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"There are specific instructions when Isaac Hayes comes on."

Wattstax [SLYT] is a 1973 documentary film about the 1972 Wattstax music festival, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Featuring performances by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, The Staple Singers, The Emotions, The Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel, Wattstax also incorporates relatively unknown comic Richard Pryor's musings on life for black Americans in 1972, "man-and-woman-on-the-street" interviews, and audience footage. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 3, 2014 - 23 comments

Prince in the 1980s: a documentary

A documentary of unknown provenance on Prince in the 1980s.
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 19, 2014 - 11 comments

"The Clash would have KILLED to have come from Derry"

Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, was a dangerous place to be in the late 1970s. With bombs, shootings, British Army Patrols, riots on the streets, and The Ramones and New York Dolls on the turntable, the most punk thing 5 Catholic lads could do was to sing upbeat songs about adolescent lust, girls, getting nowhere with said girls, and the general struggles of being young. In the bleeding heart of The Troubles, The Undertones escaped by dreaming of a life more ordinary. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jun 11, 2014 - 38 comments

"I guess I’m an artist. That’s my super power."

A short and sweet 10-minute documentary on musician and artist Daniel Johnston. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Mar 6, 2014 - 14 comments

Follow the red dot.

Yesterday saw the surprise release of PolyFauna (Android - iOS), a free, movingly minimalist art game produced by Radiohead in collaboration with digital art studio Universal Everything. In the tradition of previous projects such as Proteus (previously) and Björk's Biophilia (also previously), the game turns players loose in an open world of moody vistas and fog-shrouded wilderness, accompanied by music and visuals from 2011's earthy, naturalist The King of Limbs. With an associated redesign of the band's website, could work on the long-awaited LP9 be far behind? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 12, 2014 - 7 comments

oh, what a nice drug

"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2014 - 106 comments

One Hundred Songs a Day

On The Media meets Matt Farley, who earns around $23k per year thanks to the 14,000 songs he has has composed, performed and uploaded to Spotify.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jan 10, 2014 - 87 comments

Mu Mu Land

Behind the scenes footage of the filming of the music videos for The KLF's 'Justified and Ancient' and 'What time is Love?'.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 19, 2013 - 18 comments

Sounds of the wanderers

Whether or not all cultural historians agree with the premise that Rom people came to Europe originally from India, or whether or not the portrayals of Rom musicians in the film are always *accurate* or *authentic* ones (some have indicated they're not, or are too heavily draped in over-stylized Exotica), there is surely no denying that the film is a treasure trove of fantastic musical performances. You've probably guessed by now that we're talking about Latcho Drom, which you can see it in its entirety here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 15, 2013 - 36 comments

A Day in Vienna

Tom Waits - A Day in Vienna. "In 1978 or 1979 (we’ll get to that in a minute), Tom Waits was touring Europe. He had a concert in Vienna the day after a show in Amsterdam. He showed up in Vienna and was greeted by two young men named Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher, employees of ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk, i.e. Austrian television) with the proposal of shooting an interview while he was in town. Waits countered with a better idea."
posted by homunculus on Aug 29, 2013 - 10 comments

El Gusto of Algeria: the band's back together, after decades apart

It all started with a mirror in the Casbah. Well, it re-started with that mirror, when Safinez Bousbia, who is of Algerian descent but had never visited the country, went to visit with a friend from Ireland. Bousbia commented on the artistry of a mirror. Mohamed Ferkioui, the shopkeeper and artist, told her that he also made music, but had lost contact with his former friends and band-mates, but he had so many memories and items from that past period of his life. As he showed them to Bousbia, she decided she wanted to get the band back together. Her short stay extended into a few years, and she documented the reunion of friends and the playing of a traditional Algerian music style called chaabi, which is a mix of North African polyrhythms, Andalusian classical music, jazz, flamenco and French cabaret. The result was El Gusto (auto-playing music). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 11, 2013 - 5 comments

"I detest audiences....I think they're a force of evil."

Glenn Gould on and off the record. The Russian Journey. Extasis. Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. The Goldberg Variations (1955), (1981). The Well-Tempered Clavier. Beethoven Sonatas. The Idea of North. TL;DW: Gould plays Bach
posted by seemoreglass on Jun 4, 2013 - 19 comments

Music on planet Earth would never be the same again.

"40 years ago, in millions of living room across the British Isles, a strange alien creature was beamed on to our television screens. With bright red hair and multicolored spacesuit, his unearthly appearance shocked the nation. But for many teenagers who experienced this televisual visitation, he would change their lives forever." Jarvis Cocker narrates the BBC Four documentary, David Bowie -- The Story of Ziggy Stardust.
posted by Room 641-A on May 30, 2013 - 18 comments

"You know, you have a very musical voice."

You've probably never heard anything quite like the musical documentary More About Henry. Remixing interviews with musical interpretation, composer Adam Goddard has woven a unique work of art from the stories of his grandfather, Henry Robert Tindale Haws, who spent a half-century farming in rural Ontario. More About Henry first aired on CBC Radio's Ideas. [more inside]
posted by oulipian on May 26, 2013 - 1 comment

Mozart in Turkey: parts biography, history, documentary, and performance

Mozart in Turkey is film made of three distinct, but related, elements. First, it is a look into Mozart at the time of his courting Constanze, a bit on his new patron, the "enlightened monarch" Joseph II, and other influences, including the Turkish music and culture, along with thoughts on Mozart's opera as a work created in the Age of Enlightenment, all through the running commentary by opera director Elijah Moshinsky, who also interviews Alev Lytle Croutier, the author of Harem: The World Behind the Veil. Then there is the production of an opera in Turkey, specifically set in and around the Topkapi Palace (virtual tour; Wikipedia). And the last piece is the performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, or The Abduction from the Seraglio. You can watch the entire film online on Vimeo, thanks to Directors Cut Films.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 15, 2013 - 3 comments

Murica

My fellow Mefites, I implore you. Don't even think about clicking the more inside if you have anything pressing to do. [previously] [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Mar 17, 2013 - 11 comments

Matmos + rat cage = pretty sounds.

A nice documentary video of live electronic music sampling and improvisation featuring Matmos with a rat cage.
posted by loquacious on Feb 21, 2013 - 15 comments

For revival, sin and soul

The Revival Tour documentary celebrates the annual acoustic folk-punk Revival Tour that was founded by Hot Water Music frontman Chuck Ragan. Now in its fifth year, The Revival tour has featured musicians like Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon, Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, and British star Frank Turner. This year's lineup includes Chuck Ragan, Rocky Votolato, Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath, Streetlight Manifesto's Toh Kay, Jenny O, Loved Ones' Dave Hause and Jenny Owen Youngs. Folk-punk previously.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 3, 2013 - 2 comments

The line between science fiction and true science is often thin

In 1990, Isaac Asimov was working on a TV series to bridge science fiction and science fact, "synthesizing his visionary ideas about where humanity is going." He passed away in 1992, and the series never progressed beyond the pilot, which was re-worked and released as the documentary Visions of the Future (YouTube playlist, via Brainpickings, which calls the video "essentially, the antithesis to the Future Shock [documentary] narrated by Orson Welles"). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 18, 2013 - 12 comments

'Jazz On A Summer's Day' - a film by Bert Stern

Keith Richards saw it fourteen times, albeit not for it all, which is what you get here:
Jazz On A Summer's Day [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 9, 2013 - 8 comments

Recycled Orchestra

Landfillharmonic: The world sends us garbage, and we send back music -- Favio Chavez, Orchestra Director
posted by jacquilynne on Dec 10, 2012 - 6 comments

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks
This is the complete show from the Catalyst in Santa Cruz in March 1987.   Via The Iwebender Channel

Love that Maria Elena.... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 9, 2012 - 10 comments

The New Sound of Music

Airing in 1979, The New Sound of Music was a BBC documentary which depicted and demonstrated the history of recorded and manipulated music, from the earliest paper rolls to electronic synthesizers and the cutting and manipulation of tape. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 19, 2012 - 13 comments

I'm your toy, I'm your old boy

Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel - An excellent 90 minute BBC documentary, the story of the legendary country rock pioneer as told by contemporary musicians, family, and friends. It includes rare performance footage. (Via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 28, 2012 - 17 comments

Busta Rhymes: the James Brown of hip-hop, there's no use coming on stage after him

