Category Archives: documentaries

Years

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I have been in love with this album since I first filmed the band recording it last year for our upcoming Sarah Shook & the Disarmers documentary What It Takes: film en douze tableaux. As they meticulously laid down the tracks, as Shook turned in sneering, sizzling vocals, as Eric Peterson bent his guitar neck to points from which I thought it night not return, as John Howie Jr redefined the art of drums in alt-country, as Aaron Oliva brought almost a jazz feel to the proceedings with his upright bass, and as Phil Sullivan traded steel licks with Peterson answering every one of Shook’s sneers with one of his own, my crew and I knew we were witnessing a miracle.

There isn’t a song on Years that won’t grab you by the throat and slap you with a line of two that’ll make you realize what a great songwriter Shook is. Instead of going through song by song, buy the record and experience it from start to finish (as all great albums should be experienced — really sit with headphones, press play and for 37 minutes immerse yourself in a work of art). And every time you think it can’t get any better, there’s another track that comes on…and by the time you’re at the half-way point with What It Takes, and the thrilling duel between the strings of Peterson and Sullivan you’ll be crying from the sheer emotional excitement. And then Shook ends it all with the title track, slapping you in the face one more time. “Baby it’s been years since I knew how to move you,” she sings on the coda, But sorry, no, you’re wrong there, Shook. Every note on this emotional roller coaster of a record moves us, kills us just a little with its brilliance, then brings us back to life again with the promise of another song. It’s life support in a time of posers and gutless rock and roll. And yes, to me it’s rock and roll as much as it is country, alt-country, whatever you want to call it. It’s just freakin’ great. And it rocks me to the core of my very soul.

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Filed under best music, Best Music of Year, best of the year, documentaries, new music, rockumentary, sarah shook, sarah shook and the disarmers, Uncategorized, what it takes: film en douze tableaux

The Tale of the Broken Neck

I spent a good portion of the past three weeks shooting WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS?, which will be either my 13th or 14th completed feature film (depending on whether this or PIZZA, A LOVE STORY is completed first), and while I could share stories about the candid and amazing interviews with Lydia and her bandmates, or what a thrill it was to watch them record their new record, how freakin’ funny they all are, or even just how damn nice everyone is, I will instead share this.

The tale of the broken neck.

My crew arrived in Lydia’s hometown on Columbus on Sunday, June 14th, just in time to see Lydia and company perform at a free show.  But because of the ridiculous lack of cover on the stage, and the fact that is rained virtually every day I was in Ohio (and apparently always does in June), the show was a disaster waiting to happen.  Gear got wet, sound issues abounded because electronics don’t like getting wet, basically it was a cluster fuck on the part of the promoter.

When everything was finally working, and there was a break in the rain, an extremely frustrated Lydia and company managed to pull off their song “Wine Lips” (sweetly dedicated to a young fan), and a small part of another song before the clouds let loose with a torrential downpour.  Ben moved fastest, getting his upright bass under a tarp.  But as one of the dozens seemingly “in charge” of the event ran onto the stage and cancelled the concert, Lydia, completely frustrated by the events, threw her beloved Telecaster to the ground in anger.

For me, a lover of chaos in rock and roll it was a beautiful way to begin the trip.  My 5th Lydia show, only a song and a half long.  And as me and my crew walked back to the rental Jeep in the pouring rain, I couldn’t wait for the interviews to begin.

And this story might have ended there…

Until the next morning when I get to Lydia’s and Ben’s home, and checking out her office where the first of many interviews would be filmed, I picked up the Tele, making some stupid comment to Lydia about how indestructible they are.  And then it became obvious.  I noticed.  She noticed.  Fuck!  The neck of her favorite guitar was cracked.  Not a small repairable crack.  But cracked through and through on the headstock.

Now in my life I have certainly put my foot in my mouth many times.  But I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse about calling attention to anything.  Here we are about to begin the interviews, while I can see how truly upset she is about her guitar.  I felt terrible, even though I played no part in breaking it.

In the end of course, the guitar was quickly fitted with a gorgeous new neck.  The interviews were everything I wanted them to be and more.  I learned for the 1,843rd time this year to think before I speak.  And Lydia posted this on her Facebook page with a picture of the new neck: “New neck for my main squeeze. My guitar tossing days are over ‪#‎trymeditationforanger‬ ‪#‎onepunchloveless‬ ‪#‎whoamikidding‬

I even got to take home a little souvenir.

I don’t really collect much memorabilia anymore.  I have a few items from my favorites bands (y’know, The Mats, Archers, Wilco), but none of them have the meaning of this broken neck.

It sits now at the entrance to my office, the first thing I see every time I enter.

And it truly does represent the most rock and roll way imaginable to begin this film.

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Filed under documentaries, filmmaking, lydia loveless, rock n roll, Who Is Lydia Loveless?

Lydia Loveless rocks her own documentary from COLOR ME OBSESSED director Gorman Bechard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

COLUMBUS, OH & NEW HAVEN, CT: Filmmaker Gorman Bechard, who has chronicled three of the most influential bands in the history of rock and roll with documentaries about The Replacements, Archers of Loaf, and Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart is turning his camera towards the future with his next film, WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS?

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The feature-length documentary will follow Lydia Loveless and her band into the studio as they lay down tracks for their forthcoming record. Along with live performances shot specifically for the film and extensive interviews with Loveless and her band it will visit places integral to her musical development, delve into the realities of a working musician on the brink of major success, and answer the question: Who Is Lydia Loveless?

