Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Before riding the charts as a solo artist with Everybody, Madonna was playing drums and the guitar in The Breakfast Club, an unassuming New York band from the late seventies.

When word was out that a movie was going to be released about that period of time, Madonna clearly voiced her concerns as only she can tell what happened. But, Madonna shouldn’t worry. This isn’t a fictionalized biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody or Rocketman. No, this is documentary that alternates between interviews (with former band members and people who knew Madonna at the time) and scenes played by lookalikes that visualize the stories. Moreover, the people being interviewed have little bad to say about Madonna and the lookalike does an amazing job looking like her.

It’s a good music documentary. Also for those who aren’t a fan of Madame X as her current alter ego is named. Yes, she comes across as over ambitious and hard working. But she doesn’t come across as the cold hearted bitch that is her reputation. In fact, real footage show how she tanked the members of the band during her speech when she was inaugurated at the music hall of fame.

The two founding brothers of the band, Dan and Ed Killroy are quite open and frank about their relationship with Madonna. The former was her boyfriend while she stayed at their place (a former synagogue turned into squat house). But the most interesting guy being interviewed is Gary Burke. It’s endearing to see how, ever since he met her, he was fascinated by her. The unrequited love must have tormented him for his entire life. Then there’s Norris Burroughs, who looks like he could still have a shot with Madonna right now. He’s her age and looks very good. So, Madonna, if you’re reading this: get in touch with the guy! Drop the young boys. Get back to your early years. 😉

The audio tapes between Madonna and Dan are annoying and uninteresting. Stephen Bray wasn’t contacted for the movie (who ended up being the drummer of Madonna’s second, short-lived band, Emmy, that she formed with Gary when she quite The Breakfast Club because they didn’t want to have her sing all the songs. That’s a huge miss, because he ended up producing lots of songs with Madonna and ended up being the drummer of the Breakfast Club years after Madonna quit. So, it could have been much more interesting. Nevertheless, a fun watch.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5321814/

Just having watched Wien is ‘t Hof Van Commerce, a self-made chronological mockumentary of a locally famous West-Flemish hiphop band, it made me want to re-watch this  (10 year old!) music documentary of another famous Flemish band. From Ghent and an international phenomenon: SOULWAX!

Back in the late 2000s these guys toured the world with a great concept: they gave a live performance of their remixed songs, invited dj’s and bands they liked to come along and then ended the evening as their dj alter ego: TWO MANY DJ’s.

Both Soulwax and Two Many Dj’s toured again this summer. With success. But ten years ago, they were pretty much the coolest band in the world.

Watching this documentary again, brought back memories. It’s a great musical document. The sounds these guys produce are still da bomb! The dvd comes with a cd as well and there’s a live performance as an extra feature. But you really want to see the one hour trip through club culture feature. It’s also available on dailymotion (see below).

The editing is hectic, but doesn’t bore at all. It’s a one hour trip, which is just enough. It’s fast-paced and loud. It’s very divers in its images. Live performances in dark stroboscoped clubs are mixed with images of places around the world. It’s visually as entertaining as sound-wise. It has a few tranquil moments with interviews of people who tour with the band. So, you do get to learn about the band and the two main members (two brothers called Stephen and David Dewaele). And you get to learn about live on the road. A lot is self-glorification, but if you’re the coolest band on the planet, it’s okay. The decadent lifestyle isn’t so shocking really. Especially because most of the performers seem so level-headed. It’s the crowd that goes crazy. And the crowd does go berserk. Which is of course again a feat of the director/editor. Just show a lot of people having a good time and you create the illusion that everyone is having a good time. With or without drugs. With or without booze. With or without clothes.

It’s a fun watch. If you haven’t seen it yet: do!

www.imdb.com/title/tt1224448

There’s no imdb page for this music documentary that got a theatrical release in Flemish cinemas. Which makes sense. Apart from the fans of this band, there isn’t really any other audience out there to recommend it to. It’s available on dvd now and it has English subtitles. But why? Why would anyone, who doesn’t know this band and doesn’t understand West-Flemish, want to watch it? The editing is kind of fun, but not spectacular and quite repetitive. So the only thing you’re left with is the humor. And it’s funny. But again, it’s only funny if you know the band and if you understand the most difficult of all dialects in the Dutch language.

I do. Hey, I know the lyrics of some of their early songs by heart. They are still hilarious, twenty years later. But this mockumentary just doesn’t deliver. The DJ of the band is also the director. His editing feels a bit like visual scratching. It’s fun. But compared to Part Of The Weekend Never Dies (the documentary of Soulwax’ international breakthrough) it all feels so unprofessional. Which isn’t necessarily bad. But to be honest, with the right tools, anybody can make a similar career overview. It’s chronological and there is a lot of focus on the early years, with clips of their first interviews, first performances and so on. It’s a bit nostalgic and it’s a great souvenir for the band members and their fans. But as a documentary is a bit boring.

Reviews rave about the mockumentary style and yes, the funniest parts are the fake interviews with other local artists (who are buddies of the band in real life). The part where Gabriel Rios pretends not to know them and then sees a clip by an Asian pop band who sampled one of their songs (quite bizarre) and he suddenly recognizes the song… it’s only funny if you know the song, if you know Gabriel Rios and if you get the humor. The whole documentary should have been like that.

So, in short: disappointing.

Luckily there’s the video of the live concert they gave earlier this year as an extra and it looks like a great best of gig.