By Jake Coyle, Associated Press | Can a music scene still develop the way grunge did in 1990’s Seattle or hip-hop did in the Bronx in the 1970s? Or has the digital makeover of music made such geographical-based explosions obsolete?

It’s a question that hovers over the Sundance Film Festival documentary “Meet Me in the Bathroom,” a vivid and shambolic time capsule of early 2000s New York when bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, the Strokes, Interpol and LCD Soundsystem made the city — and Brooklyn in particular — one the last easily identifiable hotbeds of rock music.

The film, which debuted Sunday at Sundance, is directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, and adapted from Lizzy Goodman’s book, “Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011.” Focusing mainly on the first handful of those years, the documentary is an ode to an already far-gone era when a wave of bands revitalized New York’s music scene, capturing the gritty romance of the city. Brief interludes of news footage hint at a broader digital narrative forming largely outside the scene’s bubble: Y2K fears, the onset of Napster, the introduction of the iPod.

“One of the things we kept asking is: Is it even possible for a scene to emerge in one place with such intensity?” Southern, who with Lovelace made the 2012 LCD Soundsystem documentary “Shut Up and Play the Hits,” said in a recent interview. “Now the way we consume music is different, the way we listen or even make music is different. The Guardian newspaper, when they reviewed the book, they described it as a flashbulb moment before everything changed.”

“Everything is so democratized and spread out,” adds Lovelace. “People don’t seem to buzz around music the way they once did.”

At Sundance, though, there is always buzz around music documentaries. At last year’s virtual festival, Questlove’s “Summer of Soul (or… The Revolution Will Not Be Televised),” which documented the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, was arguably the festival’s biggest breakout hit. [If you haven’t seen it, do so!] …
> > > > > > > >
Such a maternal relationship never existed for [Sinead] O’Connor, who speaks about the abuse she suffered from her mother in Kathryn Ferguson’s “Nothing Compares.” To many, O’Connor has been largely reduced to a caricature — that fiery bald Irish singer who tore up an image of the pope on “Saturday Night Live.” But “Nothing Compares,” by laying out O’Connor’s life, which she discusses in off-camera interviews heard through the film, gives O’Connor’s music and career the depth it deserves by tracing the pain that drove it. She was just 20, and pregnant, when her 1987 debut album came out.
> > > > > > > >
Read the rest of the story here:

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

[Thanks to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article!]

Leave a Reply

Close Search Window