Reality Rock Docs: 5 Upcoming Music Documentaries Not to be Missed

Film & Animation / Music / August 26, 2011

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George Harrison: Living in the Material WorldGeorge Harrison

As one fourth of the Beatles, it’s safe to say that people would die to get a glimpse at the life of George Harrison; and so came the idea for the documentary about the late guitar player.

Directed by legendary filmmaker, Martin Scorsese, the upcoming film is titled George Harrison: Living in the Material World. The title is taken from the same name of a solo album Harrison produced in 1973.

The film follows Harrison’s upbringing in Liverpool, his life during Beatlemania, and his forays to India.

There will be unseen footage, including interviews from Harrison’s wife Olivia, son Dhani, and famous friends that include Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, and Phil Spector.

What makes the film even more exciting is its directing by Scorsese who is an experienced documentary filmmaker.

He directed the 2008 Rolling Stones doc, Shine a Light; the Bob Dylan feature No Direction Home; and was an assistant director for the documentary, Woodstock, about the epic festival of love.

The George Harrison film is schedule to come out on HBO on October 6.

PJ20Pearl Jam

With grunge music marking its twentieth year since its breakthrough into the mainstream, many artists are reissuing twentieth year editions of their first albums.

However, groundbreaking Seattle band, Pearl Jam is celebrating big.

Academy Award-winning director and close friend of the band, Cameron Crowe, is at the helm of their collaborative project, titled Pearl Jam Twenty, a film about the band.

Crowe is an excellent choice to direct, as his career and personal life are steeped in rock and roll. Not only did he start his career as a journalist for Rolling Stone and Creem magazine, he turned his experiences into the film Almost Famous.

He also recently directed The Union, a behind-the-scenes look at the eponymous collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russell.

Pearl Jam Twenty is scheduled to be released in early September. In addition, it will be accompanied by a book and soundtrack.

Sigur RósSigur Rós

Few bands have been able to make the crossover from European staples to American cult favorites. Sigur Rós is one of those bands.

The Icelandic natives broke out in 1999 with their sophomore album Ágætis byrjun, which translated means, “An all right start.”

Their ethereal blend of indie rock with ambient sound effects and the whimsical vocal styling of lead singer of Jónsi Birgisson made for a euphoric album that caught the attention of American music lovers.

Their music was featured on shows like Skins and films like Vanilla Sky and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

The band has been on hiatus for two years, with Jonsi and other members taking time to work on solo projects. However, fans can be consoled by the fact that a documentary is on its way. Not much is known about the project, other than that it’s going to be directed by Cameron Crowe. Considering the mysterious and artsy nature of the band, it’s almost guaranteed that the project will be highly under wraps until it’s close to release.

Fever YearAndrew Bird

Classically trained artist Andrew Bird is an indie darling; and it’s not just because he’s a genius on the violin, frequently features a glockenspiel on his albums or gets nearly perfect reviews on Pitchfork. It’s because he churns out EPs, singles and albums like no other artist.

Finally, this hipster-approved solo artist is getting his own documentary.

The film, titled Fever Year, followed Bird on his last grueling, year-long tour. It is directed by the relatively unknown Xan Aranda. The film features artists like Martin Dosh and Annie Clark of St. Vincent.

It’s bound to be an eye-opening piece for fans of the indie superstar. The film will premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival, which will be held from September 29-October 14.

Talihina SkyKings of Leon

Though it just premiered on Showtime on August 21, the KoL documentary “Talihina Sky” is one of this month’s most talked-about films. Considering the drama that the band had gone through — canceling the remainder of their summer tour, arguing over Twitter, and hinting to the potential drinking problem of lead singer Caleb Followill — fans are clamoring to get an inside look at the Southern rock band’s everyday life.

The film, titled after a track on their sophomore album Youth & Young Manhood, centers around the band of brothers (and cousin Matthew) and their highly religious upbringing. Their father was a Pentecostal minister and as such, they grew up in the church.

The documentary will feature footage from their early years, before the craze that came with their fourth album, Only by the Night.

Considering that bands of brothers in the past have fallen prey to drama and fighting (like Oasis or the Kinks), one can only hope that KoL doesn’t succumb to the same fate.

Catch the documentary every night on Showtime through September 8th.


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Yohana Desta
Yohana Desta
Yohana Desta is currently obsessed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, everything Dave Grohl does, and listening to Arctic Monkeys on repeat.




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Reality Rock Docs: 5 Upcoming Music Documentaries Not to be Missed