Docs That Rock

When the Doc is Better than the Rock

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Kings of Leon, posted with vodpod

I’d always been dubious of the Kings of Leon backstory. Raised in a tiny Oklahoma small town American by a pentecostal family, these musicial giants foresaked their heritage to become rock and roll stars. It just seemed like something the marketing department of a record label would dream up.

So I fully recant my suspicisions now having seen Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon which premieres Sunday night on Showtime after a series of festival runs. This doc shows the Followill brothers as teens, singing church choir songs in powder blue suits and introduces viewers to their extended clan. In fact, the band members play almost passive roles in this doc, where scenes are stolen by some amazing small town characters and the Kings’ various uncles. This doc, directed by first timer Stephen Mitchell and produced by Casey McGrath, is actually one of my favorite music docs of the year, even though the band doesn’t move me musically. But the film is a bold kalidescope of story, background, impressions, characters and music and is surprisingly moving in many ways. Definitely worth catching.


August 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sigur Rós to Reappear (on film) in Venice

The always linkworthy film blog The Playlist has the very appetizing, mysterious trailer to a new Sigur Rós “film event” called Inni. That’s the weird term used to describe it by the Venice Film Festival, where this secret project will premiere on August 31. The trailer seems to indicate a concert film but who really knows? Sigur Rós has had sort of a breather for the past three years, but a 2009 concert DVD (with snippets on YouTube) could be related, predict the Consequence of Sound folks. That’s because the film event and the DVD are directed by Vincent Morisset, who also helmed the Arcade Fire doc Miroir Noir. The one original piece of reporting that this blog can contribute is that Inni in Icelandic translates to Inside….

We couldn’t embed the clip but click below to watch it in another window.

August 12, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New York readers: Special Screening Tuesday

The pretty amazing Stranger Than Fiction documentary series is closing its summer season with a special screening of Barbara Kopple’s Shut Up & Sing, the doc about the Dixie Chicks. Screening will be at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave. @ 3rd St. at 8 p.m.

August 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Fooishness

As many of you witnessed in the recent Foo Fighters documentary, the band recorded their latest album in Dave Grohl’s garage. So for a post release stunt, the Foos held a contest to play a concert in a fan’s garage. They had so much fun they played a mini garage tour and produced an intimate low fi doc about it. Too bad us New York City dwellers have no garages!

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toronto Film Festival Gets Ready to Rock

Two high profile rock docs are going to be big in Toronto. Cameron Crowe’s much anticipated Pearl Jam 20, the definitive Pearl Jam portrait, debuts at the festival. (It will later appear on American Masters on October 21.) And opening the festival is documentarian of the moment Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) who will show a new U2 documentary called From the Sky Down. It’s the first time in the festival’s 36 year history that a documentary has been the opening night movie. More Toronto films – and presumably more rock docs – will be announced by end of August.

July 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April Foo’s Day

OK so VH1 isn’t airing the new Foo Fighter’s documentary on April Foo(l)’s Day – it’s airing Friday April 8th. So much for a great promo tag! But don’t miss this doc. Oscar winner James Moll really crafts a warm tribute to Dave Grohl’s 16 year (!!) side project that started with a demo cassette tape on which he played all the instruments. Moll relays the story chronologically but it’s his testament as a filmmaker that the evolution of the band plays like a one coherent fable, not a collection of “and then the next album came along.” The interviews are pretty intimate as well, even from band members that Grohl kicked out. The doc premiered a few weeks back at South By Southwest but will get it’s proper premiere on VH1 Friday April 8th at 10 pm.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Direction on South By

It’s the best of Texas before the fest. Join me as I talk shop with the doctor of music docs Andy Markowitz and man of the world Dave Watson , co-honchos of the MusicFilmWeb See it Loud music podcast . We’ll preview some of the most anticipated films of the upcoming South By Southwest film festival and preview our SXSW panel discussion Heard but Not Seen: Capturing Music History Cinematically.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Docs that Rock’s 2010 year in review

The folks at WordPress provided this nice year-end summary of this blog’s traffic. Here’s a overall summary of this blog’s health (fresh to def!) Here’s hoping for your kind support and readership in 2011!

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The busiest day of the year was January 17th with 152 views. The most popular post that day was Calling The Woodstock Generation.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for woodstock, it might get loud, falco, wood stock, and woodstock pictures.

January 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top Rock Docs of 2010 Chosen by 11

In true Spinal Tap form, our pals at MusicFilmWeb asked 11 contributors to weigh in on 2010’s best documentaries. The clip above is the top choice from MFW honcho Andy Markowitz The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector. (That ranks as the 2010 doc I have wanted to see and had wanted to produce – but didn’t do either.) Here were my picks:

When You’re Strange (Tom DiCillo, USA) is the closest today’s music fans will ever get to experiencing the province of the Lizard King. DiCillo’s deft crafting of found Doors footage immerses viewers in the tumultuous era of Jim Morrison’s reign. Told strictly via found moments and Johnny Depp’s unadorned narration, the film has a “you are there” quality unmatched by many contemporary docs.

Honorable mention:

Most rock docs portray pleasing rags to riches stories, which strike a universal chord. What makes a rock star doc different is that these larger than life characters couldn’t conceivably be anything but transgressive entertainers. An intimate portrait of Motorhead’s motormouth, Lemmy (Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski, USA) presents a singular Renaissance man, a blues expert/sword collector/military historian who also fronts one of rock’s most kick ass bands.

Catch everyone’s votes at MusicFilmWeb.

December 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Groupie Love

Vodpod videos no longer available. In the latest VH1 Rock Doc, Pamela Des Barres, famous for her escapades with rockers as Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison and Jimmy Page, takes a road trip to visit other women who lived a backstage life. Some of rock `n roll’s most beloved gropuies re-emerge to share their memories of a sexier, yet simplier time. Let’s Spend the Night Together premieres tonight on VH1.

December 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment