Various Artists

Circuit (2)

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The Circuit series of DVDs gives alternative music fans a glimpse into the daily lives and artistic inspirations of their favorite performers. Circuit (2) focuses its gaze on the Roots, XTC, Sebadoh, Wilco, Rufus Wainwright, Silver Apples, DJ Spooky, Natacha Atlas, and the film SLC Punk. Some of the segments provide more information than others. For example, DJ Spooky gives a thorough look into what fuels his creativity, intercut with footage from a live performance, while the XTC material sees bandmembers getting haircuts and talking breezily about random issues. It's an entertaining, if too commercial, package. Each artist gets a ten- to 20-minute featurette (of a varied nature: some artists are interviewed, others are shown performing live, others are featured in music videos, some in a combination of the three). The main menu is a difficult, cumbersome affair, with far too many options for accessing the same information. It would be nice if the DVD were split into two areas, but instead there are almost ten selections from the main menu. This is very confusing, to say the least. A user-interface specialist could have helped the DVD a great deal. Choosing "Play All" introduces unwelcome commercials into the mix. Still, fans of any of the artists on the DVD should be happy with the overall package since, sadly, many of these artists are not featured on mainstream music television. Circuit (2) is an informative, fun package.