So, if you’re anything like me (broke and highly solitary), I’m guessing you haven’t even considered December holiday gifts thus far… And, if you’re really like me, you likely still appreciate a good, hard copy of your audiovisual materials (Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure most of these come in a soulless, digital format as well.) Well, for those music fans that you know who still enjoy getting to see show, here are four recently released movies that… well, rock…
Black Sabbath: The End Eagle Vision
Although it’s generally easy to blow off dinosaur rock bands on their fifth decade, even I, a skeptic of a Bill-Ward-less Black Sabbath, who has refused to see the band since 2005, must admit that this document of their final-ever show, in their hometown of Birmingham, earlier this year, is quite awesome. Nearly two hours of the absolute greatest metal songs ever written soundtrack a plethora of pyro and pumping devil horns, conducted by some older dudes who know how to kick ass in a way that no hard rock or metal band has managed thus far in this century. I know “epic” has been co-opted by bros, but this is fucking epic!!!!!!
Jane’s Addiction: Alive at Twenty-Five – Ritual De Lo Habitual MVD Visual
Jane’s Addiction is arguably (except not really) the greatest live band of all-time. Never has a band so successfully balanced the allure of the sonically subcultural with the pomp of “rock’n’roll,” much less balanced the badassery of a punk show with the arena rock spectacle. In this performance, we see the greatest frontman/lead guitarist combo of all-time chug through the band’s 1990 masterpiece amidst scantily-clad dancers and suspension artists, making for something that meets at the intersection of Cirque du Soleil, KISS, and something you would have seen at Max’s Kansas City in 1971.
L.A.M.F. Live at the Bowery Electric MVD Visual
If you have an aunt who knows what L.A.M.F. is, be grateful for her, and gift her with this film that only a true punk rocker would likely appreciate… but which every true punk rocker would appreciate. L.A.M.F. celebrates Johnny Thunders’ post-New York Dolls outfit, The Heartbreakers’ first, last, and only real album. Walter Lure, the last of the living Heartbreakers, enlisted The MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Blondie’s Clem Burke, and The Replacements’/Bash & Pop’s Tommy Stinson (whom I’m pretty sure I recently became friends with… I’m just sayin’…) to kick out the band’s seminal record. Although far from looking glossy, seeing the band take on the charmingly intimate and dive-y basement bar with a plethora of the songs that bred punk rock as we know it, is quite satisfying.
The Lure Criterion Collection
For our only non-concert-performance-film… Agnieszka Smoczynska’s 2015 glam-fueled, horror-inspired musical could make RHPS and Velvet Goldmine its bitches, while still having time for a closely fought dustup with Hedwig in the back alley. This adaptation of The Little Mermaid has two man-eating mermaid sisters wash ashore in 1980s Poland to find work in a strip club and become entangled with several rock band bros. It’s filled with the synthy sleaze we all remember of the 1980s, the eroticism classically associated with the combination of female bodies and water, and the brash, smash-the-patriarchy sentiments that accompany basically all of the 21st century art worth consuming.