Queue Up: Music Documentaries

With Halloween and the first days of November behind us, the Locavaux Project is celebrating two months of postproduction now under our belt!  The film is slowly but surely coming along with a loose and rough sketch of the entire film to be completed in the next few weeks.  There are plenty more teaser videos to come as well, so stay tuned!  The reception to our first teaser was so incredibly positive, we couldn't be more excited to give you all even more glimpses of the sounds and sights from the bus tour this summer. As first-time filmmakers, Chase, Hallie and I have looked to a number of sources for inspiration, guidance and instruction as we edit and produce the official Locavaux Project film.  With this in mind, Chase, Hallie and I gather at Chase's cabin most Sunday evenings to watch musically-inspired documentaries.**  What has become a Locavaux Crew tradition of sorts, this weekly screening helps to not only broaden our musical knowledge but also enlighten the team on how documentary film makers document, present and narrate musicians' stories and their live music.  So far, it's been a great way for the three of us to understand and approach our own footage.  Here are a few documentaries we've enjoyed thus far and a few on our "to watch" list that you might enjoy in the comfort of your own homes as the temperature steadily drops outside.

**Chase would most likely have me clarify that Hallie and I are not the best at gracing the weekly screenings with our presence--but when we can make the drive out to the cabin, we're there!

Have Seen's:

Sound City (2013), Dave Grohl

Having recorded the album, Nevermind, with Nirvana years earlier at the famous recording studio, Sound City Studio, in Los Angeles, Dave Grohl returns to the now run-down studio to unearth its rich history of analogue recording and talk to the cast of characters, such as Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Slipknot , who once recorded there.

Shut Up and Play the Hits (2012), Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace

This documentary follows LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy over a 48-hour period, from the day of the band's final concert at Madison Square Garden to the morning after the show.  The film features intermittent segments from an extended interview between Murphy and pop culture journalist Chuck Klosterman.

Big Easy Express (2012), Emmett Malloy

3 bands, 6 cities, and thousands of miles in between...  Big Easy Express documents indie folk heroes Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford & Sons, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes after they climb aboard a vintage train in California and travel towards New Orleans, Louisiana on a "tour of dreams."

Will See's:

Searching for Sugarman (2013), Malik Bendjelloul

Searching for Sugarman details the efforts of two Cape Town fans in the late 1990s, to find out whether the rumoured death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true, and, if not, to discover what had become of him--Rodriguez's music, which never became popular in the United States, had become wildly popular in South Africa, but little was known of him there.

20 Feet From Stardom (2013), Morgan Neville

This film follows the personal history of backup singers and stars Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega, and Jo Lawry, and the world just beyond the spotlight in which they live their lives.

How to Grow a Band (2011), Mark Meatto

Filmed over a two-year period, Meatto's documentary tells the story of how ex-Nickel Creek member Chris Thile worked his way through a divorce and made a creative leap by forming the high-regarded folk quintet, The Punch Brothers.

AKA Doc Pomus (2012), William Hechter, Peter Miller 

Doc Pomus, paralyzed with polio as a child in 1920s Brooklyn, reinvented himself as a songwriter later in life, creating some of the greatest hits of the early rock and roll era.  The penman for such classic songs as "Save the Last Dance for Me," "This Magic Moment," "A Teenager in Love," and "Viva Las Vegas," Doc Pomus was widely unacknowledged for his contributions to the music of the 1950s and 60s and largely unknown to the public until Hechter and Miller's documentary, AKA Doc Pomus.

And here are a few classic music documentaries that no music buff should go without seeing:  Gimme Shelter, the 1970 feature chronicling the last weeks of The Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour which culminated in the disastrous Altamont Free Concert; No Direction Home, the 2005 Martin Scorsese film examining the life and times of Bob Dylan; Stop Making Sense, the famous concert movie by Johnathan Demme featuring the Talking Heads performing live on stage in 1983.