is Linear PCM stereo.

    The dialogue and vocals were reasonably clear and easy to understand throughout the transfer, although the mixing really is against hearing the dialogue and vocals.

    There did not appear to be any problems with audio sync in the transfer, other than those intended or presumably inherent in the source material.

    The main problem with the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is once again that the mixing is anything but stellar - the sheer consistency of this problem with Sony DVDs is actually quite amazing. This one again demonstrates a very recessed vocal track, which is the main inherent problem. This creates a very unnatural feel to the sound picture, and requires tweaking of the volume levels in order to get any sort of reasonable balance going. However, this effort is also plagued with the occasional problem of both the vocal tracks and the guitar tracks coming out of the rear channels at an elevated volume that completely overpowers the front channels. To some extent, the recessed vocal track problem is also carried over to the Linear PCM 2.0 soundtrack too, meaning that we cannot even resort to that option for a really decent listen. The only god-send with the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is that the bass channel is a little more restrained than usual, therefore giving you a fighting chance of finding a listening setup that you can almost enjoy. Overall, though, this is not another great advertisement for the sound engineering on Sony DVDs.


    Not much of a package here, but at least an effort is made.


    This is an okay sort of effort, but is relatively plain, lacking any sort of enhancement.


    Well, it does list all the albums to 1995 but it really should have been a lot more detailed than this.

Featurette - Indigo Girls Video Yearbook 1997

    This is actually an electronic press kit of the sort usually doled out to radio and so on for "artiste promotional work". As such, it is not exactly a great inclusion, but at least it is better than nothing. It suffers somewhat from moiré type artefacts on a couple of occasions. It is not encoded with any timing information so your display will probably stubbornly sit there showing "title" for the approximate ten minutes it runs. Presented in a Full Frame format, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with decent enough Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 sound.

R4 vs R1

    As far as can be ascertained this is identical in content to the Region 1 version and therefore there is no preference either way with this selection.


    From a musical aspect this is a top notch effort as far as I am concerned, but then again I am a little biased. However, from a technical point of view this is a decent DVD and nothing more, with an extras package that really could have been improved.

    A good video transfer.

    A decent enough audio transfer but with problems.

    An unimpressive extras package.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
21st July 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL