Ginger Baker, the flame-haired madman drummer for '60s British power trio Cream, is given the documentary treatment by journalist Jay Bulger. Bulger's just as much of a scoundrel as Baker, lying about being a writer for Rolling Stone in order to gain access to Baker's secluded South African compound. As it turns out, Bulger's piece actually did get published in Rolling Stone, and Baker, a seemingly nasty, bitter, violent old man—at one point he smacks Bulger in the face with his cane, causing the filmmaker to bleed profusely—has a soft spot for his many dogs and polo horses. He's also one leaping fuck of a great drummer. The must-see Beware of Mr. Baker is the evil flipside to the uplifting Searching for Sugar Man, but it's perhaps even more fascinating. NED LANNAMANNIt starts tonight at the Hollywood.
If you missed Ethan Rose and the Flash Choir's performance of Between Rooms & Voices—they performed it several times at Portland City Hall in December 2010—you'll want to check out this striking, 15-minute documentary from director Kyle Eaton and producers David Cress and Bernadette Spear. Actually, if you did see the performance, you'll want to watch it too, as it was a stunning, strange event that both soothed the ol' earholes and tickled the mind with its examination of spatial acoustics. It was something, to be sitting there in a government building and have it be overtaken by a choir of droning singers clad in cult-like white. Definitely dug up some ghosts from that building for sure.
And there's also some gorgeous Portland porn in the video for good measure. My god, we live in a good-looking city.
Bands can get a little nutty on the road. For proof, here's a homemade tour documentary of TalkyD—perhaps you know them as Talkdemonic—on the road through February, following them down the West Coast, through the South and Midwest, and back home again. There's snippets of performances, including Talkdemonic's brain-trippin' light show, but there's also all that other stuff that goes into touring: plenty staring out the window, waiting backstage, amusing yourself by doing embarrassing things in front of your friends (and in this case, the camera). There's also a day off in Reno where violist Lisa Molinaro wins a karaoke contest, proving that if Talkdemonic ever wanted to switch gears and become a Pat Benetar cover band, they'd probably do just fine. Basically, it's a bunch of stupid shit on the road, and that's why it's so much fun to watch.
I've already mentioned the great new documentary on Mott the Hoople, but it's worth mentioning again. The Ballad of Mott the Hoople, just released this week on DVD, would probably work well for certain reasons regardless, simply because of its subject matter: One of the greatest, most underappreciated, interesting bands of the past 50 years, and one that hasn't been exhumed and discussed to death either in books or on film. But Ballad triumphs for being far better than it needed to be. It's simply a terrific documentary, telling nearly the full tale of Mott the Hoople, from their somewhat manufactured birth at the hands of madman producer Guy Stevens to their splintering under pressure at the height of their career in 1974.
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