Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SxSW 2013 - Day 5

Muscle Shoals

This documentary was one of the best of the festival. It was about the now legendary music town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

The film covers recording pioneer, Rick Hall and his FAME Studios, along with the house band, the Swampers, who eventually split to form the rival, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. I was already aware of the significance of the place, but had no idea, how many bands, hits songs, and Gold and Platinum albums, had been recorded at these two studios. It was staggering.

Having watched several of these documentaries, I am convinced that I need a bucket list item, to go on a pilgrimage and try to visit the original sites of Motown Records in Detroit, Sun Records and Stax in Memphis, Buddy Holly's place in Lubbock, TX, and of course these two studios in Muscle Shoals.

Muscle Shoals

Muscle Shoals Trailer

Seeing my brother off

Since Tuesday is the last day of Interactive, I spent some time having a final lunch with my brother and some of his co-workers from Ohio, before seeing him off to the airport.

Last Lunch of SxSWi


Medora, Indiana, was once a booming rural town, with a thriving middle class, and an independent, high school. Things have changed recently, and economic conditions have decimated this town.

This film picks up, with Medora's once formidable, high school basketball team in the middle of a multiple year, losing streak. They follow several of the team members through an entire season, where against all odds, they actually managed to turn things around, and win two games.

What was really nice, is that the directors brought one of the team members with them to SxSW, and they were available afterwards, for Q&A. Anyone who manages to see this movie, will be affected by it, in a positive way.


We Cause Scenes

The last film of the day for me, was about Improv Everywhere, a small gang of comedians and pranksters, who became an internationally recognized prank collective. The documentary covers their history, and shows some of their more recent flash mob style stunts.

My favorite stunt was them setting up as a 4 piece band and impersonating the band U2, from a rooftop across the street from Madison Square Garden (where U2 was playing that night). A casual listen to band, quickly revealed that it was not really U2, however, many of the people on the street went along with the gag, finding it funny. Not everyone in NYC is so light hearted, so someone eventually called NYPD to shut it down.

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