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Ashes of American Flags (2009)

Wilco , Brendan Canty , Christoph Green  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Ashes of American Flags + I Am Trying to Break Your Heart - A Film About Wilco + Jeff Tweedy - Sunken Treasure - Live in the Pacific Northwest
Price for all three: $44.93

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Product Details

  • Actors: Wilco
  • Directors: Brendan Canty, Christoph Green
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Nonesuch
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,303 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Ashes of American Flags follows Wilco from Tulsa, Oklahoma (Cain's Ballroom) to Washington D.C. (9:30 Club) during its 2008 U.S. tour of ballrooms, clubs and concert halls, capturing the six-piece band, and three-man horn section, at such
hallowed venues as Tipitina's in New Orleans and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. This feature-length DVD is a concert film of extraordinary intimacy, with the HD cameras focused primarily on the stage and often inches away from singer songwriter Jeff Tweedy's microphone or drummer Glenn Kotche's cymbals. Ashes of American Flags also functions as an evocative travelogue, a document of the band's physical and emotional journey. Co-directors Brendan Canty, the former Fugazi
drummer, and Christoph Green track Wilco's tour bus across the country, taking in both the wide-angle beauty and William Eggleston-like desolation of the highways and cities they pass through. At each stop, the filmmakers record candid moments
at sound check, back stage and on the bus, where band members offer insights into their lives on the road and their remarkably intuitive communication as a group.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Current Wilco at Their Very Best February 21, 2009
"Ashes of American Flags" documents a short concert swing from about a year ago, with Wilco playing such classic small Southern venues such as Tipitina's in New Orleans and the Ryman Theatre in Nashville. They filmed five shows in their entirety, and picked out the best performances from them. The result is a 90 minute document of the current Wilco lineup at the their very best. The film-work is great, but mostly importantly, the performances are astoundingly good, and they cover a wide range or materials, from the super-rocking "Monday" from "Being There" to material from "Sky Blue Sky," including an absolutely remarkable version of "Impossible Germany." This is certainly a "must have" for any fan of Wilco, and I think even those who only know a little about the band will be moved by the powerful and profound performances.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dvd/live cd in one April 30, 2009
By luckykz
what's cool is that through the dvd, you can register and go online and download the performances as a live 20 song cd (which includes the bonus tracks), then do what you want with the audio tracks.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent concert performance dvd by Wilco. It features live performances by Wilco filmed in 5 lengendary Southern U.S.A. Venues during 2008. These venues are Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tipitina's in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mobile Alabama Civic Center, The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, and the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. The dvd starts off kinda like a documentary, but then progresses into concert performances. It does contain some documentary elements during the DVD, but it is mostly concert performance footage. The music Wilco performs, sounds like, what the late/great Gram Parsons called "Cosmic American Music". This kind of music has also been referred to as "Alternative Country", "Americana", and "No Depression".!It can also be referred to as plain ole "Southern Rock". Although Jeff Tweedy, the lead man is from Illinois, John Stirratt, the bass guitar player is from Mandeville, Louisiana, just across Lake Pochantrain from New Orleans. John Stirratt has been with Jeff Tweedy for a long time, even when they had a band named "Uncle Tupelo", before they became "Wilco".

During some of the performances, Wilco's lead singer and frontman Jeff Tweedy, wears a "Nudie" suit, similier to the "Nudie" suit that the late/great Gram Parsons used to wear. A "Nudie" suit is one of those flashy, decorated country & western suits, designed by a tailor in L.A. with a nick name of "Nudie". Jeff is a "cool" frontman. He and the band perform outstanding music in this dvd. This dvd contains 13 basic songs, plus a bonus of 7 more songs. I'm not sure of the time line, but it is a fairly lengthy dvd.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST ROCK BAND ON THE PLANET AS OF 6/18/09 June 18, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This document is very well recorded and shows this great, tight, professional band in a couple different sized venues doing their thing.
I just had the opportunity to see Wilco on Friday June 13, in Cincinnati, Ohio and they were amazing. One thing guaranteed about seeing Wilco perform, if you're not a fan going in, you will be one when you walk out. They played for 2-1/2 hours without a break; Jeff, what can I say about Jeff? Is he the coolest dude on the planet? But he does need a haircut. Pat Sansone has got the rock guitar god moves down! With the power windmill chords, etc.
Surely a lot different in June '09 compared to when I saw Wilco at the Graffiti lounge in Pittsburgh in '93 or '94 - Jay Bennett had just joined the band. My kids and I got to slap high fives with the band on their way to the dressing room after the show - that was cool.
I can't say enough about this rock group.
Jeff's words are poetry, not rock lyrics, set to interestingly melodic
tunes that spin in different directions, time changes, bridging space and
In Cincinnati, hearing 2,700 fans sing the words along with Jeff and John and Pat was amazing. Every song a sing-a-long.
The only better rock concert I've experienced in my 58 years of having ears was
seeing The Band at Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh in 1970. But that's another story.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Perfomances April 16, 2009
The concert itself is great, the video/sound quality are top notch and the Wilco lineup shown here is incredible. The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is simply because I don't think it's really a "documentary", there are some interviews and behind the scenes stuff but these feel like an afterthought. Having said that there is a half hour of "bonus" live footage and you can download the audio tracks for free. This dvd is well worth the money and since I've seen them live a few times I can say it is a very good representation of their live shows. It is definately a must have for Wilco fans and if for some reason you don't already own the "I am trying to break your heart" documentary by Sam Jones I would buy the two together... you will probably get free shipping that way:)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb February 22, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great performances. The sound is phenomenal. The band's commentary between tracks could easily have ruined it, but they don't sound pretentious or stupid and there is just enough talk before actual songs (see Arcade Fire's Mirror Noir for how NOT to do this). I don't think you can ask for much more from a live DVD. It doesn't hurt that Wilco have such a good catalogue of consistent, excellent songs, which are edgy and accessible. Best music DVD I've bought in ages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
First off Wilco is one of my favorite bands. This DVD is truly a masterpiece. The title songs is one of the best Wilco songs to date. Loved it. Highly recommend it.
Published 14 months ago by notyalc34
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential viewing for Wilco fans
A very well-done documentary of Wilco on tour. The band sounds great, and you actually get a feel for the personalities of all the band members, not just Jeff Tweedy. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Richard Starrett
5.0 out of 5 stars For the true fan
If you are a fan, this is a MUST Have! Enough said.

It's dark and dreary, but heartfelt and captivating. Just like the music.
Published 18 months ago by Peter Aleman
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for any fan of rock guitar and/or Wilco
Well-filmed live footage puts you in the best seat in the house. The performance of "Impossible Germany" alone is worth the price of the DVD. Read more
Published on June 8, 2012 by RogerThat
5.0 out of 5 stars Next best thing to seeing them live
I've had this DVD for a while and only watched it once. I saw Wilco in Savannah (3/25/2010) and have been watching Jeff since the Uncle Tupelo days. Read more
Published on March 28, 2010 by John
1.0 out of 5 stars Still waiting...
While I go to Wilco concerts to listen to the band perform their magic live and I usually turn off video when listening to CDs and DVDs alike, I STILL find it annoying that "This... Read more
Published on March 24, 2010 by W. Atwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Best live sound and visuals
I have seen Wilco live several times and even saw the tour that is covered in this DVD. The quality of the sound and visuals of the band are great. You can hear every part. Read more
Published on February 7, 2010 by DCahoon
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable and Moving
This is one of my favorite concert DVD's, rivaling Clapton's CrossRoads DVD in production quality. The performances are both remarkable and moving, showcasing Wilco at a wonderful... Read more
Published on September 17, 2009 by Aces Wild
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashes Of American Flags!
I just finished this documentary/live performences and was completly blown away.This dvd should prove why WILCO is probably one of the best or thee best performing rock band out... Read more
Published on September 12, 2009 by Robert Curtis
5.0 out of 5 stars They just get better and better
I can sum this up by saying it is the best musical performance documentary since "The Last Waltz." As a band Wilco keeps growing and maturing and their work reflects it. Read more
Published on September 12, 2009 by ali t
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