Review: DEVO – The Men Who Make The Music/Butch DEVO & The Sundance Gig

MVD6055DFun fact: There are three live performances of “Uncontrollable Urge” on DEVO – The Men Who Make The Music/Butch DEVO & The Sundance Gig from 1978, 1996, and 2003 respectively and both the dynamism and choreography haven’t changed a bit. Granted, the younger DEVO was a slimmer, trimmer band way back when that first LP was released, but the more spud-like shapes of the band-mates doesn’t slow them down one bit when it comes to delivering what’s still one of their most memorable hits.

If you’re new to the band or maybe not so new but haven’t yet seen them live, this set of eyeball and ear searing old stuff will show you DEVO’s originality and rather special craft that’s kept fans around through think and thin. With a new tour and cool crowdfunding project happening, MVD is helping bring these guys to a new audience that needs to listen to something other than the radio-ready junk that sells in lower and lower numbers each year…

MVD Visual has done up a VERY entertaining DVD here that’s a combination of the long out of print 1981 VHS tape (DEVO – The Men Who Make The Music) and a complete 1996 reunion concert given at that year’s Sundance Film Festival along with two bonus DEVO clips from a pair of MVD’s other DEVO video discs. The Men Who Make The Music is a bizarre “documentary” of sorts that combines six 1978 concert tour clips, the two videos from 1976’s “The Truth About De-evolution” and three music videos (from the band’s first LP) as it spools out the story of the band dealing with music industry pressures of the time. In all the weirdness, I’m gathering the band may have been having some issues with Warner Bros. Records trying to control it to some extent… or perhaps this was all done as a send-up of this sort of thing common to the industry. In any event, it’s a hoot to see the young spuds, Booji Boy and General Boy “face off” against Rod Rooter and pretty much not follow his dopey orders to stick with those yellow jumpsuits. Continue reading

DEVO Lives (Not That They Ever Went Away), Thanks To MVD Visual & Pledgemusic.com!

DEVO_HC_LiveSo, less than a week after I get a copy of the excellent new DVD from MVD visual DEVO: Men Who Make The Music/Butch Devo & The Sundance Gig (review incoming later this week, but here’s a sneak peek: BUY IT), Clint from MVD shoots over this super crowdfunding project from the band and pledgemusic.com: DEVO Hardcore Live!, a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/Vinyl LP live concert recorded this June 28 at the Fox theater in Oakland, California.

You won’t be seeing this disc or LP at that local Walmart or other chain retail outlet, as it’s ONLY going to be available as a crowdfunded consumer item and the campaign is well on its way to making its target based on the response to date.

HC DEVO LIVE

If your ears are buzzing and you’re interested, well, spuds… you know what to do. Hell, at LEAST grab the DVD of this, as that teaser trailer makes this show look pretty awesome.

Gravity “Now Playing” Spots 1 & 2: What Are You Doing At Home Reading This?

Yeah, YOU. get out there and go see this one before somebody you know does and blabs out the ending or whatever. Amusingly enough, I can’t even see it if I wanted to in a non-3D version as the movie theater near me closed down (!) with no notice. Which stinks as there used to be three or four within walking distance many years back and they’re all something else now. BOO. If I want to go to the movies now, it’s a few miles walk or a bus trip (but I’m a cheap bastard and I’d probably hoof it on a nice day). So go see this and if you run into me on the way to the movies, don’t tell me a damn thing, grrr…

Gravity TV Spot 6: “And Now I’m Mad About Space Junk”

I actually had a crazy dream the other night that the end credits to Gravity were going to be Devo’s 1978 tune “Space Junk”, but we know that’s not going to happen (although it would be a pretty darn amusing joke… well, to me at least. Can you believe DEVO has been around for 40 years? Well, their first LP was release in 1978, but the group first got together in 1972/73! Of course, if you have to ask “Who’s DEVO?”, you need a proper conversion. No need to do anything, dears… it’s all been arranged. Just step outside during the next full moon and look up to the northwest. Things will happen and you’ll be converted. Um, take a good umbrella or even better, a hardhat and remember to not forget to close those peepers. It may sting a little…

Aggronautix’ DEVO Energy Dome Throbblehead Gets My Musical Memories Buzzing…

freedomofchoice_BHAs usual, Aggronautix hits me on the head with another nostalgia surprise from the 80’s. This one’s in a limited edition of 2000, ships out in September and you can pre-order directly from Aggronautix HERE or at Seeofsound HERE. I hadn’t listened to it in ages, but seeing this news in my inbox had smile and break out the Freedom of Choice CD and yup, it still holds up as a great collection of tunes that had appeal outside the confines of the “new wave” pigeonhole it got jammed into.

Of course, trying to put DEVO into any sort of box is a foolish endeavor, kids. They’ve always done what they do in a memorable enough manner that makes for some fine E-Z Listening no matter what the critics say…

(Thanks, DEVOvision!) 

While the Ketars and keyboards lent a synth-pop feel to the record, the stellar drum work (from the late Alan Meyers) and hard guitars throughout the LP made for some interesting cross genre airplay. “Gates of Steel” and the title track popped up on some heavy metal radio stations, “Whip it” was also a huge “crossover” hit on a few stations (and totally misunderstood by some thanks to that hilarious music video), and some of the other tunes (“That’s Pep!”, “Planet Earth”) make for pretty nice and subtle social commentary you might not grasp on that first listen. Anyway, let me shut up and get back to the present before I end up breaking out some more “oldies” from that era…