Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jack Grisham, Ron Emory, Mike Roche, Francis Gerald Barnes
Written by: n/a
Directed by: n/a
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 60
Date: 03/18/2013

T.S.O.L. The Early Years Live (2008)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Code Blue

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Formed in Long Beach, California, T.S.O.L. (or "True Sounds of Liberty") recorded one of my favorite punk songs, "Code Blue," which is also one of the funniest songs, ever, in any genre. This new DVD, from MVD Visual, showcases two early shows, one 43-minute, outdoor show and an 8-minute indoor show (from the Target Video vaults). Watching outdoor punk shows in broad daylight seems almost beside the point. The footage and audio is strictly amateur hour, and the crowd at the longer show doesn't even appear to know which band they're watching (they start out sitting politely on the grass). Moreover, the track listing on the DVD is wrong. When I punched in "Abolish Government," I got "Code Blue" and when I punched in "Code Blue," I got something else. The extras are somewhat better. There's a 41-minute interview from the early 1980s and a new clip from a 2007 live performance. In it, lead singer Jack Grisham stops the show so that a young fan can re-do his pathetic stage dive. We also get a few minutes of Grisham reading from his "forthcoming" book. If you watch all the way to the end of the outdoor show, Grisham does an impromptu post-show interview.

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