Zappa's Baby Snakes

Discussion in 'Music' started by Trina, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. Trina

    Trina Agent

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    Anyone else here have the freshly released Baby Snakes DVD yet? I got mine yesterday from CD Universe. Looks and sounds great. I personally think the stereo mix is a little better than the 5.1. Regardless, it's Zappa and it's good. Cool packaging too. Some Zappa No-D glasses and a 'case file.' Not much in the way of bonus material, but a nice trailer for the yet to be released Roxy show. I hope that's more than just a teaser. All and all I'm thrilled to see some official Zappa DVD product. 2003 gave us Halloween, which will be honored tonight at the Surround Awards with a performance by Dweezil and Joe Travers, and ending up the year with Baby Snakes. Hoping for the Roxy DVD in 2004.

    Peace,
    T
     
  2. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I don't have my 5.1 setup right now but I may still get this DVD- it's just too tempting to resist.

    I would kill for the Roxy concert.
     
  3. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Damn - I've had this on my must buy list. How did I miss the release date? I'll have to make a stop on my way home tonite. Thanks for the reminder!
     
  4. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    I'm bringing it with me tonight to dialysis to watch on my laptop but will watch it again this weekend on my 5.1 system.

    It's great to have and I'm glad it has logical chapter stops.

    BTW Next month Does Humor Belong in Music will come out on DVD. Hopefully the Dub Room Special (or Roxy!) and 200 Motels are not too far behind.
     
  5. Trina

    Trina Agent

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    Yeah, I've got my fingers crossed for the Roxy show. Beware that the Does Humor Belong In Music DVD is NOT an official Zappa Family Trust release. It's from EMI and the the ZFT is not happy, nor is it endorsing the release. Meaning, it didn't get the special care that BS's did. Also, I'm a little put off by price for DHBIM. It's an hour long show for $25?!? We'll see about that one. I'll wait till it comes out and see what people think.
     
  6. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    DHBIM is another must buy for me.
     
  7. Michael St. Clair

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    I used to rent this...was always too cheap to buy the double VHS, then kicked myself for it later. I haven't seen this in 12 years...I'm amazed at how well I remember it.

    Dark/smokey scenes have some compression artifacts, but as a whole the disc looks OK.

    Packaging is excellent for a single-disc keepcase release.

    The 5.1 mix sucks.

    The stereo mix is good. Bitrate is only 192k though (I have some discs with DD2.0 at 384k and 448k and there is a huge difference...it is close to PCM).

    Wonder what happened to Frank's original 4.0 mix?

    Half of a gig is unused of the DVD-9 7.75Gb potential. This could have been used to increase image bitrate, stereo bitrate, or add the 4.0 mix.

    The disc is still a must-buy. One of my favorite "concert films" ever. And sales of this will certainly influence the likelihood of future releases like Roxy.

    I say release all the old stuff, too. Bickford, True Story of 200 Motels, Uncle Meat, Dub Room.

    I will get DHBiM but it is not as critical as BS...IMO.
     
  8. Trina

    Trina Agent

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    If you go to zappa.com and read the 'Decoding'thingy of Baby Snakes, you will see the tedious process that the soundtrack went through to make it into existance. After reading that, I'm not going to complain and just enjoy having it on DVD.
     
  9. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  10. Michael St. Clair

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    OK, so there is no existing 4.0 mix that fits the edited film. I can buy that.

    Regardless, the stereo mix is better than the 5.1. which has some weird sloppy things going on with drums and bass.
     
  11. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    The great part was that there is a commercial for the Roxy DVD on Baby Snakes!

    I was a little dissapointed with the sound here and there but overall Baby Snakes is a great release.
     
  12. Michael St. Clair

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    They released that exact same Roxy commercial in Quicktime over two years ago.

    But, them putting in the DVD, finally increases my optimism. Many of us had written Roxy off at this point.

    FYI, SharingTheGroove.com has recently had some things like a Petit Wazoo live recording and other things of indeterminate origin.
     
  13. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    In the zappa.com FAQ Gail Zappa says Roxy is on the way, as is a live version of Grand Wazoo.
     
  14. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    Hey Z Fans...

    Spoke to Dweezil yesterday. Lots of stuff will be a'comin! They're looking at using Frank's original quad mixes for some of the older albums, like Apostrophe, and even the long lost gem of the 1981 Halloween concert broadcast on MTV is a possibility. Dweezil indicated the video for the Roxy show still needs a lot of work, but he was very excited about the prospects of multi-channel and hi-res output of Frank's work. The concern of the Zappas is that they don't want to piss off the core fan base by having them keep buying re-releases of Frank's stuff; however, the multi-channel/hi-res possibilities have opened the door to provide something worthwhile that fans will want to have (and I agree whole-heartedly)!

    The multi-channel soundtrack from Baby Snakes was extremely problematic as is detailed in the link I provided above. A new film-to-video transfer was not done for the DVD, as Frank had color-corrected and prepped a master for laserdisc in the early 1990s. The choice was made not to mess with the work Frank had already done.

    More in my upcoming column in DVD ETC.

    Cheers,
     
  15. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I picked this dvd up and am glad that I did. I didn't think the 5.1 was that bad. The music is good as well as the show. I've never seen Frank in concert so this is a real treat. I wish I had.
     
  16. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Thanks, Felix.

    I got Baby Snakes as a gift. Can't wait to hear it (only stereo for now...)
     
  17. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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  18. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  19. Trina

    Trina Agent

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    Felix, thanks for the DZ info. I'd love to hear some new releases of Frank's quad mixes. Hey, I look forward to any new FZ releases. I'm loving Baby Snakes.
     

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