I Need A New Drug or Ten Great Alt-Rock Documentaries pt1

For all us obsessed music fans who love to dig deeper into the psyche of our favourite bands, documentaries are the gold mine that allow that little peek. Of course, don’t scratch too far beneath the surface or you might rub away some of the sheen.

  1. Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements

How do you tell a story about a band without their music, archival footage or band participation? Color Me Obsessed answers the question by having fans, critics and obsessed music geeks tell the story of the world’s most contrarian band.

 

  1. Smashing Pumpkins: If All Goes Wrong

After the debacle that was the Billy Corgan solo record, filming began on If All Goes Wrong. This 2007 film sees Corgan resume the Pumpkins name with only Jimmy Chamberlain coming back in the fold. Surprisingly, the audiences in the film are indifferent towards new material causing Corgan to wonder about artistic expression and commercial success.

 

  1. Upside Down: The Creation Records Story

One part bands, another part attitude Creation records gets a worthy and shocking documentary. Not only does it feature the story of some Brit-pops best bands, but also how the vision and overwhelming hubris of one man, Alan McGee whose own trials saw the rise and fall of a very influential independent record label.

 

  1. DIG! (Dandy Warhols & Brian Jonestown Massacre)

Decried as more fiction than documentary by the bands involved, DIG! has absolute Spinal Tap moments with band disagreements and so-called ‘dust ups’ that leave no one unscathed. Two rival bands attempting to rise above obscurity in the midst of rockstar excess without the benefit of having been rockstars first.

 

  1. The Flaming Lips: The Fearless Freaks

Chronicling the history of the self proclaimed “art-rock” band whose origins go back to the 70’s, director Bradley Beesley films the band over a fifteen year span covering from 1990 until 2005. The evolution of a band from “no talent garage rockers” to “alt-rock pioneers” is both frightening and life affirming.

On The Subject of Bucket Lists and Bands #1 or Dressy Bessy – Holler & Stomp

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Sometimes you need a bit of candy to see you through the dark corners of life, and sometimes music itself needs to be lit up in bright colours if only to liven things up after a downpour; that’s when Dressy Bessy entered.

After the dreariness that was rock music in the early 90’s and the arrogance that was Brit-pop in the mid 90’s some kind of intelligent fun was needed. No one wanted a return to the days of hair-metal but what could fill the void?

Well the 90’s did provide us with some direction with power-pop bands like Shonen Knife, the 5,6,7,8’s, Matthew Sweet and The Posies, but another step was needed, and Dressy Bessy jumped right into my heart.

The dual guitar work of Tammy Ealom and John Hill provided promise to this music stalwart while Ealom’s delivery and lyrics had me dreaming of the sunnier side of things. Sure they sang songs of sunshine and their tones were 60’s surf/garage/Phil Spector poppy, but they just weren’t being over the top in their quest to relate. Instead it was sunny skies, sarcasm and observational humour used in a similar style to Cracker that had me fall for them. The only problem for me is that they never seem to make their way north to Toronto and they are pretty high on my bucket list of bands. Dressy Bessy just looks like they would be a whole lot of fun to see live.

Anyway, after my initial discovery of their music back in ’99 and then getting the old mail order CD’s from their various record companies and distributors over the years – I finally see the vinyl for Holler & Stomp.

It is gorgeous.

150 Gram Pink Splatter Vinyl

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It sounds absolutely fantastic; especially on a summer day with a margarita, a comfy chair and a nice bit of shade. Which is kinda the point when I listen to their music; it’s a cool escape.

You can order it here. You can also hear a great song from Holler & Stomp below… Enjoy Folks!