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Directed by Nassim Nakad

In the hottest place on earth, making music, even playing the blues, is a political and religious challenge!

Nassim Nakad's "Heated Melodies" poses the question of "What happens to an artistic community when a country's legal system is comprised of British Common Law, French and Egyptian Civil Law and Islamic Law?"

Music is a universal language. Composing it, producing it and performing it is a challenge that requires a lot of diligence. That is the art of the musician.

In some countries the difficulties are exacerbated by political and religious acceptance-rules & laws-which impact the ability of the musician to be an artist at all. Kuwait is one of the countries!

The music community in Kuwait is growing, but it remains mostly underground as it fights the cultural and government restrictions placed upon it. Not all music is welcomed in Kuwait.

While classical music is mostly accepted, the underground scene is packed with musicians and bands playing contemporary genres including Rock, Metal, Blues and more, and are comprised of members who have helped to highlight the issue by participating in this production.

As Wikipedia and Wikiislam explain, Kuwait law and the Sharia law struggle with an artistic society that is westernizing.

Heated Melodies highlights the challenges of such a society and the stereotyping of musicians and musical genres. The film additionally explores the difference between the acceptance of males vs. females within the context of religious beliefs and musical performance.

DVD / 2017 / 40 minutes

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By Quino Pinero

Ethiopia has over eighty different cultures. With live recordings of music, this film is a voyage of discovery across mountains, deserts and forests to find the last interpreters of traditional Ethiopian music. It is a search for authenticity which is increasingly being pushed aside by electronics and mainstream culture...

A sound journey across the mountains, deserts and forests of Ethiopia and its cultural universe. Roaring Abyss will take you through an extensive and previously unpublished collection of music recordings of invaluable importance for the transmission and preservation of the African heritage.

Ethiopia's music scene is known for its distinctive genre of Ethio-Jazz, a blend of western musical sounds, Armenian introduced brass instruments, and Ethiopia's traditional folk and religious music. Most focus on Ethiopian music highlights the country's modern musical output, music that utilizes keyboards, synthesizers, and drum machines.

DVD (English & Amharic with English Subtitles) / 2017 / 87 minutes

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Hosted by Verlon Thompson

Celebrated songwriter and virtuoso picker Verlon Thompson sits down with some of the most inspiring and talented writer/performers in the world for honest conversation, laughter and musical insights in an extraordinary series of 13 musical journeys.

Each episode is intimately filmed at Barnegie Hall, a very special location with its heart rooted in Country and Americana music. The 13 program series explores how some of the greatest hits of all time were crafted and includes personal musical performances by the guests, as well as intimate duets performed along with host Verlon Thompson.

2 DVDs / 2016 / 390 minutes

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By Jef Mertens

A Pollock of Sound is the first feature-length documentary about the legendary improv / noise group Borbetomagus.

Filmmaker Jef Mertens brings a raw, urgent, and unpolished vision focusing on a band that has spent almost four decades defining and redefining not just their music, but the boundaries of music itself.

Band members Don Dietrich, Donald Miller, and Jim Sauter tell their story with the help of artists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers that include noted critic Byron Coley, drummer Chris Corsano, guitarist Thurston Moore, groundbreaking Japanese noise unit Hijokaidan, and Switzerland's masters of "cracked electronics," Voice Crack. Includes never-before-seen archival footage, amazing photographic finds, and previously unreleased recordings.

Borbetomagus formed in 1979 when saxophone players Jim Sauter and Don Dietrich joined with electric guitarist Donald Miller. Bass guitarist Adam Nodelman was briefly a member, and they have occasionally collaborated with others. Their aggressive music has been described as a huge, overpowering, take-no-prisoners mass of sound.

DVD (Color, Black and White) / 2016 / 63 minutes

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Directed by James Lathos

"Finding Joseph I" is a documentary film chronicling the eccentric life of punk rock reggae singer, Paul "HR" Hudson from Bad Brains. The charismatic front-man's explosive live performances helped pioneer hardcore punk while delivering an enlightening message of positive mental attitude.

HR's heavy devotion to the Rastafarian faith guided him in a spiritual direction, leaving the band several times to explore his love for reggae music.

Over the years HR's increasingly unpredictable and abnormal behavior has many convinced that he his suffering from mental illness. Finding Joseph I illustrates the true story behind the legendary lead singer's life, career and struggles with never before seen archival footage, photography and exclusive interviews.

DVD (Color) / 2016 / 91 minutes

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Music history would not be the same without the work of Stephen Sondheim. Included in his work, Sondheim scored A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods, and he wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.

