Jeff Lang-Live at The Basement (2001)
Featurette-22 minute interview and radio performances listed below:
Featurette-Everything Is Still - acoustic performance on radio show
Featurette-Too Easy To Kill - acoustic performance on radio show
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||80:42 (Case: 105)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
This recording mostly features songs from his last two albums (Everything is Still and Disturbed Folk Vol.2) but opens with Jeff playing the early song I Still See You from Native Dogcreek solo. Writing the great majority of his own songs, and having a reasonable voice, Lang is a veritable tour de force on guitar. Whilst he could be loosely be described as a blues musician, the wall of sound produced by combining innovative picking and slide techniques defies belief. The talent of his guitar playing is highlighted when, during the climax of Too Easy To Kill he loses the Dobro's D string yet still manages to carry on unfazed, whilst wrestling with flaying loose ends, with no discernible loss of sound. Whilst the slide guitar songs are strongly reminiscent of Leo Kotke, there are subtle shades of Dylan, sitar-like picking on London and even a Celtic jig on Prepare Me Well. Lang is joined on track 2 by Angus Diggs on drums for the rest of the set and in the latter tracks by Don Walker on piano.
The cozy cellar-bar type ambience of The Basement is ideally suited to Lang's intimate yet forceful style of music and this DVD captures the atmosphere well, even down to the irritating silhouettes cast by audience visits to the bar.
|1. I Still See You|
2. Big Feeling
3. Is She Slipping?
4. Prepare Me Well
5. Too Easy To Kill
6. Bateman's Bay
|8. Elvis Is Still Dead|
9. No Good Answers
10. Can't Raise My Head
11. Some Memories Never Die
12. Everything Is Still
13. Frightened Fool
14. Burn That Bridge
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
The video is sharp and detailed. The limited lighting of The Basement is concentrated mostly on stage with little light cast on the audience, and hence shadow detail is very limited by the ambient lighting. There is low level noise and mild aliasing throughout the transfer on the usual culprits of guitar strings, mike stands and wind-shields.
Colours are displayed in accordance with the ambient lighting, mainly spots on the musicians whose skin-tones were realistically portrayed, but little colour is seen in the club area, save the neon over the bar.
The feature was shot on video, hence film artefacts were absent. Apart from the aliasing mentioned above, the only other artefact present was infrequent posterization over the guitar soundboard (1:43), black drapes of the club (32:43) and Lang's blue shirt.
There are no subtitles.
The disc is single layered and thus has no transition pause.
There is one audio track recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 kbytes/sec. In surround sound mode, the recording heavily features the centre channel so if your centre speaker isn't up to the job of conveying an almost mono mix of vocals and guitar you might be better off down-mixing the 5.1 to 2 channel stereo for your front mains. Either way, it sounds superb and is as good a recording of acoustic guitar as I have heard on any medium or using any encoding technique.
The dialogue was clear and clean with no microphone pops or sibilance and, unlike the video, a creditable lack (thank goodness) of club-background sound effects such as scraping of chairs or the clink of glasses.
Audio sync was accurate and no problems were detected.
The surrounds were used to provide quiet reverberation and crowd effects with the occasional tinkle of percussion and as such usefully augment the atmosphere but could be easily dispensed with.
The subwoofer was barely utilised and quiet throughout the recording until near the concert end when the bass drum suddenly comes to life through the .1 channel. As there is no bass or synthesiser accompaniment, this is not a problem.
|Surround Channel Use|
Details of the six titles available in the Basement series.
21:30 of interviews with Jeff in person and as featured on various radio chat shows. Provides a few insights into his musical background and influences. Leads into live radio performances with 'Gus Diggs of Everything and Too Easy To Kill.
The video is far from reference quality but sharp and adequate although a little raw and could have benefited from a little more consideration in the final edit for the DVD viewer.
The sound quality is superb although maybe a little over-reliant on the centre speaker.
Strongly recommended for folk, blues, acoustic guitar and of course, Jeff Lang fans.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-900E, using RGB output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||B&W 602 front/rear. B&W LRC6 Centre / Solid (AKA B&W) 500 SW|