On April 2nd 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final show at Madison Square Garden. Documenting this once in a life time performance and an intimate portrait of James Murphy as he navigates the lead-up to the show, the day after, and the personal and professional ramifications of his decision.
In the summer of 2006, Sigur Rós returned home to play a series of free, unannounced concerts for the people of Iceland. This film documents their already legendary tour with intimate ... See full summary »
Jon Thor Birgisson,
Orri P. Dyrason,
Walter Reade theater in Lincoln Center offers up ROCKDOCS galore!!!
Of the several ROCK-umetaries playing at this year's ROCKDOCS festival this one is undoubtedly the best. Due in part to the power of the band being profiled ("Pixies") and the expansive inside look presented by the filmmakers that details the individual member's lives inside and outside the band.
It was said about the Beatles that each musician was excellent in his own right but when the four of them gathered together something 'magic' happened. This also applies to the Pixies and their relationships to each other, as they are ironically the four most uncommunicative people in the world when sitting backstage, but put them in front of an audience and you get an eruption of music and lyrical poetry that stays with you long after the concert has ended.
Formed in 1986 by Charles Thompson (aka 'Black Francis'), the band achieved a modicum of success until in 1992 Thompson dissolved the band due to friction with co-lead singer Kim Deal (who also fronts 'The Breeders' w/ her sister). In the intervening years the band's music inspired dozens of other bands and became a cult phenomenon. Now some 12 years leader, Thompson has decided to put the Pixies back together and see if what they once had can be duplicated.
Of course, the long years between have brought about a number of changes among the members, most notably the rehabilitation of Kim Deal's alcoholic problems. Although she still drinks alcohol-'free' beers by the dozen her recollection of the Pixies concert years are a haze and now she's forced to listen to their albums to recall the parts she played. She enlists her sister Kelly to join her for the tour to segregate herself from the band and any partying on the road. Kelly also proves useful as she likes to 'interview' other band members with extremely pointed questions offering quite a bit of comic relief.
In addition to Kim, each member of the band has followed a strange road since the Pixies break-up with only Deal and Thompson able sustain solo careers in the interim. The documentary successfully brings all of their varied paths together within the framework of rehearsals, warm-up tours, and the inevitable European and USA venues with fan adulation escalating from one date to the next culminating at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC.
Most poignant of the non-band stories is the movie is that of a teenage musician's adulation of Kim Deal and her gifting of the paperback book "Brave" to her idol. The novelette turned her on to the Pixies after they'd disappeared from the scene, but the music inspired her to form her own band. The end credits features the Pixies-wannabe's jamming in the basement and continuing the 'Pixies' legacy.
This coda completes the circle started at the beginning of the film with Kurt Cobain's quote on how the Pixies were one of the bands that inspired Nirvana. In fact, Cobain said that Nirvana was trying to BE the Pixies.
As you can see, if you're not a fan of this band now, I guarantee by the end of this film you'll be making a beeline to the nearest music store (as I did). So if you only make it to one movie at this year's festival, then let this be the one!
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