Dave Grohl’s “Sound City” ignites the spirit of rock’n’roll
First time director Dave Grohl is someone whose name you may associate more clearly with the title of former drummer of 90s grunge band Nirvana and now front-man of the Foo Fighters. Being a fan of heartfelt, guitar smashing, beautiful music..ahem – Nirvana, you can imagine my excitement being in the presence of Grohl. It took a lot of energy out of me opening night in reminding myself that I was there to be a reporter and not to channel my inner junior high fan-girl mentality and scream “I love you Dave Grohl!”
Fortunately folks, I saved myself the embarrassment and stood strong.
While being able to get in a question on the red carpet for Grohl and a few chats with his friends (and documentary subjects) in attendance (hello Rick Springfield) was an astounding experience, what took me by surprise the most was the content of the documentary itself. “Sound City” is everything you’d expect – a music documentary talking about the famed studio it is named after in Van Nuys, California – a studio where the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, and Nirvana recorded. But then, director Grohl slaps you in the face. He hits you with raw footage of some of these artists in the studio when they recorded some of their hit albums – picture Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joining forces and collaborating in the studio. Envision Rick Springfield in his “Jesse’s Girl” days. Hear the tunes of “Refugee” emerging from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Then, we see the late Kurt Cobain jamming out in Nevermind sessions. Seeing Cobain on tape was nothing short of chilling. It was a somber reminder to the audience that such a man lived and thrived and made music, and he made music that we could all relate to. He made music in the Sound City studio. It was the type of somber reminder that carried an inspiring tone that can’t be forced, it was Cobain, on the big screen, with his band, being nothing short of themselves; it was just felt.
In the end, Grohl said, it doesn’t matter what you use to record, it’s the people you share it with.
The recording of Nirvana’s Nevermind, was an expression of just that – how they vibed together, and the soul behind all music – something to share with someone. Grohl’s “Sound City” did excellent in portraying this along with the same, inexplicable feelings and music created among other notable, rock legends at the studio.
“Sound City” had its Texas premiere at SXSW film 2013 and its world premeire a few months prior at the Sundance festival.
-Monica Solis, KTSW reporter
(Media – Monica Solis, Jordan Gass-Poore/KTSW 89.9)