I just finished watching Kill Your Idols and I Need that Record! On Netflix, and man, I’m feeling a wave of awesome cool. Two randomly selected music documentaries that echoed a chord I am becoming more and more aware of as I get older.
Independent music is important; especially the stuff that isn’t good or makes no sense.
I popped these documentaries on for background entertainment as I continued the work of quanitfying my back catalog of recordings. Calling it a catalog makes it sound really official, like I have a vault that opens with a retina scan. The reality is, for the first 14 years I made music I did so on cassette 4 track. And I recorded incessantly.
These tapes go back to the mid eighties. Some of you bought them. Most people purchased my early recordings so I would leave you alone.
There are over 140 tapes, over 200 hours of who knows what. The labels for most fell off years ago. Are these recordings anything special? No. Few are even good, and most of those are only good for moments. But its nostalgic. A body of work made before Intenet and hustled through hallways, coffee shops and independant record store. Whats more, these catalog hundreds of hours experimenting; musical alchemy, searching for something new. A new sound or a new way to express an emotion through sound.
Kill Your Idols was a great documentary on the players and attitudes of the early NY punk and avant garde scene. Short lived for the purity of its collective subversiveness, and highly relevent for its attitudes against homogenization.
I Need That Record! explored the importance of the independant record store to music, communities and its decline over the past decade.
Good watches, especially for someone currently cataloging 26 years of independant music.
If you like music like Fugazzi ans Sonic Youth you’ll enjoy these films.