Thursday, February 17, 2011

A History Lesson Part 1: Punk Rock in Los Angeles in 1984 (2011, Dave Travis)

The early 80s LA punk/hardcore scene was one of the most exciting and beloved.  The fact so many legendary bands all started sprouting up and influencing each other in one area was amazing.  Sure it was going on in many other states at the same time (Boston, NYC, Minneapolis, Athens, etc), but there was something very special about California.  I always love watching video footage from this time.  Films like The Decline of Western Civilization, The Slog Movie, Suburbia, Urban Struggle: The Battle of the Cuckoo's Nest and a few more have lots of great footage.  Now we have one more, MVD's A History Lesson Part 1: Punk Rock in Los Angeles in 1984.

This DVD features interview and live footage of four legendary bands from the early-mid 80s punk boom filmed by Dave Travis, a teenager who decided he wanted to make an account of music history as it was happening.  First is The Minutemen with interview footage of bassist Mike Watt.  Then there is The Meat Puppets (who were actually from Arizona) with interview footage with bassist/singer Cris Kirkwood and guitarist/singer Curt Kirkwood.  Next is Redd Kross with interviews featuring Steven (guitar) and Jeff (bass) MacDonald.  Last is the little known, punk supergroup (of sorts) Twisted Roots which at one time featured Pat Smear from the Germs/Nirvana/Foo Fighters and Kira Roessler from Black Flag.  The band here features Paul Roessler (keyboard) from The Screamers and Dez Cadena (guitar) from Black Flag amonst others.  There is also interview footage with Paul Roessler and punk personality Hellin Killer.

A History Lesson Part 1 is a very important punk document and also a very informative and entertaining film.  Though only about an hour long, the interviews and live performances are well worth a watch.  The interviews (which were all filmed recently) show the various band members reflecting on the time the live footage was shot.  The live footage, though filmed on a cheap camera by a teenager are still very clear and the sound surprisingly good.  If you are a fan of any of the bands mentioned or of punk in general, this film is a must see.

This DVD will be released 3/22/11 and can be pre-ordered through MVD HERE

RATING:  9/10

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