The Making of Mr Buechner's Dream
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banophernalia January 2006
by Jevon Anonby
This DVD schlockumentary takes the viewer on an unprecedented all access
pass behind the scenes while the band rehearsed, goofed around, and wrote
Mr. Buechner’s Dream. The footage is intimate, and features a lot of personal
home movies provided by members of the band. Which is part of the charm, but
like with most home movies, the awkward cuts are somewhat irritating after a
while. It would have been nice to have more complete songs represented, but
hey – this is Daniel Amos after all, and they never do anything by the book.
The DVD has two chapters. The first is the home movies of the rehearsals at
Ed’s house, where the guys are loafing around fleshing (oh, man I should have
used my Greg Flesch pun, crap, well it’s too late now) out ideas. The second
is the studio work at the Green Room. We get to watch the little pieces come
together and witness how they layered the textures that made up Buechner’s
Dream. There are a number interviews with various band members, and some
pretty funny bits where the guy’s ride on Ed. Man that Ed, if he ever got
locked in a tower he could provide his rescuer a way in. The whole thing runs
about an hour and fifteen minutes – which more or less makes this a feature
length thingamajiger. The bonus features include a live segment where the boys
less Tim all look purdy in suits – the mix isn’t great, but it was taken from
the board so it’s like being there. Finally available is the track “Nowhere is
Someplace” one of the best songs to never grace a Daniel Amos album.
The DVD itself, has a few little foibles, such as an occasionally out of
synch dub, which is funny at times, especially on the Tim Chandler bits, it
actually works in an odd sort of way. The sound quality is okay, considering
a lot of the footage is homemade, and there is the usual hiss.
Now I have to mention this is not a DVD for the uninitiated. I played it for
some friends who didn’t know DA from Carman, and they lasted
about six minutes before asking me if there was anything on the shopping channel,
preferably with Tony Little.
However, for those of us who like the band, and have more than a passing fancy for
the old farts, this is pretty interesting stuff, and deserves to be in your
collection. True, it’s not something you’ll play everyday, but it is a great
companion piece to the album, and in fact my opinion of the album is greater
now for having watched this than it was before. Whoever said familiarity breeds
contempt was full of crap.
The Phantom Tollbooth October 2005
by Scott Lake
The title of the DVD is The Making of Mr. Buechner's Dream. Note the word
'Making' in the title. This would imply that the DVD would give some details
about the making of the excellent 33 song double CD by Daniel Amos. (see review
of the CD)
There is plenty of grainy home-video camera footage giving the viewer a fairly
intimate glimpse into the antics of the recording sessions, practices, interviews
of the guys describing their feelings about the recording, etc., but very little
of that footage details “the making." A better title would have been: Scenes of
the Band at the Time Mr. Buechner's Dream was Being Made. OK, that would be a
silly title, but it would be more descriptive of what the DVD actually contains.
(Website Note: We do not want any fans to get the wrong idea from this review. What
the video includes is almost entirely footage of the "making" of the record, and
aside from a couple of comedy bits and the live footage, nothing else. This is what
you get when you let the cameras roll and film a band making an album. Nearly every
scene is the band creating something that actually made it to the finished album. -Ed)
TMOMBD consists of four main titles:
The main feature consisting of practice footage, band interviews, lots of random bits
of footage from the Green Room sessions (with a small glimpse of Gene Eugene)
26 minutes of concert footage of material from MBD
A trailer promo for the DVD
A copy of the web-only release of “Nowhere is Someplace”
In the first title, the main feature consists mostly of what seems to be home video
camera shots in a very random and disjointed fashion. Humorous moments abound, mostly
due to the antics of Tim Chandler. There is one segment that is approximately 15
seconds long which shows Terry Taylor composing with his acoustic and recording
into a cheapo mono cassette recorder like you had when you were a kid back in the
early 1980's, if you were born then, of course. Chapters 2-6 deal with some practice
sessions at Ed's house. Chapter 7 is a very short interview with Greg talking about
Gene Eugene. It's an appropriate lead-in to the next several chapters, which are
handy-cam shots of the band tracking at the Green Room (Gene's Domain). There’s some
interesting stuff, particularly chapter 13, which shows Greg working out a guitar
tracking in some detail, showing how he accomplishes some of the shimmery, Byrds-like
chime and stinging lead parts that are so signature to DA's more folksy sounding
songs--all tracked in the control room, complete with typical strat single-coil
buzz. A few more chapters show some of the progression of the songwriting process,
but chapters 17-26 show less detail of the recording process and revert back to the
more random jaggedy shots from the handy-cam. The sound quality throughout most of
the main feature is terrible, which is unfortunate for such a glorious album.
The second title is 26 minutes of concert footage from the Creation 2001 festival.
This feature has a terrible mix; Greg's electric guitar is considerably out of tune
with Terry's acoustic guitar, the bass is non-existent on most of the footage, the
only drum that is audible is the kick drum, etc. Unfortunately, it's quite an unhappy
The third feature is the 1 minute 47 seconds promotional trailer for the album.
The last feature is the audio of the web-only release of “Nowhere is Someplace” with
various photos from the concert tour shown during the audio playback. This is one of
the only places on the entire DVD where one gets a flavor for the sonic delights that
are part of Mr. Buechner's Dream.
Because of the poor sound quality, the haphazard way in which the video is pieced
together, and the out-of tune/poor mix concert footage, it's most likely that only
devoted DA fans will want to pick up this DVD.