We’ve written a fewtimes now about Foo Fighter Dave Grohl’s upcoming directorial debut, Sound City, because, well yeah, we are excited to see a big screen documentary about a legendary studio. There’s lots of cool docs out there about music making, but few about recording facilities, and even fewer that have achieved the level of mainstream interest and anticipation that Sound City has. For better or worse, Grohl’s notoriety will give the flick a higher profile than most documentaries on any topic ever achieve
All that said, however, the flick faces a number of hurdles once it gets folks into the theater, because on the surface, it doesn’t have the most uplifting story. No matter how many cool performances are thrown in or wild Behind The Music-type tales get told, Sound City won’t be much fun if it simply says, “Gee, we made some great music there, and then the studio went down the tubes.”
While the rise and fall inevitably has to be part of the tale, it may not be all that winds up in the picture.
After months of teaser clips, Grohl and Co. have released the doc’s first official trailer, and it hints that Sound City‘s demise will only be the springboard for a far larger thesis—the question of how to retain humanity in music when modern technology makes it so easy to remove.
While it’s a bit of a surprise, given previous teaser clips’ emphasis on the studio itself, it probably shouldn’t be. Consider Grohl’s widely misinterpreted comments at the 2012 Grammys—a speech controversial enough that it is noticeably excluded from the many official clips that the Grammys and CBS posted on YouTube. As a result, fans keep reposting the speech online, and someone keeps citing copyright infringement to get it taken down [hopefully the clip below still works when you read this]. While there’s no knowing what Grohl has planned for Sound City, it’s starting to look like the views expressed at the Grammys may well turn up in his film.
So what do you think? Should Grohl explore the impact of modern music technology in his movie, or just stick to the story of Sound City? If he does include the topic, is there any way to discuss it without sounding like an old stick in the mud?