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I’ll be honest with you – I’ve never really been much of a music guy. I simply don’t feel the same connection to music that so many people do. It’s not that I don’t like music, mind you. I just don’t need it in the way that true musicophiles do.

That said, I definitely dig a good music documentary. Even without that visceral, cellular-level type connection to the music, the stories behind the music – the people and places and influences that brought that music to life – remain fascinating to me.

As you might imagine, the new Todd Haynes documentary “The Velvet Underground” – currently streaming on Apple TV+ - fits the bill perfectly. To have someone like Haynes, a filmmaker with an idiosyncratic eye and an obvious adoration of music that permeates his filmography, take on one of the most influential rock bands of all time? What kind of wonderful result could we expect?

An apt one, as it turns out, a perfect marriage of documentarian and subject. Haynes proves to be just the right person to capture the frenetic bohemian energy of not just The Velvet Underground, but of their surroundings. The pieces will be familiar, but the whole into which they have been assembled is unlike any music documentary you’ve seen before. In many ways, this film is an experience – an evocative reflection of the band’s place in the cultural zeitgeist.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:24

The other Boston Tea Party

In the mid 80s, a friend gave me a cassette containing live recordings of a February 1970 Fleetwood Mac performance (the original Fleetwood Mac - with Peter Green on guitar and lead vocals) recorded in Boston. The tape was labeled 'Live at the Boston Tea Party,' and to this day, that tape contains some of the best live rock recordings I've heard.

In those pre-internet days, information about The Boston Tea Party was hard to come by. That tape instilled an ongoing curiosity for me about the venue itself. Where was it? Who played there? What is currently occupying that space? That's where it gets a bit complicated.

Published in Buzz

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