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Secret Chiefs: Live at the Great American Music Hall


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$16.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Secret Chiefs: Live at the Great American Music Hall + Director's Cut Live: A New Years Revolution + The Fantomas/Melvin Big Band: Kentish Town Forum - London
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mimicry
  • DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001QU9RUM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,207 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Live at the Great American Music Hall captures Secret Chiefs 3 in concert with what many consider to be the best of their many lineups in 14 years of playing. Shot in 2007 at one of the band's favorite haunts, this DVD does justice to a group whose live energy usually exceeds the recorded medium. Renowned for their ultra-elaborate CD productions, Secret Chiefs 3 has also garnered a reputation for the power and immediacy of their live shows. Their fanbase has swelled in recent years and grown accustomed to this live incarnation (the Secret Chiefs 3 bootleg scene is thriving), and they demand an official release! Not just some audience-hand-cam and stereo-mic-job thing, this DVD boasts a pro six-camera shoot with live sound mixed by Billy Anderson, with the multi-channel outs mixed for DVD by Trey Spruance and Randall Dunn (producer of Earth, SUNNO))), Kinski, Wolves in the Throne Room, etc). And it comes with a really nice six-panel gatefold digi-pack with original artwork.

At the show, Secret Chiefs 3 performs a set of both familiar and as-yet-unreleased music. The line-up includes Ches Smith (Xiu Xiu, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog), Shahzad Ismaili (who also plays with Graham Haynes, Laurie Anderson, and Tom Waits), Timb Harris (Estradasphere), Rich Doucette, Peijman Kouretchian, and Jai Young Kim. Live at the Great American Music Hall also has an award-winning and seriously dimensionally altered 80-minute stop-motion animation feature film directed by Tawd Dornfeld that uses Secret Chiefs 3's live show as a soundtrack.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
They actually focused on the Music!
G. Allen
The film is nice and moody as it should be for a band that plays in cloaks and is well edited.
bennytude
Hopefully someone else can do a good job of critiquing it.
I Spent My Stimulus Check On Stimulants

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I Spent My Stimulus Check On Stimulants on March 4, 2009
Format: DVD
The live music performed and recorded here is amazing- 5 stars, easy. There's a great selection of songs: classic material, variations and extensions of previous recordings, along with some of the best mixed rare and unreleased music available. The audio alone would have made for a very strong CD release. However, I don't believe the stage performance is an essential component. Trey Spruance's SC3 always put on a great live show- I'm just not sure if it translates well to DVD. That said, at times, it is amazing to watch these musicians execute this beautifully idiosyncratic music. I suppose if fans are yearning to catch a glimpse of what a SC3 performance is, they will enjoy watching this. This is not to say that fan-made videos aren't abundantly accessible. What separates this DVD from fan-based content is its production. Furthermore, I have to insert a small criticism about one of the performers, Timb Harris. No doubt he is a talented multi-instrumentalist, even capable of playing Eyvind Kang's brilliant leads. However, there seems to be a great amount of camera time dedicated to him. His stage presence comes off as a bit egotistical and self-absorbed. Sort of like trying to watch Jeff Buckley perform. Smirking, smiling, and swaying in delight to your own playing is awkward to watch- let the fans take care of that. Jerry Lee Lewis transformed the perception of a piano and its player. I don't think Timb Harris is the person to do that for violin. Anyway, that's all nitpicking. Again, I don't believe the visual footage is what matters. The music here is phenomenal; Spruance composes fantastic music and surrounds himself with incredible musicians. I just wish they included some Masada songs.
I'm not going to get into the stop-motion animation film by Tawd Dornfeld. Hopefully someone else can do a good job of critiquing it.
The DVD layout and artwork are beautiful. Altogether, this WOM release is a must own for fans.
A great live recording.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Secret Chiefs 3 is one of the most criminally underknown projects in the music sphere. Their name is a reference to Avatar-like beings, residing in the astral plane, who disseminate evolutionary spiritual and vibrational influence to receptive humans. Trey Spruance-guitarist and ringleader-in particular, as an artist has a dearth of official film material to go alongside his colorful career(Mr. Bungle never released a live recording or video). This is a fitting document for the Chiefs and for capturing their awesome stage presence and musical communication.
The audio is outstanding whether you are listening in the stereo or surround settings. The film is nice and moody as it should be for a band that plays in cloaks and is well edited. I like the way they set up the flow of the show with different themes and various acoustic and electric instruments adding color. Their seamless use of diatonic scales and odd time signatures is some of the most inventive, yet entirely groovy, music around.
In addition to the live show, there is an eerie and surrealistic stop-motion animation film that you can watch with the Chiefs playing live as the soundtrack. The filmmaker went to great pains to make the movie coincide with the circular logic of the music. It is an awesome way to experience the music, it hits you completely different than when watching the musicians.
There are one or two moments where the band seems to lose the beat and descend into a bit of chaos, but I can't fathom how they keep up with the countless, amazing turns in the music as well as they do. That's the beauty of the live concert document. Reminds us humans are behind great art, or in this case, Secret Chiefs. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Allen on February 26, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The music is excellent. The performance is excellent.

The problem for my taste is all the jerking off the editors did to this performance.

It's like the MTV music videos with 7 second scene changes. Once you get focused the scene. It changes and the camera actions does a swipe or zoom in or zoom out. One second scene here, two scene there, WOW now a actual SCENE got 9 WHOLE seconds.

The editing ruined the experience for myself.

Hey, you HOLLYWOOD HARD ONS!!!

Go back and learn something from the Lester Flatts and Earl Suggs Grand Ole Orpy show !
They actually focused on the Music!

The editors/producers/directors love to feel important these days.
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