Saturday, October 04, 2003

If It Wasn't for Us

I've been watching the Martin Scorsese The Blues this week on PBS. Just as the reviews said, the different movies are uneven. There's one night left but I've already decided which one's I like. The best ones are Feel Like Going Home by Martin Scorsese, The Road to Memphis by Richard Pearce and Warming by the Devil's Fire by Charles Burnett. These are the episodes that stayed most on point. Educating us about the life and times of the Bluesmen who hit their prime and second peaks from the 1900s through the early 70s. The last episode, Piano Blues by Clint Eastwood, will probably be good too.

The Great Blues Migration

The Great Blues Migration

The episode that got on my nerves was Red, White & Blues by Mike Figgis. They should have called it "If It Wasn't for Us" . It was basically an hour and a half of British guys congratulating themselves for discovering American Blues and bringing it back across the pond to the ignorant white kids who didn't know what a treasure they had. I agree with the last part, but it was very annoying for them to keep saying the first part. The English guys kept harping on the theme that they were saviors of all the Bluesmen who would wouldn't have reached such a wide audience without their intervention. The worst part is when they kept playing a clip of BB King saying his gratitude for the British guys contribution to his success. The clip itself wasn't bad. The fact that they played it at least 3 times in in less than 2 hours that was annoying.

Overall, the best thing to come out of the series will be the complimentary CDs. The money grubbing related to the merchangdising has already started. I tried to buy Martin Scorsese "The Blues" full 19-disc set on eBay. It would have been awesome, the CDs has almost EVERYBODY you'd ever want from Son House, Howlin Wolf, Bessie Smith to current folks like Shemekia Copeland and Beck. Unfortunately, I had to stop bidding after the price got over $125.