By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Likewise, size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to the popularity of concert films. Says Michael DeMonte, Music Video Distributors’ sales VP, “We’ve done concert DVDs and the like for Public Enemy and for Converge/AFI, Agnostic Front, acts that have sizable fan bases, and they just don’t sell.” DeMonte says that the cult acts that have remained just outside the mainstream have done the best so far: The Pixies’ terrific loudQUIETloud has already sold 25,000 copies. “Their touring really reawakened people to them,” he says.
But the music DVD isn’t yet in the ballpark of the CD, no matter how downloading and iPods may have damaged that vehicle. “DVD sales are at best 10 to 20 percent of CD sales,” says DeMonte. “After all, you can’t drive and watch them. But it really is the only way to see these groups. YouTube’s quality is bad, and because some of these acts have such a powerful allure, the compelling rockumentary is the best place to get the whole story in one place.”
THE CLASSICS:DOA; Gimme Shelter; The Decline of Western Civilization Pts. I & II; The Gift; 1991: The Year Punk Broke
THE NEW & GREAT:New York Doll (the story of Dolls bassist Arthur Kane, and the best rock movie ever made); End of the Century: The Story of The Ramones; MC5: A True Testimonial; Dig! (Brian Jonestown Massacre vs. The Dandy Warhols). Fascinating subjects, hilarious interplay, superb pacing.
WORTH YOUR TIME & MONEY:Not a Photograph: The Mission of Burma Story; loudQUIETloud: A Film About The Pixies. First-rate concert footage, both with the heroic “better late than never” resurrection angle. Too offhand in some ways, though, and the Pixies and Burma carry a bizarre stigma: They seem too well adjusted to be interesting!
NOT RECOMMENDED:American Hardcore; Afro-Punk; Born to Lose (a Johnny Thunders film by Lech Kowalski); Ghost on the Highway: A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club. Terrific subjects, but strangely impersonal and, in the case of the latter, a lack of Gun Club music and Jeffrey Lee himself.
NOT A ROCKUMENTARY:Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!Despite the Warholian concept — handing video cameras to 50 fans at a Beastie Boys show — this is still a good, old-fashioned concert film masterfully edited and eerily reminiscent of another concert film shot at Madison Square Garden 30 years earlier: Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same. For a great “rap-umentary,” stick with the early-’80s tour de Bronx, Wild Style.
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