A Band Called Death
Rock history is filled with tragedy: ugly band breakups, festival disasters, and deaths at 27. So when you actually get a documentary about a band called “death”, one might expect more of the same tragedy. And while there is some tragedy in this story about three religious Detroit brothers playing punk music in 1974 before punk was punk who somehow went completely unheard, the heart of the story is absolutely life-affirming: celebrating family, rock ‘n’ roll, and a firm belief that death doesn’t have the last say.
In honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, we travel where film and music cross paths, namely music documentaries or rockumentaries. We have already listed our favorite fictional films about music, so now comes the true stories. When we met about this, we were disappointed with ourselves with how few music documentaries we all have seen, and more than anything, this list spurned us to get to watching more music documentaries. However, we did our best and gave you the best of what we know, which still made for a pretty strong list. Enjoy.
February 11th, 2014
Who knew Twitter was good for anything beside trolls and hashtags? As toxic as social media is sometimes, it paid off for me Tuesday when I won two free tickets to Man Man in a random Chicago suburb, Palatine, courtesy of Popstache (who I have written for in the past). Man Man is a Philadelphia foursome influenced by rock’s earliest experimenters:Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, and Frank Zappa, but crossed with a modern indie rock flair. The band is centered around eccentric lead man Honus Honus, who looks like Attila the Hun and sounds like Tom Waits. I went with fellow LxLer Todd and we were both blown away by Man Man’s live show: one of the most dynamic and versatile hour long sets I have seen in a while.
Sun Kil Moon
Last week I wrote about a seasoned folk singer and the release of probably his best album to date, and this week I take on another folk journeyman in Mark Kozelek who is grabbing the critical ear with Sun Kil Moon’s Benji. The Ohio-born songwriter first arrived on the scene in 1992 as the distinctive voice behind Red House Painters, a band that established Kozelek’s style of beautifully somber and contemplative songs all played sweetly and delicately on acoustic guitar. Kozelek continued into the 21st century with a new outfit in Sun Kil Moon, keeping many of the characteristics of Red House Painter with a little darker tint. Kozelek has also released a string of solo records since 2000, including last year’s solid Mark Kozelek & Desertshore. Now comes Benji, arguably Kozelek’s most deeply personal and emotionally fragile record, describing in great detail the lives and deaths of numerous people, both near and far to Kozelek’s life.
Whoops! Apologies for the misleading headline, but I meant to type “App”. For some reason that just didn’t feel right when referring to a new release from Radiohead. However, as per usual, Radiohead broke new ground today with a new way to strike the fancy of their fans. PolyFauna. An app that was born from what the band decided the song “Bloom” would look like if it were a visual medium rather than a song. Here is what the ever-so wordy Thom Yorke posted on Dead Air Space, Radiohead’s website, this morning as the band’s announcement for the new app: