Best of 2022

This did not start out as a great year for music.  Aside from some amazing live shows, what was being released lacked the punch and urgency of the past few years.  It hit rock bottom when one of my favorite bands of all time put out a double record which I just couldn’t connect with, no matter how hard I tried.  

And then I heard the phrase that changed everything: “Archers of Loaf are releasing their first new album in 23 years.”

I understand most people in my orbit don’t get it.  What is my obsession with this band?  I’ve stated countless times they are my favorite band of all time.  Their debut album is my favorite record of all time.  And it’s very first track is my favorite song.  I‘ve seen the band and their singer’s various solo variations at least a hundred times live, if I’ve seen them at all.  What can I say, other than they make me happy.  I’m of the belief that Bachmann, Gentling, Johnson, & Price have saved me thousands in therapy bills.  Though perhaps my hearing has paid the price.  I love these guys and am so happy to see how well their musical chops have aged. 

Best Album of 2022:

Archers of Loaf – “Reason in Decline” – this isn’t some attempt at a cash grab, it isn’t a carbon copy of their previous records, nor is it yacht rock.  It’s angry, current, loud, and beautifully dissonant.  It’s as if they were cryogenically frozen in 1999, only to be thawed out to the mess were in now.  And they responded accordingly.  This is a perfect next step for a band that paused for perhaps way too long, or perhaps just long enough.  

And yes, ultimately there was other great music to emerge in 2022.  With the first two on this list completely blowing me away.    

The other great albums of 2022 in order are: 

Soccer Mommy – “Sometimes, Forever” 

Ethel Cain – “Preacher’s Daughter”

Maren Morris – “Humble Quest”

Horsegirl – “Versions of Modern Performance”

Tomberlin – “I don’t know who needs to hear this…”

Dry Cleaning – “Stumpwork”

Best Singles of 2022:

Morgan Wade – “Morgan Wade – The Night (Part 2)”

Billie Eilish – ”TV”

Miranda Lambert – ”Actin’ Up”

Album that would have almost topped last year’s list had I known of its existence:

Weakened Friends – “Quitter”

Older album that I became obsessed with:

Jacqueline Taïeb – “The French Mademoiselle” – Probably played this more while driving than any other record I purchased this year.  Not sure why.  It just seemed to work.

Best Reissues:

Wilco – “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (remastered)” – one of the greatest albums of all time, and now probably the greatest box set of all time. To hear how the songs evolved, or didn’t, from the Bennett/Coomer days through to its ultimate commercial release is fascinating and heartbreaking, all at the same time.

The Liminanas – “Electrified (Best of 2009 – 2022)” – Had never even heard of this French band until I saw a post from my pal Scott Hudson.  Love.  LOVE.  LOVE!

Best Concerts:

Valerie June at the Academy of Music, Northampton, MA – went in not knowing what to expect, left with my mind completely blown.  She’ll go from a ukulele version of “What A Wonderful World” to windmilling on a Les Paul without skipping a beat.  A concert I will never forget.

Soccer Mommy at Harbor Yards, Middletown, CT – Best straight-out rock show of the year.  Amazing set, even better performance, and pristine sound, on a beautiful night under a full moon.  

Wilco performing Yankee Hotel Foxtrot at United Palace, NYC – We’ve seen Wilco 75 times, and this ranks as one of the 5 best times we’ve seen them.  Strings, horns, and playing a masterpiece record from start to finish, and even throwing in a tribute to Jay Bennett.  Everything about this night was magic.

Most Disappointing Albums of 2022:

Taylor Swift – “Midnights” & Wilco – “Cruel Country” – I don’t think either of these are bad records, but for me they were immensely disappointing.  And I tried. Listening to both on endless repeat.  But after the near genius of Swift’s last two, and even after having seen Wilco perform the double album live from start to finish, they just both fell flat for me.  And there are people whose musical opinions I greatly respect who love these records.  Perhaps my expectations were too high. Perhaps years from now I’ll learn to love them.

Best Documentary: 

“Oklahoma Breakdown” – from director Christopher Fitzpatrick – this was our highest rated film amongst all submissions for this year’s NHdocs, and for good reason: it had heart, a captivating story, and it rocked.  If you don’t know Mike Hosty, watch the film, then do everything in your power to catch one of his live shows.  You’ll thank me.

Best Narrative Feature: 

“Emily the Criminal” – from director John Patton Ford – Aubrey Plaza, who is truly a national treasure by this point, stars as a college student straddled in debt who makes a very wrong decision, which somehow turns out to be a very good decision.  

Best TV:

“Wednesday” – I recognized that this was not the “best” TV show of 2022, but it certainly was the most enjoyable. Jenna Ortega, also great in the horror film “X,” reinvents the Addams Family daughter into the most original character of the year.  Kudos also to Emma Myers as Wednesday’s roommate Enid.  Together they shine as the most unlikely, but real, friendship on screen all year.  And if the now-infamous dance doesn’t move you, check your heartbeat.  I’m pretty sure it’s missing.

As for the rest of my 2021:

As our first fully live film festival since 2019, the 9th edition of NHdocs: the New Haven Documentary Film Festival came back strong this year.  Thank you to Katherine, Tony, Mars, Doug, Sydni, Kristin, and a number of amazing volunteers who helped pull it all together.  Join us again for eleven days of film starting on October 12th, 2023.  

I had three film released on DVD and streaming this year.  “The Matchbox Man” in January, “Where are you, Jay Bennett?” – my 6th rock doc – in April, and “Old Friends, A Dogumentary” in December.  

As for other film projects, we’re finishing up “FACTORY” and are about halfway through filming our documentary on the failed Powder Ridge Music Festival of 1970.  Both stories keep getting crazier with every turn.  Stay tuned for a lot more.

Kris and I got to go on a 30th Anniversary vacation to our favorite place in the world, Key West, as well as the 7thedition of Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, MA.  Saw a lot of great concerts (aside from the above mentioned): Archers of Loaf, Billie Eilish, Japanese Breakfast, Weakened Friends, Superchunk, Torres, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Lady GaGa (where I caught Covid), Nick Lowe, Tommy Stinson, and so many others.

As for our dog family, Dylan is well.  But Springsteen, now over 14, is having a rough go of it.  His back legs just aren’t holding him up like they used to.  Send him your good thoughts.  

And that’s it.  I’ll end like I usually do: be well, hug your dog, raise a drink to the people you love and respect, eat good pizza, drink hot coffee, laugh, rock, play it loud, believe that things will get better…eventually…and be kind to everyone you meet.  

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


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?

KickStarter Main Image-3-HR

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:




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.

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:

Thank you.

How I know when the editing is done…

It’s sound mix time on my newest feature, EVERY EVERYTHING: THE MUSIC, LIFE & TIMES OF GRANT HART.  This is my fifth truly independent film in 9 years.  My sixth, BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, is also complete and will be mixed next month.  All at DuArt in NYC.  All with Matt Gundy at the boards.

One realization came to me as I was completing these films over the past few months.  The moment when you know the film is ready to unleash upon the world.  When the tweaking is over.  And there is not one frame that you’d change.

This is how I knew for certain with EVERY EVERYTHING.  The first cut, the assembly of every scene ran over two and a half hours.  So I was already cutting as I was assembling, as the goal was between 90 and 95 minutes.  That was what I knew was perfect for the format I chose.

I got the film down to a respectable 99 minutes, then down to 97, and that’s when the real work began.  Removing pauses.  A frame here or there.  And remember, one frame is 1/24th of a second.  Doesn’t seem like much, but it can make all the difference in the world.  And then, last week, the film was down to 93 minutes even  And I sat down in my living room, and once again watched it from beginning to end.  And that’s when I knew I was close.  Because instead of having to trim just a little more, I knew I needed to put a little back in.  Not a lot, but a pause here or there.  A breath.  A break.  And heading back into the editing room, I ended up adding 17 seconds to the film.  Again, not a lot, but just enough.  And that’s when I knew it was done.  That moment when I stop trimming, and put something back at the very end.  That’s when the film is complete.

It happened a month earlier with BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, which I had down to 119 minutes.  The locked and final running time is now 126 minutes. It happened with COLOR ME OBSESSED, YOU ARE ALONE and FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS).  Hell, it even happened with my Archers of Loaf Concert film WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? when I realized I had trimmed the band interviews too far down.

That’s the point for me.  And it’s always a little sad.  The people who had kept me company for weeks if not months in a darkened room, in this case Grant Hart and only Grant Hart, were moving on.  When I hear people talk about having kids, I secretly relate, because what they’re describing is what I feel.  I look at these films and see a part of myself, but also know they have unique personalities.  And I love them, unconditionally.  And even if they annoy the piss out of me at times, I always will.  They are my creations, from the heart, from the soul.

And now I begin the mix and get ready to send EE out into the world.  What fortunes with await it?  What will it become?  With others bully it?  Or adore it?  Or ignore it?  Will it live and long and happy life?  Only time will tell.

In the mean time, I begin anew.  A DOG NAMED GUCCI.  This child I know will break my heart.  But will make me proud in the end…

A Dog Named Gucci

For about a year now I’ve been talking with my wife and my crew about changing gears.  I love rock ‘n’ roll, anyone who knows my work, who knows me, knows that without question.  Finding the next great new band (this year it’s Waxahatchee and in second place The Orwell’s) is a passion and commitment I take as seriously as a brain surgeon about to open up someone’s head.

But after three rock documentaries I knew it was time to do something with a little more weight.  Something that might help make this world a better place.  And I knew, without question, that the subject would be about dogs.  I do truly believe dogs make us better people.  To paraphrase an old Bogart quote, I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs.  They love us unconditionally, and don’t care if we’re living in our car or in a mansion.  They just want to be by our side.  They protect us, makes us laugh, and just generally make life better.  No matter what sort of mood I’m in, my dogs can improve it.

Time to pay them all back.

I had been searching for a subject. Shelters seemed obvious.  And though they had been the subject of other documentaries, none of those were very well made.  In fact, I’m rather amazed that there has never been a great dog doc.

Then, shortly before we were leaving for a 20th anniversary vacation, my wife Kristine, who’s even more passionate about the subject than I am, sent me a link.  Let me preface this by saying, I’ve asked her not to send me these things. Pages set up for abused or murdered animals.  It makes me so angry I can’t see straight.  And when it began happening recently in my back yard (Desmond who was strangled, Precious who was stabbed 29 times), it makes me want to hunt the perpetrators down and do to them what they did to their dogs.  But after a few hours, I calm down…I know my best revenge is a great film.

Which leads me to Gucci.   After sending that link, Kris told me to read it.  It had a happy ending.  So I did.  And I immediately knew what the subject of my next film would be.

Here’s the KickStarter link. It explains everything. Please consider pre-ordering a DVD or poster, or any of the other great rewards.  Please pass the link along to anyone who might appreciate what we’re doing.  Please feel free to post it anywhere.

Thank you.

A Dog Named Gucci


DVD release dates!

Sorry it’s been a while…

First, spent a lot of August in Minneapolis filming EVERY EVERYTHING, THE MUSIC, LIFE & TIMES OF GRANT HART.

Second, really started hard editing of BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, part two of my Alone Trilogy.

Third, was in Key West, one of my favorite places on earth, with Kris, celebrating our 20th anniversary.

But today, the pressing matter is the DVD release date for both COLOR ME OBSESSED and WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?



Now a little on both releases…(click the title to pre-order)


To me, the Archers of Loaf were the single greatest band of the 90s. They saved my love of music after The Replacement broke up, and I truly felt no band would ever fill those dirty Converse All Stars.

I will always remember the first time I saw the Archers live at a CMJ showcase at Tramps in NYC. Within 30 seconds I knew I had discovered my new favorite band. And that’s never changed. I do honestly believe WEB IN FRONT is the greatest song ever written. Ever. It makes me happy. The band makes me happy.

But of course all good things must come to an end as they did in 1998. A true story: I knew the band, and knew WHITE TRASH HEROES would be their last album. The day it was released I drove some 45 minutes to pick it up, and listened to it blissfully for the first time on the ride home, having to pull over as the last song came on, because knowing it was the last new song I’d ever hear from them I began to cry. I sat in a bank parking lot the tears flowing uncontrollably as the final refrains of that amazing title track played on my car’s speakers.

Jump forward to 2011. My first rock documentary, COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS, was doing quite well on the festival circuit. I knew I wanted to make a second rock doc. And one afternoon my wife informed me that the Archers were reuniting for a tour, and I knew I had my next subject. I won’t go into the details of talking the camera-sky band into the project, but after seeing their two LA performances I knew I had to do everything in my power to forever preserve this energy for future generations. Especially in a time when going to a rock show usually means seeing a wimpy band who looks even more bored than the texting crowd members who are more interested in talking or being seen.

Cat’s Cradle was the obvious venue. So I got together some of my favorite crew members I’d worked with in recent years. Jan Radder and Sarah Hajtol, who were my right and left hands in making COLOR ME. Adrian Correia who did such an amazing job shooting my FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) — the original FWB movie. As well as Cory Maffucci and Andrew Ross. We had seven cameras in all, with me on Eric Johnson’s side of the stage, Sarah on Matt Gentling’s, Jan with two cameras behind drummer Mark Price, Adrian roaming the audience, Cory watching over the Red One capturing our wide shot, and Andrew on the catwalk covering the crowd.

I shot the interviews myself a few months later in their hometown of Asheville, then I went home and cut together the truly mind-blowing footage to Brian Paulson’s astounding mix.

I’ve made a number of films, written a bunch of books, but never in 30 years did I have more fun doing anything. This is my proudest moment as a filmmaker, because not only do I feel I have made a great film, I know I have helped preserve an important part of rock history, proof that rock once had balls, and at times, still can.

I love this band, and have never found a replacement for them. I doubt I ever will.

And FYI: the set list from the film can be seen as the background to the poster. The DVD 12 contains 6 additional songs from the two Cradle shows, and 4 extra interviews with the band members.


Just want you to know how proud we are of this DVD release. On it you’ll find 6 hours of extras including 19 deleted scenes, the complete interviews with Grant Hart of Husker Du, famed rock critic Robert Christgau, and Sound Opinions hosts Greg Kot & Jim DeRogatis, a behind the scenes interview with me, and another with Hansi Oppenheimer who originated the project years ago. Plus there are two commentaries, one from me, and the other from our Minneapolis producer Jan Radder. Throw in 4 trailers, and you have one hell of a DVD!!!

Color Me Obsessed was a blast to make. And for anyone wondering why there’s no band or music, that was the concept from the start. We never even asked to speak with the band, never asked to use the music. Never. From the get-go I wanted to turn the rock doc genre on its ear. And for a band who shot a stereo speaker for 4 minutes for its first music video, I think this approach is appropriate and more than fitting.

A number of critics seem to agree. Rolling Stone called it one of “the seven best new music documentaries of the year.” The Village Voice called it “the rock version of Rashomon.” David Carr, the NY Times columnist tweeted “You can feel The Replacements in every single frame.” And the raves go on and on (even check the IMDb user comments).

For fans, you will be reaching for your Mats albums the moment the end credits roll. (NOTE: the film doesn’t end with the end credits. There’s more!)

And for music lovers not familiar with The Replacements, you will be armed with everything you need to discover them and fall in love with them as we did so many years back.

As CHARTattack said, “the film is a shockingly refreshing and invigorating experience for anyone who ever care about any kind of music at all.”

All for now…

Hope you enjoy the films!

Archers of Loaf & Internet Modeling (or World Premiers & a KickStarter campaign)

The World Premiere plus upcoming screenings of my new feature-length concert documentary WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? THE ARCHERS OF LOAF LIVE AT CAT’S CRADLE:

June 15th – NXNE Festival, Toronto, Canada (World Premiere)

June 18th – Sled Island Festival, Calgary, Canada

July 5th – CBGB Fest, NYC (US Premiere)

July 7th – Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC

July 18th – The Brattle, Cambridge, MA

August 15th – Trylon, Minneapolis, MN

October 5th thru 11th – Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, WA

And my first narrative feature since FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS). A very dark, sensual drama that takes place in the world of internet modeling (y’know places like Model Mayhem and One Model Place with their one million members)…

Please pre-order the DVD to BROKEN SIDE OF TIME

Or at least watch the trailer:

Then visit the KickStarter page.


Upcoming Screenings


June 20th – Star Theatre, Portland, OR

June 23rd – Cafe Cinema, Virginia Beach, VA

July 5th – CBGB Fest, NYC

July 15th/16th – Hollywood Dormont, Pittsburgh, PA

July 23rd thru 29th – Cinefest Film Theatre, Atlanta, GA

July 27th – Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT

July 28th – Indie West Fest, Ventura, CA

Follow the film’s Facebook page for details and additional screenings.


June 15th – NXNE Festival, Toronto, Canada (World Premiere)

June 18th – Sled Island Festival, Calgary, Canada

July 5th – CBGB Fest, NYC (US Premiere)

July 7th – Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC

Follow the film’s Facebook page for details and additional screenings.