Busta Rhymes is back with his 9th studio album, Year of the Dragon. It's free* for a limited time from Google Play, and also available to stream and download from DatPiff**. If that wasn't enough, Google Play put together a 21 minute biographical documentary on Busta Rhymes, with Busta and some close collaborators talking about his last 20 years. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 22, 2012 - 33 comments

Sing us a Song to Keep us Warm, There's Such a Chill

In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep" and the success of sophomore record The Bends, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead were under pressure to deliver once more. So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor and got to work. What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity -- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology -- through a mosaic of challenging, innovative, eerily beautiful music unlike anything else at the time. Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments, the band finally settled on OK Computer, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 16, 2012 - 66 comments

"...I want to make a kind of music that had the Long Now and the Big Here..."

Imaginary Landscapes (1989): a visually hypnotic and impressionistic portrait of musician Brian Eno, directed by Duncan Ward and Gabriella Cardazzo. (40 mins.)
posted by Neilopolis on Apr 22, 2012 - 20 comments

You can vote once per day per category

2012 Vimeo Awards Nominations — There are 13 categories including four new ones. The Experimental category is lots of fun. [previously]
posted by netbros on Apr 19, 2012 - 9 comments

Let's Get Lost - Chet Baker documentary

Let's Get Lost - Chet Baker documentary by Bruce Weber 120 min
There will never be another you A remembrance of Chet Baker by Bruce Weber
See also chetbakertribute.com [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Mar 11, 2012 - 20 comments

What is the light?

Here is a very good 8-part documentary about the making of The Flaming Lips' album The Soft Bulletin. Some time after their appearance on Beverly Hills: 90210, some time before releasing new music embedded in edible gummy material of various shapes (and flavors), the album was released to near-unanimous critical acclaim. The FLips, previously on MeFi.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas on Jan 11, 2012 - 20 comments

You shall Hear things, Wonderful to tell

A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 22, 2011 - 107 comments

When I'm dancing at a party I don't think about death

El Acordéon del Diablo is a captivating documentary about Francisco "Pacho" Rada Batista, the great Colombian accordionist and singer-songwriter. In this film, Pacho Rada, in his nineties, tells stories and reflects on celebrity, copyright, tradition and the shortcomings of pop music. His stories include a shipwreck that left a boatload of accordions washed up on a Colombian beach and an accordion duel with the devil himself. In ten parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
posted by Jode on Nov 21, 2011 - 2 comments

Mayor of the Sunset Strip, Rodney Bingenheimer documentary

In Southern California in the 1980s, KROQ had this weird un-DJ-like guy named (seriously) Rodney Bingenheimer, who came on late at night on Sundays and played punk records and new bands like Blondie, The Ramones, X, Joan Jett, Devo and Cheap Trick. Did this weirdo really have some influence? A 90-minute 2004 documentary now on YouTube, Mayor of the Sunset Strip (Part 1) tells his story, and it's weirder than you may have imagined. [more inside]
posted by planetkyoto on Nov 14, 2011 - 24 comments

Jim Fields and Michael Gramaglia's "End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones"

The most vivid figure in Michael Gramaglia and Jim Fields's End of the Century was the least articulate and most archetypal of the Ramones: Johnny, the right-wing prole whose hard-ass sense of style the others nutballed and softened and accelerated and above all imitated. ... Exciting and absolutely right though their '70s sets always were, the film establishes that they kept the faith live till the end, lifted by Joey's goofy dedication and powered by the chords Johnny thrashed out like they were why he was alive. As unyielding in his aesthetic principles as he was in everything else, this reactionary was an avant-gardist in spite of himself. - Robert Christgau
posted by Trurl on Nov 9, 2011 - 17 comments

Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz to Come"

"Ornette in '59" - a BBC documentary segment about Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 5, 2011 - 17 comments

Steinway & Sons

Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, a documentary by Ben Niles. "Invention for 900 Hands", a nine-part series in The New York Times. "K 2571: The Making of a Steinway Grand", an article in The Atlantic Monthly. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 2, 2011 - 9 comments

"I believe it more than...other...stuff."

