There are two sides to every coin. We have the not-so-peaceful kind of “hippies” like the ELF, who don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty to prove a point — and then there’s the Dalai Lama, who does his very best to teach the world how to be decent folk. Sadly, only a few people listen to what the Dalai Lama says and follow through with his teachings. One such person is actor Richard Gere, whose Gere Foundation — in collaboration with the Tibet Center — have produced this four-disc set. Compassion in Emptiness presents nearly fourteen hours worth of public teachings and discussions by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama during a visit to New York City, as recorded in May of 2010. Gere himself also appears over the course of this set, just in case you’re looking for some sort of “star power” to warrant viewing it (although if you are, I think you greatly missed the point).
There are few individuals out there that have been both professional basketball players and smooth jazz bass guitarists. Wayman Tisdale succeeded in making an impression on hardcore sports nuts and, later, easy music aficionados around the United States (and beyond) before being diagnosed with bone cancer in 2007. Even after having part of his right leg amputated the following year, Tisdale’s devotion to his family and music career was undaunting, and he continued on until passing away unexpectedly in May 2009. Truly a role model for the human spirit in general, The Wayman Tisdale Story is an inspirational documentary about the late Gold Medal Olympian. Rendezvous Records bring us a standard DVD edition of the feature as well as a CD/DVD issue featuring thirteen toe-tappin’ tunes — one of which (“Slam Dunk”) was previously unreleased, and another as performed by Toby Keith.
· Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour (2011) (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
More musicians? Yes, indeed! This time, though, we take a look at the politically-oriented and highly provocative sights, sounds and tastes of the feminist electro-punk three-piece riot grrrl group, Le Tigre (I would have included “smells” in there, too, but somebody would have no doubt taken it the wrong way). This documentary — produced by the members of the girl group itself (again: members + radical girl groups = poor choice of words) — follows the trio across the globe during their 2004-05 international tour. With controversial topics as the rampant homophobia and gender biasness in America (and elsewhere) Le Tigre’s own Kathleen Hanna, Johanna Fateman, and JD Samson tackle several of society’s greatest insensitivities with mucho gusto, and this DVD not only takes us behind-the-scenes, but delivers a video commentary, several exclusive live performances, outtakes, and more.