Monday, June 1, 2020

Josh Groban Announces An Intimate Livestream Concert Event on June 27th

Today, Global superstar Josh Groban announces a special intimate livestream concert on June 27th at 1PM PST/4PM EST/8PM GMT/6AM AEST (June 28). Josh, along with long time guitarist Tariqh Akoni, and piano player Mark Stephens, will perform a career spanning set, filled with some of his greatest hits, fan favorites and a few new songs. See Trailer HERE.

Tickets for the livestream concert will go on sale June 1st at 1PM PST with the FOJG exclusive pre-sale and general on-sale will begin Wednesday, June 3rd at 1PM PST at Extremely Limited VIP Packages and special merch offerings, including an official event T-Shirt with $5 of each sale going towards Josh's Find Your Light Foundation, will also be available to fans. Fans who purchase a ticket will receive an access code to watch the livestream on, and the stream will be accessible for 48 hours at the start of the event.

While currently unable to gather together in person, due to Covid, Josh has been connecting with fans from all over the world, online. Every other Thursday, Josh is hosting a Movie Night on for one-time only screenings of his concert films, with Josh giving commentary, chatting with fans and answering questions throughout. The next Movie Night will take place on Thursday, June 11th at 8pm ET ("Josh Groban in Concert"). Fans can also follow the hashtag #showersongs on Josh's social media accounts to see special musical performances from Josh, filmed at home. Watch them HERE.

Last Sunday, Josh was featured on CBS Sunday Morning where he talked to Tracy Smith about dealing with isolation, the postponement of his Great Big Radio City Show, learning to cook, singing in the shower and working on new music. Josh also showcased a beautiful, brand new song entitled "Your Face." Following the broadcast, Josh was a guest on CBS Sunday Morning's Facebook Live Chat.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Kayla Nicole & YK Osiris Link Up For "Think About Me" Single    ​  

Today, breakout star and YouTube sensation Kayla Nicole releases her new single “Think About Me” featuring YK Osiris (LISTEN HERE) via 300 Entertainment. "Think About Me" showcases Kayla Nicole's vocal abilities, with the assist of YK Osiris, a notable new voice in R&B, and a member of last year's XXL Freshman Class. Kayla Nicole's personality shines through on "Think About Me" and listeners will be able to connect with her lyrics, as well as be mesmerized by her sound with YK Osiris offering a welcomed contrast to both. According to Kayla, "The beat was a vibe and my writing inspiration was based on my current situation and relationship, as I always do. I felt like the song also needed a response from the boy's perspective, so YK was perfect."

Kayla Nicole has made her mark online as an influencer and is now making her mark on the music scene. Known as Nicole TV on Youtube, she has garnered nearly 4 million subscribers and has built an undeniable fanbase. With the release of "Think About Me" Kayla Nicole is showing fans another facet of her starpower.


ABOUT KAYLA NICOLE: Gifted, eye-catching and unforgettable. That only scratches the surface of all things Kayla Nicole Jones. From her debut catchy single “Move Like A Snake” and her newest release "Think About Me", to her original and comedic digital content that has millions watching and sharing in belly-aching laughter, Jones doesn’t aspire to follow anyone else’s path. She’s making a lane of her own. “Music is my open diary; videos are my freedom of expression,” said Jones. “I became a better me, competing with the old me. When I was broken, I looked up to the person I knew I could be if I kept fighting.”And fortunately for those who enjoy her content on a daily, she did. Now, it’s not out of the ordinary for her videos and music to reach the masses as her content becomes a topic of conversation. Given her already proven success, Jones has discovered the formula for creating digital content and music that will keep her in demand for years to come.

Langston Francis Releases New Single "Waste My Time"

Today, Toronto-based rising star Langston Francis releases his new single “Waste My Time” off his forthcoming sophomore EP Self-Titled, set for release later this year. Click HERE to listen!

