One of the best movies premiering at this year's Sundance Film Festival that not enough people are talking about is Dave Grohl's excellent music documentary Sound City, which tracks the rise and fall (and rise and fall) of the Sound City recording studio in Los Angeles. Those who have even a passing interest in music -- especially the music of the '70s, '80s and '90s -- will no doubt find themselves swept away in the rare, intimate stories from many of the artists who created your all-time favorite albums. Well, that, and the music is just plain rad.
The doc itself is split into two sections, with most of it covering the story of the Sound City studio, from its owners to its employees to the many artists who launched their careers there (Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, Nirvana). The second part comes after Sound City is finally forced to shut its doors once the industry adapts completely to digital recording versus tape. Grohl then takes the original board out of Sound City and inserts it into his own studio, reuniting many of the artists whose lives were impacted by Sound City for one ultimate album recorded off the same board that helped create music legends.
While there's definitely a conversation running throughout the film about the digital age and how it hurt the art of recording live music, Grohl never gets preachy about it. Instead he tells both sides (with Trent Reznor proving you can do great things with digital technology), and ultimately serves up a film that's more about the importance of preserving history for the next generation of musicians than anything else.
That Sound City album finds many of its historic recording sessions featured in the movie, and as an added bonus Grohl brought many of those artists to Sundance for a once-in-a-lifetime show featuring Grohl, Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor, John Fogerty and more. The album is due out this spring (hopefully alongside the documentary), but you can watch many of those live performances from Sundance below.
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