Documentary

Franks Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in the 60′s

by on Apr.10, 2010, under Documentary, Original Bands

Franks Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in the 60′s

Admittedly, I’ll watch nearly anything Zappa related, from live footage to bootlegs to documentaries. Much has been written about Zappa and the Mothers, they have been very well chronicled. From how many times Zappa stretched his legs while writing The Dog Breath Variations to how many cigarettes he smoked in the studio while recording Magdalena, to dense intellectual interpretations of his work and ponderous forays into his political activities. There comes a point when, like with the beatles, everything that needs to be written about certain portions of their lives just may have been covered in excruciating detail by this point.

When I sat down to watch the doc Franks Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in the 60′s I was interested, yet skeptical. It starts off slow, with various Zappologists shedding light on the mans early years and musical influences using pretty much the exact same words as every other verbose Zappologist. Perhaps these people only have one book to base all of their learned opinions on. There are some cool interviews with Jimmy Carl Black, Bunk Gardner, Don Preston and Kim Fowley, but very little live footage of the band in action. You can actually find a million times more ‘rare’ footage looking on youtube.

If you happen to be new to Zappa and the Mothers, you just might dig it. If you know anything about them, this is rehashed, watery gravy. It’s safe to say that the turning point for me was having to suffer through the most irritating accent I’ve ever heard by an aged, self important hippy intellectual wearing a giant scarf with skulls on it while blathering inane facts he likely gleaned from the back cover of Freak Out! I’m sure if I wasn’t subjected to this pompous poof for over two hours, I might have enjoyed it more.

If you think I’m exaggerating:

Although it’s hard for me to dislike anything Zappa related, in my humble opinion: save your money, buy any Mother album or official Zappa dvd, and enjoy your life without fear of sitting on your deathbed lamenting the two hours you wasted one hapless evening.


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True Norwegian Black Metal

by on Mar.16, 2009, under Documentary, Evil

This is a very entertaining little doc about the Norwegian Black Metal scene, focusing mainly on the infamous Gaahl, lead singer of Gorgoroth. If you’re not familiar with Gaahl, you may remember him from his interview in the film ‘Metal: A Headbangers Jouney.’ When asked what his musical inspiration was he paused, and with his trademark deadpan delivery replied, ‘Satan.’ See An Interview with Mayhem for a clip.

Be sure to watch the final clip in the series, where the interviewer asks one too many dopey questions (approx 6:30).

YouTube Preview Image

To watch the complete series go to the Music World page @ VBS.TV

We went to Norway to interview Gaahl, lead singer of the band Gorgoroth. Gaahl really believes in this whole ideology behind what he’s doing—he’s not just some rockstar fronting a band. The thing with Black Metal is, in Norway, everybody is exactly the same. There’s nothing to rebel against, because everybody’s really well off. It’s one of the richest countries in Europe. There is no lower class, it’s like middle-class white kids everywhere—no one has anything to complain about. And he’s this sort of eccentric figure amidst this sea of contentment and sameness. The way I see it is, in America you have guys like 50 Cent who are supposed to be the “villain.” Kids like him cause they’re parents hate him, and that’s basically what Gaahl is. He’s their musical villain so to speak. But there’s a lot of different sides to the scene.


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Andy Kaufman-I’m From Hollywood

by on Jan.20, 2009, under Comedy, Documentary, Wrestling

I’m from Hollywood is a one hour documentary outlining Andy Kaufman’s brilliant, if career killing foray into professional wrestling. If you haven’t yet seen it, its worth the watch just for his promos taunting southern folks with instructions on how to use soap, or the chance to see Kaufman strutting around Memphis wearing a crown and singing about being the king of wrestling, while 10,000 people want to kill him.
As fun as this was to watch, it was entirely too short. There were only a few promos, and for some reason the producers didn’t include the infamous David Letterman appearance (seen here unedited) where he enticed Jerry Lawler to bitch slap him while wearing a neck brace (recreated perfectly in Jim Carrey’s biopic Man on the Moon).

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, here’s a youtube playlist containing the entire documentary:

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Want some fries with that terrorist?

by on May.09, 2008, under Documentary, Film, I'm poor

where-in-the-world.jpg
I never felt the urge to see Super Size Me. That movie always seemed like a cheap shot at a faltering giant. ‘Wow, nothing negative has ever been said about McDonald’s before, what an original idea!’ What’s next, Smoking: It may or may not be good for you! I read Fast Food Nation, even before it became a movie starring Avril Lavigne. I read Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry. Well, I read the book flap in the store. Needless to say, Super Size Me seemed like a waste of time for someone as knowledgeable and in tune with the world as me.
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An Interview with Mayhem

by on Apr.27, 2008, under Documentary, Evil, Original Bands

This is a clip from Metal, A Headbangers Journey with Necrobutcher and Blasphemer, recorded during the Wacken metal festival.
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Rare John Lennon Interview

by on Mar.13, 2008, under Documentary, Original Bands

Thank your lucky stars that people like Beatles4EvaLOL exist to bring you the truth. This video is as shocking as it is enlightening.
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T-Model Ford interview 1/2

by on Jan.13, 2008, under Blues, Documentary, Original Artists

This interview comes from the documentary You Can See Me Laughing: The Last of the Hill Country Bluesman, about Fat Possum records and its artists.

Fat Possum is one of the only labels putting out blues worth listening to these days, and this movie documents how Matthew Johnson started the label with credit cards and his student loans so he could record Junior Kimborough and R.L. Burnside. This music is raw, dangerous, desperate, savage and alive, and nobody exemplifies this more than T-Model Ford.

