Jason Dove and the Magic Whip with Daniel Johnston (Live, May 13th, 2007, Baltimore, MD) DVD - Tuff Nerd Productions

First off, I'm judgmental. All the time. Not just when I'm writing about music, movies, or discussing books (I'm apparently also a faux intellectual). But I don't know who Jason Dove is. What's a magic whip? There's probably a more than totally satisfactory answer to who that man is and what that object is and does, but as a result of the pure and crass commercial aspect to this DVD, I kind of don't care. If you're reading this site, you probably know who Daniel Johnston is and, regardless of one's personal outlook on his talents, we can say that he's pretty famous. Not Michael Jackson famous, but no one knows who I am and I don't suffer from any debilitating mental problems (at least none that have thus far been diagnosed - stay tuned). But from what one can learn by looking at the cover of this film, Dove and his pals are at least as important as Johnston. That's obviously debatable one way or another, but what is not is the fact that this DVD sports four lonely songs. It's not even an entire show. "Speeding Motorcycle" is an obvious classic. Forgetting one's appreciation for Johnston, the ability for anyone to craft such a simple but emotionally vital song remains impressive. More love related songs follow, but again - only three. Johnston doesn't play an instrument in this footage, which might account for the silly billing of the ensemble, but Dove and company keep it together. I hedge to say just barely, but the music isn't all that tight. Playing another musician's songs is a daunting task, but sleeping probably is too now for Dove since he's in the process of attempting to wriggle a few bucks out of a poorly shot concert film from May 2007 in Baltimore. (Dave Cantor)



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