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DVD Review: Tim Buckley

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MVD Visual; Release date: May 15, 2007

The Deal: Eccentric genius redefines deconstructs singer/songwriter image, sounds.

The Good: If you think Jeff Buckley was something, you should have seen his daddy. Tim was the Mack daddy of improvisation. Music literally exploded out of him. Buckley yipped, howled and yodeled as the spirit moved him, and it moved him plenty. Buckley went from being a folkie to avant-garde jazz improvisation to rock and was headed back to the starting line when he died of an OD in '75. Starsailor, the title of one of his early albums, is an apt description of the singer. Buckley stretched his elastic tenor to the breaking point, often swooping down from soaring in the stratosphere to skimming the gritty depths in one breath.

The Bad: Though the DVD contains clips covering his work from 1967-74, none of his rock masterpieces like "Devil Eyes," "Get On Top Of Me Woman" or "Nighthawkin'" made it in. "Nighthawkin'" would be great to see with Buckley as a taxi driver who picks up a crazed Nam vet. "Have you ever been over to the war boy?" he asks, holding a knife to Buckley's throat. "I was a combat paratrooper daddy," Buckley lies, causing his passenger to "slump back cool, and pocket that steel," before bellowing "I'm just a red-neck son of a gun/I wanna kill me a gook before dawn." Or explore the depths of Buckley's depravity with "Devil Eyes," with the singer licking his woman between her hose-encased toes, "smoothing out the stretch marks." 1970's' "Come Here Woman," which did make it in, comes close to showcasing Buckley's decadence but it ain't as cool as "Get On Top Of Me Woman" with Buckley verbalizing his sexual ecstasy, yipping like a scalded squirrel.

The Verdict: This is a good starting place. Stop, look, listen, then go buy all the albums. This guy has enough personalities in his catalogue to keep you entertained for years.

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