I love documentaries that can teach me something I don’t know, and do so in an entertaining fashion. I’m incredibly ignorant when it comes to understanding music production, and two-thirds of Dave Grohl‘s documentary Sound City provides a fascinating, hilarious, and passionate look at the eponymous studio, its prominence in rock history, and the technical details behind creating some of the best music of all time. Grohl does an amazing job at going into the nuts and bolts of music production but always keeping the lesson upbeat and inviting. However, once Grohl has completed telling the history of Sound City, the documentary shifts into an uneasy place where Grohl’s promotion of the physical music studio over Pro Tools creates a direct analog-vs-digital exploration, and an indirect deprecation of those who share the rock star’s passion for music, but lack the resources to book studio time.
Among the films that are premiering at Sundance Film Festival is the documentary Sound City. Directed by Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and Foo Fighters), the film is about the legendary Sound City Recording Studios and the equally legendary Neve mixing console it housed. The film looks at the role of the studio in the stories of many, many current musicians who have helped define the age of rock including Nirvana, Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Rick Rubin, Fleetwood Mac and countless others. The film also features an original soundtrack and performances by many of the artists.
At a press conference Q & A session moderated by Elliot Scheiner (7-time Grammy Award winning music producer/engineer), Grohl spoke about how the film turned from a conceptualized 12 minute short into the full length documentary film. He also discussed how he feels about the current evolution of music and why the lack of live performance shows and the corresponding wealth of singing contest shows are dangerous for our cultural valuation of music. According to Grohl, the film will be released in February on the website soundcitymovie.com where patrons can potentially access it for free, because he believes it’s the most important thing he’s ever done. To read more highlights from the Q & A session, click after the jump.
The first trailer for Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl’s directorial debut Sound City has been released. The documentary focuses on the legendary Van Nuys, California studio Sound City, where countless artists such as Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Nirvana, and Rage Against the Machine recorded tracks and albums over the past 40 years. The doc includes interviews with just about every rock musician under the sun (Petty, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Lars Urlrich, etc.), and looks very much like a love letter to analog. Similarities are sure to be drawn to Keanu Reeves’ film vs. digital documentary Side by Side, as the artists that Grohl interviews discuss the importance of analog and the dangers of the music world going all-digital. All in all, this looks like a must-see.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Sound City will premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January and is set for release sometime in February.
News on a pair of interesting documentaries surfaced tonight:
- Dave Grohl will direct and produce Sound City, a feature-length documentary about the legendary recording studio in Van Nuys, California.
- GoDigital acquired The Big Fix, a documentary about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, for release on June 19.
Hit the jump for more on both movies, including trailers.
It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen anything from Jack Black and Kyle Gass’ greatest rock band of all time, Tenacious D, but the dry spell has now come to an end. The duo has released a video chronicling their return and teasing their new album, Rize of the Fenix. The video begins with an Extra special covering the demise of Tenacious D following the box office failure of Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, then brings on a slew of celebrity cameos (Val Kilmer! Dave Grohl! Josh Groban?) that help bring the band back to its former glory. It’s pretty funny and definitely worth your time, especially for the Val Kilmer awesomeness.
Hit the jump to watch the video. The band’s new album, Rize of the Fenix, will be released on May 15th.