In today’s culture, being an idiot is a commodity. Pop culture is becoming increasingly unrealistic and disconnected. Say one stupid yet funny thing, weigh 400 pounds or exploit your sexuality, and receive notoriety, fame, and millions. Years back, entertainment stars had talent. They were skilled, trained professionals, who possessed that certain something that captivated audiences. In the music industry, especially, talent doesn’t seem like a requirement—or at least isn’t what’s recognized anymore. All you need is a laptop with a few good beats and a “persona,” and you could win a Grammy. Sad but true.

If you’re nodding in agreement—which 90 percent of you probably are—watching Sound City is a must. With all the ridiculousness that surrounds us nowadays, this rock doc will provide you with a great dose of refreshment.

Brainchild of Dave Grohl, this film focuses on the life of a little ol’ studio (called Sound City) in California. While most have probably never heard of it, you’ve definitely heard what it’s produced. Name any rock legend, and they got their name there. Fleetwood Mac fans, you especially will love this film.

The beauty of it is there’s no pretentiousness. You’re watching rock idols and simply seeing them as real people. You actually forget who they are, and see a bunch of musicians having fun jamming. What could be better?

Like any life cycle, this studio, described as a lovable dump and a place that never really changed, had its ups and downs (a whole lot of ups, however). There are tons of interviews with rock legends about the characters that breathed life into it, including a list of receptionists turned rock wives, runners turned producers turned music industry moguls, and owners. But one common thread is that the environment was just plain real. Many rockers contribute that the place just happened to contain a room that turned out to be one of the sweetest spots to ever record percussion.

Grohl questions whether music will be able to retain its human connection over time. Does anyone really have an answer? Who knows, but it’s comforting to know that some people still think it’s worth fighting for.

I went into this documentary knowing nada about the studio, and at the end clicked the remote wondering how the hell I hadn’t. That’s kind of the whole point, though. It was a hidden gem. The four walls of Sound City allowed musicians to shine. And in watching this, you really get the essence of their souls. Too far? Okay, but on a serious note, if you’re craving an injection of something just plain real, watch this. Tom Petty joked that when his band first set up and played, his initial reaction was, “Wow, we suck. We need to practice a lot before we ever record.”

In a word: Serendipitous


Sound City is currently playing in select theaters across the country. For more information and to purchase the film, go to

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2 Responses

  1. Mary

    Like the style of this writer, look forward to seeing more from her!


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