Saturday, March 8, 2014

SXSW 2014 Film: Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton (This is Stones Throw Records)

I'm a total sucker for music biographies both fictionalized and documentaries. I'm also a big fan of turn of the century Stones Throw records. So, when I saw that there was going to be a music documentary about Stones Throw at SXSW I made it a top priority.

Lots of times music documentaries can feel like a television show, with the bad voice-overs and the cheesy, dramatic music. This film was nothing like that. It was very consciously put together to reveal a story, complete with Prologue and Chapter titles. There was no voice over and the music supervision was done by Madlib. Also, the title sequence and all of the on-screen graphics were beautiful and completely in-line with the Stones Throw brand.

Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton - Trailer video via YouTube

The problems with this film are the same problems you'll find with any label-sanctioned documentary. There are stories that are left under the surface, without a lot of exploration and there are some topics treated with kid gloves. In other words, it's not the most objective documentary you'll ever see but there are some really great stories.

It goes without saying but the soundtrack to this movie is killer. Not only do I want to go grab it on vinyl right now, I want to go crate digging for some of the amazing early releases featured in the film. I give this film a solid "B". It was interesting, it looked great and it sounded great. To earn an "A" I want interviews with ALL of the label's founders and I want to hear the dirt on Aloe Blacc.

This film screens twice more during SXSW. Check the official listing for more details. Also, next Saturday night the Official Stones Throw Records Showcase is happening at the ND so you can see a grip of the artists featured in this film all on one stage.