Feel-good Friday: Echo in the Canyon

This is the most feel-good I’ve felt ALL WEEK

(left) Tom Petty gives his last film interview to Jakob Dylan (son of Bob) in “Echo in the Canyon”, (right) David Crosby recalls the neighborly “social network” that made Laurel Canyon special – images The Argonaut (by Bliss Bowen).

This is music history in the making with a loving look at Laurel Canyon and the California Sound back in the day.  ENTERTAINING to say the least.

This NETFLIX rocdoc is a must for all music and rock fans in general.  It’s a well thought out documentary about the history of music in L.A. with interviews going back and forth with some of music’s greatest.  Uplifting, funny and most of all, fantastic music.  You won’t want to miss it.

Now on Netflix

Culture/Art/Film: Landfill Harmonic

This is the best feel-good movie I’ve seen in a long time.

landfil2 I just watched it with my film buddy who I met at VIFF. landfil1This film is not about garbage, it’s about making the best of the junk that surrounds you.

The reason it’s uplifting is that it points out that no matter what your living conditions are like, through the power of hope and dreams you can build on becoming what you desire and we realize that music is that unifying force that binds all people.  It’s pretty powerful.  It’s actually a film on the power of music through very unusual circumstances.landfil5landfil4

These kids play everything from the BIG THREE (Mozart, Bach, Beethoven) to heavy metal (play heavy metal with heavy metal) favourites.

Land Fillharmonic was showcased last year at various film festivals but was recently re-released in many cinemas worldwide (you’ll have to check in your hometown).  If so, I highly recommend seeing it.  WATCH TRAILER:


Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group who live next to one of South America’s largest landfills. This unlikely orchestra play music from instruments made entirely out of garbage. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. With the guidance of their music director, Favio Chávez (a most amazing man), they must navigate this new world of arenas and sold out concerts. However, when a natural disaster devastates their community, the orchestra provides a source of hope for the town.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king – one of the instruments taken in the lobby of VanCity Theatre Tuesday night.

Instruments Beyond Borders...harnessing the power of music to better children’s lives.  Many schools have now very unfortunately cut music from educational programs.  It’s good to give back.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

An entirely volunteer, charitable Society dedicated to delivering donated musical instruments and funds to music education programs in disadvantaged communities at home and abroad.  In Vancouver instrument donations can be made at Tapestry Music (3607 West Broadway).  Tax receipts for donated instruments are available upon evaluation.

Music heals the world.  So will recycling.

Art/Culture/Music – you always need a back up!

IF YOU  MUSIC you need to watch these two docs – both are on Netflix

20 feet from stardom
20 feet from stardom – backup singers

I just watched a fabulous documentary called 20 Feet from Stardom and I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever loved and listened to music – so that means YOU & everyone else.  This is an Oscar-winning film by Morgan Neville that is long overdue and super fascinating.

Do the names Darlene Love, Táta Vega, Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer mean anything to you?  Chances are you’ve never heard of them before but chances are you have heard them before.  Heard them sing that is!  Many times & on famous songs and hit records.  They are the back-up singers, otherwise known and relied on as being indispensable to the recording industry.  The unacknowledged unsung heroes – very much appreciated by the front runners of the industry but don’t get the credit from the general public that they so deserve. Although Darlene Love was recently & finally inducted into the music hall of fame by Bette Midler.

Darlene Love
Darlene Love

Neville talks to the big players like Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and music producers about the mind-boggling talent of these women and how much they respect them and rely on their support.  Infact, most of them sing as well or better than their superstar counterparts.

It is not without sadness but it is also about greatness and possibility.  Bittersweet.

Okay, I don’t want to give too much away except to say once again, you NEED to see this documentary if you love music.  That’s all!

WATCH 20 feet from Stardom trailer:

I also really liked:

THE MEDICINE OF MUSIC and one Man’s Amazing Journey

Glen Campbell I’ll Be Memusic2

While on the subject of music docs here’s another interesting one I recently watched (even though both have been out for a while now) on country singer & music legend Glen Campbell who was sadly & unexpectedly told to hang up his guitar after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011 as he set out on an unprecedented tour across America.  Instead of the original intended 5 week tour, it went for 151 sold out shows over a year and a half while being documented as his “Goodbye Tour” as he and his wife decided to go public with his diagnosis and illness.   Alzheimer’s is an unpredictable, very common disease and it is great to see his family back him up with support, love, laughter and of course music (3 of his kids play on stage with him).  It is interesting, educational and heartfelt.

Interesting Tidbits: Bet you didn’t know that Glen Campbell played with the Beach Boys?  Yes, he did on occasion.

My friend’s talented daughter has the priviledge of recording at his son’s (Cal Campbell) home recording studio in California and said he is a lovely man.

GLEN CAMPBELL I’LL BE ME Official Movie Trailer

Directed by James Keach

Have you seen either?