Daniel Lanois – Here Is What Is

A further day of pause in the IOU Series to bring you my report on our viewing of this DVD, which was one of my lovely wife’s birthday gifts, this week. 

I should preface all of this by saying that she enjoys the work of Daniel Lanois, I remember For The Beauty Of Wynona from early in our dating days, for example… Myself, I was more sceptical. From a musical side, I think most of what he does is pretty same-y. From a production side, I think he tends to make every band he produces sound like Daniel Lanois, and that’s a disservice to those bands’ sounds. But let’s not hate on it before we see it, right? Right!

Here Is What Is covers the creation of the album (of the same name), and aims to show us Lanois’ process of making and recording music. Frankly, I think they were fucking high.

Part-NFB film, part-art installation in some fly-by-night gallery, part-grainy Rattle And Hum wannabe doumentary, it plays like some 12-year-old’s film school project, with so many visual effects slapped on scene after scene. At a certain point, you get the feeling they were like ‘hey, what does this button do? Cooooool…’

As for content, we get conversations with all the key players, and run-throughs of the songs. Oh, and let’s not forget the random appearances by a half-naked woman interpretive dancing, apropos of absolutely nothing. We could not, for the life of us, figure out why she was in this damn film. Oh, and Brian Eno, from some of what he says here, really should have been a flamboyant interior designer, instead. “(paraphrasing) Have you seen such choices of colours used in a rug before?” and “I could rearrange my life around this Indian chest of drawers…” Er, OK… As it went on, even Lanois was just listening and nodding, kinda putting up with him… same thing when they started trying to equate music to religion… blah blah blah just play, man, just play…

There were a few things I enjoyed about this: I loved seeing Jim Wilson and Marcus Blake (of Mother Superior, and also the last ROLLINS BAND line-up) playing on here. Garth Hudson’s keyboard work is always so goddamn gorgeous, let’s be honest. Brian Blade’s jazzy drumming is stellar. He has such a tall approach to every hit, very physical but also with control and subtlety. Lots of other players here too, like Brady Blade, Daryl Johnson, Tony Garnier, Steven Nistor and Aaron Embry (among many others).

There are a few flashbacks to Lanois’ work with other musicians like Sinead O’Connor, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, U2, Billy Bob Thornton, and so on. I think they were meant to be instructive and explanatory at strategic points in the film, but really they felt like a reminder of other famous people he knows.

The music here (from the album) is the soundtrack for this film, and it sounds like Lanois. He does that thing that he does, and he does it well, and it’s all very nice and calm and slightly trippy. And his steel guitar is all over most of it, as usual.

In Sum:

I wouldn’t call this essential viewing. I could have cut it down to a twenty minute short film, with what I’d need to see in it. Mind you, if you were tripping balls, this would be some really deep, existential shit punctuated by faces you know. And hey man, have you ever really looked at your hands? I mean, really looked?

Advertisements

Posted on January 13, 2017, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Haha. Fucking brilliant. Truly. I actually had a few chuckles… and I like the guy a whole lot.

    Like

Have Your Say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Aphoristic Album Reviews

Personal Album Review Website

My (life in) music lists

These are the songs that have and will continue to soundtrack my life.

timeweleftthisworldtoday

This world's so mixed up everywhere you go

Buns Are All That You Require

Naughty Stories and Mature Content

Little Bits of Gaming & Movies

REMEMBERING THE GAMES & MOVIES I GREW UP WITH AND MUCH MORE

Blog All Night

Rhyme All Night

Stuff and That.

We do reviews, ya dig?

stoneygate

chilled out music

Every number one

Journey through all the songs that topped the charts

Resurrection Songs

music makes the people come together. yeah.

The Audible Stew

Salt to Taste

KingcrimsonBlog - The official Blog of Kingcrimsonprog

A Metal Nerd's Blog... Well, What did you expect, porn?

1537

Vinyl, Vidi, Vici

Crash And Ride Music

The latest album reviews, concert reviews, and interviews of progressive and alternative rock and metal.

HEAVY METAL OVERLOAD

... and classic rock too!

Metal Odyssey > Heavy Metal Music Blog

Welcome to Metal Odyssey, it will be quite the Metal trip!

This is the story of the overly ambitious eagle...

...who evidently found a deer head in the landfill.

The Ü

On film, fiction, odds and ends.

Songs on a Theme

pop, jazz, & other by subject

Living a Beautiful Life

~ Short Stories, Flights of Fancy and Everyday Anecdotes ~

jhubner73

Midwestern groaning since 2011

vinnieh

Movie reviews and anything else that comes to mind

mixolydianblog

music is life, music is breath, music is us

A (Mostly) Music Blog

Some other stuff too, but mostly music.

Boppin's Blog

Albums, concerts, reviews, audio gear, how to's

Tangled Up In Music

Music Reviews (and other things)

Music Insanity!

The ramblings of a self-confessed music addict.

Mike Slayen ~ Guitarist

Mike is recording a new CD...Click the Dude picture below! Pre-Sale $10

LP on 45

Celebrating how rock music sends us, saves us, and shows us our true selves—one single at a time

Free City Sounds

Album Reviews by Marshall Gu

80smetalman's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

mikeladano.com

LeBrain's Record Store Tales & Reviews

Every record tells a story

A Blog About Music, Vinyl, More Music and (Sometimes) Music...

KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

CD & Festival reviews

by Jon Wilmenius

the EARL of SWIRL

"to be average scares the hell out of me"

1001albumsin10years

Just another WordPress.com site

Stick It In Your Ear

Rock Album, Concert Reviews And The Odd Book Review

Caught Me Gaming

Confessions of a Casual Core Gamer

%d bloggers like this: