Review of TV Is My Parent a live music DVD from Sia.

The live concert DVD.The last ditch hope of the corporate label, in this case Sony Music, to claw back the losses incurred by kids in suburbia utilising the world wide web to bypass the financial transaction for the music they love. Well, this particular concert, dare I say 'Promo', DVD 'TV is my Parent' shows introspective Australian songstress Sia, live at the Hiro Ballroom, New York. Now I like Sia, kinda. She's got a wonderful way with harmonies and has a penchant for the cripplingly personal. Having said that, she's been stuck musically, and hasn't really developed since her days with Zero 7. Her cover of Radiohead's 'Paranoid Android' was interesting, but still not too far removed from Sia's own work. Never the less, she remains one of Australia's finest female artists and as such, I will persevere.

Black light and UV spurred, the band amass on the stage in garish neon costumes, no doubt singeing the retinas of the audience. Sia utters 'I hope none of you did mushrooms before y'all got here.' Wise words indeed, as this would be my nightmare on mushrooms. Deeply introverted soul pop songs with a neon framing. Ouch. The stuff flashbacks are made of.

Working through song after song, almost feels laborious. Most of the songs feeling downbeat irrespective of the tempo or subject matter. The on stage colours, by light, and set design, are like a pre-teen girls wardrobe. No restraint, visually epilepsy inducing without the need for strobing. Not only that, but they don't relate with the vibe of the music.

The gig on here, isn't great. Unless you've just started art school and have no notion of music, then it's a stepping stone. Nothing more. Each song sounds pretty much the same, nothing interesting.

All in all 'TV is my parent' feels like the bastard child of MTV unplugged, on the road. For those of you who recall, the MTV Unplugged series fell weaker and weaker as it scraped through the dregs of possible feature artists.

I'll say this, it is nice to see Sia with a band, mainly cause it pulls focus. Aside from that there are some nice extras, but nothing specific.

If you're a Sia'll love this. I struggle to see why, but you will.

Currently Sia has been in the studio writing for Christina Aguilera. Not exactly the path I had hoped she would follow, but a promising sign for Aguilera if nothing else. For me Sia suffers from the all too familiar 'quirky pop songstress', much like Bat For Lashes or Regina Spektor (though Spectre's 'Mary Ann Meets The Grave Diggers And Other Short Stories' was a triumph\0. This instantly means that she's considered avant garde, despite the music itself being little more than fragile pop. Having said that though, I suppose Bjork has kinda cornered that market. You know, my favourite Sia track, is the Four Tet remix of 'Breathe Me', but Sia hasn't even come close to this in any of her work.

So, final word.Unfortunately this DVD has pretty much sealed it for me. Sia is festival chillout area fodder for the festival going professional..nuff said.

Thom Holmes

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