On Thursday I visited Curt to see why the DVDs I made of his concert weren't playing correctly on his equipment. After failing to duplicate the error at first, we decided to just hang out for awhile, and he showed me part of Festival Express. This documentary was about a 1970 summer tour across Canada on a private train featuring acts including the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and The Band. The film looked and sounded remarkably good considering the age of most of the footage, which was interspersed with more recent interviews with the promoters and some of the surviving members of the tour.
While to be honest I'm not very familiar with the music of most of these acts, it was thrilling to watch Joplin sing with such amazing power and raw emotion just months before her death, and to see Garcia looking healthy and together before his decline. The film's a tremendous contribution to music history, and made me think more seriously about getting into music videography, something I've only dabbled in for my own concerts and those of friends thus far. I also loved seeing all the period clothing and hairstyles from the year of my birth. Sometimes I think I was born ten years too late. ;-)
Yesterday I hung out with the_ogre at his place, and we watched all of Festival Express, as Curt had eventually switched it off and shown me parts of other rock concert DVDs while I was there. Then Aaron showed me Genghis Blues, an amazing story about a blind American blues singer who taught himself the famous throatsinging technique of the Tuvans, then traveled to that country to participate in a singing competition. This film wasn't nearly as polished as Festival Express, but the story of the greatly talented Paul Pena (who also wrote the Steve Miller Band hit, "Jet Airliner", which paid his bills for years), his journey, and his rockstar-following in Tuva was wonderful.
In between these musical viewings I also had a very nice visit from kragen Friday night. He is the snuggliest person I know, and I will certainly miss him a lot when he goes back to South America.