585 days since writing here. Sorry about that.
There’s a few of music-related documentaries being released as films or streaming series out now reviewing stuff that happened 50 or more years ago both by interviewing the principals and unearthing new media. The time is right because first hand accounts won’t be around for much longer.
Summer of Soul
First and foremost is Questlove’s filmmaking debut. Over six weeks in the summer of 1969, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park. The footage was never seen and largely forgotten until this project. The list of performers is staggering: Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension, and more.
True story: The first bass line I ever learned was If You Want Me to Stay and not the obvious choice for a stoner in the 70s, Sugarloaf’s Green Eyed Lady.
The Sparks Brothers
I confess to knowing little of these artists works nor knowing of their influence. The trailer kinda floored me.
Didn’t know, but not surprised to know of the Brit art/punk rock connections: Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths. Totally would have expected Bowie and Freddie Mercury to also be included.
Was surprised to know Bjork, Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) and Kurt Cobain all referenced Sparks as an influence.
What tipped the scales in mentioning this documentary was a quote from Millennial pop producer Jack Antonoff:
All pop music is rearranged Sparks
I would have liked to have that spelled out further in the film. Also missing is deeper exploration regards what informed Ron’s compositions.
Paul McCartney x Rick Rubin
A random walk among both Beatles and Paul’s work, perhaps uncovering some new insights. Rick recites some very specific appreciation from John about Paul. Very much appreciated Paul’s nod to James Jamerson. Rick and Paul fiddle with faders on playback of Beatles masters .. FFS .. even Paul is astonished it happened.
I’d like to know how the guitar lines in “And Your Bird Can Sing” came about. That was an extremely brief studio session. Nobody in the room could write or read any musical notation.