Sound City

Director: David Grohl
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 2.0

Fighter of Foo Grohl offers up this Love Fest to the famous Sound City recording studio in California, which, despite its unkempt, ragtag appearance had a great soundboard (by Rupert Neve) and produced a remarkable amount of noteworthy records (from Fleetwood Mac to Tom Petty to Nirvana). Hearing musicians tell stories is always fun in a VH1 Special kind-of-way, but there isn't much to say about the studio behind what's covered in the first hour of this - the rest of the doc then turns into part-concert, part self-promotion and part weakly-formed thesis on digital technology versus 'that old way' of recording, privileging jamming with one's friends and band mates instead of sitting in a room, alone with one's cat and tapping on a laptop. Truth is, you can make wonderful music any way, and you could say many new technologies have changed the way we do things - I personally oppose e-books (what's so damn wrong about paper and binding and that old book smell?) - and it's a fine world where we can all listen to and enjoy the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Brian Eno and Wire and Aphex Twin along with Johnny Cash and the Rolling Stones and The Who and Leonard Cohen and The Clash and the Germs. It's about the quality of the artist, not the medium.