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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Rock Music > Dig! 2-DVD Special Edition (Palm Pictures)

Dig! – 2-DVD Special Edition


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: B     Documentary: B



For seven years, Ondi Timoner and her crew followed two rising bands all over the place and taped them in various formats until the results were whether either band succeeded or failed.  Courtney Taylor is the lead singer for The Dandy Warhols, while Anton A. Newcombe sang for the grimly named Brian Jonestown Massacre.  The rivalry that resulted produced nothing but conflict and Dig! (2004) shows just how crazy things got.


Taylor is the narrator of the 107-minutes of well edited, always entertaining look into the music industry today and what it means to succeed, still keep your integrity and ability to make good music in tact.  Both bands become hot properties every record company around wants to sign, but the dream contract potential quickly turns nightmare as Newcombe goes crazy over the smallest thing.  People who are supposed to be friends become enemies and success comes to some in the most interesting ways.


One of the best moments is when David La Chapelle directs a terrific, expensive video for the Dandys that this critic thought was terrific like much of that director’s Videography.  It should have made the band a household name, but it becomes obvious that their company did not get them or know exactly what to do with them.  The drug use and fighting can get repetitious, but it is moments like the video shoot that make this all the more interesting.


It also reminds us that one of the reasons the music business is in such trouble is that they do not know how to handle talent once they find it like they used to.  It is almost embarrassing as these are not musicians and singers staying in the independent music world.  They are supposed to be the future of music, in this case being the Rock genre.  Instead, everyone loses out on some level, though the descent is into hell for some of them.  Ultimately, Dig! Is not the usual sanitized look at the music business, nor is it part of the pathetic “reality TV” cycle we suffer now.  This is fine documentary making that has to be seen to be believed.


The 1.33 X 1 full frame image is a well-edited culmination from several video sources and maybe some film here and there that is as unique as it is remarkable.  This is not to say its fidelity is exceptional, but is fine for a documentary made over its time period.  We see many documentaries on some pretty serious subjects, but this one can go a few rounds with them in content and form.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds is bested a bit by the 5.1 mix, despite this being mostly talking heads.  I would have loved a DTS option, but this will do otherwise.


Extras are numerous and include three commentary tracks and linkouts on DVD 1.  These linkouts allow you to see clips while watching the feature, then resume the main program.  As for the commentaries, The Dandy Warhols track is informative, Brian Jonestown Massacre track interesting because it is done as if it were recording a group conversation at dinner and like few you have heard before, while the filmmakers track gets all the technical and historical parts covered the others do not.  That is one of the best triple-play commentary selections we have heard to date.  DVD 2 has three music clips for each band, though the Dandys have outright Music Videos.  You also get behind the scenes, where are they now, deleted scenes, a Taylor/Newcombe “jam session” clip, trailers for several Palm DVD titles, interviews, Sundance victory, taping the commentary and Taylor’s appearance on the MTV2 Subterranean series.  A paper foldout with the contents inside the DVD case is also included.


Palm once again pulls together a great double set built around a great program.  Even if you do not like Rock music, Dig! never ceases to impress and just keeps delivering the goods.  Catch it as soon as possible.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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