This week’s column begins with wishes for a good football season for my beloved USM Golden Eagles. The reviews include a documentary about a fan film, a mostly mellow singer-songwriter album and an expanded version of a 2015 recording.
‘Raiders!: The Story Of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made,’ (Drafthouse Films/MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆)
This one was shown at Beau Rivage in Biloxi in late August and was followed by the fan film itself.
I haven’t seen the Ocean Springs “fan-boys film” yet, but this documentary reveals the filmmakers’ motivation and endurance.
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It highlights their attempt to film the only scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation” that wasn’t included in their original 1989 remake of the 1981 Indiana Jones movie — the climactic moment when the Nazi flying wing airplane explodes.
The documentary package includes both Blu-Ray and DVD discs, lots of footage and storyboards from the original film and interviews with the auteurs, their families and friends. Other folks from the movie biz also are interviewed.
This is an interesting look at the creativity and resourcefulness of long-ago Ocean Springs young people.
‘A Slight Departure,’ Birdsong At Morning (Blue Gentian Records, ☆☆☆☆)
This Aug. 26 CD/Blu-Ray release is an expanded version of an album released last year with little or no official promotion.
Guitarist and singer-songwriter Alan Williams and BAM cohorts Darleen Wilson and Greg Porter collaborate with Grammy-winning engineer Adam Ayan and Neil Wilkes of Opus Productions (King Crimson, Yes and XTC) for the Blu-Ray. Drummer Ben Wittman and others join the fray, which is more lavishly produced.
“The Great Escape” sets the album’s tone. My other favorites include the foreboding and lushly orchestrated “Devil’s Stomping Ground,” the perfect-world pop single “Dimestore Dreamers” and the “bluegrass plus” tune “Mountainside.”
I have no Blu-Ray player, but three music videos and an interview with Williams about the creation of the songs are featured.
Fans of beautifully produced old-school pop will enjoy this recording.
‘Pieces Of Me,’ Camille Bloom (Independent Release, ☆☆☆1/2)
This Sept. 9 release is the fourth one from singer-songwriter Camille Bloom, and it was made possible by a crowd-funding campaign that enabled Bloom to equip a proper home recording studio.
There are 10 songs, mostly accompanied by acoustic guitar or piano and a supporting cast of percussionist Logan Billingsley, backing singer Gaelen Billingsley, bassist Erick Frank, drummer Michael Cotta (two tracks), cellist Gretchen Yanover and more.
My favorite tunes are the two musically different ones with drums, “Hit The Road” and “I Refuse To”; the exotic-sounding title song; the lovely “Lift Me Up”; and the way the studio band frames Bloom’s thoughtful songs.
Folks who enjoy mostly acoustic female singer-songwriter stuff will enjoy this one.
Ricky Flake of Biloxi is a music fan and former punk rocker. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.