If you aren’t already, it’s time to follow The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle on Tumblr — his blog is as witty and entertaining as one might expect, and he updates it fairly frequently. In particular, it was interesting to see him recently post a photo of a very young version of himself at a Nick Cave show. It turns out he’s quite the Cave fan, and that seeing The Bad Seeds play on the tour in question was quite the formative experience on both Darnielle himself and on his nascent musical project. He’s not the first musician to be inspired to form a band after seeing a hero play live, of course — so here are some other recollections of great musical… Read More
There’s something incredibly intimate about letter writing: the indelible mark on a page, the permanence of ink, and the process of consideration before putting pen to paper. Even a typewritten page feels vastly more personal than one created with a computer. While you’re scrawling a Mother’s Day card to mum or your other significant parental person this weekend, the act may take you back to simpler times during your childhood when you shared your thoughts with a pen and not an iPhone. We’re sure it’s no different for the writers, musicians, and actors we revere. Before they were the names on everyone’s lips, they were sharing their hopes, dreams, and wondering about the world through their childhood and teenage letters. See what insightful missives we uncovered, below. … Read More
This time last year, the out-of-nowhere indie Beasts of the Southern Wild emerged at the Sundance Film Festival, knocked out everyone who saw it, and embarked on a thrilling year-long ride to become a critical fave, indie smash, and multiple Oscar nominee. Of course, when you have a big hit, everyone’s looking for a sequel — and most of the press out of Park City has been eager to buzzkill, assuring us that no, there’s not another Beasts in this year’s bunch. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an incredible… Read More
At a Sundance event earlier this week promoting his new music documentary Sound City, I had the chance to ask Foo Fighters frontman (and now filmmaker) Dave Grohl about some of his favorite music documentaries. His thoughtful and wide-ranging answer was interesting enough, I thought, to warrant including in its entirety. … Read More
PARK CITY, UTAH: Dave Grohl is the first one to tell you that he is not a filmmaker. And yet, here he is at Sundance, chatting up the documentary Sound City, which marks his directorial debut. “I don’t even know what directing means,” he laughed at a press conference Monday. “I’m not a director. I’m not a drummer. I’m not a guitar player. I fake all of these things. I never took lessons to do any of this shit. I don’t know — I can’t read music. I hold my drumsticks backwards. I don’t know what a director is. But I do know, if you sit down with a clear idea of what you want to do, if it’s in your head and you can actualize it or visualize it… well, then, you wind up with something that makes sense.” … Read More
Hold on to your hats, dear readers: the 29th annual Sundance Film Festival kicks off today in Park City, Utah. Your humble film editor is on the ground, in snow boots and several layers of sensible sweaters, with a film-going schedule that could alternately be described as “ambitious” or “insane.” Here are the ten movies that top our “must-see”… Read More
We were fascinated to read a rare interview with former Cream and Blind Faith drummer and notorious rock ‘n’ roll lunatic Ginger Baker in the Guardian over the weekend. The interview was a propos of a new documentary about Baker, Beware of Mr. Baker, which premiered at last year’s SXSW and is now on general release. Reading about the film got us thinking about the many promising music documentaries that are due out in 2013. Here’s what’s on our to-see list — it looks like it’s going to be a pretty great year as far as music-related viewing goes. … Read More
1. NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his production team have been freed after spending five days in captivity in Syria. While the identities of the kidnappers and their motives are unknown, it appears that they were loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Watch his account of the ordeal here.
2. Cecilia Gimenez, the artist behind that infamous “Beast Jesus” restoration that broke the Internet earlier this year, has sold one of her original oil paintings on eBay for $1,400. [via ArtsBeat] … Read More
1. Over a year later, a new inquest is being held into Amy Winehouse’s death because the assistant deputy coroner who oversaw the original examination lacked proper qualifications. [via ArtsBeat]
2. Odd Future has been accused of brutally attacking a 17-year-old fan who hopped on stage during a show in San Antonio. According to TMZ, the teen “suffered lacerations on his head, scratches, and burns to his body,” as well as two seizures, and now plans to sue the group. … Read More
Back in February we reported that Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl would be producing an FX sitcom about a troubled band trying to keep it together while on the verge of becoming famous. While we wait to hear an update on the TV comedy project, Ain’t It Cool delivered more news about Grohl’s offstage career.
It looks like he’ll be directing and producing a feature-length documentary called Sound City — which we heard chatter about not that long ago — centering on the legendary Van Nuys, California recording studio. He conceived of the project after buying a Neve 8028 recording console — built in 1972 — from Sound City last year. For those unfamiliar with the famous device, a press release describes it as the “crown jewel of analog recording equipment,” having been used by many musical legends over the past 40 years. Grohl’s connection to Sound City really began with the 1991 recording of Nirvana’s Nevermind, however. The film will take a look at the studio’s history via interviews with the artists that spent time there, and hopes to “discuss the human element of music in an age of technology, and feature performances from many of the artists that called it ‘home.’”
Grohl wrote a letter to fans sharing more about his personal connection to the doc, calling Sound City “America’s greatest unsung recording studio … home to a special few, intent on preserving an idea.” Read the rest of the letter, and watch a trailer teaser past the break. Grohl hopes to release the film early next year. … Read More