Music history would not be the same without the work of Judy Collins who hit the charts with such songs as Turn Turn Turn, Send in the Clowns, Hard Lovin' Loser, Both Sides Now, Chelsea Morning just to name a few.

It was pure magic when Collins decided to perform the work of Sondheim in a live performance of love and admiration... and when directors Pierre Lamoureux and Francois Lamoureux recorded the performance, that in itself made history, too!

"A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim" was filmed in May 2016 at The Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, CO. Collins took the audience through Sondheim's remarkable treasure-trove of music, interweaving stories of Broadway with her personal anecdotes.

All orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, who has been orchestrating Stephen Sondheim's musicals for decades. Tunicks's orchestration was used by Collins for "Send in the Clowns, " and brought Sondheim his only chart topping song in his esteemed history.

Collins is joined on the program by the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Glen Cortese.

DVD / 2016 / 90 minutes

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The documentary on the lives and deaths of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.

Sad Vacation is an up close and personal account of the tumultuous and stormy relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen and how it ended in Room 100 of the Chelsea Hotel.

Directed by Danny Garcia (The Rise and Fall of The Clash, Looking for Johnny), this films holds no punches and reveals the facts through personal friends, insiders and witnesses providing a first hand account of Sid and Nancy's mysterious deaths.

Includes interviews with Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), Bob Gruen, Walter Lure (The Heatbreakers), Leee Black Childers, Howie Pyro (D Generation), Kenny Gordon (Pure Hell), Cynthia Ross (The B-Girls) and many more.

DVD / 2016 / 95 minutes

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Directed by Desi Benjamin

Many music scenes are best known for a type of music that emanated from that scene. 1985-1990 Los Angeles was very different...

SCENESTERS captures the moment in time when Punk, Glam, Hard Rock, Alternative, Garage, and Metal all collided and meshed in Los Angeles in the mid 80s.

Featured are the first-hand accounts of people who were completely submerged in the culture... people who changed the rules of fashion, set the scene, and made Melrose Avenue ground zero for bands like Guns N Roses, Jane's Addiction, and The Red Chili Peppers.

This ushered in a lifestyle of hard living and lots of partying. Hear from those SCENESTERS who lived through it all to tell tales of the legendary LA scene 1985-1990. Among those interviewed are: Paul Roessler, Bruce Duff, Bernie Bernstein, Bryan Forsythe, Taime Downe, Greg Steele, Susan Hyatt, Abby Travis, Brian Grillo, Kevin Kipnis, Josh Feilds, Debra Diament, Dukey Flyswatter, Pat, Munzingo, Chreistopher Thorn, Joseph Brooks, and Micheal Stewart, all participants in the scene... all scenesters themselves...

Intertwined within these extensive interviews is a soundtrack that digs deep into the music, providing an inside listen to this most unique time in rock genre development and evolution. Included are

The Fell Popes-2am @ 9th and grand
T.S.O.L.-Sound Of Laughter
Motley Crue-Live Wire
Van Halen-316
AC-DC-Let There Be Rock
The Ramones-I Wanna Be Sedated
The Cult-She Sells Sactuary
Wire-A Touching Display
Elvis Costello and the Attractions-Pump It Up
B-52's-Rock Lobster
Britny Fox-Long Way To Love
Specimen-The Beauty of Poison
Faster Pussycat-Where There Is A Whip
New York Dolls-Personality Crisis
The Ramones-Blitzkrieg Bop
The Dead Boys-Sonic Reducer
Hanoi Rocks-Tragedy
Aerosmith-No Surprise
The Germs-Caught In My Eye
The Sex Pistols-God Save The Queen
Devo-That's Good
Poison-Talk Dirty To Me
Depeche Mode-Everything Counts
Culture Club-i'll Tumble 4 U
Bauhaus-Bella Lugosi Dead
Celebrity Skin-Hello
New York Dolls-Pills

DVD (Color, Black and White) / 2016 / 81 minutes

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Directed by Richard Bond

Were the deaths of Tupac and Biggie casualties of a larger crime? Two of the most infamous murder cases in music history are finally explained 20 years after the happened.

The unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace still stir the public's imagination after 20 years. Yet law enforcement has been at a standstill to produce results. The producers of "American Federale" and the first two "Assassination" films, finally unravel the tangled cases and expose not only who may have done it, but also the conspiracy underneath why these cases have never seen justice.

"Battle For Compton" is the story of "The Machine"; a group of high powered individuals with a very dark secret they killed to keep, and have spent the last 20 years hiding-hoping that one day it will all go away.

This 2017 release is filled with new federal and local government documents, as well as interviews with formerly involved Federal and Local Prosecutors and LAPD Detectives, as well as new witness interviews and unseen Shakur footage, "Battle for Compton" explains how the untimely deaths of Shakur and Wallace were ultimately part of the destruction left in the wake of The Machine and its participants.

This is the story that over a dozen more murders are related to; the story people at the top levels of the justice system do not want you to hear.

Features Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Suge Knight.

DVD / 2016 / 138 minutes

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From Filmmaker Robert Mugge and WXPN "World Cafe" host David Dye comes a musical journey from Philadelphia to Lafayette and exploration into Louisiana's Creole music community!

During the latter half of 2014, music filmmaker Robert Mugge and his partner Diana Zelman worked with executives Roger LaMay and Bruce Warren of Philadelphia public radio station WXPN and their "World Cafe" host and producer David Dye to document and assist WXPN's exploration of the Creole culture of Southwest Louisiana through its yearlong Zydeco Crossroads project.

The film portion of the project documented concerts by zydeco artists C.J. Chenier and Rosie Ledet in the Philadelphia area and followed XPN staff to Lafayette, Louisiana where concerts were staged featuring additional top zydeco artists Buckwheat Zydeco, Nathan Williams, Chubby Carrier, Rockin' Dopsie, Jr., Major Handy, Creole United, Soul Creole, Lil' Nate Williams, Chris Ardoin, and Corey Arceneaux, along with collaborating Mississippi blues artist Vasti Jackson.

Also documented were David Dye's interviews with most of the key performing artists and with zydeco club owner Sid Williams, zydeco historian Michael Tisserand, and zydeco deejay Herman Fuselier of Lafayette public radio station KRVS.

DVD / 2015 / 87 minutes

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Robert Mugge's feature-length music documentary, GIVING UP THE GHOSTS: Closing Time at Doc's Music Hall, explores the twin careers of respected physician and musician Dr. John Peterson and the music and arts venue he owned and helped operate in downtown Muncie, Indiana from 1992 to 2012.

The film centers around a final music hall concert by Doc and his house band performing Doc's original songs along with covers of assorted jazz (Shadowfax), rock (The Doors, The Animals), soul (The Temptations, The Isley Brothers), and pop (Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Judy Garland) favorites.

In interviews, Doc and others discuss his early success in the music business, his later innovative merging of traditional and alternative medicines, and his purchase and restoration of a downtown Muncie building both to provide an outlet for the work of young artists and musicians and to help invigorate Muncie's abandoned downtown.

The film also includes discussion of the ghosts many claim to have seen and heard in the building over the years (presumed to be deceased actors who performed in the city's multiple theaters during earlier decades) and a ceremony intended to "free" them, now that the venue was shutting down.

DVD / 2014 / 80 minutes

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By Bill Perrine

A film about community, hype, and musical incest.

It's Gonna Blow!!! is the story of San Diego's legendary 1990's music scene and its brief, ill-fated reign as the 'next Seattle'. A motley community of musicians with a do-it-yourself ethos and an aversion to mainstream culture develop their idiosyncratic sounds in the isolation of San Diego, but soon find themselves at the center of bidding wars and expense account lunches. What happens when the outcasts become the next big thing?

Drawing from previously unseen performance footage and interviews with over sixty musicians, promoters and artists such as John Reis (Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Swing Kids), Rob Crow (Pinback, Heavy Vegetable), Luke Jenner (The Rapture), Pall Jenkins (Three Mile Pilot, Black Heart Procession), Tom Delonge (Blink-182), Mario Rubalcaba (Clikatat Ikatowi, Off!), the film explores the birth of San Diego's innovative post-hardcore scene and its early 90s 'Next Seattle' hype.

Featuring interviews and performances from Drive Like Jehu, Rocket from the Crypt, Trumans Water, the Locust, Three Mile Pilot, Heavy Vegetable, Blink 182, Crash Worship, No Knife, Heroin, Antioch Arrow, Boilermaker, Clikatat Ikatowi, Unbroken, Fishwife, Tanner, Physics, Pitchfork, Creedle, Swing Kids, Sub Society, Neighborhood Watch, Inch, Funeral March, Amenity and others.

DVD / 2014 / 86 minutes

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Charlie, an artist who seeks a connection between her work and her estranged father's music, teams up with Louie, an obsessive record collector from Memphis.

Together they begin an exhaustive search for a rare 45 RPM recording from the 1960's Arkansas scene that takes them on both a journey across the seldom-explored landscape of the new Old South as well as a trip through musical inspiration and influence.

