Backbeat

An all-star cast tell the tale of how a faulty, primitive hunk of plastic and metal changed music forever. ... The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer launched in 1980. It didn't sound much like an organ. Or a drum. It had defective transistors. It was only in production for three years. But this clunky gadget helped create hip-hop, modern R&B and techno, and permanently altered the face of pop and rock... Read more
Adam Yauch's mockumentary of a normal day in the life of his Swiss alter ego. Stars David Cross as Hörnblowér and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rck) and Yauch as themselves. ... Screens with Gunnin' For That #1 Spot (USA, 90 mins). ... D Nathanial Hörnblowér P Nathanial Hörnblowér, Jon Doran Dist Hopscotch TD digibeta/2006 ... Read more
"A beautifully poignant film that explores how musical customs create identity and overcome cultural suppression. Here, the power of music truly transcends politics." – Time Out UK ... In the 1930s, in the years before the Palestinian exodus, the German-Jewish musicologist Robert Lachmann moved to Jerusalem to study and celebrate the music of Palestine. His radio show, Oriental Music, was an attem... Read more
“[A] modern-day mash-up of throbbing tom-toms and Woodstocky multiscreen mayhem.” - Austin Chronicle ... This fast-paced bricolage celebrates the 10th anniversary of All Tomorrow's Parties, the cult music festival founded by Barry Hogan. Curated by a different band or artist each year, the festival is a place where artists, organisers and fans can immerse themselves in a commune of indie-rock, fre... Read more
“[Her] elegance was always a veneer covering an inner toughness, the hard life lessons learned that made her a superb jazz singer, one of the best of her generation - or of any generation.” - LA Times Anita O'Day survived alcoholism, rape, numerous abortions, a 20 year heroin addiction and jail time to become a true jazz icon. A swing era vocalist who wanted nothing more than to spend her life sin... Read more
This isn't Spinal Tap, this is Anvil. ... With endorsements from Lars Ulrich, Slash, and Lemmy from Motörhead, Anvil is the greatest Canadian metal band you've never heard of. School buddies Steve ‘Lips' Kudlow and Robb Reiner's 1982 album Metal on Metal influenced the likes of Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica, but when it came to fame and fortune theirs was nowhere to be found. ... Anvil! travels th... Read more
"It started as a film about the making of an album, and it became a film about the most brutal and challenging conflict of our lives." – Jared Leto ... Popular rockers Thirty Seconds To Mars, led by Jared Leto (Fight Club, Requiem For a Dream), were platinum-sellers in 2008, but hadn't seen a cent of royalties, so they tried to exit their contract. Their label sued them for $30 million. But what b... Read more
"Rowland was Australia's most unique, gifted and uncompromising guitarist." - Nick Cave ... Guitarist, songwriter and artist Rowland S. Howard was an instrumental figure in the Australian rock scene, particularly renowned for his role in seminal post-punk outfit The Birthday Party. In a career spanning 30 years Howard worked with the best artists of his generation, including Henry Rollins, Lydia L... Read more
Decadence and decay dance together in this document of 1980s post-punk West Berlin. ... Slammed against the Iron Curtain, a cultural revolution was brewing in West Berlin. Anger and ennui fomented a tense culture of punk, drugs and outsider art that drew the creative world up against the edge of communism. ... Manchester ex-pat and Factory Records rep Mark Reeder was in the thick of it, and in Jör... Read more
A kinetic, frenetic and long overdue tribute to the legendary hardcore band.” - Indiewire ... Beginning life as a jazz/funk-fusion act, Bad Brains went on to become one of the most innovative and influential hardcore punk bands on the planet. Their impact can be heard in groups as diverse as Nirvana, Fugazi, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys, and their unique hybrid of blistering punk and mel... Read more
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was Death. ... In the early 70s, three African-American brothers from Detroit formed a band that, despite its unforgettable name, was forgotten by music history. David, Bobby and Dannis Hackney's band, Death, predated the American punk scene by just a few years, yet embodied that movement's ethos of DIY, personal freedom and noisy inter... Read more
"The best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced." - Dr John ... A run-in with a jukebox in New Orleans was all director Lily Keber needed to know that James Booker was special. But who was he? Here she unveils an all-but-forgotten mad genius of jazz and blues piano, adored by artists from Harry Connick Jr to Bon Iver. ... This ‘60s outcast, marginalised by his sexu... Read more
“Reinvents the concert film like no other before it.” - Film Threat ... Three days before the Beastie Boys' sold-out 2004 Madison Square Garden show, Adam Yauch made an impulsive creative decision to give 50 ticket-holders a digital video camera and one instruction: shoot whatever you want at the gig. The result is Beastie Boys in Awesome I Fuckin' Shot That!, an intoxicating, immediate record of ... Read more
Hollywood actor Michael Rapaport brings the story of hip-hop's finest to the screen with a fan's devotion. ... Prior to their breakup in 1998, the legendary A Tribe Called Quest were pioneers of alternative hip-hop, fusing jazz sounds with a creative lyrical approach that resonated with fans against the gangsta-heavy posturing of early 90s rap. ... Rapaport's assured feature film directing debut i... Read more
A playful yet profoundly intimate portrait of singer-songwriter Ben Lee, and a fascinating portrayal of celebrity. ... Destined for stardom, Ben Lee cemented his place in the annals of Australian pop with his catchy tunes and his extraordinary self-confidence. Despite a remarkable musical career that has taken him from the suburbs of Sydney to the boroughs of New York, Lee's private life has large... Read more
"Some people think you have a certain amount of songs before you dry up. I tend to think it's like an amount of time, so I'm racing against time constantly." - Jay Reatard ... In 2010, at the age of 29, garage rock legend Jay Reatard was found dead in his Memphis home, a lethal cocktail of booze and cocaine in his system. His death cut short a controversial and much remarked upon career that redef... Read more
“Ginger Baker just hit me in the f***ing nose.” - Jay Bulger, director ... Wild, cantankerous, and given to rock ‘n' roll excess, Ginger Baker is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest drummers. Best known for his work with supergroups Cream and Blind Faith, Baker has also been credited with helping to bring Afrobeat and world music to the West. ... In Beware of Mr Baker the 73-year-old ho... Read more
The fans knew him as the "black Mick Jagger". His band kick-started Aboriginal rock, releasing the first ever Aboriginal-language rock songs in the mainstream. His name was George Rrurrambu and this is his story. ... Back in 1981 George Rrurrambu and his Warumpi Band burst out of the Northern Territory's red heart and straight into Australian rock history. Unashamedly political and driven by the f... Read more
"That goofy old Super Mario Bros jingle can be turned into one kick-ass techno tune in the right hands." - Cinematical ... Few people would consider an original Nintendo or Gameboy console as a musical instrument, but for an emerging culture these are the tools for producing something unlike anything heard before. Called ‘ChipTunes', this inventive spin on electronic music takes grainy beats and 8... Read more
"No one in rock and roll has left a musical legacy that matters more or one that matters in such fundamental ways." - Robert Palmer ... Mixing mysticism with politics in an inspired musical union, reggae star Bob Marley was so influential that Time magazine in the 70s claimed he rivalled the Jamaican government as a political force. Despite his death from cancer almost 30 years ago, he remains wit... Read more
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