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Product: Alanis Morissette's "Feast On Scraps" DVD
The following is taken from the press release for the "Feast On Scraps" DVD:
"This special DVD boxset captures exclusive concert footage of Alanis recorded on 13th August 2002 at the Ahoy in Rotterdam, taken from the 'Toward Our Union Mended Tour' with personal behind the scenes footage on the DVD and rare home videos. The infectious first single 'Hands Clean' with its lilting verses and forceful chorus and the strident 'Precious Illusions' both taken from Under Rug Swept, sit next to emotive renditions of the guitar heavy '21 Things I Want in a Lover' and the subtle rhythmic grooves of 'So Unsexy'.
The bonus enhanced CD that accompanies 'Feast on Scraps' DVD package, makes this the perfect present for any Alanis Morissette fan. Not only does the CD feature a collection of nine tracks but also three vignettes of the making of 'Under Rug Swept' and an acoustic version of Hands Clean. Art work and lyrics provide additional entertainment and weblinks reach out to the web generation; a generation which has come of age to the Alanis Morissette soundtrack of gritty, challenging lyrics and empowering melodies."
That all sounds very promising...so does the DVD live up to the expectations? Read on to find out.
The first thing I noticed when I started watching the DVD (which btw starts playing automatically when inserted, skipping the menu part) was that, just like the last tour DVD "Jagged Little Pill, Live", Feast On Scraps is comprised of concert footage and personal, behind the scenes footage. The second thing I noticed was that it was playing in simple stereo. I checked the boxcover to make sure that I read correctly about the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround feature and after confirming that it should indeed offer me more than just simple stereo audio, I stopped playback and went to the DVD menu. There, under the "Settings" option, I had to select the Dolby Digital 5.1 option. Now given that I have yet to come across a DVD player which does NOT support Dolby Digital, I am surprised that this audio option is not selected as the default option for playback. But let's continue with the actual feature content of the DVD...
There are 18 live songs included plus a studio version of "That Particular Time", and in between the song performances we get to see footage filmed by one or several people from Morissette's crew/friends, which provides the viewer with an interesting perspective on Alanis and her life as a musician as well as showing off her funny side. It's good to see that Alanis has no problems with making fun of herself for the amusement of her band and crew, and while most of this footage shows us Alanis' comic side, there are occasional moments of seriousness and introspection.
The song performances themselves are nicely shot and full of energy. However Morissette, credited with direction of the DVD (the live concert sequences themselves were directed by Pierre Lamoureux), has opted for a grungy, cut-and-paste approach where the pristine vision and audio of a live track can suddenly jump to footage filmed with a normal camcorder, with a very noticeable drop in both audio and video quality. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does I found it to be a bit irritating.
There are a few extras on the DVD: a small collection of fan-shot concert photos and a Macromedia Director-based DVD-ROM “secret weblink”. The best "extra" is the bonus CD that comes with the package. It features 9 songs, most of which have been released as b-sides here in Australia and other countries besides the US. I think the reason these songs have been included on a specal CD available to everyone is that they are not your average low quality b-side, some of those songs are actually better than some of the songs that made it onto the "Under Rug Swept" album. This of course is a completely subjective statement. Also on the CD there are some videoclips of Alanis recording some tracks, a "secret" weblink which takes you to a website where as a registered user you have access to bonus video footage and photos.
In conclusion, I found this DVD to be very interesting
and entertaining to watch thanks to the generous amount of footage (140
mins) and the rare insights into Alanis' life behind the scenes. Apart
from some minor gripes about the editing style and associated drops in
audio and video quality, I was very satisfied with the DVD package as
a whole. Compared the the previous effort of "Jagged Little Pill,
Live", "Feast On Scraps" seems more mature and stylish
while at the same time retaining the raw energy of the live performances.
The bonus CD as well as a lyrics and credits booklet round off the package.