Blue, Joni Mitchell
Free Wheelin', Bob Dylan
Rubber Soul, Beatles
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Soundtrack
Chopin's Nocturne series




Top Five DVD Musical Performances
By Sarah L. Myers

1. Talking Heads, “Naïve Melody (This Must Be the Place)”

Stop Making Sense

The proclamation is almost as big as the title: “One of the greatest rock movies ever made.” Jonathon Demme’s Stop Making Sense showcases one of music’s most influential artists with unparalleled elegance. The ingenuity of standout “Naïve Melody” is astounding. Background screens display city landscapes, bookshelves, and human bodies as David Byrne delivers some of the most inspired lyrics ever written and dances with a floor lamp. More than twenty years later, its still powerful enough to take us home.

2. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “Oh My Lord”

God Is In The House

If romance has a color, it’s not the red of roses or fawn yellow of candlelight. It’s the blue of the haze around him, the gray of the smoke from his crowd, and the black of his suit as Nick Cave sways onstage in Lyon, France singing “Oh My Lord”. As poet and preacher, Cave reaches out with “pray hard but pray with care for the tears that you are crying now are just your answered prayers,” but it takes only one wanting “wrap your tender arms round me” to raise the hair right up and away from the body.

3. Elvis Presley, “Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do”

The ‘68 Comeback Special

My obsession with rock n’ roll can be traced to two separate moments, the first being when I got my tiny hands on Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”. The second is also my mother’s fault. She was persuaded by Elvis’s Southern charm and manners while I looked no farther than the black leather and screaming women. I still remember watching a tape of this performance on our wood-paneled television, feeling something but not knowing what it was. It was raw, suggestive, and got me sent to my room. I found Elvis that day. Five years later he’d send it up from Hawaii with “American Trilogy”.

4. The White Stripes, “Jolene”

Under Blackpool Lights

Jack White barely delivers those first chilling notes on the strings before the entire Blackpool crowd starts singing this back to him. Begging and pleading, his desperation is only exaggerated by a voice that warbles as if on the edge of collapse. Meg, awash in filtered, grainy light, throws herself back with heavy breath, sweat plastering her hair to her face. Their exchange is fevered and beyond impassioned. By the end, whatever they’re feeling, we’re feeling it, too.

5. The Hives, “Main Offender”

Tussles in Brussels

I love The Hives. Not just because they’re cute and wear matching suits, but because they know that sometimes rock n’ roll needs little more than that. All of Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s arrogant posing and self-righteous patter only proves this point. Rock stars make the girls go crazy. Swedish rock stars make the girls lose their minds. It’s nothing but fun, and it looks so good. “Main Offender” illustrates why they’re one of the best live bands in the world.