The infectious lead single was written by Langston with multi-platinum selling songwriter Neil Ormandy (James Arthur “Say You Won’t Let Go,” Bebe Rexha, Liam Payne) and producer and multi-instrumentalist Martin Wave (Chloe Lilac). “Waste My Time” is about “that carefree moment when you're going out to the party, before you do the thing you'll regret the next day,” Langston jokingly explains.

“The session went remarkably smooth,” says collaborator Neil Ormandy. “Langston is confident in himself and his work and he knows what he wants. He’s able to state his perspective directly and clearly, but in a really cool tone, the kind that makes you want to keep listening.”

The upcoming sophomore EP follows Langston’s debut EP roaming and illustrates a coming of age for Langston. “It’s the sound of the endless summer after high school graduation, when everyone is still young but finally trying new things—it’s exciting and terrifying,” says Langston.

Langston’s debut EP roaming, which featured the singles “Fall From Grace,” “These Nights,” and “FCKD IT UP,” has accumulated nearly 10 million worldwide streams to date. The project also received praise from the likes of Vibe, Complex, and Blog TO, among others and he was invited to perform on the stage of some of Canada’s most coveted summer festivals including Osheaga, Festival d'été de Québec, and Ottawa Bluesfest. In 2018, Langaston was selected for Roots Sweatstyle campaign that ran in United States and Canada (previous alumni include Jessie Reyez, Daniel Caesar, Killy) and was named to Rogers Radio “One To Watch” and iHeart Radio’s “Future Stars” campaigns. He is currently in putting the final touches on his sophomore EP expected later this year.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

PHONY PPL Teams Up With CUPPY For Afro-Beats Remix of "FKN AROUND"

Today, Brooklyn-based band Phony Ppl return with a new remix to their acclaimed single "Fkn Around" featuring Megan Thee Stallion and Cuppy. For the remix, Phony Ppl call on Cuppy, globally celebrated DJ and pioneer of Neo-Afrobeats. Cuppy's infectious beats are characterized as an electric blend of Tropical House music and Afrobeats, giving her a unique sound that has taken over dancefloors around the world. The "Fkn Around" Cuppy remix is rhythmic, breezy, and fun with fluttering flutes and hypnotic drums that will transport listeners to a sun-soaked island. Cuppy brings new energy to the feel-good track and it is guaranteed to become a summer anthem, even during quarantine.

“Fkn Around” ft. Megan Thee Stallion made waves after it premiered on Megan's NPR Tiny Desk performance (WATCH HERE) and immediately went viral. Produced by Ivan Barias, of award-winning production duo Carvin & Ivan, the song quickly became a fan favorite. The track became Phony Ppl’s first Top 10 Radio single and has since accumulated over 4.6 million views on YouTube. Highsnobiety called “Fkn Around” ‘an undeniable feel-good jam focused on sexual freedom and empowerment’ and the song has also earned acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork, Billboard, Complex, MTV, The Fader, and more. Cuppy's unique influence, on the noteworthy track comes just in time for summer and will undoubtedly loved by listeners.

Elliott Waits For No One’s Debut Provides a Powerful and Introspective Journey

Elliott Waits For No One (EWFNO) could be every singer/songwriters dream project. Spanning over multiple genres, EWFNO puts the trust into their instincts, working together to write with an intuitive approach. From the depths of truth and darkness of the ego-driven song Megalomaniac… to the bright, springtime feeling of hope in Ghost In The Rainbow, Elliott Waits For No One’s self titled debut album provides the listener a powerful and introspective journey, which could lead you to the end thinking, Who Am I?

Their debut album on Dark Star Records/SONY will be released on June 12th with pre-orders happening now. The first single Who Am I is now available as a instant gratification track when pre-ordering or you can listen to it on Spotify or Apple Music. The video for Who Am I is scheduled to premiere on Amazon Prime on June 12th.

The EWFNO story is unique to rock n’ roll in that it refutes the myth that burning out and fading away are the only two options available for those about to rock. It is readily apparent that the members of EWFNO never burned out, and they sure as hell aren’t fading away any time soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Lesoir Release New Album - "Mosaic"

“Sometimes life decides to all of a sudden shatter your work of art. You have to start over, with the same pieces, to create something else.”

Our lives are made up of various elements and parts; people, pets, work, our homes. They all have a colour; a shape and they vary in size. It is up to us to make our lives into works of art, using all these parts and elements, to make the complete picture. Character and style come first, and of course that which you find beautiful and important. Are your choices random, do you like to mix it up? Or do you arrange the parts into a beautiful, recognizable image? Do you arrange them by colour? By shape, or something else? The answers may not be obvious at first. But on reflection it is you that decides for yourself the parts, the colours, the shapes and sizes.

If we stop and think, we can identify all of these different parts in our lives. At some point on our journey we realise that we alone are responsible for assembling these parts. As time moves forward, we are getting better and better at realising what we have to do. We gradually learn the tricks of the trade, but also the rules of the game: what’s done is done, we cannot start from scratch, we start from exactly where we at this point in time, and build on these foundations, and continue to do so, the process is ever evolving.

Lesoir enjoyed a successful five-week tour as ‘special guests’ of the Polish band Riverside in the spring of 2019, which inspired a surge in creativity for them to write a new album. With this newfound inspiration, Lesoir decided to follow a slightly different path in shaping their new work of art. In the months that followed the tour with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, they worked on 9 new songs, and recorded them during the winter of 2019. The result is ‘Mosaic’, an emotional, little less angry offering than heard on previous albums, an open and honest record from Lesoir.

Lesoir are a powerhouse when playing live, the emotional and musical connection between the players just radiates off the stage, which in turn energises the expectant audiences. During their European tour in 2019, the band decided that making music together and performing this stage show with the chemistry between them and a room full of people, is what defines the band now, and always has done. It is the moment when fans connect with Lesoir. It's the driving force behind all previous albums, and the engine of all previous tours. It is the drug that is responsible for an incessant endurance. It is the reason why Lesoir exists, and will always exist.

Whether on stage, or in the studio, Lesoir have such a strong connection as a band and this shines through in their music. That's why ‘Mosaic’ had to become the most dynamic album to date, capturing and recreating the energy of their live performance on record, which the listener is sure to recognise as the sound of passionate musicians who, together in one space, create something from those good feelings and for the sake of that creation in the moment, without thinking about the blueprints of the ever defining genres.

Strengthened by producer duo John Cornfield (Muse, Supergrass, Ben Howard and Robert Plant) and Paul Reeve (vocal producer of Matt Bellamy), Mosaic is shaped in a 10-day session at Airfield studio (St. Merryn, UK) by War Of the World guitarist Jo Partridge. With 10 years between the release of their debut album and this fifth full-length album, Lesoir is proud to say that ‘Mosaic’ has become the album that finally defines them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Jayda G collaborates with Fred again.. on new EP

Both Of Us / Are U Down is out on Ninja Tune in July.

Jayda G has a new EP on the way in July.

Spanning four tracks, Both Of Us / Are U Down includes two collaborations with Fred again.., who produced the recent Headie One mixtape, GANG. "Working with Fred was great," Jayda G says, "because I can just be my dorky self and not be judged."

In addition to two original cuts, the EP includes remixes of both tracks by Jayda G. Out July 3rd, this is her first release since last year's debut album, Significant Changes, which also came out on Ninja Tune.

Watch the video for "Both Of Us."

    • Tracklist
      01. Both Of Us
      02. Are U Down
      03. Both Of Us (Jayda G Sunset Bliss Mix)
      04. Are U Down (Remix)

      Ninja Tune will release Both Of Us / Are U Down on July 3rd, 2020.
  • Devo releases Energy Dome face shields to ‘whip’ the coronavirus


    Whip out this PPE to whip the coronavirus real good.

