New Garage Explosion -- Full Length Documentary
To find out what American garage rock looks like (and to know what it’s like to be in an independent band) right now, VBS and Scion A/V toted a bunch of cameras around the USA and found a scene that was vibrant, loud, eloquent, effed-up, and nearly impossible to define. The musicians, artists, writers, deejays and label owners that we talked to could only be united by a single common thread—their commitment to music that they enjoyed, on their terms, at whatever cost necessary (or, in some cases, unnecessary). We met nice, smart, funny people who love rock and roll, don’t traffic in B.S., and had the wherewithal to pick up a guitar (or complementary instrument) at some point in their young lives, put their face to a microphone, and manage to not think too hard about what was going to come out.
With a nod to the genre’s founding fathers (bands like The Lollipop Shoppe and MC5), we travel first to Memphis to mind-meld with Magic Kids and to go head-to-head with Jay Reatard in the last interview he filmed before his death in January of this year. Next we hit Detroit, where watch The Dirtbombs wreck a bowling alley and talked to Dave Buick about the power of the hand-printed record.
We meander off on all kind of fun tangents with various garage luminaries, with a tip of the hat to the glorious unit of sound that is the vinyl record—especially the ones rare enough for an enthusiast to blow a month’s rent in exchange for one. Hear bands like the Black Lips, Davila 666, Pierced Arrows, and the Dirtbombs discuss the appeal of using a four-track, the freedom of recording in your bedroom, the perks of installing a vinyl-cutting machine into your den, and the unique satisfaction that comes from seeing your own record. We also get treated to wild, wonderful, and exclusive live performances from rippers like the Clone Defects, Vivian Girls, and Thee Oh Sees.
We step into the kitschy pink playhouse that is Oakland’s Down at Lulu’s, the record store-slash-vintage boutique-slash-hair salon-slash-lifestyle emporium owned and operated by Hunx and His Punx’s Seth Bogart and his business partner Tina Lucchesi. Here we address tough topics like how to negotiate the itinerant rock and roll schedule with petty worries like paying rent. Also, tour: is it work or play? We learn about important things like steering clear of “band rooms” in punk houses, and that you needn’t worry about the safety of your cat if a possum breaks into your house while you’re gone. This section’s exclusive performances include the Younger Lovers, Golden Triangle, and the Intelligence.