Movie Notes - 'Sound City'

If you haven't yet caught some of the buzz surrounding Dave Grohl's documentary, Sound City, allow me to buzz a little more in your ear. After doing fairly well at a number of film festivals and getting positive feedback from pre-release screeners, Sound City had as large a release as it's probably going to get this week.

Sound City takes its title from the recording studio in Los Angeles where whole cratefulls of legendary rock albums were recorded.  Neil Young? Fleetwood Mac? Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers? Nirvana?  Dave Grohl, who we should all remember BF (Before Foo) as the drummer for Nirvana, now owns the legendary, hand-built Neve 8028 Console, which he bought when Sound City went out of business.  Not only has Grohl put together a fine documentary about rock and roll and what we might call "the ethos of the garage," in the second half of the film we get to see the Foo Fighters recording a new album with the likes of Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield (who rocks), Trent Reznor, Josh Homme, and some dude from Liverpool named Paul (who shreds).

Recently, director and host and star and drummer and guitarist Dave Grohl made the media rounds in his own way -- I caught him on the podcasts WTF and Nerdist.  All the more interesting is the distribution model for the film's release, which you can see in theaters in a few markets -- but you can rent a download it as well for the price of a movie ticket or buy the film outright for $15.  You'd want to see it in the theater to hear the music -- and this is one downloaded movie that's worth watching on a computer so you can listen with headphones.  As you might expect, Sound City sounds great.

For audio nerds out there, Sound City is a movie to place alongside Tom Dowd and the Language of MusicLes Paul: Chasing Sound!, and some of the better episodes of Classic Albums for a introduction to how records get made and how the recording studio itself can be played like a musical instrument.

Remember -- use those headphones.  After Sound City is over, you might have that pleasant ringing in your ears.

PN Feedburner | PN iTunes | PN Twitter | PN Facebook | PN Video | PN Goodreads | PN Stitcher

No comments: