Movies and Books of the month|

Our suggested movies and books involve the business of music. Learn something from them! Go to the website, www.coloradomusic.org for complete descriptions of the movie and book.

MOVIE FOR APRIL 2014: “Sound City”, directed by Dave Grohl, and “Pearl Jam Twenty”, directed by Cameron Crowe

Videos available at:

Review by RJ Cubarrubia

Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary and Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam Twenty headed to VH1’s Rock Docs series .  . Sound City, directed by the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer, tells the story of the beloved studio near Los Angeles where Nirvana recorded their 1991 classic Nevermind. The film also features artists including Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and Trent Reznor, who have all recorded or done work at the now defunct analog studio.

The New Immortals: Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam Twenty, meanwhile, traces the band’s early years as the musicians first come together, deal with their fast-rising fame and decide to step away from it. Almost Famous director Crowe also packed in more than 1,200 hours of rare and never-before-seen footage of Pearl Jam, and tracks the rockers over the years as they continue their legacy through their 20th anniversary.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/sound-city-and-pearl-jam-twenty-to-air-on-vh1-20130813#ixzz2xnFWoqcs
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BOOK FOR APRIL 2014: “Love, Peacce and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show” By Ericka Blount Danois

Soul Train and Pain: New Book Explores The Legacy of Don Cornelius’ Empire

In her book, Love, Peace and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show, Soul Train, author Ericka Blount Danois does more than a pop-chronology or even a look behind the scenes. She gets deeply into the history and sociology of a man and a media movement that reshaped how America looked at race, self-expression, and culture.

Soul Train’s impresario Don Cornelius committed suicide in 2012. He would have been 77 on his birthday on September 27th, 2013.

I got a chance to ask author Ericka Blount Danois how and why she so deeply explored Soul Train and Cornelius’ life.

Your book includes vivid and visual detail of Don Cornelius’ early days in Chicago; his heyday; and his decline. How did you as a writer go about capturing the spirit and scenes of the book? What was your research process, and what did you choose to achieve with this book?

I actually physically went to a lot of the scenes that I mentioned to get a feel for them (though many places have changed), I interviewed over 100 people — people who worked on the show in Chicago, people who went to school with Don, partied with him, family, old friends, dancers, artists on the show, etc. I had people with great memories to re-create scenes. I read everything about Soul Train and Don and books about the time period. I read books about the artists. I watched episodes, many that are not licensed to air as re-runs, (but I wish they would get them on-air because they are fantastic!). A few months after I got the contract, Don committed suicide and I covered the funeral and interviewed people there. I interviewed the detective that covered the suicide. I just became immersed in the world of Soul Train for a little over two years. Soul Train has such a rich, nearly 40-year history that the learning process is ongoing. After gathering all of the information, I then reconstructed the story using a narrative, non-fiction approach.

I wanted to begin to uncover the reasons why Soul Train had this lasting cultural impact around the world. What was it about the show that allows it to continue to resonate for so many different kinds of people? And what was Don’s personal story — how did he persevere as a black pioneer in television? Who was he behind the cool pose we witnessed on television? How did these two things — Don’s personality and the phenomenon of Soul Train — come together to create the longest running first-run syndicated show in television history? And how did it come together to create a lasting cultural phenomenon?

There are many pivotal moments, but one is where Cornelius’ trusted secretary turns out to be embezzling. Much later in his life, and in the book, the scene where Don Cornelius won’t pay towards Lil Joe Chism’s headstone is heartbreaking. What do you think he owed his dancers? Do you think his trust issues (and generosity issues) extended past business travails into something more internal?

Great question. On the one hand I believe spiritually that to whom much is given, much is expected and a few hundred dollars to pay for the headstone for a loyal dancer that helped to build the success of the show would have been easy to do. The dancers, most of whom came from the same circumstances that he did, also looked up to him and many just wanted recognition from him that they were a huge part of what made the show tremendously popular.

Read the whole article/review at:

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MUSICAL TERM FOR APRIL 2014: “Quadruplet” – A group of four equal notes to be executed in the time of three or six of the same kind in the established rhythm.

~ Pocket Manual of Musical Terms

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