Top 10 Must See Music Documentaries
See these or throw your eyes in the bin! Music documentaries, RockDocs whatever you like to call them, are quite possibly the best combination of genres ever. Better than mint choc chip even. Not only do you get a great soundtrack, but more often then not the film ends up telling a rather dark and interesting tale often involving addiction, stress, ego, power struggles and general mania which as we all know is compelling viewing. The ten films below (in no particular order) are... (continued)
See these or throw your eyes in the bin! Music documentaries, RockDocs whatever you like to call them, are quite possibly the best combination of genres ever. Better than mint choc chip even. Not only do you get a great soundtrack, but more often then not the film ends up telling a rather dark and interesting tale often involving addiction, stress, ego, power struggles and general mania which as we all know is compelling viewing. The ten films below (in no particular order) are films that really should be seen by anyone who loves music and the people who produce it. With this âmust seeâ collection you donât even need to know who these people are to enjoy the tales that have been told about them. Although Iâm sure most of you will. Guaranteed or your (imaginary) money back! So here goes... The Devil and Daniel Johnston Dir: Jeff Feuerzeig Daniel Johnston has had an instinctive and religious urge to document and record absolutely everything from a very early age, and itâs this footage of his creative antics growing up that really makes it special and gives you an insight in to just how frickin talented he is. Itâs a bittersweet film which follows Johnson through shaky, fame hungry, obsessive and downright scary times as he battles with mental illness. Featuring musician friends and his loving and patient family speaking of just how much they are blown away by his talent and how, time and time again they tried to stop him from jumping out of windows and obsessing about Satan. It is heart wrenching and heart warming all at the same time. End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones Dir: Jim Fields\Michael Gramaglia For all the people who went to Topshop and bought a Ramones t-shirt without ever listening to any Ramones (sorry just had to get that out) you really should watch this. And everybody else too who hasnât already. Itâs such an amazing and frustrating story about a band who pretty much invented Punk, but never really took off like they should in their native land. It also features the possibly the longest rock feud in the history of rock feuds! No prizes for guessing what it was about. The Future is Unwritten Dir: Julien Temple A celebration of the life of an amazingly talented and decent chap. It follows Joe Strummerâs career from way back when he was hanging out in squats starting bands in the 70âs through the height of the Clashâs popularity both here and across the world. Full circle back to Joe getting back to what he loved - sitting round a fire with friends and chatting till the sun came up. Julien Templeâs film is made with love and a wealth of excellent footage following The Clashâs highs, lows, and ex-memberâs shockingly bad 80âs records... Dig! Dir: Ondi Timoner When myself and a friend went to see this at the cinema she actually thought it was a mockumentary in the vein of âThis is Spinal Tapâ. That is just how ridiculous BJM leader Anton Newcombe is. The film follows the rivalry between the Dandy Warhols and the (infinitely better in my opinion) Brian Jonestown Massacre. Itâs obvious that one of the major things holding back the success of the latter band, is the gigantic ego possessed by Anton, and the fact that he seems hellbent on pissing off his bandmates and his audience. Donât mock him, or heâll kick you in the face. Highly entertaining stuff. Some Kind of Monster Dir: Joe Berlinger\Bruce Sinofsky Hilarious! And proof that you donât need to like the band to enjoy a film about them. When Metallica decide that their egos are clashing too much to come up with a great (moneymaking) album, they call in a therapist to get to the root of their âtrust issuesâ. Itâs just everything you love and hate about American therapy culture, with some ROCK thrown in and itâs cringeworthingly good. loudQUIETloud Dir: by Steven Cantor Itâs always amusing to see ageing rock stars trying to go straight, with macrobiotic food, oxygen injections and regular Pilates. loudQuietloud follows the Pixies round on their comeback tour of â04\â05 (which I couldnât get tickets for bah!) and shows the band trying to get along with each other and stay on the straight and narrow at the same time. Throughout the film Frank Black (Black Francis whatever) acts like a bit of a dick, Kim Deal is trying hard to stick to the Kaliber and they are all trying to deal with Joey Santiago who is going through a very hard time and going on stage in a bit of a drugged up stupor. All this tension is interspersed with their absolutely phenomenal live performances of course. New York Doll Dir: Greg Whiteley When Morrissey was a young lad with a mini-quiff and a plan for world domination, he used to write letters to the NME about his favourite band in the world The New York Dolls. Approximately a million years later years, post world domination and with the quiff on the way down, he managed to get them to reform. For a one off performance as part of his curatorship for Londonâs Meltdown festival. This documentary covers that quest and documents the strange journey the Dolls have had to travel, via drug rehabs and Mormon libraries. Without the New York Dolls there would be no Kiss and probably no Motley Crue (heaven forbid!), they were owed some loving and that is what they got when they made a triumphant comeback to the stage. There is a really poignant ending as well but I wonât spoil it. Meeting People is Easy Dir: Grant Gee This film follows Radiohead around on their world tour at their first peak in 1997 following the explosion of OK Computer, and shows the band trying to handle the complete headfuck of being the most hyped act of the time.Â Iâm guessing theyâve got used to it 12 years later. Visually I think this is the best of the bunch. Grant Gee is an amazing director and has created a feast for the eyes and ears and edited it all together splendidly. Even without the wonderful craft behind it, just seeing Radiohead doing a soundcheck is pretty amazing. Lets Get Lost Dir: Bruce Weber A bit of a jazz history lesson as well as a fantastic film. Chet Baker was a real suprise to everyone especially his Mum. He picked up a trumpet and taught himself to play at a very young age. During the 1950âs he was highly revered in the West coast cool jazz scene for his amazing trumpet playing, singing and chiseled looks. It intercuts footage from his heyday, with footage of him nearly 30 years later, unfortunately bedraggled by various drugs over the years but still managing to charm everyone around him. Really stunningly shot too like a fancy Calvin Klein advert. 30 Century Man Dir: Stephen Kijak An insight into a very mysterious and genius music man Scott Walker. After hitting the heady heights of 60âs stardom in the Walker Brothers, Walker went underground and started covering Jacque Brel songs and releasing sublime albums with numbered names. Walker is a very private man so this film is a rare glimpse into the process he uses to come up with tunes. He even beats a bit of meat and thatâs not a euphemism. The only unfortunate thing about this film is that Sting appears for a few minutes. Vest and all. If I knew the exact minute he appeared I would tell you so you could put the kettle on. So there ends the Magic Ten. I know there are some gems that didnât make it on to the list that probably should have, but a top 20 would have been tedious.So come forth people and share your favourite music docs of all time...Oh and checkout the little mixtape that has been made to accompanyâ¦Enjoy! Mixtape 1. Daniel Johnston - Walking the Cow 2. Pixies - Tame 3. Ramones - Chinese Rock 4. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - You Have Been Disconnected 5. Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine 6. New York Dolls - Personality Crisis 7. Hayseed Dixie - Enter Sandman 8. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros â Johnny Appleseed 9. Scott Walker - 30 Century Man 10. Radiohead - Subterranean Homesick Alien Click here to download the entire mixtape!
Daniel JohnstonMusic DocumentariesThe Devil And Daniel JohnstonRamones