I am on summer vacation. I do actually have a job at a very nice jewelry store and have been running 4ish miles every day, but still I find myself with extra time on my hands. So I’ve been watching a lot of music documentaries. I highly recommend spending excess time watching documentaries instead of (god I’m pretentious and annoying) lesser TV like the Bachelor or Keeping Up With the Kardashians (full disclosure: I watch the Bachelor on the treadmill).
Anyways. Watching docs is wonderful: you feel less guilt about sitting back and watching television because you’re learning interesting stuff!
In the past few days I’ve watched Shut Up and Play the Hits, Janis: Little Girl Blue and Tom Petty: Runnin’ Down a Dream. I recommend all three. The former doc chronicles LCD Soundsystem’s final show at Madison Square Garden and the lead-up to the show. It’s well done. Interesting filming of James Murphy and his english bull dog, great video of the show itself, and a nice slowish pace. It is a bit weird watching the documentary now knowing that LCD Soundsystem will reunite to play Coachella and go on a “back from the dead” tour (yea, I’m pretty sure they’re actually calling it that). Regardless, I enjoyed and think you will too!
The Janis Joplin and the Tom Petty documentaries were more typical rock docs. Both chronicle the complete life of the artist. The Janis doc was more personal and tended to psychoanalyze Joplin in a way that got a bit tiresome, but, regardless, it gave a great sense of her life as an artist and young woman. The Petty documentary was pretty awesome. It is four hours long so be ready for that. Who knew that Tom Petty has literally played and sang with EVERYONE. So cool. The documentary also doesn’t mind showing the full song which I like because just snippets is dumb.
UPDATE: I watched the CNN miniseries “The Sixties” this morning while running. I watched the British Invasion episode, the “Times They Are A-Changing” episode (about the women’s liberation movement not music), and the final episode which is also about music. Highly recommended! A bit disjointed perhaps but thoroughly entertaining. I’m moving on to “The Seventies” next. (All on Netflix!)