'Devo - Men Who Make The Music PLUS ...'
(DEVO / DVD / NR / 2014 / MVD Visual)
Overview: 'The Men Who Make the Music' combines concert footage from DEVO's 1978 tour with music videos and interstitials featuring a vague story about DEVO's rocky relationship with "Big Entertainment." As an added bonus you also get Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig, which is a true flashback live hardcore DEVO show for the fans to enjoy!
DVD Verdict: If you were not aware, Devo are an American rock band formed in 1972. Consisting of members from Kent and Akron, Ohio the classic line-up of the band included two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs (Mark and Bob) and the Casales (Gerald and Bob); along with Alan Myers.
Indeed, the band had a #14 Billboard chart hit in 1980 with the single 'Whip It,' which EVERYONE knows at this juncture in their lives, don't they?! This ensured that DEVO have maintained a cult following throughout their existence. Over time their style has shifted between punk, art rock, post-punk and new wave.
Their music and stage show mingle kitsch science fiction themes, deadpan surrealist humor, and mordantly satirical social commentary. Their often discordant pop songs feature unusual synthetic instrumentation and time signatures that have proven influential on subsequent popular music, particularly new wave, industrial and alternative rock artists.
Of course, DEVO was also a pioneer of the music video, creating many memorable clips for the Laser Disc format (remember that?), with 'Whip It' getting heavy airplay in the early days of MTV.
So, now we have 'Devo - Men Who Make The Music/Butch Devo & The Sundance Gig' both here on DVD for our entertainment, it has to be said that if you're a fan this is an absolute must-have. No doubt about it. BUT, if you don't like it, you don't get it, and the intro was confusing to you, well, step away from the DVD, thank you!
In truth, this re-released 'The Men Who Make The Music' is probably one of the single most important pieces of video art that has been created in DEVO's history! Filmed during the period of their first two record releases (1978-1979), this combo mix of live footage and music videos show us a band already at the height of high concept: strange synth punk combined with some very weirdly stunning stage "acting"!
As for the bonus program, 'Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig,' Jerry Casale himself has said, "In '96, we closed Sundance Film Festival. We wore 20's style prison suits, we did a special show with really old, hardcore Devo songs from the early 70s, before we ever had a deal."
And so this show from 1996 is, in fact, a rare look at a band who took to the stage in prison suits and decided to just do what they wanted to do - regardless of the consequences. Mostly containing bouts of their guitar driven ensembles, not to mention a few out of left field acoustic renditions, the show is a true diamond in the rough. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.