Music is a book/app/documentary film by photographer/film-maker Andrew Zuckerman (previously). Similar in format to Zuckerman's film Wisdom, Music features interviews with musical luminaries both fully- and not-so-luminous. [more inside]
posted by eric1halfb on Oct 5, 2011 - 11 comments

Milo Goes To The Movies

FILMAGE: The Story of DESCENDENTS / ALL is an upcoming feature-length documentary about pop-punk pioneers Descendents. The makers are looking for photos, video, and film of the band. The band's first album, 1982's Milo Goes To College, was an instant classic with songs like I'm Not A Loser. Various splits, reformations, and line-up changes followed. Their most reformation in 2010 included sets at Australia's No Sleep Till festival (full Sydney set at Moshcam). Classic Desendents: I'm The One. Merican. Hope.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on May 31, 2011 - 28 comments

What the Eye Doesn't See, the Heart Doesn't Mind.

Step Across the Border (previously, link now broken) "as long as I was playing in a band I didn't have to actually go out there and talk to girls and dance, I could just be on stage and watch everybody else doing it". The critically acclaimed music documentary on Fred Frith, written and directed by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel (amazon link). It is also available in 8 parts, on youtube. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on May 28, 2011 - 11 comments

DEMF - A Decade On

DetroitTechno.org presents a documentary (1 2 3) about the history and politics of techno with a focus on the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, now called Movement, from its inception in 2000 until the most recent one in 2010. [more inside]
posted by gman on May 15, 2011 - 26 comments

Hey you horror-face! Unreleased 1994 documentary on the Fall

Here's a previously unreleased 1994 documentary on resilient English band the Fall. [more inside]
posted by item on Apr 8, 2011 - 52 comments

We're all doomed.

The New Garage Explosion: A full length documentary by VBS-TV [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 1, 2011 - 21 comments

The Definitive Look at the Diversity of Our Planet

Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth. The culmination of five years of field work, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups -- including many sights rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 7, 2011 - 69 comments

Goin Back Home

The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins A 1967 Les Blank film of Lightnin Hopkins visiting his hometown of Centerville, TX "…a gorgeous 31-minute poem of a movie, a series of snapshots from his life as well as a look at an era fast disappearing…Watching the film is something of a revelation, at least if you ever had a doubt where the blues came from." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 19, 2011 - 16 comments

"Another Green World" - Brian Eno BBC documentary

Earlier this year, the BBC's Arena produced and aired an excellent documentary on Brian Eno entitled "Another Green World" containing "a series of conversations on science, art, systems analysis, producing and cybernetics". [more inside]
posted by item on Dec 26, 2010 - 20 comments

I like big-ass vicious noise that makes my head spin.

Steve Albini: Don't Call Me Producer
posted by boo_radley on Dec 17, 2010 - 18 comments

back in the day...

Blues Houseparty is a fun, entertaining and highly recommended 57 minute documentary that takes us into a Virginia houseparty of 1989, where the assembled Piedmont blues and gospel musicians and their friends pick guitars, sing, dance and engagingly reminisce on the houseparties of old. Amidst hearty laughs, barbecue and general good times, the guests recount personal memories of fun and rowdiness, corn liquor, 500-pound hogs, the devil's music and the Lord's music. There's a whole lot of cultural history on display here, a slice of black American life that is all but gone now. The mood is infectious, to say the least, and the music just keeps getting better and better throughout the film. The next best thing to being there!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 10, 2010 - 13 comments

Ozzy!!!!1!

We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) - a documentary on the Ozzfest '99 tour (MLYT) (NSFW - mainly swearing and tits)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 21, 2010 - 47 comments

Welcome to Strummerville

Strummerville is a new documentary by Don Letts. [more inside]
posted by Crane Shot on Jun 11, 2010 - 11 comments

Where were you when The IDEA knocked at the windows of your mind?

The IDEA - The Indian Documentary of Electronic Arts - Seven somewhat dated collections of essays, music, videos, and thought curated and designed by Shankar Barua, backed by totally awesome early Internet-era graphics, and hosted at Laurie Spiegel's also-rad retiary.org.
Please note that many individual pages of The IDEA gazettes are very-very heavily loaded, by [2001's] WWWeb standards, with images/audio/video. In other words, if you can get past ugly old broken HTML and auto-playing music, you may find a lot to like in here.
posted by carsonb on May 4, 2010 - 3 comments

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