The Punk Vault

MC5 – Kick Out the Jams – DVD

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MC5 – Kick Out the Jams DVD
Music Video Distributors

For many punks older than me, their road to the promised land (the punk rock scene) was first paved by such unorthodox bands such as The Stooges and MC5. Now referred to as pre-punk, these bands bucked tradition and did their own thing with no regards to commercial success. A blueprint that would be followed years later by the first generation of punk bands.

The MC5 only lasted a few years and put out like three albums but they certainly made an impression on the generations of music fans who followed. This DVD is a collection of live footage and various images of the band, and other things, all woven together to make a 30 minute long music video and peek into what the MC5 looked like live. Visually it is what you’d expect for something of this nature, a visual acid trip and probably a perfect thing to have on while indulging in your favorite chemical substance or smoking plants. I imagine said items were consumed in great quantities by the two people responsible for this DVD.

While the performances don’t match up with the music on the screen most of the time, it still makes for an interesting thing to watch while listening to the great selection of MC5 songs featured on this DVD. Since footage of the band playing is pretty rare, as in the 1960s, video cameras weren’t something everyone could just run to the store and buy, this is about as good as it gets as far as seeing what it was like back then. I myself was born a few years too late to have “been there”, so as someone who came to discover the band many years later while investigating the roots of the punk rock I hold so dear, I appreciate the ability to see what it was I missed.

Aside from the film, which clocks in at just over a half an hour, there is also an interview with John Sinclair that was filmed a few years ago. Unfortunately, someone thought it would be a good idea to have some music/poetry playing in the background during this and because it was mixed so high, it is really hard to make out a lot of what the soft spoken (and quite old at this point) Sinclair is talking about. I’d have preferred to have the interview be untainted by that so I could hear what he had to say. The interview is about a half hour long as well. Sadly that is all in the way of extras, so the total run time of the disc is about an hour, however it is an hour more than I had before this DVD was released.

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