Disney+ has shared a great new trailer for 'Get Back', Peter Jackson’s new three-part documentary chronicling the making of The Beatles’ penultimate album, 1970’s 'Let It Be'. Jackson said it is a “story of friends and of individuals. It is the story of human frailties and of a divine partnership. It is a detailed account of the creative process, with the crafting of iconic songs under pressure, set amid the social climate of early 1969. But it’s not nostalgia – it’s raw, honest, and human". The documentary features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row on January 30th, 1969. It is set to premiere over Thanksgiving weekend (November 25th, 26th, and 27th).

“Honestly, even if their music didn’t completely get inside me, I would have wanted to make a movie about them” - director Todd Haynes says in a Rolling Stone interview about his Velvet Underground documentary. “It’s that whole era, which was so revolutionary, but it’s also what they were trying to do as well in reaction to that era as well. Even in their little world, they were heavy. It’s about being resistant. It’s saying no. That’s so important to rock & roll”.

Frances Farmer is good night story in comparison
September 27, 2021

10 outrageous facts from new Britney Spears documentary

The outrageous story about Britney Spears' conservatorship just got added another new layer, thanks to a new documentary 'Controlling Britney Spears'. Rolling Stone picks out 10 new facts from it:

1. When Britney asked for an iPhone, her father Jamie Spears, her head of security Edan Yemini, and member of her management team Robin Greenhill used it for added surveillance.

2. Black Box Security set up a recording device in Britney’s bedroom.

3. Britney, who has a net worth of $60 million, was routinely denied minor indulgences for budgetary reasons.

4. Britney’s security was in charge of administering her medications.

5. Jamie Spears allegedly threatened to block access to Britney’s sons if she challenged her conservators.

6. Britney was forced onstage amid an apparent panic attack over the possibility of losing her kids.

7. Britney allegedly tried to sneak a new lawyer into rehab disguised as plumber.

8. The conservators were threatened by the #FreeBritney movement — and sent security to infiltrate it.

9. Jamie Britney was fixated on any men who were interested in Britney, and spied on them,

10. Britney’s ex-assistant was told the singer fired her, but allegedly it was a lie.

Afrique docu
September 16, 2021

Mdou Moctar releases new documentary

Mdou Moctar has released a documentary on the days surrounding the release of the new album 'Afrique Victime'. The 10-minute short film shows Moctar and the band working on the album, and meeting after a months-long break. It also illustrates the geopolitical circumstances behind the record.

'Karen Dalton: In My Own Time', a new documentary on the folk singer is coming out October 1st. The trailer, out now, features archival footage of Dalton, from her upbringing in Oklahoma to her days New York City’s Greenwich Village folk scene, where she sang with Bob Dylan, and Tim Hardin. It chronicles her tumultuous life that ended with her death in 1993 from AIDS when she was just 55 years old — and the cult following she’s had since.

The new documentary 'Look Away' shines a light on how the music industry fostered a culture where relationships with underage girls - statutory rape - were normalised, and how many behind the scenes turned a blind eye to aggressive sexual behaviour, Sky reports. 'Look Away' features interviews with women who make allegations against Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Guns 'N' Roses frontman Axl Rose, and the late music producer and songwriter Kim Fowley.

"Documentaries can only be as fascinating as their subjects. That's why this bio/doc will have legs, because even in the afterlife Rick James gives his fans something to talk about" - Dwight Brown Ink give a verdict on the new docu. New York Times deems it "fascinating and troubling viewing". Consequence says "the smartest move 'Bitchin' makes is to just lay all of James' cards out on the table and let the audience figure it out for themselves".

'The Velvet Underground' documentary features in-depth interviews with the band’s surviving members and other key figures from the era, as well as never-before-seen performances, studio recordings, experimental art, and films by their one-time manager Andy Warhol. It is the first documentary for Todd Haynes, director of 'Velvet Goldmine' and Bob Dylan biopic 'I’m Not There'. Haynes also helped curate the movie’s accompanying soundtrack, featuring classic and rare tracks. Rolling Stone reports...

AIR Montserrat was one of the most legendary recording studios in the world – it was built by the Beatles’ producer George Martin in 1979 and destroyed by two cataclysmic natural disasters a decade later. Situated on the island in the Caribbean, where the harbour was too shallow for cruise ships and the runway too short for jets, it served as a safe haven for musicians trying to "get away". Elton John arrived in 1982 with no songs and in the middle of a career slump following his 1970s heyday, and recorded three albums back to back, including hits 'I’m Still Standing' and 'I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues'. The Police recorded 'Ghost In The Machine' (1981) and 'Synchronicity' (1983) there, albums that catapulted them to superstar status; the video for 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' was recorded in the AIR Montserrat studio and the island itself. Dire Straits recorded their magnum opus'Brothers In Arms' at AIR Montserrat in 1984 and 1985. Following a period of estrangement between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones regrouped and healed old wounds to record their 1989 comeback album 'Steel Wheels', the final recording session at AIR Montserrat. On September 17, 1989, Hurricane Hugo damaged or destroyed 90 percent of the structures on the island, leaving AIR Montserrat in ruins. Then, between 1995 and 1997, Montserrat’s volcano erupted, burying the capital, Plymouth... Producer Cody Greenwood, whose parents lived on the island and befriended Martin at the time, has produced a documentary about the studio called 'Under the Volcano', available on all major digital platforms from September 1. The Sidney Morning Herald tells the lovely story of the island, the studio and the producer's family.

