Sound City was a recording studio outside Los Angeles, and a dump by all accounts. But it housed a dedicated staff and some incredible gear. The hit-machine incarnation of Fleetwood Mac met in those halls, and the 1975 album they recorded at Sound City put the studio on the map. Dozens of great rock records were cut in the studio’s two rooms. Years later, when the shift to digital recording had almost killed the studio, Nirvana showed up to record Nevermind in the big room, and the joint found life again.

Sound City is the first film from Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl. Grohl takes a shot at crafting a comprehensive history of the studio, but this is really a nostalgic look at a unique part of rock history, loaded with earnest testimonials from the likes of Rick Rubin, Neil Young, and Trent Reznor.

The material is all filtered through Grohl’s own deep fondness for the studio, and tied up as a tidy parable about rock music as an inherently personal means of communication. It tells a unique aspect of rock history from an accessible insider perspective, and features blistering performances that will raise the pulse of any rock and roll fan.  Read More »

We’ve already had a couple brief looks at Sound City, the documentary about the legendary recording studio put together by Dave Grohl of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. Now, with Grohl set to make the keynote address at next year’s SXSW and the documentary scheduled for a high-profile premiere at Sundance, we’ve got a proper theatrical trailer for Sound City.

The film chronicles the ratty yet beautiful-sounding recording studio in LA where more records than most of us could likely name were originally created, and features appearances from and vintage footage of more rock luminaries than you can pack into a dream festival lineup.

But the film isn’t just about the studio — it’s about what the studio represents. It’s about the way of making records that was specific to an era that some people think is gone, and for which Sound City was emblematic. As Grohl ponders, “in this age of technology, when you can manipulate anything, how do we retain that human element?” Read More »

In celebration of the simple yet sometimes unattainable goal of creating the perfect sound recording, here is a new trailer for the Dave Grohl-produced and directed documentary Sound City. The niche appeal of a doc about a single recording studio — in this case, the LA studio of the film’s title — might be offset by the parade of recognizable music stars offering their enthusiastic assessment of the studio’s glory.

The new trailer offers more than previous short glimpses at the movie, including some lovingly shot images of the gear in the room and brief recording/performance moments, and it’s all enough to almost convince me that I could walk in there and make a great record myself. Which is, of course, not even close to possible. But that feeling is what makes the trailer work. Read More »