Aside from the aforementioned artists, there are also has interviews and clips of Cedell Davis, Asie Payton, Johnny Farmer, Kenny Brown, Iggy Pop and Bono, who for some reason needs to be in every single documentary from the past 15 years.

“T-Model’s life reads like a horror story. At the age of eight, his father beat him so badly between the legs with a piece of firewood that he lost a testicle. His ankles are scarred from the chain gang. His neck is scarred where one of his wives slashed his throat. He has been shot, stabbed, pinned under a fallen tree with a broken ribcage, beaten unconscious with a metal chair. He watched his first wife go off with his own father, watched another die after she drank poison to try and induce a miscarriage. The only woman he ever really loved poisoned him at the breakfast table; he woke up in hospital that afternoon and never saw her again.”

–”Delta Force,” The Observer, November 16, 2003


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T-Model Ford interview 2/2

by on Jan.12, 2008, under Blues, Documentary, Original Artists

Part 2:

“T-Model’s life reads like a horror story. At the age of eight, his father beat him so badly between the legs with a piece of firewood that he lost a testicle. His ankles are scarred from the chain gang. His neck is scarred where one of his wives slashed his throat. He has been shot, stabbed, pinned under a fallen tree with a broken ribcage, beaten unconscious with a metal chair. He watched his first wife go off with his own father, watched another die after she drank poison to try and induce a miscarriage. The only woman he ever really loved poisoned him at the breakfast table; he woke up in hospital that afternoon and never saw her again.”

–”Delta Force,” The Observer, November 16, 2003


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Benjamin Smoke

by on Jan.08, 2008, under Documentary, Original Artists

This excerpt comes from the outtakes of the great documentary Benjamin Smoke by Jem Cohen and Peter Sillen, an incredibly powerful look at the gifted songwriter. A truly unique, troubled, original personality who never compromised himself or his music.

This movie is available for rental from GreenCine.


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DeRailRoaded – The Wild Man Fischer Story

by on Jan.07, 2008, under Documentary, Original Artists

This is a documentary about the famous manic-depressive, paranoid-schizophrenic cult music icon Wild Man Fischer. Its interesting, uncomfortable, sad, moving and funny, sometimes all at once. Contains some great interviews with Frank Zappa, Barnes and Barnes, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Wierd Al and Dr Demento, among others. This movie assumes you already know who he is and are familiar with his discography. If you don’t, be prepared before watching it by listening to his debut 1968 album An Evening With Wild Man Fischer. That should give you all the autobiographical information you’ll need.

This short clip describes an episode during an out of town gig.

You can only get this film from www.derailroaded.com until they clear the rights to some of the music in North America.


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Jandek on Corwood

by on Jan.06, 2008, under Documentary, Original Artists

This is a short clip from the 2003 documentary about Jandek. If you’ve never heard of him its probably because he is notoriously reclusive and his music is, well, different. Its outside. You’re not going to hear it on the radio, if you want to listen you have to search it out yourself. This is a very sparse and low-key film, similar to the music it tries to describe.

Its almost laughable that throughout this entire 88 minute documentary Jandek doesn’t appear in the film at all. Instead they’ve utilized still pictures, disconnected film clips and album covers to take his place. The highlight of the film is a recording of the only phone interview with the man behind the music, during this scene they filmed a telephone to play the recording over – just so you understand whats happening. Its almost like the film was made, everybody interviewed (mostly music critics) talked about how much they loved him, and then they released it and suddenly realized they forgotten to put the subject in the movie. Its interesting if you like the music, if you don’t this might not do much to win you over. Then again, why would you consider seeing it if you didn’t?

His first album Ready for the House was put out in 1978 and he has since released about two new albums a year, his discography is up to 51 self-financed, self-released albums. He finally played his first live gig in 2004 in Glasgow, Scotland and a year later played his first gig in the US in his home state of Texas.

Jandek on Corwood


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Anton LaVey – Speak of the Devil

by on Jan.05, 2008, under Documentary, Evil

This is a short clip from the OOP 1993 film Speak of the Devil by Anton LaVey and Nick Bougas. It was created by LaVey to dispel myths and misconceptions about Satanism and the Church of Satan. I’m not sure it they accomplished thosee goals, but it certainly is an odd and entertaining 90 minutes of cheap 60′s style film making. The Black Pope is portrayed as a thoughtful and almost goofy nature loving artist, factotum and all around nice guy who gives you a tour of his home, private organ performances, a rundown of some of his more interesting jobs, and a chance to meet some of his artificial human companions. Interspersed with interviews, history, philosophy and commentary on a wide range of subjects it remains a very interesting film.

This clip shows LaVey’s pet lion, whom he later takes to the supermarket. Its narrated from the lions point of view by LaVey, who seems to channel Mel Blanc.


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The Penismobile from 200 Motels

by on Dec.21, 2007, under Documentary, Original Artists

This is a deleted scene from the Frank Zappa film 200 Motels. It takes place on the streets of Centerville, while Howie is trying to get a groupie (played by Mark Volman) back to his cheesy motel room to the tune of Do You Like My New Car. This scene contains the only footage of the first trial run of Cal Schenkel’s PENIS MOBILE. For some odd reason this scene never made it into the final version of the film. This clip comes from the out of print documentary The True Story of 200 Motels. Highly recommended, if you can find it.


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