The Making of Mr Buechner's Dream

DVD Reviews

Daniel Amos

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 sound.

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.