Live In Osaka (DVD)
~reviewed by Goat
My own first memories of Boyd Rice and his music are rather vague. I’m guessing it was some-where around 1991 when I first started hearing the name spoken with either whispered reverence, or self-righteous fury. Holes drilled all over the middle of LPs, connections to the Scary-Dark Calliopist Howie Levy, and all sorts of wondrous mysteries!
I don’t think it was until later, maybe 1993, when I finally felt compelled to track down some of his music for my own.
Through years and lives, I managed to not have strong feelings about him and his work one way or another. In my naive and perhaps (dare I say) girlish way, I found him handsome and intriguing, but honestly, it pretty much ended there. I wasn’t believing the hype. It’s fair to say that I wanted to believe, and I maybe even tried to believe, but at the end of the day, Boyd Rice and his work left me thinking and feeling, “The Emperor, He Hath No Clothes”. Boyd Rice made my Bullsh!t Detector go off.
All these years later, I still feel pretty much the same way, but my ambivalence has been replaced with a bit of nostalgia. Somehow, I feel more forgiving of the hype, and can appreciate the things he wrote and the sense of humor with which he (some-times) conducted himself. It almost allows me to get past the vision I have of him at an L.A. art gallery, in sliver platform boots, wearing a long trenchcoat and surrounded by a gaggle of post-adolescent boys who looked positively aglow. Every time I think of that, I snigger. Caligula in drag.
I’ve met people to whom Boyd Rice and his rituals and magicks are very serious business indeed. I have a hard time keeping a straight face and following along the conversations for long about how powerful it all is, and to what glory. I appreciate that what they, (Rice, Moynihan, Pearce, Julius, Wakeford, et al,) have been doing is the anti-underground of the underground. I appreciate that it pushes buttons and envelopes. But for me, a girl who has grown up in a family of soldiers, real soldiers, with battle scars and medals not purchased on eBay, it’s been hard for me to ever see anything Boyd and Co. have done as anything but art. And to me, art is not life. End of story.
So, while I did enjoy the concert with commentary, and I found the slideshows to be witty and humorous, (especially the 12-year-old-looking M.J.M!) I can’t see much beyond music history in the value of this piece. That is to say, the “art” films which drew comparisons to Anger are to me about as interesting or enlightening as Warhol’s “Sleep”. I’ve got better things to do.
If you’re a big fan of Boyd, NON, and all the other spinoffs and side-projects of the people involved, then surely you’ll want the DVD for posterity. If you’re just delving into Satanism, Fascist posing, Fascist art, Fascist Whatever-It-Is, then yes, I would say the DVD could be of interest.
The best part for me, and the part of Boyd’s work I’ve consistently enjoyed most, is the writing. The liner notes are fantastic. Somehow, I think some part of me has always wished that he would write more and perform less. I think I enjoy what comes from Boyd Rice’s mind more when he’s writing, than when he is Being Boyd Rice. I could do without the charade.
All in all, for /fans/ of Rice and his work, certainly this is a must have. For the curious and casual, perhaps look for it used, etc. For those, like myself, who have stood some-what nonchalantly, (not a pun, I promise!) at the sidelines, the DVD is of interest for the liner notes, the concert-with-commentary, and the slideshow. My lasting feeling about the whole thing is, “I wonder what Rose is up to these days?”
"Live In Osaka" is coded as a region-free DVD, making it playable in all DVD machines worldwide.
On Soleilmoon Recordings (Cacaciocavallo):
What Rose Is Up To: