When we asked some of our favourite artists to tell us about their top music-based films, we got so many replies that we couldn’t contain them in one article – we posted part one yesterday with the likes of Piney Gir, Urusei Yatsura, Elephants & Castles, French for Cartridge and Flash Bang Band sharing their tips (check them out here), and today we have another six slices of cinematic splendour for your delectation.
Recommended by The Indelicates
Velvet Goldmine is amazing. I hate it when films pretend they’re telling the truth (like Saving Private Ryan: so realistic there’s blood spatter on the cameras!) – and Velvet Goldmine avoids that trap by being patently, gloriously ludicrous from beginning to end. It starts with an alien delivering the power of glam rock to Oscar Wilde and just gets better from there. People don’t even bother to try making theatrical features like it anymore – they’ve accepted this idea that you can’t talk about art or artists or, y’know, caped crusaders, without making everything convincingly realistic and ‘serious’, but that isn’t the only avenue to truth. You can say resonant, achingly truthful things just as well by making stuff up and printing the legend. It feels like there’s no way to fund something like that now – so you end up with dreary trash like that black and white Ian Curtis movie which was under the impression that everyone in 1970s Manchester acted like they were living in a cheap knock off of the french new wave where people had yet to invent smiling. Pop Music isn’t really like that – it’s like Velvet Goldmine: silly, cheap, mawkish, shallow, childish and completely beautiful. So that’s why it is the best.
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The Indelicates release their new album ‘Elevator Music’ on 13th October, but you can get your hands on a digital copy now (not literally of course) by pre-ordering at elevatormusic.space where you can also check out the awesome 360 degree virtual reality video to ‘Beyond The Radio Horizon’!
The Ramones: Rock & Roll High School
Recommended by CuT
When Joyzine hit us up for our selection of our favourite music film, we sent back an immediate YES, we would love to. Then almost as quickly came the confusion… there are so many brilliant (Bob Dylan, No Direction Home) and inspiring (Joe Strummer, the Future is Unwritten) and hilarious (Spinal Tap/ Metallica Monster) films about music, which one should we pick… Dig!
More procrastination followed, whichever one you pick it’s going to project a certain aspect of your psyche… your band’s ethos carved into the digital wall of Joyzine for future punk rockers to stumble across in thousands of years, when they look back at all the junk of our age, and laugh at our naive lives of consumption and destruction… a golden age of greed and narcissistic indulgence.
To CuT a rambling existential nonsense short, we pick The Ramones, Rock & Roll High School. THIS IS PUNK ROCK REVOLUTION IN ACTION, THIS IS THE FALL OF THE ESTABLISHED ORDER, and it’s really fucking funny too. Our favourite moment comes when they blow up the school while playing the title track.
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CuT’s new single ‘This Way That Way’ is out now on Ra Ra Rok Records – check out the video here.
Slint: Breadcrumb Trail
Recommended by Kagoule
Lance Bangs’ documentary tells the story of Slint and their seminal 1991 album Spiderland through live and behind the scenes footage along with interviews with the band and contemporaries including Steve Albini, Ian MacKaye and James Murphy.
Watched it three times in a row. Made me rethink everything. Sat frozen for 6 hours then spent the rest of the night writing really slow heavy guitar riffs. Never before has a band made such an impression on me. Absolutely beautiful.
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Kagoule’s debut album ‘Urth’ is out now on Earache Records. They tour the UK throughout October, November and December.
I don’t know about you but I find Julien Temple films can be a bit much. Yes they’re fantastic collages of sound and visuals but they sometimes get a bit overwhelming and I forget that I’m watching a documentary.
Not so Oil City Confidential, the story of pub-rock pioneers Dr Feelgood. Yes it’s just another story about a band; in fact it’s a story about a band you may never have heard of. And yes, we all know exactly how that story plays out. They form, struggle a bit, have some success and then fall apart; the same as every band ever worth telling the story of. But this one is ten times better because it’s about you, me and anyone who ever had a tiny desire to break out of their hometown.
This is being in a band the way you dreamt it would be back when you were 15 years old. You and your mates get into a clapped out van, get out of your stifling hometown, piss off to London and get famous on your own terms. There’s no bright lights/big city, just the grotty 70’s pub rock circuit. There’s no Machiavellian master plan, just four dickheads in cheap suits accidentally rocking out in front of young Princess Di whilst building all their mythology from their own back pockets… Yes, for Dr Feelgood it really happened, and all that follows – all the inevitable break ups, recriminations, cock ups and confusions – is at least dealt with in good humour. After all, it’s hard to do much else when you never really expected to be doing any of it in the first place.
Favourite musical moment… Dr Feelgood have gone on to be a “this is my father’s axe” band. They’re still going, but with absolutely none of the original members. Yet their legacy lives on and not only do they still tour but they hold a weekend festival every year on their home territory of Canvey Island. There’s a shot in the movie, a real blink and you’ll miss it moment, when Wilko Johnson (founding guitarist and first to quit back in the 70s) hops on stage to play with the latest incarnation of the band he started so many decades before. Proof that sometimes what create can have a greater legacy than you ever considered possible.
And What Will Be Left Of Them?’s retrospective singles collection, ‘A, B No Sequel’ is out now.
Hey You Guys are currently working on their second album, the follow up to 2013’s ‘Gasp! Shock! Horror!’
The Harder They Come
Recommended by The Severed Limb
My favourite music film is The Harder They Come (1972). It’s said to be the film that brought reggae to the world and I still think it’s one of the best soundtracks ever. Jimmy Cliff is incredible in the lead role and my favourite part is when he’s delivering something to a recording studio and he sneaks in to watch Toots and the Maytals record ‘Sweet and Dandy’. He’s trying to break into the music business but has no luck. We all know how it feels!
The Severed Limb play Brixton Windmill on 24th September, followed by shows at The Bell Inn, Bath (07.10), Camden Blues Kitchen (08.10) and a Halloween show at Cafe Cairo in Brixton on 31st October. Their album ‘If You Ain’t Living, You’re A Dead Man’ is out now on Damaged Goods Records.
The Blues Brothers
Recommended by Cosmo House
Our choice has got to be Blues Brothers (1980)! When I asked the band for their favourite moment/song they said “literally all of it”‘ which I guess has to be our answer, there are cameos from so many of our influences like Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, not to mention Cab Calloway singing ‘Minnie the Moocher’ which we have been known to cover – particularly when in an overcrowded bar with a sweaty and slightly boozy audience!
Cosmo House will be our special guests on The Joyzine Radio Show on Wednesday 7th October ahead of the launch of their new EP. They play The Chapel in Bethnal Green on 1st October.