Something I really enjoy doing during the few moments I actually have some spare time is watching documentaries on punk rock music. There are loads about looking at different eras, scenes, genres, bands and festivals from all over the world of punk rock. Many of these documentaries have found their way on to the YouTube. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my favourites.
One Nine Nine Four
This documentary looks specifically at what is considered to be one of the greatest years of punk rock music - 1994. When bands like Green Day and The Offspring took the mainstream culture by storm and punk rock music would never be the same again. Everyone from all the important bands of the era gives interviews on what it was like to be a part of this mega explosion of the underground. It really is a who's who of punk rockers including Fat Mike, Tim Armstrong, Lars Frederiksen, Tom Delonge, Mark Hoppus, Billie Joe Armstrong, Brett Gurewitz, Greg Graffin, Fletcher Dragge, Tony Sly, Dexter Holland, Kevin Lyman, Larry Livermore - pretty much any big name you can think of, they contributed to this brilliant documentary.
Trying It At Home
Trying It At Home is a documentary about DIY punk rock. It focusses heavily on Plan-It-X Records from Bloomington Indiana and Jeff Rosensock/Bomb The Music Industry. And features many interviews talking about what the DIY musical culture means to them and what they have learned from it. I found this documentary so eye opening and learned a lot about the world of DIY punk rock, and music in general, from it. It shows just how important DIY music really is, without DIY bands there probably wouldn't be much of a music industry.
No.3 - Punk Rock House Shows
No.3 documents the last show of a legendary venue for house shows in Southampton. It's a short half an hour look at what happens when you get a small collective of people all working together to build something amazing. The documentary talks about the origins of putting on house shows as well as the great feeling the organisers got from putting on the shows. The film also has live footage of the bands that played the live show and it's an impressive list of performers including Gnarwolves, Great Cynics, Our Time Down Here (who later became Creeper), Throwing Stuff and Break-Ups, among others. That kind of line-up would sell lots of tickets and venues all over the UK. A great watch if you love UK punk rock.
Do You Remember - 15 Years Of The Bouncing Souls
This is an old one but a very good one. The Bouncing Souls incredible career is now in its 27th year. Do You Remember looks at the first fifteen years of the band's career. Looking at how the band met, their early years as a band, living in punk houses, personal demons each member has battled with and making a name for themselves before finally signing to their home for years, Epitaph Records. This was a really great insight into what life was like for young bands starting out before the days of the Internet. I also found it incredibly heart-warming to see the amazing bond of friendship that has allowed the band to grow beyond what anyone would have expected and has seen The Bouncing Souls become huge all over the world.
The Other F Word
The Other F Word looks at what it's like to be a dad whilst also being a punk rocker. Expanding on the book Punk Rock Dad written by Pennywise's Jim Lindberg, the documentary explores topics such as how someone who lives a life fighting against authority then has to learn how to be the authority figure in their kid's life and how they ultimately have to make major changes and sacrifices to their punk rock life. Along with Lindberg, other contributors to the film include Fat Mike, Flea, Duane Peters, Mark Hoppus and Tony Hawk all giving an interesting take on life of the Punk Rock Dad.