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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Top 10 Best Music Biopics

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 8:42 AM


The news that Alan Rickman will be portraying Hilly Kristal in a new CBGB biopic half excited us, then half scared us yesterday. He'll be good, but Lordy, who is going to play Debbie Harry? And The Ramones? Those are big shoes to fill... So we comforted ourselves with this -- a list of our top 10 favorite music biopics. There are quite a remarkable number of good ones, too. We feel kinda bad for not including La Bamba here, but, take our word for it... We re-watched that movie recently and it's kinda terrible. So, let the countdown begin!

10. The Buddy Holly Story

Before Gary Busey was a raving lunatic, he made some great movies, like, um, Point Break, and, when he was super young, The Buddy Holly Story, in which he somewhat convincingly portrayed Buddy Holly. Whether you've seen this or not, you already know how it ends -- duh: tragedy -- but we wish to emphasize that this movie is unintentionally hilarious throughout and, therefore, thoroughly enjoyable. Also, it's a nice reminder that Buddy Holly wrote some damn fine tunes.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games Soundtrack: Five Things You Need to Know

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 8:49 AM


As you may have gathered from all the relentless hype and advertising and media anticipation, The Hunger Games movie is finally out today. And, yes, despite our vaguely dismissive tone, we're actually thoroughly excited about the whole thing. Especially since Rolling Stone just told us to "relax" because "Hollywood didn't screw up the film version." Huzzah! But, you may be wondering, how is the darn soundtrack? Here are five things you should know about it.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Top 10 Worst Film Performances By Musicians

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 9:22 AM


Rock star, singer-songwriter, producer, interior designer -- now we should add thespian to the many creative hats sported by Lenny Kravitz, who performs tonight (Feb. 14) at the Fox Theater in Oakland. In keeping with the family business -- his mom was the late Roxie Roker, a.k.a. Helen Willis on The Jeffersons -- Kravitz has mostly played himself on screen, aside from a small but critically-acclaimed part as a male nurse in the 2009 drama Precious. And with Kravitz's follow-up part playing Cinna in next month's eagerly awaited film adaptation of The Hunger Games only his second stab at playing a fictional character, the jury is still sorta out regarding the man's acting chops. And there are more than enough wince-inducing cinematic performances delivered by musicians moonlighting as would-be thespians to make us worry. Here are the 10 all-time worst.

10. Vanilla Ice in Cool As Ice

Riding the wave created by hijacking "Under Pressure" and turning it into the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts, the man born Robbie Van Winkle got a crack at being the next Marlon Brando by way of playing the rebellious and motorcycle-riding rapper Johnny Van Owen. What Ice got instead was lots of overexposure and a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Chris Metzler on His Fishbone Doc Everyday Sunshine, Which Plays Tonight at the Roxie

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM

  • Fishbone

Opening tonight at the Roxie is Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, a documentary about the highly-regarded -- if somewhat forgotten -- punk-funk band from Los Angeles. After years on the road, traveling between festivals, the film is finally in a theater run. Tonight and tomorrow, the Roxie presentation will even feature appearances by band members Angelo Moore and Norwood Fisher.

Over the Exhibitionist, SF Weekly's arts blog, Michael Fox spoke with Everyday Sunshine director Chris Metzler about the documentary project, the difficulties of making a documentary about a band, and the legacy of Fishbone. Below, we've excerpted some of the most interesting parts of their conversation, but we'd urge you to check out the whole thing.

What's different for the band, or you, about the Roxie gig?

In 1983 or '84, San Francisco was the first town Fishbone toured to outside of their Southern California base. S.F. has been the band's home away from home. There's something about the eclectic nature and diversity that always welcomes and celebrates them. In S.F., Fishbone isn't a cult band.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Full-Length Jerry Garcia Doc Is Go

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Jerry Garcia
  • Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia, the San Francisco-born guitarist of the Grateful Dead, will be the subject of a new feature-length documentary film released this spring, according to a report today in Deadline Hollywood.

Spearheading the project are music documentary producer Malcom Leo (This Is Elvis, The Beach Boys: An American Band), and John Hartmann, brother of the late comedian Phil Hartmann, who managed Cosby, Still, and Nash, the Eagles, and Peter, Paul, and Mary, among other bands. Leo and Hartmann already produced a film clip about Garcia shown at AT&T Park last summer for the SF Giants' Jerry Garcia Day; footage from that event will be included in the new film.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

So There Might Be a New Movie About the Haight-Ashbury in the '60s, Featuring Actual Grateful Dead Songs

Posted By on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

The Grateful Dead inside 710 Ashbury
  • The Grateful Dead inside 710 Ashbury

A new itch for merchandising, a fanbase now on the side of life that comes with plenty of cash to spend on nostalgia, and a poverty of original ideas coming out of Hollywood: What's a hugely adored band like the Grateful Dead to do?

Why, commission an Across the Universe-style film featuring its original music, that's what.

Deadline Hollywood reports today that the legendary S.F. psychedelic rock outfit -- which announced a new push for merchandising to fans earlier this year -- has representatives working to produce a flick that will feature its songs. But the film won't be a biopic -- rather, it will be a fictional narrative about San Francisco's Haight Ashbury in the 1960s and early '70s, built around the music of the Grateful Dead.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Your Post-Bridge School Comedown Party: Watch a Film About the Benefit's First 25 Years

Posted By on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Neil Young at Bridge School
  • Neil Young at Bridge School

We already told you about the plans to release a new, three-DVD, two-CD box set celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the now-legendary Bridge School Benefit concerts. The set will feature some stunning performances from over the years by the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, and others.

And now, thanks to a special series of screenings, you can watch the concert film on a big screen right here in the Bay Area -- the day after this weekend's Bridge School Benefit shows end.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Why Punk Rockers Make Great Parents

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 8:28 AM


This fall, an exciting documentary is hitting movie theaters. It's called The Other F Word, and it's about punk rock; it's about family; and it's about a plethora of life's awkward questions including: "Should I have tattooed my forehead?" and "Daddy, what's a dominatrix?" It features NOFX's Fat Mike, Jim Lindberg from Pennywise, TSOL's Jack Grisham, Rancid's Lars Frederiksen, Rise Against's Tim McIlrath and a host of others, and was produced by Morgan Spurlock (y'know, the Supersize Me guy). You can see the trailer for it here.

It's noted in the trailer that "There's nothing in the punk rock ethos that prepares you for being a dad." But, actually, we'd like to respectfully disagree. Because we think that a life spent submerged in punk rock is the best training any human could hope for when it comes to raising a child.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mark Kozelek's On Tour Documentary: A Subdued Look at a Solo Tour Through Europe, and Not Much More

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Kozelek in On Tour
  • Kozelek in On Tour

Like Some Kind Of Monster, the highly entertaining two-and-a-half-hour documentary that chronicled the trials and tribulations of being a member of the Metallica juggernaut, Mark Kozelek: On Tour is a long look (clocking in at nearly two hours) at a Bay Area artist with enough experience and dedicated followers to justify a thorough examination of his craft.

But that's about all the two films have in common, with On Tour veering far away from Metallica's high-priced and often hilarious drama, choosing instead to focus on the staid, slice-of-life simplicity experienced on Kozelek's travels in Europe and North America over the past two years. So instead of watching a volatile band blow $40,000 a month on a therapist, during On Tour we see a subdued guy in his 40s using music as therapy -- specifically finding inspiration in the nylon-string guitar that acts as the lone instrumental weapon on the solo tours being documented.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Better Than Something Captures Garage Rocker Jay Reatard's Brief, Troubled Life

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 12:38 PM

  • from Better than Something
  • Jay Reatard in Memphis

Opening in a burst of feedback, Better Than Something -- screening tonight at the Roxie -- offers a 90-minute portrait of the late Memphis punk musician Jay Reatard (1980-2010). Filmmakers Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz make extensive use of video archives of Reatard performances going back to his debut at the age of 15. Flamboyant and known for his temper, Reatard is filmed thrashing about on stage, physically bumping an errant bassist, and bragging about the time he bit the head off a pigeon's head in mid-concert ("Dark, grotesque and useless. And kind of funny," he says). Covered in blood for one album cover, he looks like a pudgy Jesse Eisenberg.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"