We Review Dave Grohl's New Film, "Sound City"! Spoiler Alert: Rick Springfield Is THE SHIT!


If you're a musician, you owe it to yourself to go see "Sound City".

On the other hand, if you're dating a musician, or, worse yet, married to one, you have my most heartfelt sympathies.  Oh, and you should definitely go see "Sound City".

I say that because being a musician can be a lonely existence.  To the outsider who sees only the sold-out shows, the groupies, and the limousines, it might seem quite the opposite, but "getting to that point" means a lot of lonely hours left stoking one's own creative fire.

When the rest of the world is getting on with their lives, building families and making memories, the musician is alone in some smelly rehearsal space, or some smelly van, or some smelly recording studio.  The weird thing is, they wouldn't have it any other way.

Amazingly, first-time-director Dave Grohl comes damn close to describing why we musicians do the things we do and how a funky recording studio in the bowels of the San Fernando Valley came to play such an integral role in rock history.


Whether you grew up in the '70s, '80s, or '90s, chances are that many of the rock songs that comprise the soundtrack to the best (and worst) times of your youth were recorded at the esteemed San Fernando Valley recording studio.

Most entities in the music biz are lucky to prosper for one decade, much less three.  Even with the rapid-fire technological advances that led to the complete digitization of the rest of the music industry, "Sound City" came to be known the world over for remaining true to their original analog rock & roll roots.

What's so perplexing after watching Dave Grohl's documentary is the fact that none of the other key players in the studio's history tried to nab the legendary Neve board when the news of the studio's closing was announced.  A casual inquiry by Grohl revealed that the board had not, in fact, been carted off to its rightful place in the Smithsonian.  Realizing he could actually own this gargantuan piece of music history, Grohl purchased the board.  Right around this same time, the idea came to him to do a documentary on the board, which led to this great documentary on the studio that it called home.

While the board certainly lent a lot of credibility to the otherwise shambolic recording studio, what truly made the music that came out of it so great were the people that not only ran the studio, but found there way to the studio, either as musicians or engineers, or office staff who doubled as backing singers when the need arose.  The people were what made Sound City and that, rather smartly, is what Grohl chose to focus upon.


Rounding out the documentary are several performances recorded on the infamous Neve board; Stevie Nicks with the Foo Fighters, Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age jam with Trent Reznor and Grohl, and ¾ of Nirvana with Sir Paul McCartney, to name just a few.  These sessions take place at Grohl’s studio on the legendary Neve board and are truly inspired additions to Grohl’s musical canon.

Of course, it is the interviews that act as the backbone of this film and drive home the importance of this studio, offering a multitude of personal insights that celebrate not only Sound City, but a day when bands really had to have their shit together to make it big.  I'm tempted to drop a bunch of quotes from the movie that I found especially humorous or insightful, but I honestly don't want to spoil a single one for you.  Now stop reading this review and see the damn movie already!

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