Various From the Basement

Various From the Basement
Super-producer Nigel Godrich's podcast/television series arrives on DVD in what's sure to be the first of multiple volumes. With a concept that allows musicians to plug in and perform at London's prestigious Maida Vale studios, the program gives viewers a very up-close look at artists in a live setting without the crowd noise. Containing highlights from the first season, Godrich invites some of today's most celebrated musicians to take part, from Super Furry Animals and the Shins to Beck and Jarvis Cocker. Without a host, the setting is a straight-to-the-point showcase, allowing Radiohead to just pick up their instruments and jam/arrange selections from In Rainbows, Meg and Jack to get raw and rip through "Blue Orchid," and PJ Harvey to take intimacy to a new level with her bare White Chalk material. Unfortunately, it's almost a tease to see just two songs from these performances — a box set of the series' six episodes would be more satisfying — but for footage of artists unwinding and performing in a natural setting this is a great place to look. (Eagle Vision)