Sights and Sounds of Note – December 2014

December is the season of giving and it’s also the time for blockbuster movies to hit the big screen. Now, thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment music fans have a wide selection of films on DVD and Blu-Ray to choose from for home holiday viewing.

While the masses are queuing up for Moses in Exodus: God and Kings – a story originally told in the first book of the Bible called Genesis – word has officially come down regarding a rock doc by the band of the same name. Sum Of The Parts is the “bible” of Genesis created with the cooperation of the group. The film starts at the beginning then runs through the various chapters of Genesis who went from progressive rock to radio friendly over the course of a long lucrative journey. Genesis has sold millions of records even as key members of the tribe departed for successful solo careers. Sum Of The Parts reveals the book of Genesis through band commentary, concert clips and more.

Movie studios are known to spend millions of dollars to see their creations through from concept to completion. The Doors had the idea to create a film about the band but making sure the movie was finalized wasn’t in the cards – until now. Feast of Friends is the first and only film produced about and by The Doors. In 1968, the quartet asked Paul Ferrara a fellow film graduate to craft a cinematic look at the band on the road in a “60’s cinema verite style”. Due to various circumstances the project was not finished thus the clips were only seen by a few at select film festivals or via poor quality bootlegs. Now Feast of Friends has been restored with a soundtrack of Doors music that also has been remastered and remixed by long time Doors collaborator/engineer Bruce Botnick.

In addition to a full version of the film which followed The Doors in concert, in transit and in the moment, there was “Feast of Friends Encore” that presented extra clips of the band touring and in the studio. Other bonus features were “The Doors Are Open” a British TV documentary showcasing the group performing at the London Roundhouse interspersed with images of current events. “The End” was a Canadian broadcast of The Doors prior to them breaking on through with “Light My Fire”. What we particularly liked about this feature was its brightness. Often live performances of The Doors are rather dark but here they were on a well-lit blue stage to present a modified yet still mystical version of “The End”. This piece also included later interviews with John, Ray, Robby and author Danny Sugerman.

The Rolling Stones have recently raided their archives releasing two From The Vault concerts that have been restored and newly mixed. The shows from Hampton Coliseum 1981 and the L.A. Forum 1975 are available in various formats. Both feature full-length 2 and a half hour concerts.

SoundPress.net received a copy of L.A. Forum – Live In 1975. This tour was the first to feature Ronnie Wood in the line-up thus dueling guitar leads were prominent in this performance. The band also included Billy Preston on keys/piano along with a percussionist both adding more sounds to their songs. The Rolling Stones were in mixed musical form on this night. They performed on a big petal stage that bounced in spots along with loads of lights that enhanced the spectacle of the show. The band was a bit loose at times such as the haggard “Happy” but it was hard not to be engaged by this video. Their attire and presentation was flashy yet it still was the music that shined through. The show was full of fan favorites listing “Honky Tonk Women”, “Gimme Shelter”, “Tumbling Dice”, Wild Horses” and many more.

L.A. Forum – Live In 1975 captured the Rolling Stones as they were in the mid 1970’s, which 40 years later makes it worthwhile just for its historical context. In addition to a lot of rock & roll at the L.A. Forum there were elements of the blues with a saucy “You Gotta Move”. It was followed by an expansive “You Can’t Always Get What”.

The upcoming arrival of the filmed in New Zealand The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on Christmas Day reminds us of our bucket list dream of visiting the lands down under to discover and report on the vital and mythical music scene that runs rampant throughout the region. This is our personal fantasy and based on two recent acts sent to us from the land of Oz this journey remains high on our to-do list.

Australian singer/songwriter Nick Delahoyde imaginatively blends hip-hop, rap and R&B with lyrics that are personal and poignant. His single “The Longest Way” combines snazzy rhythms over a creative rap that pulls on the heart strings with a cinematic flair. You can hear just a hint of his Australian accent before it flows back into the catchy hook. His debut album is due out in 2015 and it’s one we’re looking forward to.

Fellow countrymen The Monks of Mellonwah have been creating a buzz in the alternative-rock-indie-pop fusion world. Their sound is edgy and melodic punctuated by intriguing lyrics filled with imagery. A prime example is their 2013 single “Ghost Stories” which captures all of those elements and more. The Monks of Mellonwah are currently working on record aiming for a 2015 release.

Well, 2014 is closing on a good note with music from classic to contemporary global artists and SoundPress.net wishes the world a rocking 2015 – we can’t wait to see what Sights and Sounds the New Year will bring!

About Sights and Sounds of Note: SSON column editors Richard J. Lynch and Laura Turner Lynch are the founders of SoundPress.net, an Internet-based music industry magazine and review site, online since 1999. Laura is a published author of the inspirational Positive Power Secrets From A to Z (www.positivepowersecrets.net). Rich regularly interviews famous rock stars for the site’s radio show and he has recently launched his own recording career at (www.richlynchband.com).

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