“What began as a straightforward glimpse into an artist’s life and career gradually morphed into something altogether different – and strange” - the press release for 'The Nowhere Inn', starring St. Vincent, Carrie Brownstein, and Dakota Johnson, reads. Directed by Bill Benz, the metafictional film features the stars portraying fictional versions of themselves out to make a documentary about the provocateur otherwise known as Annie Clark (St. Vincent of course). “You’re nerdy and normal in real life, but the disparity between that and who you are on stage as St. Vincent is jarring” - Brownstein says in the trailer, leading Clark to reply - “I can be St. Vincent all the time, so that I can be a little bit more interesting”.

The partying part
August 02, 2021

Films about partying worth watching

Music Journalism Insider has given over this week's edition to film critic Aaron Gonsher, who suggested a few films about parties and partying. Among the chosen ones are 'The Hip-Hop Nucleus' - a documentary on the notorious mid-to-late ’90s hip-hop parties at the Tunnel, 'Crowd' - subtle capture of Giséle Vienne’s extraordinary dance performance, 'Talkin’ Headz - The Metalheadz Documentary' - a snapshot of the cultural moment/movement when jungle crested and drum & bass surged...

"It's maybe not as dramatic as an addiction story or a fallout or a premature death, all of the things that are in other music documentaries, a fallout and a reunion. The thing with them is to exist in the business for 50 years through changing times. It's like watching two people push a boulder uphill" - director Edgar Wright says in The New Cue interview about The Sparks Brothers. "It's one of the rare music documentaries about brothers in rock where the brothers don't fall out".

"Woodstock ’99 was the hedonistic, capital-drive fantasy of a fratty rape culture, one with all the privilege in the world but a surfeit of anger for which there was no outlet" - producers of the 'Woodstock '99: Peace, love, and rage' argue in their documentary. Consequence doesn't disagree completely, calling it "a case study for the confluence of white millennial entitlement and Boomer nostalgia, it’s certainly gripping, a disaster movie in documentary form". Rolling Stone counts down 19 worst things about the fest, including late-July timing of a fest situated on tarmac and concrete, overcrowding, lack of available water etc.

'Mr. Soul!' is the award-winning documentary about the public television variety show 'Soul!' and its host Ellis Haizlip, coming to HBO Max August 1st. Produced and directed by Melissa Haizlip, the documentary chronicles how her uncle, enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, created the influential show which was ahead of its time. 'Soul!' was a celebration of black music, politics, literature, dance, and poetry during a tumultuous time for black Americans (1968-1973), featuring countless performances by and interviews with the era’s luminaries like James Baldwin, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Al Green, Mavis Staples, Harry Belafonte, Roberta Flack, Kool and the Gang, Max Roach, and many more. Watch the trailer below.

"The marvel of Billy, of course, is that in an era when being trans was apt to get one killed, he chose to 'hide in plain sight', concealing that he was assigned female at birth while embracing a profession that made him the constant center of attention" - the Daily Beast writes about the doc 'No Ordinary Man' which examines the life of Billy Tipton, a talented jazz artist in the 1940s and 1950s who, upon his death, was revealed to have been assigned female at birth. "That trailblazing courage is clearly an inspiration for everyone featured in Chin-Yee and Joynt’s film, who speak about his plight—and the bravery he exhibited in being himself, no matter the obstacles—with palpable reverence".

"Posing the question 'What makes an image iconic?' the [‘Icon: Music Through the Lens’] series seeks answers through the studio portraits, record sleeves, music magazines, live shows, exhibitions, social media, coffee table books and the fine art world" - PBS' press release reads about the new 6-part series.

Among dozens of nominees for this year's Emmys, there are some music ones. Apple TV’s 'Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry' documentary is up for three awards, whereas David Byrne’s HBO special 'David Byrne: American Utopia' has been nominated in eight categories. The New York Times’ docu 'Framing Britney Spears' is up for two awards. Elsewhere in the nominations, Cynthia Erivo picked up a nod for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, for her role portraying the late Aretha Franklin in the National Geographic miniseries 'Genius: Aretha', whereas Marcus Mumford is nominated for his 'Ted Lasso' theme, in the category of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. Check the full list at EW.

The Who's career-spanning documentary, 'Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who' is now available to stream for the first time on the Coda Collection. Anchored by interviews with Townshend and Roger Daltrey, the film tracks the band’s rise and career, and features a trove of previously unseen footage and performance clips. 'Amazing Journey' was directed by Murray Lerner and Paul Crowder and first released in 2007.

McCartney in the sky with Rubin
July 09, 2021

Paul McCartney and Rick Rubin talk Beatles in new docu

The trailer for the six-part documentary series 'McCartney 3, 2, 1', featuring Paul McCartney and Rick Rubin has been released. It shows big-shot producer and big-shot bassist dissecting Beatles classics like 'Come Together', 'All My Loving', 'With a Little Help From My Friends', and 'In My Life'.

