Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

The Grace Space: Music Documentaries to Watch Now

    A few weeks ago, a documentary titled “Mistaken for Strangers” was released in theaters on demand and iTunes. The film focuses primarily on the brotherly relationship between Matt and Tom Berninger, the former being the lead vocalist of American indie rock band The National and the latter a filmmaker.

    The film, which has received a great deal of positive reviews since its release, is only one of the newly released and upcoming films that focus on music. While we all wait to watch Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix in “All Is By My Side” and the M.I.A. documentary regarding her Super Bowl controversy, here are some other music documentaries and films to view and enjoy—get to rocking!

    Focuses on: 1970s rock band Death
    Although the band may not be a household name, their story is fascinating: Death was made up of three musician brothers, born to a Baptist preacher and his wife in 1950s Detroit, who wanted to emerge as a budding rock/funk band as teenagers. The film was shown at last year’s SIFF as well, and helped lead to the band’s eventual reunion and tour.

    Focuses on: John Lennon/ The Beatles’ secretary Freda Kelly
    If you’re a fan of The Beatles, you probably already know of these two documentaries. The first focuses on the late Lennon as he moved from the popular English rock band to his solo career. The latter focuses on the group’s former secretary, who bore witness to the group’s music and cultural history while not exploiting anything from her insider perspective.

    Focuses on: Wilco
    The black-and-white film focuses on the popular alt-country rock band as they created and distributed their fourth studio album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” Aside from showing the awesomeness of the band, the documentary also demonstrates the typically difficult politics between bands and their record labels.

    Focuses on: The Flaming Lips
    If you have ever heard of the craziness of The Flaming Lips, ranging from their show props to their record for most like shows in 24 hours, you’ll most likely be interested in seeing this almost 10 year-old documentary. The very real affect of drugs is a large theme in the film, demonstrating just how drastically drugs like heroin can affect musicians and their families.

    SOUND CITY (2013)
    Focuses on: Sound City Studios in Los Angeles
    Directed and produced by Dave Grohl, the documentary focuses on the history of the studio, hosting artists like Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tom Petty before closing up in 2011. The studio’s documentary demonstrates a lot of its 42 year-old history, and the film shows a lot of impressive appearances from the music industry, including Lindsey Buckingham, Barry Manilow and Trent Reznor.

    Focuses on: Pussy Riot
    After all the insanity revolving around the Pussy Riot court cases in 2010, the group has become one of the most popular feminist musical groups in the world. The film unfortunately does not feature interviews with any of the actual band members, but is a helpful addition to all that members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina have done since being released in December.

    HYPE! (1996)
    Focuses on: The popularity of grunge rock
    An important film for the Seattle music scene, “Hype!” shows the grunge-rock movement from the early to mid-1990s in the U.S. Featuring interviews from local bands (primarily based on their connection to Sub Pop Records), we see bands like Mudhoney, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden share their vision of the popular genre throughout the 87 minute feature.

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    • T

      Tessa Dunn
      Apr 21, 2014 at 1:48 am

      A band called Death were awesome! watched the documentary today and grabbed hold of the album. seriously good!! more documentaries about music at