An upfront look at those who usually take a back seat, 20 Feet From Stardom shines a well-deserved spotlight on some of the music industry’s most iconic, and most(ly) invisible voices. Inspiring and occasionally heartbreaking, the film not only features a hall of fame cast of backup singers, but many of the stars whose careers their voices helped sustain.  

 

BEWARE OF MR. BAKER | 2012

Whether discussing his skills behind the drum kit or general mental disposition, it’s safe to say Ginger Baker is pretty much nuts. But this brutally honest and unexpectedly touching portrait sheds some light on the man behind the curtain, and proves once and for all there is, was and always will be a madness to his method.

 

(BEFORE THERE WAS PUNK THERE WAS) A BAND CALLED DEATH | 2012

At its core, punk music is all about counter-culture. And so it was that three black brothers from Detroit – a city known more for the soulful sounds of Motown – ended up at the forefront of a genre that would later be made famous by a bunch of white guys from Britain. The only problem? No one would know it for nearly 40 years.

 

MUSCLE SHOALS | 2013

What do Percy Sledge, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Hughes, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Duane Allman all have in common? They all recorded hit records in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with the now legendary rhythm section - the Muscle Shoals Swampers - backing them. All this was made possible by producer Rick Hall, who, despite a troubled personal life, was determined to bottle up the soulful magic of the former Cherokee hunting grounds on the southern banks of the Tennessee River and share it with the world.

 

SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP | 2012

If music textbooks have a section on the history of rap, it’s undoubtedly located in the last part of the last chapter. And though Ice-T’s fascinating ode to the art form is more a study on the subject itself than history lesson, it features more than its fair share of its founding fathers freestyling  – which to us is more than worth the price of admission.

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