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Special Moves (CD + DVD)

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 24, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Seminal Scottish rock band Mogwai are thrilled to announce their first official live concert film release, Burning, with accompanying live album Special Moves. The film, directed by Vincent Moon and Nathanael Le Scouarnac of the world-renowned La Blogotheque s Take-Away Shows, was shot at the band s sold-out three-night residency at Brooklyn s Music Hall of Williamsburg in April 2009. These creative powerhouses in film and music have come together to produce something undeniably unique and mesmerizing, grabbing the audience from the first opening seconds and never letting go. The 45-minute film presents itself as a modern urban noir thriller, a black-and-white journey, starting on the same electrifying New York streets Bernard Hermann scored for Martin Scorsese. Manholes hiss steam, taxi headlights flare in the camera lens and strangers wait in street corner shadows. Moon and Le Scouarnec call their film an experience of the senses... a lifetime of feelings in just one night.

Review

It's stylistic black and white aesthetic, almost film noir-esque shots of New York emerge through the music, reflecting and augmenting the band's sound, visually matching the intensity the band creates onstage without overshadowing it. --Relix Magazine, August 2010

...the black-and-white footage does the talking without standard theatrics...there's atmospheric beauty in the close-ups of hands shredding at guitar strings onstage and applauding in the crowd. --Spin Magazine, August 2010

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead
  2. Friend Of The Night
  3. Hunted By A Freak
  4. Mogwai Fear Satan
  5. Cody
  6. You Don't Know Jesus
  7. I Know You Are But What Am I
  8. I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School
  9. 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
  10. Like Herod
  11. Glasgow Megasnake

Disc: 2

  1. The Precipice
  2. I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead
  3. Hunted by a Freak
  4. Like Herod
  5. New Paths to Helicon Part 1
  6. Mogwai Fear Satan
  7. Scotland's Shame
  8. Batcat


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: +1 Records
  • ASIN: B003VQO4VQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,569 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Mogwai releases its first live album, and it's a can't miss. The album also comes with a DVD as a bonus.

Special Moves (the CD) is excellent overall. The quality of the recording is remarkably better than most concert albums. Mogwai's selection of songs here are great too, with works spanning their entire career. The only drawback in my opinion, is the absence of The Sun Smells Too Loud. A live version of that song would have been amazing.

Burning (the DVD) is also exemplary, and unlike most concert films. It has a unique look for sure. Shot all in black and white, with dark shadowy performance footage and street scenes thrown in between songs. It's not unlike the film that was on the Hawk is Howling's bonus DVD. The only extra feature on the DVD is another performance of Mogwai Fear Satan, at another venue. The DVD's content runtime is only a little under an hour.

The CD/DVD package also comes with an access code that allows the download of six bonus songs.

This is a must-own for any Mogwai fan. I'd even say it would be perfect for introducing someone to the band.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD/DVD combo is nothing less than a present for Mogwai fans. It's an absolutely brilliant live album (Special Moves) with an excellent concert DVD (Burning), and as a bonus 6 additional downloadable live tracks.

The "Burning" DVD is shot entirely in black and white, sometimes grainy, sometimes very clear, showing a Mogwai concert in Brooklyn. There are occasional shots of the city, and some takes of the (entranced) audience, but most of the movie focuses on the band on stage. If you've seen Mogwai live, you know what to expect from their shows - and this movie portrays it in all its beauty. For me the highlight of the DVD is a glorious version of "Hunted by a Freak". There's also a blistering version of "Mogwai Fear Satan" that must have been something like a religious experience for the audience. You'll only get a snipped of "Like Herod" in the DVD, but fear not as the entire 10 minute version can be heard on the CD. If I have one minor complaint about the DVD, it's that it wasn't divided in DVD chapters, so it's impossible to skip forward or back to a specific song. Not a big deal, but it would have been a nice touch.

The "Special Moves" CD contains live versions of songs from almost all of the band's studio albums - there's nothing from the "Zidane" soundtrack or the "Ten Rapid" compilation, but every other album is represented. If you take the DVD, CD and bonus tracks together, you'll find that song selection leans heavily towards the band's latest album "The Hawk is Howling", but since that's an excellent album I have absolutely no problem with this. The audio quality is great.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is very hard for me to give any CD 5 stars. It is almost unheard of for a CD by a band that aren't "mainstream". I had heard about this group and I like the style of music that groups like this play so I thought I would give them a try. The problem is trying to find a band's "best" album when you don't really know them. I tried going to the band's MP3 cite to see what songs others liked and downloaded and then tried to match that to an album. The problem is that what I may be getting is just their newer stuff, not necessarily their best. I looked at a "live" album under the theory that the band would be encouraged by the format to play their "best" music. Problem is that live albums can have recording quality issues. Here I decided to go the live album route. It was like hitting a home run. Recording sound was great and the selection of songs magnificent. I give this CD a strong recommendation. Unfortunately, for all I know all of their other work deserves the same. You will love this album if you like music by Hammock, early Buckethead, Explosions in the Sky, Bombazine Black and Godspeed You Black Emperor and such. To me this is "zoning" music. Something you put on, grab a beer, sit on the back deck, put your feet up and just zone off for a couple of hours while in your mind you solve all the world's problems.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is Mogwai's first live concert album, and it's available in various configurations, including vinyl and a DVD of the concert film 'Burning.' I downloaded the basic 10-song album and have not seen the film or heard the bonus tracks yet (hopefully will at some point...). These captured performances are basically as valuable as any of their studio albums, featuring mostly instrumentals with an occasional vocal number. Although there are electronics, percussion and other instruments, the prevalent sound on Special Moves is a massive electric guitar attack, just layers of noise that coalesce into a kind of awe-inspiring sonic structure. It's what you go to see Mogwai for, and on Special Moves they deliver.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
These tracks are all well-written, well-performed, and well-recorded and therefore it makes a good "greatest hits" set, but I still do not give it 5*. Why? There is something missing - the ambiance. Maybe part of the problem is that it is mixed like a studio album with instruments closely miked and spread widely across the soundstage. This does not capture their atmosphere properly.

Mogwai is best heard live in person. When that is not possible, the next best thing is a well-made audience recording. Fortunately the band is very permissive when it comes to taping and they have allowed a number of superb audience recordings to be made and posted on archive.org. This is where you should go to find something to listen to.

Support the artist by buying their music and going see them live but when you want to listen, pick the medium that shows them at their best. This release is not it.
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