10 Music Films at SXSW That You Don't Wanna Miss

Categories: SXSW

lords_of_salem.jpg
Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem
Well, it's SXSW time again, friends, and you know what that means: dashing around Austin all day, drinking until our eyebrows fall out and doing our best to stick to pre-planned schedules intended to maximize the amount of live music that we can cram into our ear canals before passing out on the floor of somebody else's motel room.

What many of us fail to consider, however, is that some of the fest's best music will be seen and heard not onstage but on the silver screen instead. The SXSW film conference and festival runs March 8-16, and in addition to the expected Hollywood star vehicles, heartbreaking documentaries and bizarre shorts, the fest is also set to feature a host of cool flicks about and inspired by music.

For those of us who enjoy a bit of narrative drama mixed in with our tunes, it's going to be pretty cool. Because SXSW is just too damn big to see and do everything we want, Rocks Off has helpfully compiled the following list of ten can't-miss music movies being shown at the fest that we think you'll enjoy the most.

But if you can't weasel your way into a screening, don't pout too hard: You can always catch these when they hit Netflix -- no wristband required.

10. Sound City
9:30 p.m. Friday, March 8
Alamo Village

Possibly the highest-profile music film at this year's festival comes courtesy of SXSW Music's keynote speaker, Foo Fighter Dave Grohl. Sound City, his directorial debut, tells the story of the legendary Sound City studio in Van Nuys, California, where most of your favorite albums (and plenty you probably hate) were recorded.

Sure, this flick smells a lot like a vanity project for a famous rock star and his millionaire pal, but any place that can bring together musicians from Stevie Nicks to Stephen Pearcy has to have some pretty badass stories attached to it. No doubt the best of them will be retold onscreen.


9. Los Wild Ones
11 a.m. Monday, March 11
Stateside Theatre

Wild Records is a strange little indie label. Based in LA, it's home to young Hispanic musicians who write and perform '50s rock and roll, overseen by an Irishman, Reb Kennedy, to whom iTunes is only slightly less mystifying than Higgs bosons.

Did I mention this was a documentary and not fiction? How did this bizarre musical family come together? And can these ambitious weirdos forge a future without Facebook or any other modern marketing and distribution platforms? The answers will only be revealed to us in moving pictures.


8. We Always Lie to Strangers
1:30 p.m. Monday, March 11
Stateside Theatre

I confess that I've never quite understood the appeal of country-music vacation destination Branson, Missouri. That's probably because I'm from precisely the wrong age group, familial grouping and socioeconomic stratum to fully appreciate the place's apparent charms.

What I do understand, however, is the drawing power of well-performed live music, which is why I'm psyched to gaze in voyeuristically as this doc lifts the curtain on the small Midwestern town full of performers that packs 'em in with sequined shows of heartfelt Americana.


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