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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rock > Pop > Australia > Documentary > Biography > Women > Drumming > DiVinyls Live: Jailhouse Rock/Rose Tattoo Live 1993 (both from the Boggo Road Prison/Umbrella/MVD DVDs)/Hit So Hard (Patti Schemel biography/2011/Well Go USA Blu-ray)

DiVinyls Live: Jailhouse Rock/Rose Tattoo Live 1993 (both from the Boggo Road Prison/Umbrella/MVD DVDs)/Hit So Hard (Patti Schemel biography/2011/Well Go USA Blu-ray)


Picture: C/C/C+     Sound: C+/C+/B-     Extras: D/D/C+     Main Programs: B-/C+/B-



Now for the latest music releases.



I always liked the DiVinyls and though I did not think their early hit “Pleasure & Pain” would be a hit, I was not the least bit surprised when “I Touch Myself” became their biggest hit and still endures to this day.  DiVinyls Live: Jailhouse Rock captures the band at their early peak in 1993 singing both of those songs and much more.  Christina Amphlett is one of Rock’s underrated female singers and performers, while guitarist Mark McEntee added the chemistry that with her made the band the band.


This 16 song set lasts 85 minutes and makes one wonder why they were not more successful in the U.S., lasting from 1980 to 1997 then reuniting for three more years (2006 – 2009) before calling it quits only logging five studio albums in the process.  I really enjoyed this one and have been wanting to see it since I found out a good few years ago Umbrella issued it in Australia, the bond’s home country.  There are no extras, but it is great to see it make a U.S. release.



From the same year at the Boggo Road Prison, Rose Tattoo Live 1993 has the hard rock band established way back in 1976 in the year of their brief first reunion playing a solid set of 11 songs in this too-short 54 minutes show that is good, but I wish were longer.  Even if this configuration of the band did not last (they reformed in 1998 and that has held ever since), their hits like "Bad Boy for Love", "Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw", "Nice Boys" and "Out Of This Place" are fronted by longtime lead singer Angry Anderson, who seems to be having a really good time.


There are no extras here, but this is a solid band (they once recorded for Mushroom, so that is as Australian as you can get) and are considered as uncompromisingly Rock as you can get.  Genre fans should check this one out.



Finally we have P. David Ebersole’s Hit So Hard, a 2011 biography of drummer Patti Schemel, who played for the band Hole and also had many personal problems with substance abuse and her sexuality until it nearly destroyed her.  Instead, she eventually came to terms with things, got help and for now, is well and still one of the few key female drummers in all of Rock music or for that matter, all of music.  I vaguely knew who she was, but this 103 minutes work is well detailed and inadvertently gives us a behind the scenes of Hole and portrait of all female drummers showing us how rare they really are.

However, I had more questions and wished this was longer.  Otherwise, this is a solid work worth seeing and it is nice to see someone have a personal triumph.  Extras include a feature length audio commentary track with Ebersole and Schemel, Never Before Seen Rare Footage consisting of “home movies” from Schemel, Reunion of Classic Hole Lineup during a Q&A at the Museum Of Modern Art and Hole Makes A Fan A Star piece.



The 1.33 X 1 image on the DVDs can be a bit rough, coming from older PAL analog video sources and maybe down a generation, but I wonder if they could have been much better in their PAL DVD releases from Umbrella than they are here in the U.S. NTSC MVD DVD versions.  They could both use some restoration work and have some noise throughout.  Otherwise, they’ll do.  The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Hard can be hard to watch since so much footage is low definition video and rougher amateur low definition video, analog and digital, but some other shots look good.  However, that is the era we live in, so none of this could look any better, but it is the best looking of the three releases here by default.


The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the DVDs are fine for recordings their age and play back well enough, but one wishes for at least PCM Stereo as multi-channel sound of any quality from a videotaped show is usually wishful thinking.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Hard has a mix of varied location audio that can be rough and have issues, simple stereo in other cases and are uses of the multi-channel sound that make this the best sounding release here, but again not by much.  At least it is warmer than a lossy soundtrack.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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