Friday, September 25, 2009

It Might Get Loud (Rhoades)

“It Might Get Loud” Does

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

I remember when my son came home and told me he’d discovered this new group called The Beatles. Laughing, I replied that I’d lived the Beatles; he was merely recycling them.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been so proprietary with my music. He started listening to Heavy Metal.
If you grew up on eardrum-assaulting highly amped music, you will definitely want to see (and hear) a new documentary called “It Might Get Loud.” This paean to the electric guitar is playing at the Tropic Cinema.

The electric guitar has been with us for more than half a century now, dominating the popular music scene. No longer are we shocked that Bob Dylan plugged in.

Director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) says, “You might forget the incredible range of expression that the creation pioneered by Les Paul can achieve in the hands of masters.”

As my friend Bill Turner (one of Bill Hailey’s Comets) recently recalled, “Les Paul had the foresight to realize that every single step of the recording process needed to be re-invented ... from the construction design of the guitar; the pickups; the recording lathe/turntable (and soon after this, the tape recorder); the amplifier (though he was one of, if not the first, to record the guitar direct into the recorder, bypassing the amp).”

For “It Might Get Loud,” Guggenheim brings together three electric guitar virtuosos from different generations: Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, The Edge of U2, and Jack White of The White Stripes. The film weaves the trio of stories together to show how each of them developed their unique sound.

While most rock ’n’ roll documentaries focus on backstage drama, this “affectionate tribute to rock’s most distinctive instrument,” concentrates on the music, offering “intimate access to the creative process.”

As Davis Guggenheim promises, “The film might not affect how you play, but it will change how you listen.”
[from Solares Hill]

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