    New wave group Devo has released a face shield made to look like their iconic Energy Dome hats, to both serve as vital personal protective equipment and honor the 40th anniversary of the tiered red cap’s debut.

    “The dome is solid and the attached shield is clear but it’s what you can’t see that gets you!” reads the product description for the Devo Energy Dome PPE Kit, now available for pre-order on the band’s official store site. “Stay safe from invisible particles and unwanted bodily fluids in this coordinated, disease blocking, Devo Energy Dome PPE kit headgear. The shield attaches to your Energy Dome via Velcro. It’s simple and it’s safe!”

    The “Whip It” band’s kit, which costs $49.98, comes unassembled.

    “It’s very important that you acquire a plastic hard hat liner adjusted to your head size and fix it with duct tape or super glue to the inside of the [dome],” explains band co-founder Gerald Casale, Brooklyn Vegan reports, “This allows the dome to float just about the cranium and thus do its job. Unfortunately, sans hard-hat liner, the recirculation of energy will not occur!” 

    The design of the funny head-covering has been confused for “flower pots, dog bowls, car urinals, lampshades,” over the years, says Casale, but in fact, “it was designed according to the ancient ziggurat mound proportions used in votive worship.”

    In addition to the face shields, Devo is also selling two kinds of face masks — triple-ply cotton face masks bearing the Energy Dome symbol ($20) and a “Duty Now,” mask ($90 for five). “COVID! SHE’S 19 AND SHE’S REALLY MEAN. DELIVERS PAIN. REMAINS UNSEEN. And as far as the doctors tell us, she’s here for the foreseeable future. So, we can bet masks will be mandated for certain social interactions as the lockdown loosens and people venture out,” reads the masks’ product description.

    Watch Neil Young perform more rarities during latest fireside session

    Watch Neil Young performs rare songs in new 'Fireside Session' live stream

    Neil Young has mixed things up with the latest episode of his ‘Fireside Sessions’ which has seen the musician change location and perform in his barnyard.

    The fifth Fireside Session was directed by his wife, actress Daryl Hannah, with Young performing his gorgeous set of rarities to a handful of chickens and a mallard. Old Shakey opens his set with a rendition playing ‘Tumbleweed’ from 2014’s Storytone on the ukulele while a lama named Lazlo and a horse roam around their pen.

    Young then moves over to the coop to perform ‘Homegrown‘ the title track from his long-unreleased 1975 album Homegrown which is finally set to be released on June 19th.

    The 74-year-old confirmed the release of the long-lost album in a lengthy statement, writing: “I apologise. This album Homegrown should have been there for you a couple of years after Harvest. It’s the sad side of a love affair. The damage done. The heartache. I just couldn’t listen to it. I wanted to move on. So I kept it to myself, hidden away in the vault, on the shelf, in the back of my mind… but I should have shared it. It’s actually beautiful. That’s why I made it in the first place.

    “Sometimes life hurts. You know what I mean. This is the one that got away. Recorded in analogue in 1974 and early 1975 from the original master tapes and restored with love and care by John Hanlon.”

    Following ‘Homegrown’, the audience of chickens were then treated by Young who performed the title track to 1972’s Harvest, ‘Old Man’ and 1969’s ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’.

    The whole set ends with a rendition of ‘War of Man’ from Harvest Moon, watch it in full here*

    Linda Collins - Actress On The Rise

    Linda Collins Making Waves in Hollywood with Strong Performances ...

