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Ashes of American Flags

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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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.

Special Features

None.

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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001RTYKWM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"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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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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Format: DVD
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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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
distance.
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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Already a fan of Wilco, I bought this with a lot of hesitancy, thinking "Oh what the hell is this going to add to my enthusiasm for Wilco?" but it's so well done that it won me over quickly. Concert films are pretty boring face it, unless you love the band, and would a concert film open you up to a band if you weren't already a fan? I think this one might. Jeff Tweedy's tongue-in-cheek wry Midwestern banter between songs is something to relish at their concerts, and you get a few bits of that here. Mostly you get fine performances, several of which appear to be shot during sound checks in the venue, which means you get the best acoustics w/o distracting audience shots. If you already love Wilco--and you know you're out there--some favorite songs are presented with extended solos by Nils and Jeff. It's almost watching the whole video for a moment when Nils is on the phone with somebody after a gig. He's eating chips. We don't know who he's talking to but the conversation turns to how pathetic and sad the person on the other end of the line is--it's Glenn, who is practicing in the tour bus.
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