Tuesday, October 13, 2009

72 musicians soundtrack

I love rock documentaries. Don't Look Back, Woodstock, The Kids Are Alright, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, DiG! - any excuse to watch great musicians play great music and talk about how messed up they are, I'm there. I think it stems from the fact that, as much as I want to be a rock star, I never will be. Watching rockumentaries reminds me that these people are human too, and generally, their lives are actually worse than mine. If they have to be talented, rich, and good-looking, at least they can suffer a little too1.

Which brings us to 72 Musicians, a new documentary featuring a slew of Kansas City / Lawrence, KS musicians, and several of my favorite small bands – White Whale, the Republic Tigers, the Get Up Kids. Oh. And Spoon2. With candid interviews with members of 20 independent bands about the hardships and unglamorous wonders of being a musician, and terrific advice to startup musicians (e.g. "For god's sake, don't fuck anyone else who's on the tour."), it's a familiar format, but a slightly different theme and a larger scale than most rock documentaries.

And then of course there's the live performances. No video yet on the website, but there is a fully downloadable soundtrack – for free! Live performances from the documentary, including a rough (and slightly oddly mixed) version of White Whale's "We're Just Temporary Ma'am," one of my favorite songs of all time. The bands range from folky (Namelessnumberheadman, In the Pines) to straightforward indie rock (The Appleseed Cast, The Stella Link) to slightly strange (Ad Astra Per Aspera, Sal Retta) to, um, Coalesce. It's a great, eclectic group of songs, and I'm excited to see the film, which should be available for download on the site eventually. We'll try to keep you posted.

mp3: "We're Just Temporary Ma'am" by White Whale

1. Yes, I am a terrible person.
2. That's three of Rob Pope's bands. He's in the trailer. Making funny faces. Yup.

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