Monday, August 12, 2013

I've been to my own music festival.


My bus stop bench where I catch the 12 home after seeing movies and/or documentaries at the Hollywood Theatre. I sat there waiting Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings after seeing three nights of music-related documentaries. I'm a member of the Hollywood Theatre at the Producer level, so my admission is free and I get a free member-size popcorn.

I'm very happy to give you a list of the documentaries that I saw.

Friday night, 20 Feet From Stardom - The untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. These gifted artists span a range of styles, genres and eras of popular music, but each has a uniquely fascinating and personal story to share of life spent in the shadows of superstardom. Along with rare archival footage and a peerless soundtrack are intimate interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting to name just a few. I left wishing more than ever that I could sing. 

Saturday night, three Les Blank documentaries. I left well-pleased that I'd been able to see these three jewels, to witness the creativity captured on film by an equally creative man. 
Dizzy Gillespie (1965 – 23 min) – Les Blank’s earliest music film. Great Dizzy performances and personal moments.
The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1970 – 31 min) – A portrait of the great Texas bluesman, Lightnin’ Hopkins.
Hot Pepper (1973 – 54 min) – profile of Clifton Chenier – the self-crowned “King” of Zydeco accordion.

Sunday night, two more Les Blank documentaries. I felt the same way Sunday night that I did on Saturday. 
Sprout Wings and Fly (1983 – 30 min) – A compassionate, life-affirming document of Appalachian fiddler Tommy Jarrel.
A Well Spent Life (1971 – 44 min) – Tribute to the Texas songster and guitar great, Mance Lipscomb. 

There was a third one on Sunday evening, Chulas Fronteras (51 min) – portrait of the Tex-Mex scene and its musical protest against migrant worker oppression, opting instead to head for the bench at the bus stop so that I could stop by on my way home for the last 30 minutes of Kevin Selfe's Blues Jam at the Blue Diamond PDX.


Julie(t) said...

Again, the total variation of lighting in that photograph is strikingly awesome and atmospheric. A rare accomplishment.

Jack said...

You are living a full and varied life, switching between basketball and documentaries.

Randy said...

Beautiful evening shot. Looks peaceful.

Jim Klenke said...

I love the picture. How fun that you were able to please your eyes and ears all weekend. Saturday night would probably be my favorite night.