Post First Night Night Cap | The Boneyard

Post First Night Night Cap

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Chin Diesel

Power of Love
Aug 24, 2011
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For those watching from home, Foo Fighters Sonic Highways premiers tonight on HBO.

BLUF: Dave Grohl and the band went to different cities and recorded songs reflecting the heart and soul of those regions. Expect it to be excellent.

As Grohl himself puts it at the start of Sonic Highways, “The environment in which you make a record ultimately influences the end result — not just the studio, but the people and the history. … I feel like if everyone knew more about the people and places, they would feel more connected to it. So we set out looking for inspiration in these great cities.” The first episode, about Chicago, ties together such disparate figures as Buddy Guy, Joe Walsh and producer Steve Albini. A followup episode about Washington, D.C., nods to local straight-core heroes Fugazi, of course, but strikes gold by focusing on lesser-known local heroes like Teen Idles and Bad Brains as well as the city’s fertile go-go scene. Over the show’s run, luminaries from Chuck D to Nancy Wilson to Rick Rubin get screen time, but so also do record-shop owners who started music labels, the young-misfits-turned-studio-engineers and other minor-key figures who animate each city’s culture. Armed with skillful camerawork and surprising and fresh choices of archival footage, the show manages the neat trick of resisting both the armchair romance of fanzines and the rote, received-wisdom approach of documentaries like the 10-hour History of Rock ‘N’ Roll aired by PBS in 1995. Like the Morrissey T-shirt Grohl wears on camera, the show wears its omnivorous appetites proudly and takes delight in making connections between disparate, simultaneous micro-scenes whose co-existence created a whole.
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