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Sound City

09/01/2014

I was at my parent's place watching TV with my brother when we came across the tail end of this documentary with a killer song being played by Trent Reznor, Josh Homme and Dave Grohl. My brother then explained that it was this documentary I had to watch called Sound City which is really awesome. Luckily, a copy was available at OPL, and wow, it is a really awesome movie. This is Dave Grohl's directorial debut, and he follows the tale of Sound City, a recording studio that probably not many people knew about, but everyone knows the bands and artists that worked here, like Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age and Nirvana. What made this studio so special is that it had a one-of-a-kind analogue recording console that was ordered in bespoke from the UK, and as a result, bands were able to create unique records that made them famous. You meet both the artists and the people who worked at Sound City for a very moving portrait of a home away from home for these bands and artists. It also made me think about that eternal debate between digital and analogue and what makes something more authentic. Although cheaper and more accessible to the masses, does digital manipulation make for better songs or artists?

It's also very interesting to follow as it shows how the recording industry changed from the 70s through the 80s and onto the 90s with the advent of digital editing, and how the tastes changed over time from rock to metal to hair metal to punk to grunge. Sound City did eventually close due to changes in the industry, but that console was purchased and salvaged by Grohl, who then invites back many of the artists to create new songs, which also provides the soundtrack to the film, available to borrow from the library! I've been listening to "Mantra" (that song I liked at the start of this post) over and over, which means I should really find a new music documentary to watch.