Showing posts with label music documentary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music documentary. Show all posts

June 7, 2012

June 7th, 2012 : Cause & Effect : Sun Ra

Two hours is hardly enough time to cover the complex and highly prolific artistic life of American Jazz musician Sun Ra but I have tried to put together a 101 introductory radio show for those who might not know much about this other worldly man or which releases to start with among his epic catalog of music.

 From 7pm to 9pm tonight we will explore the 4 phases of his life: his early years growing up in Alabama, his Chicago stint where the Arkestra was born, his communal living / practicing in NYC, and then onto Philadelphia where he finished out the rest of his days.

Its fascinating to me to think about those who were born into the start of the last century and lived through much of it to experience all incredible technological advances the world saw during that time period. Musicians during these decades saw equally remarkable steps forward; like being able to record music no less mass produce it so the public in turn could listen to it in the privacy of their own homes. Musical instruments were constantly being updated, including the birth of amplification (Amps! Condenser mics!), the invention of electric guitar / basses, and synthesizers, and effect pedals (to name just a few inventions); not to mention the progression of musical styles. (Ragtime to swing to bebop to hard bop to free jazz and so on). Sun Ra lived through nearly a century of wild growth and he was among the leaders in the Jazz and the African American community that kept growing and endlessly experimenting under no one's terms but his own. 

FUN FACTS ! ! ! 

*He was doing it himself within the music industry (owned a record label / self released music) before DIY was even a thing.
*While this didn't exactly make him more reputable as a musician, he is among one of the first Americans on record to talk about being abducted by aliens; ahead of the American obsession with E.Ts by a good 15 years. 
*He was also the second person in the U.S to own a synthesizer. (Ray Charles was the first!) 
*Sun Ra gave birth to afrofuturism that groups like Parliament, Funkedelic, Hendrix, and Herbie Hancock rooted their careers in. 
*Sun Ra didn't agree with the Free Jazz tag to some of his music (especially live) but he is still considered a founding father in improvised freeform Jazz,  albeit it very well practiced and structured improvisation.

I stumbled across a terrific BBC documentary on Sun Ra (seriously, the BBC make the best documentaries!) and found it to be a tremendous starting place as I delved into his personal history and immense discography for the first time. 

You will just have to tune into WRIR tonight to hear his life story told via music.

Missed the show? Download it here!  

May 18, 2012

Outstanding Punk Rock Documentary

This documentary comes from PBS circa 1995.  In one hour you will go from NYC to England to Jamaica and back again.



May 4, 2012

Playing with Harry Partch

Not the man, but his one of a kind instruments! This website is brilliant; not only does it display all of his various creations in one place BUT you can play them all via your computer. You can see and hear first hand what this "philosophic music-man seduced into carpentry" has crafted and explore the microtonal scale system he was so obsessed with. I have played around with 5 of 6 of them so far and I swear to you, the unique tones you create with just a stroke of a key will make you feel like a member of Boards of Canada or an avant-Asian orchestra. I am obsessed with this wonderful site and am so please I stumbled across this last night when looking up crychord, an instrument he made and I named a Dahlia Seed song after (my old band).


If you aren't familiar with this American composer, inventor of instruments, theorist, ex hobo, and visionary, check out this BBC documentary. (And I salute the BBC for having the best documentaries on every possible subject. I swear I watch a different one a day!) 








April 26, 2012

Did You Know Record Store Day Has a Documentary?

Well it does! Written / directed / produced by Jason Wilder Evans.

Taken from the Easy Street Records site:

"Shot mostly in Seattle but also in Nashville, Memphis, and NYC - the documentary uses archival footage showing the process of pressing vinyl records along with interviews from brick and mortar owners, Duff McKagan, Peter Buck, Jody Stephens, and music from Telekinesis, Zoe Muth, and the Lost High Rollers. This documentary also looks at the event and what makes it special."

March 26, 2012

What you probably don't know about me is,

I have a thing for big beat, old school electronic music. It probably has to do with me working at Caroline Distribution for a little over a decade during a time period where we were releasing some of the most groundbreaking records representing this genre at the time via Astralwerks.

This is why I am excited about this Chemical Brothers documentary / live film.

Vinylmania Documentary

A 75 minute ode to the love of vinyl; records that is.



March 18, 2012

Did You Know That The Breeders Have A Documentary On Them?

Me either! German from 2002.





March 15, 2012

"Friends of the Enemy" NZ Music Documentary 1982

Holy greatness. Fans of The Clean, The Chills and The Verlaines, take note.

March 13, 2012

You know what is really, really, really weird?

When you see a post on Tiny Mix Tapes about a new documentary in the works that highlights the life of a 71 year old percussionist ("one of the most curious of New York’s under-sung improvisers") and it turns out to be your Mom's mysterious first husband. (and no, not my Dad.)

Life is weird. Really really really weird.


Cleve Pozar: "I Did the Number" from Blind Escrow Productions on Vimeo.

November 3, 2011

Get to Know the Real N.Y.

Start here with part 1 of this great BBC documentary.

October 27, 2011

New York Punk Brought to You by John Peel

School yourself.

August 2, 2011

" High Fidelity with a Northern Accent."

"Over the last five years an independent record shop has closed in the UK every three days.

SOUND IT OUT is a documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England.

A cultural haven in one of the most deprived areas in the UK, SOUND IT OUT documents a place that is thriving against the odds. Directed by Jeanie Finlay who grew up three miles from the shop.

A distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, obsession and the irreplaceable role music plays in our lives."



June 23, 2011

Give Disco the Heave - Ho

The Joy of EZ Listening.

June 20, 2011

By the end of 2011

I believe every musical entity who has ever walked the earth will have a documentary made about them. I can't decide if that is a good thing or not.

Better Than Something is a documentary about Jay Reatard and there will be a screening Sunday, June 26 @ 9:15pm @ AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD.


"Instead of having children...

what if we made ourselves the new person instead?"

Add in some W.S. Burroughs/ Brion Gysin cut-up techinque, cosmetic surgery, and there you have the concept of the third being. Or in this dimension, what was the complex relationship between Genesis and Lady Jaye.

I am adding this to the ever growing list of music related documentaries I very much look forward to seeing.



June 18, 2011

Jon Langford of the Mekons Interviewed

I am equal parts fan of his music and his wood art. If you can't afford his paintings, he now has a book too.

June 12, 2011

Wanna Be Your Ghost Dog

Jim Jarmusch to make a film on the Stooges.

June 2, 2011

So many record stores, so little time.

This time, in Bryn Mawr, PA.

May 14, 2011

Color Me Obsessed

Did you know there is a Replacements documentary? I didn't! For information about the film, go here. I can thank Matt from Archers of Loaf for schooling me on this.




May 8, 2011

Getting to know Ellen Willis

An important feminist writer in rock music- thank you book world for making a trailer about Out of the Vinyl Deeps