    Multi-talented actor, musician, producer, Linda Collins has a lot to be proud of. Her last three films were showcased at the Hells Kitchen NYC Film Festival. The diversity of her work is amazing: contemporary women seeking spiritual enlightenment ("Three for the road"), an online video chat intrigue, ("Gruesome, Threesome") and an estranged relationship shattered by terror ("Double Vision") 

    She has also appeared in a moving story of handicap and triumph ("In My Eyes"), her most powerful collaboration. "Perception" is a relevantly acclaimed dual themed immigration film, which won the "Best International Film" award at the Brightside Tavern Short Film Festival. Collins also was awarded the best supporting actor at the Omaha Film Festival. She has epitomized the sublime achievements of a woman who 'does it all'. As if this wasn't a prestigious pedigree, she has appeared with the Huntsville Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony,  Naples Symphony, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet, Chicago City Ballet and has done numerous broadcasts for CBC radio.

    Linda collins continues to hone her acting chops at the T. Schreiber Studio and has many exciting projects in the works.

    For More on Linda Collins, VISIT: 

    Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross in ‘The High Note’

    'The High Note': Dakota Johnson, Tracee

    Dakota Johnson plays a personal assistant and Tracee Ellis Ross is the pop diva she works for in a movie that can't decide if it's a behind-the-music-industry drama or a go-for-your-dream fairy tale.

    Dakota Johnson, with her sun-dazed smile and wary doe-eyed glow (the look of an innocent who knows how to thread her way through a world of predators), can be a winsomely appealing performer, but what is she doing in “The High Note” playing Maggie, the personal assistant to an imperious pop-star diva? It’s the kind of job that would toughen up anyone who’s had it for a week. But Maggie, after three years of working for Grace Davis, a high-maintenance superstar from the ’90s played by Tracee Ellis Ross, still seems like a college student who won an internship. She’s sweet, naive, and docile, even when the position requires her to be demanding. She comes off more like an assistant to the assistant.

    Maggie lives in gobsmacked awe of Grace, who performs in sold-out arenas all over the world, even though she hasn’t put out a new album in a decade. Ross, in her first movie role since “Black-ish” premiered six years ago, is playing a music legend who seems a synthesis of Alicia Keys and Madonna (even if her look and bearing suggest Robin Roberts crossed with Lani Guinier), and she makes her a formidable figure. She bites down into Grace’s effrontery, turning her into a regal but troubled power broker who controls her own destiny, even as she’s surrounded by cynics and vipers, like her manager, Jack (Ice Cube), who’s all about the Benjamins, or the unctuous millennial suits at her record label.

    Maggie is the soft eye at the center of the storm — the sane one, the nice one, wafting through the shark-tank music industry on a blanket of good vibes. She still has a roommate (played by the sharp-tongued Zoë Chao); she has a puritan disdain for L.A. pool parties (and she’s a pop star’s assistant?). Her dream is to be a record producer, and to that end she has assembled her own secret cut of Grace’s new live album. But the script of “The High Note,” by Flora Greeson, is long on wish-fulfillment and short on inside authority, and the director, Nisha Ganatra (“Late Night”), stages it with a hit-or-miss geniality that keeps cutting corners on the story’s emotional honesty. The feel-good factor hovers over this movie like a fuzzy bland cloud.

    At a hip grocery store, Maggie meets David (Kelvin Harrison Jr., from “Waves”), a handsome singer-songwriter with a rockin’ MOR vibe, and the two have a “High Fidelity” music-geek convo that dances on the edge of cringey-ness. She doesn’t like “Hotel California” (“The Eagles are hokey, and Don Henley is a very mean man…it’s like the ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’ of Southern California soft rock”), and he doesn’t know who Sam Cooke is — or at least he pretends not to, until she catches him crooning “You Send Me” in the grocery parking lot, at which point Sam Cooke takes over as the film’s Signifier Of Musical Integrity.

    Will Grace sign on for a Vegas residency, with Caesars Palace dangling a deal in front of her? There is much Sturm und Drang over this, though given that Grace has been a nostalgia act for years, where’s the drama (or plausibility) in her hemming and hawing? As for Maggie, does she have what it takes to go from wannabe to record producer? If her transformation of David from zero to musical hero is any evidence, she certainly does, but just when you’re sure this tinsel fairy tale can’t get any more glittery, there’s a last-act twist that will leave you going “No, they didn’t!” Yes, they did.

