To say that Detroit proto-punk trio Death merely anticipated New York's late-'70s African-American punks Pure Hell and D.C. hardcore band Bad Brains would be a pitiable understatement. Around 1974, Death inadvertently codified what became known as punk rock -- and then broke the mold. The premiere of the hotly anticipated documentary A Band Called Death
reveals one of the most astonishing stories in rock & roll. What began as a casual, sibling-based R&B band was transmogrified, after the kids attended an Alice Cooper show, into the brilliant, brutal Death -- and while the three performers were dead set on pursuing professional careers, they were just too extreme to win wide acceptance. The color of their skin, the ferocious intensity of their music and even their name guaranteed a one-way ticket to obscurity. The film alone is a must-see, but the surviving members of Death also will do a Q&A and perform, live, for the first time ever in Los Angeles. This is a mind-blower all around: Like, how often will you get a chance to see "Death, live in person"?!?! The band plays again Saturday; the doc screens nightly through Wed., July 3 (times vary). Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave.; Fri., June 28, 8 p.m.; $25, $100-$150 VIP couch seating. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.
June 28-July 3, 2013