Local Wire

MxPx

Band documentaries can be great for showing a different side of a group whose music you know well, or just filling in the personality blanks for a group you only really know in passing. For me, MxPx falls into the latter category -- I was aware that they're a long-running pop-punk trio, and I've heard a few of their tunes over the years, but I certainly couldn't have even told you what their individual names were until I watched their new DVD, B-Movie. So what did I learn after the 47 minutes were up? That they're a perfectly competent, if fairly generic, pop-punk trio onstage, and, despite all their efforts to the contrary, painfully unfunny goobers offstage. During the energetic but too-brief concert segments, the band is as tight as the camera shots of their lip rings, tattoos, and faux-hawks. But the rest of the disc is taken up with excruciating sketches that even SNL wouldn't air at 12:55 a.m.; such "witty" world-tour observations as "Japanese people can't speak English" and "In Australia, the water drains in the opposite direction"; and such potentially "devastating" high jinks as drummer Yuri cutting his hand after smashing some bottles (on the Rick Allen Scale of Drummer Extremity Mishaps, this one ranks pretty low); plus cheese-juggling and lots of bike riding. I can't imagine that even diehard fans would find the bulk of B-Movie entertaining -- only the accompanying five-song acoustic EP keeps this from being an exercise in pointlessness.
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Michael Alan Goldberg