“When you’re wearing diamonds, it’s like a big f-you to everybody” - a new docu about jewelry in hip-hop culture dropped today, explores. "How and when did jewelry become part of Hip Hop culture? A$AP Ferg, Migos, Lil Yachty, Talib Kweli weigh in alongside 80’s heavyweights Eric B & Rakim and Slick Rick to see the much deeper meaning and purpose behind it all".

"The event hosted 400,000 miserable attendees, as excessive heat and poor planning combined for one of the worst debacles in modern festival history. The crowd turned violent, at one point tearing plywood off the walls and setting it on fire. The concerts gave way to multiple reports of rape and sexual assault, as well as looting, vandalism, and arson" - Consequence announces the first trailer for 1999 music-fest-turned-gore-fest. It is the first in a series of HBO documentaries executive produced by Bill Simmons, and it features Korn’s Jonathan Davis, The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Jewel, Moby, Creed’s Scott Stapp, and The Offspring.

"Woodstock itself wasn’t the life-changing event. The life-changing event was the Woodstock movie. I wonder if this film had come out and been held up in the same light and importance, would this have made a difference in my life?" - Questlove says to Pitchfork about 'Summer of Soul', his new documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. "This film is potent enough now to work its magic in ways that it wasn’t allowed to 50 years ago. Black people and history - it’s a painful thing. That plays a role in why it’s easy to forget things. I’m very happy that people see this now. But it’s a deeper well that we have to dig, and this film might be just the beginning of it". It's in theaters and on Hulu.

A lovely documentary 'The Dancing Man of LA' about a grey-haired 69-year-old who goes to, well, almost to all the concerts in Los Angeles, and dances all the time. Howard Mordoh is a retired clinical laboratory scientist from and his "love of concerts spans genres, venues, and decades - and he's always dancing. But with live music canceled during the COVID pandemic, and given his husband's health concerns, Howard has to get creative in order to keep dancing".

The director Beth B "is not interested in showing Lunch’s abrasive attitudes in a flattering light, and her take-her-as-she-comes approach extends to the doc’s account of musical metamorphosis" - Hollywood Reporter reviewed 'The War Is Never Over' the first career-spanning documentary of the 1970s No Wave icon Lydia Lunch. "B. leaves no stone unturned when it comes to Lydia Lunch ephemera. There’s great live footage from all of her music projects and spoken-word events. It’s a treasure trove that long-time fans will love" - Film Threat writes enthusiastically.

Producer and songwriter Mark Ronson goes into the art and science of music production in the new docu-series 'Watch the Sound', coming to Apple TV+ on July 30, NME reports. The newly released trailer shows him talking with the likes of Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Beastie Boys Ad-Rock and Mike D, Charli XCX, Josh Homme, Denzel Curry, Angel Olsen, Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker and many mor

The short documentary 'Field of Vision - We Were There to Be There', by Mike Plante and Jason Willis, on a legendary 1978 show at a California psychiatric hospital by the Cramps and the Mutants, is now online. "Taking place as cuts to crucial social services loom under Ronald Reagan, two legendary punk bands come together to perform a show for patients and staff at a psychiatric facility". It "threads moments from the Napa State Hospital set with commentary from band members and those who witnessed it firsthand, providing a crucial backstory for the recording of one of the most iconic shows in the history of music, at a critical moment in the future of mental health care in the US".

Peter Jackson has expanded his upcoming Beatles documentary from a standalone film to a mini-series composed of three two-hour installments, Vanity Fair reports. 'The Beatles: Get Back' chronicles the making of The Beatles’ penultimate album, 1970’s 'Let It Be', whereas part of the reason for its expansion was due to the insistence of Jackson, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr to have the full rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row - the final performance of the band’s career - shown in full. 'The Beatles: Get Back' will air over Thanksgiving weekend.

Fact has a documentary by Mia Zur-Szpiro about some of the key women working in India’s electronic music scene. Filmed across several months, it features interviews with women artists in the Indian scene, touching on themes of mental health, spirituality, overcoming racial and patriarchal prejudice and the impact music has had on their lives.

'The Right to Rock' tells the story of Filipino American sisters June and Jean Millington who in the late 19602 formed ferocious garage band Fanny. They were the first all-women band signed to a multi-album major label, and who used this platform to fight racism, sexism, and homophobia. "With members nearing age 70, it’s wonderful to see Fanny connecting with a new generation of listeners" - MJI writes presenting Bobbi Jo Hart’s documentary.

Not bad - horrible!
May 18, 2021

The curious case of the worst guitarist ever

Richard Benson is an English guitarist based in Italy. Watching him in action, it’s evident he knows how to play and he understands musical concepts but his guitar methods are unorthodox. His audiences come to see him play so they can throw food at him. Benson is willing to be a punchline to perform in front of an audience for the love of his art. He’s obviously passionate and dedicated, but at what point do you face the fact that people don’t just dislike your expression of music, they hate it - Medium gets curious about the strange man. There's also a short docu about the anti-guitarist.

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