Latest Blog Posts

by Chris Barsanti

3 Jul 2013


There’s a great and unspoken conspiracy theory threaded into the homespun family-centric narrative of the surprisingly feel-good documentary A Band Called Death. But, first, the story, as recounted by directors Mark Christopher Corvino and Jeff Howlett, who let the band members tell the story at their own pace against an attic’s worth of faded photos and rusty-sounding audio tracks.

by Bill Gibron

30 May 2013


With its flash and power chord panache, rock and roll has always been ripe for cinematic exploration. From the fictional stories based in the medium to the concert films that find emotional epiphanies in the strangest of song couplets, music makes for memorable movies. There is just something universally unreal about someone—or group of someones—who can transform mere words and arranged notes into an anthem, a ballad, or the soundtrack of your life. Even more amazing are the backstories involved. Some of these people are barely passable as human. Instead, they are a surreal combination of person and performance, their onstage act meshed with this doubts and disconnects of their everyday existence to form that most mighty of myths: the rock god.

by Bill Gibron

6 Feb 2013


A couple of weeks back, we acknowledged the wealth of rock documentaries out in the cinematic marketplace, even claiming that at least ten (and there will be more in the near future) warrant consideration as some of the artform’s best. We felt confident we’d made some wise choices, set up the parameters to excuse the lack of performance-oriented efforts, and expressed our desire to match director’s intent with final product. And what did we get for our attempt? What happened when we unleashed our chosen few onto the Messageboard masses? Well, let’s just say that there was an equal balance between favorable responses and those who saw fit to point out our personal (and professional) flaws, selection wise. In essence, we were idiots.

by Bill Gibron

24 Jan 2013


With its flash and power chord panache, rock and roll has always been ripe for cinematic exploration. From the fictional stories based in the medium to the concert films that find emotional epiphanies in the strangest of song couplets, music makes for memorable movies. There is just something universally unreal about someone—or group of someones—who can transform mere words and arranged notes into an anthem, a ballad, or the soundtrack of your life. Even more amazing are the backstories involved. Some of these people are barely passable as human. Instead, they are a surreal combination of person and performance, their onstage act meshed with this doubts and disconnects of their everyday existence to form that most mighty of myths—the rock god.

by Bill Gibron

19 Jun 2012


Don’t let the concept fool you: Hollywood has made a mint mining popular culture for music to squeeze into their productions. Even back in the days when actors frequently broke into song for no good reason, the latest selections on the hit parade were wedged in for some necessary commercial cross promotion. Many of the most memorable tunes from the past found their purchase in the cinema of the time, and up until the ‘50s, there was little change. Then directors hit upon a more intriguing idea. Instead of just using same as a marketing tool, why not give the material meaning? As a result, we’ve seen a steady increase in the use of popular songs and genres—rock, country, soul—as a viable motion picture backdrop. Some filmmakers have become so good at the concurrence of sight and sound that their reputation rests on it.

As a result, this is our list of the 10 Best Uses of Popular Music in Post Modern Cinema (yes, we are skipping several decades previous - there’s just no time or space). First off, however, some ground rules. We have PURPOSEFULLY tried to avoid the obvious choices. You won’t see “Layla” from Goodfellas, “In Dreams” from Blue Velvet, or “Sister Christian” from Boogie Nights (we have another, better selection for that film). In fact, many of the so called “most memorable” moments from the use of music in movies are AWOL here. Why? Well, it’s far more fun to discuss new traditions that to trod down the paths previously proposed. Even better, songs and sounds are personal things. One individuals love of George Thorogood can lead to the widespread use (and abuse) of his “Bad to the Bone”.

//Mixed media