Ain't no better flick than a rock-n-roll pic. From the early days of rock stars acting (badly) in music tie-in movies to the new age of sappy biopics, we can't get enough. We love the fake movie bands (Sonic Death Monkey! Stillwater! Cap'n Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters!) and the real stories in the (more) accurate rock docs alike. For Oscar Week™ , we asked our beloved Bloodshot artists to pick their favorite music movies, with all bets off. Doesn't matter if it's real, fake, or Crossroads (we're thinking Ralph Macchio, not Britney Spears - but we won't judge). We just wanted to be graced with their wonderful tastes in Hollywood rock reel. Perhaps a Bloodshot movie night is in order...
Get yer popcorn ready.
Al Scorch picks: Krush Groove (1985)
Al says: "My pick is Krush Groove, the Run DMC movie with the Fat Boys, Sheila E, Kurtis Blow, LL Cool J, and many more hip hop gods and demigods.
Back in high school my buddy Carlos searched high and low for a copy on VHS to give our pal Matt. He scoured every Blockbuster and Best Buy (the 90s!!) only to be met with the same response, "Krush Groove!? With Sheila E?! She's bad! But naw dude, we don't have it." He finally found it, we watched it at Matt's house twice a week for almost 3 years, and that's how golden memories are made."
Steve Pierce (banjo/vocals, Banditos) picks: Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971)
(We couldn't find the trailer, but we found the whole movie on YouTube. Here ya go, but what gives?)
Steve says: "If you've never heard of this movie, I suggest you look it up. It's Dustin Hoffman as a rich and lonely songwriter. Shel Silverstien wrote all the music for it, and Dr. Hook plays most of it. Dustin Hoffman ain't too bad either."
Bobby Bare Jr. picks: Urgh! A Music War (1982)
BBJ wrote a great piece on this legendary movie (the essay is titled "Lux Interior Swalled a Microphone and Made Me Hate Ted Nugent Forever") for Aquarium Drunkard. Here's an excerpt:
"Growing up in Nashville with no MTV the most outrageous music I could find was Ted Nugent’s WANG DANG music. That was as outrageous as I could get in 1981 while living next door to Tammy Wynette and George Jones. The URGH music defined everything about me after watching it over and over again for about a month. The quality of the duplicated copy was bad – really bad – but I could see and hear everything I needed to realize that “Terrible Ted” was really just kinda – uh – terrible, and uninspired, while halfway on his way to rip off Chuck Berry. The Cramps were doing ’50s inspired music, too, but it was horrifying and funny and creative all at the same time. Ted was trying to get you laid and Lux was trying to get you uncomfortable. The movie defined the 16 version of myself."
Cory Branan picks: That Thing You Do! (1996)
Cory says: "I'd like to say it was The Commitments, or a Bobby D joint (I'm Not There, No Direction Home, Unmasked and Anonymous), but the truth is it's That Thing You Do! Can't think of a time when it came on and I didn't sit down immediately and watch it. With commercials even. Airports, Best Buys, wakes... I have a problem with this movie."
Freakwater picks: Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)
Freakwater says: "Anvil: The Story of Anvil is like watching "Freakwater: The Story of Freakwater," except they have single-payer health and dental care because they're from Canada."
JC Brooks picks: Almost Famous (2000)
JC says: "It combines music, history, biography, coming-of-age, humor, and Frances McDormand. It's a great story and even better because it's true(ish). It's likely so wonderful because the guy who lived it made it... Runners up are: Cosi, High Fidelity, Dig!, Pitch Perfect, 50 Feet From Stardom, Dreamgirls, Stop Making Sense"
Lydia Loveless picks: Janie Jones (2010)
Lydia says: "I'm gonna go with Janie Jones, off the top of my head. I'm sure there are lots more but that one sticks with me as being "heartwarming" without being cloying, touches on addiction and recovery without being preachy, and is a very realistic portrayal to me of what happens on tour if you ain't actin' right. Plus it has Clem Snide songs all over it."
Matt Armstrong (bass, Murder By Death) picks: Dig! (2004)
Matt says: "Lately Dig! has been my fave. It's so nuts, but the songs are so good. It definitely has an agenda, but it's fascinating. They definitely paint Anton from Brian Jonestown Massacre as a nutjob, but I finally listened to their music. It's really good. The Dandy Warhols held their shit together better, but Jonestown really was good. I held off listening to them because he comes off as such a jerk in the movie, but I now get why people call him a genius."
Robbie Fulks picks: Wild Guitar (1962)
Robbie says: "Made in 1962, it’s the tale of a teen idol’s rise and how he copes with the women, hucksters, and thugs that his money and fame draw. It features the ever-fascinating Ray Dennis Steckler, performing under the alias “Cash Flagg,” and was produced by Arch Hall, Sr. There’s a lot to enjoy in movies like this: the comic-book graphics, the dumb dialogue, inept editing and continuity, and the fast-money lust that churns under most movies but coats every surface of the exploitation picture like a hilarious slime. In the rock-and-roll movie you get California guys of various degrees of talent and professionalism apeing the simple but elusive magic of people like Buddy Holly and Doc Pomus (and on into Carole King, Lennon/McCartney, et al) and failing, often spectacularly. The result is a genre unto itself: Stu Phillips’s “Come With The Gentle People” from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Leigh Harline’s “Rock Around the Rock Pile” from The Girl Can’t Help It, Les Baxter’s “Salamander” from Untamed Youth. I truly love them! In moderation, anyway. Wild Guitar closes with Arch Hall, Jr. on a windy filthy beach with an unplugged Jazzmaster singing “Twist Fever.”"