“The northern soul scene, to me, was like an eighth wonder of the world. You’re looking at the depressed north of England, where there wasn’t a great deal there apart from steelworks and coalmines. You had people doing this boring repetitive work during the week; and hard work, too. And when they went out on a weekend, they really wanted to go out. Going out until 11 o’clock to the local pub just wasn’t going to be good enough. When the whole rave thing went ballistic it felt like northern soul twenty years on. Lots of people getting off their heads, dancing to fast music and this love attitude. House is this generation’s version of northern soul…” – Ian Dewhirst, northern soul DJ ~1999 [From Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The … Read More
Here’s a documentary on the funk scene in Britain, a tale told through many talking heads, and one of them happens to be Martin Freeman, of Sherlock and The Hobbit fame. You might miss him, since it was apparently before he employed a stylist and committed to a workout routine, but he’s in there as a fanboy / collector / DJ of funk / rare groove. I was sent this next video, Martin Freeman Goes to Motown, from Marc of Meiotic Chicago featuring a star-struck Martin wandering around Detroit meeting people who were artists and studio musicians on Motown Records (city councilwoman Martha Reeves, former lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas; Duke Fakir, the last surviving member of the Four Tops; the Funk Brothers jamming out at … Read More
I love documentaries that focus on other people’s interesting daily lives. I was curious as to what those sleeper trucks looked like on the inside, and since I’ve done many road trips, I did a bit of internet investigation and found these two documentaries to be interesting and worth sharing. To my European friends, these videos will answer a lot of your questions on highway culture.
The BBC’s documentaries are generally top notch–the polar opposite of current US “edutainment” shows that have distilled down formulas to get the highest eyeballs. It’s little wonder that The Family (above–full) from 1974 would be the precursor to reality TV shows–but that theirs would be more “fly on the wall” and genuinely curious about and relatively impartial towards their subject. An American Family from 1971 is its precursor, but I haven’t checked it out yet. Compare this style to a parody of what masquerades as reality TV in the states, one that’s blatantly geared towards a perceived audience who apparently incapable of paying attention unless there are gongs or trombones to highlight emotional moments, and chopped up, heavily edited dialog that literally spells out the dialog needed to … Read More
This 80s-retro documentary is hosted by a socially awkward engineer who fumbles his cuecard-reading way through uncomfortable, scripted segues with props that illustrate the point being made. It’s a decent documentary on engineering, nonetheless.
There’s also “Queens of Disco” that focuses on the divas of disco… search around.
Reformat the Planet is a feature-length documentary that focuses on some of the personalities behind the 8-Bit / chiptune scene in New York City, featuring some of our favorite Game Boy artists, notably Bit Shifter. Reformat the Planet (RTP) is a feature length documentary which delves into the movement known as chip music, a vibrant underground scene based around creating new, original music using obsolete video game hardware. Familiar devices such as the Nintendo Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System are pushed in new directions with startling results. …After documenting several live chip music performances in New York City and being invited to film the first year of the now annual Blip Festival, it was clear that they stood before a rich cultural mine that few were tapping … Read More