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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rock > Punk > Cabaret > theater > The Dresden Dolls – Live At The Roundhouse London 2006 (DTS DVD/Eagle Vision) + Lene Lovich – Live From New York at Studio 54 (1981/MVD DVD)

The Dresden Dolls – Live At The Roundhouse London 2006 (DTS DVD/Eagle Vision) + Lene Lovich – Live From New York at Studio 54 (1981/MVD DVD)


Picture: C+/C     Sound: B/C     Extras: C/C-     Concerts: C+



Whether you want to dub it cabaret, Punk, New Wave or any combination thereof, the work of Lene Lovich and heirs to her work like The Dresden Dolls have been anything but a retro revival of Germany in the early 1930s.  Now, two DVDs have arrived showing these acts at their most open.  The results are mixed in both cases, but rather definitive just the same.  Lene Lovich – Live From New York at Studio 54 (1981) shows the groundbreaking soloist playing a show that runs not long enough at less than an hour, but her influence (all the way to Cyndi Lauper and Gwen Stefani) while The Dresden Dolls – Live At The Roundhouse London 2006 is energy filled and decent, but with more run on than expected.


Both concerts, especially the Lovich taping, are historic and show women in fields still dominated by males, but these ladies can more than hold their own and are accompanied by males in one way or another.  The Lovich tracks include:


1)     Details

2)     Jean

3)     Rocky Road

4)     Too Tender (To Touch)

5)     Say When

6)     Lucky Number

7)     New Toy

8)     Bird Song

9)     Angels

10)  Home

11)  One In A Million



Fast forward to recent years and long after Lovich’s influence took hold, here she comes full circle as part of a 200 concert by The Dresden Dolls.  The mostly female band takes the cabaret bit very far, to the point that it may be getting in the way of their music more so than they may realize.  An interesting show at least and best, songs include:


1)     Sex Changes

2)     Gravity

3)     Modern Moonlight

4)     Mrs. O

5)     Backstabber

6)     Coin-Operated Boy

7)     Two-Headed Boy

8)     Mandy Goes To Med School

9)     Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner

10)  Slide

11)  The Jeep Song

12)  Dirty Business

13)  Shores Of California

14)  Sing

15)  Mein Herr

16)  Mad World

17)  Girl Anachronism



Needless to say this disc is like no other live concert out there, so it wins points for just trying to be different, even if that different is more like a circus than a music concert.


The 1.33 X 1 color image on the Lovich disc is old analog NTSC tape that was not exactly state of the art for that format at the time, but it is an historic record.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is as weak and hardly stereo.  The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Dresden disc is shot in some kind of HD, but the presentation here is weak.  If it is just improved definition, that would make sense.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad, the Dolby 2.0 weaker, but the DTS 5.1 is the track to play back for capturing all the details of the overlapping nuttiness and music.  It is the audiophile choice easily.  Extras include backstage rehearsal footage from the Lovich disc, while Missed Me with Edward Ka-Spel & Delilah with Lovich are bonus tracks, along with interviews and documentary footage on the Dresden disc.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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