Merrell Fankhauser

Return to Mu [DVD]

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As a complement to his 2003 album, Return to Mu, Fankhauser's DVD of the same name has video performances of four songs from the record. Those are actually outnumbered by the five additional "bonus tracks" on the disc. Most of those are songs that, as can be gleaned from the titles alone -- "Tiki Lounge," "Island Life," "Nawiliwili With You" -- reflect the Hawaiian/southern California coastal life that Fankhauser has often celebrated in music over the latter part of his career, though he goes back to his rock & roll roots with a "Blue Suede Shows Medley." It's essentially a sequence of straightforward clips of mimed performances by Fankhauser and his musical/romantic partner, Yoriko Hongo, some of them in a live-looking setting by the beach, others in more tropical surroundings with overlays of footage of ocean and sky, sometimes with Hongo dancing sensuously. Also on hand is his video of "Calling from a Star," from a considerably earlier vintage than the rest of the video clips from the looks of things. There's also some lead-in material with a basic (too brief, actually) biographical overview of Fankhauser's career and just a tiny bit of vintage footage from the '60s and '70s.