Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

This past weekend, our family hosted a party in which our son’s band played a bunch of songs and performed for family and friends.

This was not their first performance. In the spring, the boys were apart of the high school’s talent show. In that venue they only had to play three songs. In our backyard, the expectations were greater while the audience was smaller.

Those of us who were there had a great time. The boys had occasional help from family members to make a song work but more importantly, they learned how to deal with each other in a performing situation and that is a big hurdle to overcome.

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Will it go anywhere? Who knows. The potential is there to be a good regional band. But like anything else, it takes persistence and hard work. Nickelback wrote in one of their songs that as they were growing up, they wanted to know what it would be like to sing to someone other than themselves while in the car. I think that could fit for many of us.

Friends of mine recently recommended a documentary called Searching For Sugarman about two South Africans who go on a trek to find out whatever happened to their musical hero. Sugarman, also known as Rodriquez, is a folk singer who made two albums in the early seventies. But no one seemed interested in him. His albums didn’t sell in the U.S. and the man slipped back into obscurity.

Somehow his music found its way to South Africa. The man was as popular as Elvis but it was rumored that Rodriquez was dead from an apparent suicide. In the 1990s the two friends decided they would find out what happened to their idol.

The movie won an Oscar for best documentary in 2012. Rodriquez did not show up for the ceremony so as to not take the spotlight away from Swedish director, Malik Bendjelloul. Bendjelloul stated that is fitting for Rodriquez, that he would be so generous on a night honoring his career.

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Another documentary on music that I love is Standing in the Shadows of Motown about the Funk Brothers. These guys were the studio musicians who played on every song recorded in the Motown studios in Detroit.

They created the licks and picks of Motown songs that made them memorable. We see pictures of the man who came up with the opening line of “My Girl” and hear music from an era that has passed into history. These men tell stories of how they worked together and kept each other safe during the riots. And they also tell how hard it was not to be known for the great music they created. And they tell the truth of what happened in the end, why they ended up being left behind.

Music is a fickle mistress but when you are in the middle of making it, there is a feeling of paradise.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.