Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Janis Ian - Janismania 2004|
Actor: Janis Ian
Director: John Leonardini
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational
What do you get when you unleash Janis Ian and 40 "Janismaniacs" on a monastery for weekend? JANISMANIA! Experience what the fans did at the 3 day event now known as Janismania 2004. Janis Ian joined 40 fans at a small ... more »
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One Neat StrangeTrip, With Great Music, Learning, And Laughs
David R. Moffatt | Eveleth, MN USA | 01/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In June of 2004, legendary singer/songwriter Janis Ian and 40 of those who regard themselves as her greatest fans (though they are still fighting over the title), descended on a Benedictine Monastery a few miles east of the Indianapolis Speedway for a weekend of music, study, and plain old fun. No one knew what to expect. This double DVD set, with more than 5 1/2 hours of material, is the result.
Of those who attended, several came from as far away as the Netherlands, Ireland, and The United Kingdom. Some had met before, most had not. Some had seen Janis Ian perform before; some had not. Strangers left as friends; borders and boundaries vanished literally overnight, trivialized by the common bond of Janis' 40 year musical career and utterly contagious smile. There were nearly as many guitars at the site as chairs, and you'll get to hear a few of them.
The first disk contains more than two hours of Janis in performance--just her and her guitar, intending to work from a set list which vanished quickly in the face of endless audience requests. In one case, when Janis cannot recall all of the lyrics to a song, the audience fills in for her, with hilarious results. Through a beautiful pair of extended sets, Ms. Ian proves again and again that true artistry does not age or grow stale, that her legendary lyrical and musical precision is as sharp as ever, and that she can take (or dish out) a joke just as readily as a pointed lesson.
The second disk includes a two hour "master class" by Janis Ian in which she explains many of the basics of stagecraft, from the obvious (never forget how many steps there are between the stage wings and the microphone--under a spotlight, you might not be able to see!) to the sublime (she demonstrates how simply rising from a chair can be a simple action--or a performance). Not one to overlecture, Janis throws in two lovely songs including her best-known, "At Seventeen", and delivers a steady stream of amusing and informative banter with the audience. You will learn from this workshop--whether you are an actor or performer yourself, or whether you just want to make a better appearance at the next office presentation. Well worth repeated viewings.
Also on the second DVD are a series of "outtakes", including interviews with Janis, her staff, and several of the attendees. Also a fair number of bits ranging from the inspiring (when one attendee demonstrates a guitar technique Janis is unable to imitate) to the outright silly (Janis auctions off her pants for charity). Lots of hugs, tears, and laughter, and the sheer presence of a performer who is so completely and utterly "real" that most of today's stars could learn much from her.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you won't for a minute regret kissing the price of admission goodbye."
Like nothing else you've ever seen
Terrie L. Carrico | Fort Wayne, IN USA | 01/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD recreates an event unique in the history of American folk music: An artist of international renown "camping out" with 40 tenacious fans for a three-day weekend. What happened in Indiana that weekend was more than history, though. It was magic. The artist, her staff, the fans, and the Benedictine nuns came together looking like an unlikely ensemble at best. We parted three days later feeling like family. Janis Ian's music has always been about what ties us together as humans. She turned out to be as honest, as down-to earth, as gracious, and as beautiful as her music. This DVD does a wonderful job of sharing the artistry, the music, and an unforgettable magical weekend."
As good as being there
Iain Sommerville | East of Eden,West of Impossible | 01/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was not one of the "Fab 40" who got to be there, but this DVD allows you to almost feel like you're a part of the whole event. The masterclass given by Janis is an insightful and informative disclosure of some of Janis' tricks of her trade. The Living Room Concert is a mixture of formal performance and humorous audience participation. The overwhelming feature of this 2 DVD package is the feeling of quickly developed camaraderie and group spirit. Most of the group had never met each other in person, knowing each other only from cyberspace.
This DVD is not a professional production, there are camera wobbles and the sound is not always the best quality, however, it is a remarkable record of an event which will probably never be repeated. This is the best way you're ever going to get to grab your piece of the magic."
Janismania - A Magical Weekend; An Amazing DVD
Anna McCabe | Dublin, Ireland | 01/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dave M's review says it all. The two core elements of this 2 DVD set is a wondefully intimate Living Room Concert and a MasterClass which is an education for any artist, performer - a wealth of knowledge and experience condensed into a couple of hours. Apart from anything else, this is just such amazing value -- what other artist would give you 5.5 hours of unique footage and access to their "real selves" for under $20? There isn't any better bargain on the whole of Amazon.com. Go buy it now folks and give yourselves a real treat!"