“Lydia is the future of rock and roll,” director Bechard explains. “She straps you onto an emotional roller coaster of love, lust, drunken mistakes, a little stalking, a lot of heartbreak, and you’re left breathless, stunned, happy to have taken the ride.”

Music journalists from SPIN to Rolling Stone have likewise raved, with her last album SOMEWHERE ELSE finding its way onto many of 2014’s Best Album lists.

“I’m excited to work with Gorman,” says Loveless. “He’s very passionate about music and about the true meaning and spirit of rock and roll.”

Bechard’s three previous music docs have all won critical praise. Rolling Stone called COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS one of “The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year.” The Seattle Times raved about the “raw power and mesmerizing hooks” in his Archers of Loaf concert film WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? While EVERY EVERYTHING: THE MUSIC, LIFE & TIMES OF GRANT HART was labeled “beautifully sad” by The Village Voice.

“We have an AMAZING collection of rewards,” the director explains, “including a Lydia Loveless performance at your house for you and your friends.  If I weren’t running this KickStarter I would so be backing the project at that level.  Thankfully the reward includes a screening of the film, so I’ll get to be there.”

WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS? will be funded via a KickStarter campaign that runs through March 18th. The KickStarter campaign can be found HERE.

Filming is slated for spring and summer 2015, with a premiere planned for 2016.

For more information please visit: www.WhatWereWeThinkingFilms.com

Or www.LydiaLoveless.com

 

 

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Filed under documentaries, kickstarter, lydia loveless

The World Premiere of A DOG NAMED GUCCI

It’s that time again.

I am very excited to announce the World Premiere of our film A Dog Named Gucci.

It will be screening at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival at the historic Wilma Theatre in downtown Missoula, Montana on Saturday, February 14th at 3:30 PM. Can you think of a better day to fall in love with Gucci?

A Dog Named Gucci the story of a puppy set on fire and the brave man who came to his rescue. But for rescuer Doug James, saving Gucci was just the beginning. Together they would forge a forever bond of devotion and perseverance and work to change the non-existent animal cruelty laws in their home state, proving that justice is a dog’s best friend.

Instead of assaulting the viewer with images of abused animals, we chose to tell what is ultimately a happy and uplifting story of one abuse victim who went on to become a hero. This is a triumphant tale. It’s a film that makes you open your eyes without ever making you turn away. And while Gucci might begin his life as Blackfish, he’s a fighter, and in the end he becomes Rocky.

The film also spotlights three other dogs who, with their owners, have made an incredible impact on the laws protecting animals. These include Susie from North Carolina, who has that state’s felony abuse law named in her honor, and who was just named the Hero Dog of the Year by the American Humane Association; Louis Vuitton from Alabama, the first dog to test the Gucci Law; and Nitro from Queens, New York whose ultimate sacrifice in an Ohio kennel led to the state’s first felony animal abuse laws.

It all grew out of the love for our own rescue dogs.  It’s a highly emotional film because so many people don’t realize the extent of the abuse in the United States. I’ve seen tears, anger, and people just needing to hug their own dog.

Save the date and spread the word.

The info is HERE.

Get your tickets HERE.

Love this town! Love this festival! And the Wilma rocks!!!

Click on the poster to check out our Facebook page.

Click on the poster to check out our Facebook page.

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Filed under animal abuse, animal rights, animal shelters, animal welfare, documentaries, dogs

Every Everything coming to DVD

Just making sure everyone knows that EVERY EVERYTHING: THE MUSIC, LIFE & TIMES OF GRANT HART will be released on DVD on August 12th. The DVD comes with a boatload of extra interviews with Grant Hart on the following 20 topics:

1. 2541
2. analog vs. digital recording
3. bare ass beach
4. funkytown
5. grant on songwriting, part one
6. grant on songwriting, part two
7. hipsters
8. influences
9. joan rivers
10. mpls vs. saint paul
11. music vs. art
12. rose garden
13. the baby song
14. the collage in real time
15. the hüsker dü logo
16. the loss of the record shop
17. the marx brothers
18. uncut tour of his house
19. what was saved from the fire
20. zen arcade

And yes, his hipster rant is as great as you think it might be!

Order your copy HERE

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Filed under documentaries, dvd extras, filmmaking, Grant Hart, Husker Du, rockumentary

The poster for EVERY EVERYTHING: the music, life & times of Grant Hart

The poster for EVERY EVERYTHING: the music, life & times of Grant Hart

The poster for EVERY EVERYTHING: the music, life & times of Grant Hart

and the trailer:

please “like” our Facebook page for info on upcoming screenings…

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Filed under bob mould, documentaries, every everything, gorman bechard, Grant Hart, Husker Du

First trailer for A DOG NAMED GUCCI, new KickStarter campaign

The title says it all, and the trailer says even more.  We’re really proud of the way this film is turning out.

Please consider pre-ordering the DVD, or the poster, or becoming an executive producer, or having a home screening…the rewards are endless…

Or just please share the link with other animal lovers, so that those who abuse animals will NEVER AGAIN walk free.

KickStarter link: www.aDOGnamedGUCCI.com

Thank you.

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Filed under animal abuse, animal rights, animal welfare, documentaries, filmmaking, kickstarter