Since it's still looking like 40 days and 40 nights outside, you might just feel like postponing those new year's resolutions for another week or so, phoning it in from your warm living room, complete with a glowing television and any other necessary means of escape from reality. So here are some premium music DVD selections from 2006, custom fit for whatever rationalization you might need:
Fun from None: Live from the No Fun Fest 2004 & 2005 (Load)
Perhaps you've fallen into some sort of existential/nihilistic crisis because you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas? If so, the Fun from None DVD set is the perfect soundtrack to your demise! Pretend not to care as you watch people you probably don't recognize twist mixer knobs and manipulate feedback from giant stacks of speaker cabinets—all in search of just the right ear-piercing frequencies! Tinnitus purveyors include: To Live and Shave in L.A., Kim Gordon and the Sweet Ride, Wolf Eyes, and Prurient.
What reinforces life's pointlessness more than this caliber of aural masochism?
High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music (Plexifilm)
Maybe you're a jaded punk rocker—or perplexed even further into liking black metal or something—but the last quarter of 24 Hour Party People piqued your interest in electronic music. If so, High Tech Soul is your next stop. See techno DJ/producer Blake Baxter articulate the difference between breakbeats ("boom-tss-bap-bap-bap-boom-tss-bap-bap") and jungle ("boom-boom-boom-tss-tss-tss-bap-bap-boom-tss-bap-bap"). You'll also hear Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson's different accounts of when the latter beat up the former in high school. (May wouldn't make good on a Super Bowl bet.) Seriously, though, Soul provides a pretty interesting socioeconomic analysis of downtown Detroit, deftly incorporating the cultural influence of techno—a genre born in the abandoned warehouses and low-rent flats of the city's core.
Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story (Mono)
Okay, so maybe you're in need of some extra motivation to enact those resolutions you made sometime in the hazy hours of January 1. Did you know that Dead Moon frontman Fred Cole was homies with Janis Joplin, and committed all the band's music to vinyl from the same lathe that the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie" was cut on back in 1963? Despite this level of awesomeness—or maybe because of it—record executives always tried to rip him off back in the day. So by the time Cole formed Dead Moon with his wife Toody and drummer Andrew Loomis in 1987, he was determined to do everything on his own. And so he did: Dead Moon wrote, recorded, mastered, and mass produced their vinyl-only releases all from their self-built home deep in the mossy and desolate woods outside Portland. The Coles admit to pulling in less than $20,000 a year, but Cole maintains, "Anyone can do whatever they want. The money is there."
We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (Plexifilm)
If Dead Moon's ardent DIY ethos doesn't provide enough motivation to unglue your ass from the couch, the Minutemen's fuck-all attitude toward not only mainstream political culture, but most bands that called themselves punk at the time, might just elicit that much-needed sense of vigor. The Minutemen managed to influence pretty much anyone in the burgeoning punk-rock wave of the 1980s and beyond, and We Jam Econo's director, Tim Irwin, tracks down just about every single one of those influenced parties (Henry Rollins, Flea, and Greg Ginn), not to mention some early neighbors, band members' relatives, and pretty much anyone else you could think of.
loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies (MVDvisual)
If you're still on the couch, consider employing loudQUIETloud. Documenting the Pixies on their 2004 reunion tour, loudQUIETloud, proves that even if you're balding and/or overweight and/or a rehab graduate and/or quit your instrument of choice 12 years ago to "pursue hobbies including magic and metal detecting" (that'd be the Pixies' drummer David Lovering), you still can achieve a fair amount of esteem well past the age of 30. Thankfully, the film also shows that—despite what some assumptive critics may have thought at the time—the tour was not at all depressing because the Pixies still kill it onstage. Don't get your hopes too high, though; they were always pretty fucking good.