    Monday, May 25, 2020

    10 Music Documentaries to Watch During Quarantine

    10 Music Documentaries to Watch During Quarantine

    If you love music and have some time to kill during this strange stretch of social distancing, we’ve got some fine recommendations for you. If you’re willing to take a break from your Spotify account or stack of vinyl records, we suggest digging into some music and concert films. Now that live music is on temporary hiatus, music doesn’t seem as tangible or alive as it once was—because it’s quite literally cooped up inside. So why not watch beautifully-directed footage of Beyoncé’s famous “Beychella” set or stunning archival clips of Miles Davis in his prime? Plenty of people are also using this time to learn something new, and what better way to do that than watch a documentary? So kick back, put your feet up and dive into one (or all) of these music documentaries, as chosen by the Paste staff.

    Homecoming (2019)
    Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Tame Impala: None of those performers, or any of the others at Coachella 2019, were able to match the grandiosity of Beychella, Beyoncé’s epic pair of sets at last year’s festival. Netflix’s Homecoming, a documentary written, produced and directed by Mrs. Knowles-Carter herself, features stunning footage of each weekend’s set and dives deep into the symbolism, production and eight-month rehearsal process behind Beychella. The film also arrived with a surprise live album encompassing the entire Coachella set as well as new music. It’s all just The Carters’ latest in a long line of masterpieces, a colossal, visually stunning spectacle that not only summarized Beyoncé’s 20-year career, but also Historic Black Colleges in an entirely new way. We see clips from football games at schools like Howard University and Alabama A&M interspersed with Beychella rehearsal footage, the entire performance and film a celebration of those institutions, perhaps even an antithesis to what most people would consider a primarily white experience. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to consider canceling your plans tonight: Bey deserves your full attention. —Ellen Johnson

    We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005)
    Here’s the central paradox of the Minutemen: what makes them so great and so loveable and their music so powerful is how normal they seem as people. They are pure and perfect representations of the everyday working class American, and they believe that everybody can and should make art out of their everyday life, no matter their race, class or creed. And yet there’s absolutely nothing normal or everyday about Mike Watt, D. Boon and George Hurley, or the art that they made together. Their value—and they were extremely valuable, one of the absolute greatest rock bands of all time, and perhaps the most admirable one to ever exist—isn’t just in their music but their influence and their inspiration; not because they might’ve convinced some kids to pick up guitars and bash out in their garage, but because the Minutemen were paragons of doing things the right way. They had a conscience. They believed in fairness and equality and weren’t strident or uptight about it. All of this ripples through We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen, Tim Irwin’s 2005 documentary that tracks the band’s history, the deep bond between Watt and Boon, and the ideals that permeated everything they did. Irwin captures why people love this band so much still, decades after Boon’s untimely death, through original interviews and copious footage from the early ’80s. We Jam Econo is just like the band: humble, workmanlike and gloriously transcendent. —Garrett Martin

    Miles Davis: Birth of The Cool (2019)
    Whether you thought he was a madman, a genius, or both, there’s no doubt that Miles Davis was a visionary. Davis single-handedly changed the face of jazz music, and music at large—both popular and avant-garde, for decades. This film takes you through his childhood and time at Juilliard, all the way to his mighty reign in the clubs of New York City’s famous 52nd Street, Newport Jazz Festival and his triumphant comeback shows in the 1980s. Davis wasn’t just one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he was also the embodiment of American sophistication. Davis wore sharp suits, drove a Ferrari, and hung around other once-in-a-generation artistic giants like Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre in Parisian clubs. Despite being a cultural superhero, Davis was no real-life superhero. He struggled with a heroin addiction, and he physically abused his wives on multiple occasions, and the film doesn’t try to mask these other sides of Davis. He certainly had a tortured artist mythology around him and a relentless devotion to his craft that almost appears sociopathic—similar to Michael Jordan’s portrayal in The Last Dance. Davis saw himself in the same league as Stravinsky, and because of his ego, he didn’t seem like a great guy to be around. However, this film grapples with his complicated life and succeeds not just at unmasking his origins and motivations, but at illustrating how integral he was to the artistic landscape for generations to come. —Lizzie Manno

