The absence of anything to do that involves a crowd, especially going to see a band, or playing with my own, has me jonesing even more for music these days.
Normally, the warmer seasons would be filled with Pig gigs and concerts aplenty, but since that ain’t happening anytime soon, I have found a way to get my fix by curating a list and working my way through films and documentaries about music.
I am a self-proclaimed choir nerd. I love musicals and live theater. Throw on a movie or biopic about some badass singer-songwriter or the story of someone’s journey to stardom and I’m all in.
If you have access to a projector, download and play one of these gems and snuggle in under a blanket in the under the cool, summer, night sky and have an awesome at-home, outdoor viewing party!
Here is a list of some of my favorite music-themed movies to stream:
Joe Cocker Mad Dog With Soul (Netflix, 2017)
This documentary highlights Joe Cocker’s 50-year, soul-filled musical journey and the Woodstock appearance that catapulted his career.
One of Joe Cocker’s most memorable attributes was his unique voice. This movie explores the roughness in his sound and his own inner turmoil that contributed to the grit, soul, and passion he brought to every performance.
The Dirt (Netflix, 2019)
This raunchy biopic is based on the tell-all biography The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band – Motley Crue.
Some words to describe my thoughts as Ryan and I watched would be: disturbed, appalled, and totally entertained. Motley Crüe’s rise to fame and the absurdity and excess in which they traveled their road to stardom is the theme throughout this film and perhaps just what you might be looking for while you are home.
Gaga: Five Foot Two (Netflix, 2017)
Gaga: Five Foot Two is a film that documents the release of Lady Gaga’s 5th studio album as well as the production and performance of the Super Bowl Halftime Show LI.
I was a fan Gaga before she was selling out stadiums. I am obsessed with her insane attention to detail and the entertainment factor she brings to every performance. She is as brilliant as she is hardworking and this movie shows a raw and vulnerable Gaga that not only struggles with chronic pain, how the song Joanne came to be and what life as a megastar looks like, which she portrays as pretty lonely and exhausting.
I could go on about Gaga but you will just have to see for yourself. She is fearless and one of today’s most epic creators.
20 Feet From Stardom (Netflix, 2013)
This film was the 2014 Academy Award Best Documentary Feature highlighting the voices that backed up some of the greatest singers/entertainers of our time like Springsteen, Jagger, and Stevie Wonder to name a few.
20 Feet From Stardom follows several women behind the voices that everyone can recognize, but no one really knew.
Wild Rose (Amazon, 2019)
Wild Rose tells the arduous story of Rose-Lynn, who is recently released from prison and on a mission to become a country music star. Plot twist: she is from Glasgow, Scotland, and also a single mom to two children. Her mom doesn’t think pursuing a singing career is going to lead anywhere but nowhere. Just you wait. Jessie Buckley plays Wild Rose and I am obsessed.
The story. The Soundtrack. Everything. This is the perfect family flick (minus some swears and maybe a bare ass early on).
David Foster: Off The Record (Netflix, 2020)
Sleeper hit of the list right here! I had a rare bout of insomnia and I thought I would turn this one on to fall asleep. Boy was I wrong! I knew that David Foster was in his own class of music producers, but I was unaware of the long list of megastars and huge hits that were in part because he was the mind behind making them.
David Foster gets candid about who he is, why he has had so many wives, and his obsession with perfection and creating masterful works of art. This one is easy to watch and if you are into ballad hits from the 90’s you will worship this tribute to David Foster’s astonishing career.
Taylor Swift, Miss Americana (Netflix, 2020)
Calling all feminists and folks who appreciate strong bitches with a voice. Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana documentary takes you through seven years of her career and her transformational journey as she embraces the full power of her voice. Not just as a signer-songwriter, but beyond.
It is intimate and vulnerable. Big fan. Taylor Swift is all grown up and you can watch her transform into the strong and empowered young woman she has become in Miss Americana.
Hamilton (Disney +, 2020)
This is an order: Watch Hamilton! If you weren’t smart enough to see Hamilton live (like my dumb ass) then I am requiring you to stream it at home ASAP. Treat yo-self to the Disney + app, pop some popcorn, pour yourself a stiff drink, and take in all of the greatness that is Hamilton.
IMO, Hamilton is a true American classic. It is an epic live performance based on the life of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. There is so much to see and LEARN in this performance and don’t even get me started on the hop/jazz/R & B score. I didn’t think I would like the music. As it turns out, I can’t stop listening to it. It is wonderful.
You will laugh and cry and leave feeling like you would ace your next American History test. P.S. Jonathon Groff is BRILLIANT. Just you wait!
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