Music and film are arguably the two best mediums of entertainment perfect for chilling out and enjoying your downtime after a long day of doing whatever arduous task it is you do during the day.
At Tone Deaf, we’re all about music and relaxing, so music documentaries are exactly the sort of thing that we love to indulge in. There’s nothing better than kicking back on a lazy evening, and relaxing in front of a documentary about music.
So to here are five music docos that you can watch in the comfort of your own home without spending a single dollar.
Until the Light Takes Us (2009, Dir: Aaron Aites & Audrey Ewell)
Starting with this intriguing and insightful look inside the world of Norwegian black metal music and rebellious culture. This is a fantastic film for fans of any music as it offers a fantastic insider point of view into the happenings and culture of black metal.
Primarily starring the infamous Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes (the man behind Burzum, committee of multiple church burnings and renowned murderer of his band mate from Mayhem, Øystein Aarseth) and Gylve “Fenriz” Nagell of Darkthrone, a previously elusive and very mysterious subculture is pried open and unbiasedly analysed for those who may never get, or want, an inside look at it.
Without spoiling too much of the film the interviewees offer insight to the suicide of Mayhem frontman Per “Dead” Ohlin and the use of his remains as an album cover, the pioneering of black metal music in Norway and the trials and tribulations in their subculture.
This doco is free to watch on YouTube, but if you do like the film make sure to support them and buy the DVD here.
1959: The Year That Changed Jazz (2009, Prod: Paul Bernays for BBC)
Taking a light turn from black metal and into the intimate world of Jazz, 1959: The Year That Changed Jazz is a ripper exploration into the three most influential jazz records ever produced, all in one seismic year.
Similarly to Until The Light Takes Us, this film shows the rebellious side of jazz music in the civil rights movement, the transformation of music and the creation of a plethora of new genres which amounted from jazz.
Interviewees include jazz heavyweights Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck and widow of Charles Mingus, Sue Mingus. This is another fantastic pic for any music lovers as it offers an interesting journey through the one year that shaped many modern genres that you may not even associate with jazz.
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (The Collaborators) (2013, Dir: Ed Lachman)
Created for the release of the newest Daft Punk album after 8 years of no new music, Random Access Memories, this video series interviews the collaborators of this new album and their experiences with early developments of electronic music and their experiences with the elusive and dynamic duo Daft Punk.
Those artists interviewed range from Donna Summer’s producer and electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder to legendary hip-hop and pop producer Pharrell Williams. Even compared to Daft Punk these are some huge names to have talk about their home turf in music and great music.
Copyright Criminals (2009, Prod: Benjamin Franzen)
Swerving from electronic music and on to one of jazz’s many influences, this feature length documentary gathers insight in the industry from the world of hip-hop sampling and particularly the legal implications.
So many of your favourite hip-hop records like 36 Chambers by the Wu Tang Clan, Fuck the Police by N.W.A. and De La Soul’s Me Myself and I are all produced from samples of soul, jazz and funk classics.
Sampling is so common in the age of electronic production as any producer can directly take a groove from here, a beat from there and blend it together to create a fully cohesive song purely from others work. Whether or not this should be allowed, this doc explores.
Copyright Criminals gets interviews from the samplers, the engineers the attorneys and the samples to create a well rounded, unbiased opinion. Legends such as George Clinton, the maverick of funk, have their own say on what sampling is and if it should be allowed.
You can watch this pic on Vimeo for free down below but of course if you enjoy the film make sure the purchase a copy here.
Everything Is A Remix (2010, Prod: Kirby Ferguson)
Everything is a Remix an excellent look into the dynamics of music and film creation and explores how new content is created and why sometimes it all sounds the same.
Again, while trying not to spoil much of the fantastically executed doco, part one explains why Led Zeppelin maybe were in the wrong for “borrowing” all those tracks and also why it happened and why it wasn’t legal.
This is a fantastic doc for all knowledge buffs, music lovers and film nerds, and you can watch the 2015 remastered version on Vimeo.