    Shut Up and Play the Hits (2012)
    Three years ago, hundreds of friends and thousands of fans converged on Madison Square Garden for LCD Soundsystem’s farewell performance. All the while, the cameras were rolling, resulting in Shut Up And Play the Hits, a documentary that follows James Murphy and the band in the days leading up to, during and after the tumultuous four-hour farewell. Directors Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern use a staggering number of cameras and crosscut liberally to provide an experience that’s arguably even better than seeing the band live (okay, maybe not quite that good but…). And the scenes outside the concert footage are equally compelling. —Michael Dunaway and Bo Moore

    Supersonic (2016)
    The rise of Manchester Britpop giants Oasis was unimaginable. Liam and Noel Gallagher were the sons of working class Irish immigrants, and in just a few short years, they went from playing in clubs to playing in a field of 125,000 at Knebworth, where almost 3 million people applied for tickets. The two brothers were notoriously quarrelsome and drop-dead hilarious, and both qualities are showcased in this behind-the-scenes, rags-to-riches documentary. In addition to commentary from the band, the Gallaghers’ mother, Peggie, was interviewed and she called a young Liam “the devil” and talked about being driven mad by Noel’s constant guitar playing in his bedroom. It also delves into the drama of their physically abusive father with Noel commenting, “I guess he beat the talent into me,” and Peggie discussing the night they left him (“I left him a knife and a fork and spoon and I think I left him too much”). Viewers get a glimpse into Oasis’ Manchester rehearsal studio where they jammed Noel’s songs for the first time as well as the metaphorical, high-publicized headbutting between the two brothers that occurred as soon as the band started to skyrocket. Though Oasis didn’t split up until 2009, the film is bookended by their famous Knebworth performance in 1996, and the footage is just as goosebump-inducing as you might expect. —Lizzie Manno

    May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers (2018)
    The tagline for Judd Apatow’s 2017 documentary May It Last is “A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers,” but the word “portrait” might be replaced with “mural.” The snapshot of Scott and Seth Avett (as well as their families, bandmates, their bandmates’ families, etc. etc.) is vast and colorful and true. The film follows the band as they record their 2016 album True Sadness, and while that LP is among their most poorly reviewed, the stories behind it will move you in ways you can’t even expect—often to tears. We see Seth grapple with divorce, Scott try to hit the right balance of family man and rock star and, most devastatingly, bassist Bob Crawford fight for his young daughter Hallie, who is disabled due to a brain tumor that nearly killed her. This occurrence especially brings the band (really, a family) together and displays to the viewer the true connections and values behind one of the biggest acts in Americana. I’ve returned to this film again and again. It’s a tragic, but more importantly, hopeful movie that has made me love one of my favorite bands even more and for different, stronger reasons. But you don’t need to be an Avett Brothers fan to enjoy May It Last—all you need is a heart and the capacity to feel. I can nearly promise that this film will affect you in a positive way. —Ellen Johnson

    Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)
    For metalheads, it doesn’t get much bigger than Metallica. When the thrash metal giants went in to record 2003’s St. Anger, their first album in six years, things were looking pretty dicey. They took the longest hiatus in their career thus far after their craziest year as a band, which featured massive tours, award shows and a high-profile copyright lawsuit with Napster. The band members had been butting heads for years, but it all came to a head when bassist Jason Newsted departed the band following failed mediations with a performance enhancement coach. Journalists speculated that the band was still skating on thin ice, and viewers get an inside look into that very skating rink. You see professional, creative and personal clashes within the band from early on in the album process, and frontman James Hetfield eventually enters rehab, resulting in a year-long break before they reentered the studio. At one point, the band has a meeting and questions whether they even want to proceed with the documentary. Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich are often at each other’s throats—at one point, Ulrich calls Hetfield “fucking self-absorbed” and tells him he’s not sure if he wants to continue. It’s touching, uncomfortable, funny and somehow by the end, Hetfield is actually sad that they’ve finally finished. It’s much more illuminating than your average in-studio documentary—you can feel that this is a watershed moment in their lives, not just their music career. —Lizzie Manno

    Miss Americana (2020)
    I remember the first time I heard a Taylor Swift song, and if you’re also a millennial or Gen Z-er, chances are you do, too. I was 10, maybe 11, hanging at my friend Erin’s house, which was two doors down from mine. She whipped out a fluorescent blue iPod Nano before passing me an earbud and cranking up “Our Song. ” Taylor Swift is a tall memory in many of our childhoods. In Swift’s 2020 Netflix documentary Miss Americana, she recognizes, with an almost maternal gesture, this relationship to her listeners. “There is an element to my fan base where we feel like we grew up together,” Swift says about a few minutes into Lana Wilson’s excellent movie, streaming now on Netflix. “I’ll be going through something, write the album about it and then it’ll come out, and sometimes it’ll just coincide with what they’re going through, kind of like they’re reading my diary.” Swift’s diary has been broadcasted across the world for the better part of two decades, and that means normalcy has been hard to come by. Miss Americana doesn’t strain to convey the opposite. It’s not a “the-stars, they’re-just-like-us!” event. Throughout its 85 minutes, Swift is greeted by masses of screaming fans as she exits her NYC apartment, flies in a private jet with her mom and her giant Great Dane “Kitty” and is met with millions of lovers and haters in equal portions. Where the film really proves that Swift actually could be just like us is in her internal ethical struggles—and her innate desire to be liked by other people. These conflicts are just on a much grander scale than yours or mine. Swift’s drive for approval isn’t just a desire—it’s her livelihood. —Ellen Johnson

    The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019)
    The Two Killings of Sam Cooke is another installment of Netflix’s original music documentary series ReMastered. This documentary creates a more holistic portrait of American soul legend Sam Cooke—one that doesn’t carelessly glaze over his story because his crooner soul also appealed to white audiences. In an effort to save his “murdered legacy,” the film examines his early roots in black churches, the evolution of his music, his impressive business acumen and his political activism later in life, which is believed to have led to his eventual murder. It also addressed his record label’s concern that Cooke would never be able to satisfy both his white and black audiences. As Cooke became an increasingly influential cultural figure, his associations with other politically active black figures like Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown posed a threat to the racial status quo. Cooke’s murder arises as an integral point of discussion in the film, and the details to this day are still muddy. Just as Cooke began writing politically-minded music—the sequence where “A Change is Gonna Come” plays in the background is breathtaking—his life was tragically cut short, and this film is a reminder of his unbelievable talent and his embrace of blackness that history largely forgot. —Lizzie Manno

    Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010)
    Rush’s career-spanning documentary has perhaps the best and most goofy opening to a music documentary that I’ve ever seen. Members of Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Tenacious D and others each try to mimic the band’s incredible technical skills, but not with instruments—with their mouths, air drums and air guitars. “Rush is just one of those bands who has a deep reservoir of rocket sauce,” Jack Black says. Members of Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, KISS, Smashing Pumpkins and others each pile on additional praise and awe for a band that history has perhaps overlooked for a spot among the greatest bands of all time. Whether or not you’ve fallen in love with their unusual time signatures, Geddy Lee’s glaringly high voice or Neil Peart’s unfathomably skilled drumming, Beyond the Lighted Stage is a beautifully humanizing portrait of one of the most distinctive and influential bands ever. Rush are often viewed as lame, tame or not tuneful enough, but I challenge those who think that to test that theory by watching this thoughtful, warm-hearted documentary.