Features Liza Burns, Jason Thompson, Candyce Hinkle, Natalie Canerday

DVD (Color) / 2013 / 96 minutes

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Andre Romelle Young began his career selling mixed tapes out of his 2nd floor bedroom window in Compton California. Customers would page him then wait until a plastic bucket was lowered for them to put $5 into. The bucket would return with a mix tape inside. It was crude but effective for the beat master who's sound would change the face of West Coast Rap.

Today Dr. Dre is a legend who's beats were so dynamic a line of head phones under his name and trademark are the must have item for any DJ serious about their craft.

In this film you will meet the former Compton native who's creativity has inspired a generation and set a new standard in audio sound.

DVD / 2013 / 60 minutes

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Flor De Muertos is a meditative and celebratory journey into the rich borderlands culture between Tucson, Arizona and the towns of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico. Director and Tucaon native Danny Vinik evokes the power and beauty of the Sonoran Desert and its people in this poetic exploration of life and death along the US/Mexico border.

The film begins with the traditional Day of the Dead celebration in a Nogales, Mexico cemetery and ends with Tucson's 20th All Souls Procession-when 20,000 locals turn out in costume and skull face to honor and dance with their dead. The procession culminates in a spectacular finale by Flam Chen, the world-renowned pyrotechnics troupe known for death-defying aerial feats.

Part documentary and part concert film, Flor De Muertos features a stunning performance by acclaimed Americana band Calexico at Tucson's historic Rialto Theatre, as well as interviews with legendary journalist Charles Bowden, journalist Margaret Regan, and artist Salvador Duran. The result is a striking commentary on failed US immigration policies set to an evocative Calexico soundtrack.

A love letter to the Sonoran region, Flor De Muertos will haunt your dreams.

DVD / 2011 / 87 minutes

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Directed by Nathan Christ and photographed by Robert Garza

Internationally known as 'The Live Music Capital of the World,' Austin's music culture has led it to become one of the world's most sought-after destinations. As nearly two dozen high-rises pop up throughout the city amidst economic downfall, how does the working musician get along?

This lyrical documentary provides a telescopic view into the lives of Austin's vibrant young musicians as they grapple with questions of artistic integrity, commercialism, experimentation, and the future of their beloved city.

DVD / 2010 / 88 minutes

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A documentary about underground music.

A vivid look at Tokyo's music culture as a reflection of Japanese society and its relation to international music. Live from Tokyo takes the viewer through the back streets in Shinjuku, the intersections in Shibuya, the alleys in Koenji and all over Tokyo.

Tokyo's reputation for cutting edge innovation, makes it the perfect sample for addressing a new outlook on music culture as it explores this eccentric music culture set. Bands include DMBQ, Suishou no Fune, Muneomi Senju, Shintaro Miyazaki and more.

Performances and interviews with Japan's underground music scene including members of the Boredoms.

DVD (Japanese and English with English Subtitles) / 2010 / 88 minutes

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By Henry Chalfant

From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale tells a story about the creative life of the South Bronx and the creation of the New York salsa sound. FEATURING: Angel Rodríguez, Benny Bonilla, Bobby Sanabria, Bom 5, Carlos "Charlie Chase" Mandes, Clemente "Kid Freeze" Moreno, Curtis "Caz" Brown, David Gonzalez, Mr. and Mrs. Salsa, Eddie Palmieri, Emma Rodríguez, Ray Barretto,, Willie Colón and more.

DVD / 2009 / 55 minutes

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A feature documentary examining why over 3,000 independent record stores have closed across the U.S. in the past decade.

Guerilla filmmaker Brendan Toller unleashes I NEED THAT RECORD! THE DEATH (OR POSSIBLE SURVIVAL) OF THE INDEPENDENT RECORD STORE, "an elegy for a vanishing subculture...a lively, bittersweet film that examines-with caustic humor, brutal candor, and, ultimately, great affection-why roughly 3,000 indie record stores have closed across the nation over the past decade," (Johnathan Perry, Boston Globe). A tour-de-force tale of greed, media consolidation, homogenized radio, big box stores, downloading, and technological shifts in the music industry told through candid interviews, crestfallen record store owners, startling statistics, and eye-popping animation. Fat cats or our favorite record stores? You decide.

Featuring: IAN MACKAYE, NOAM CHOMSKY, MIKE WATT, THURSTON MOORE, LENNY KAYE (Patti Smith), CHRIS FRANTZ (Talking Heads), GLENN BRANCA, PATTERSON HOOD (Drive By Truckers), PAT CARNEY (Black Keys) , LEGS MCNEIL, BOB GRUEN, BP HELIUM, and many indie record stores across the U.S. of A!

DVD / 2009 / 77 minutes

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When every gesture has a meaning...Inside African Healing Ceremony that few have ever seen...

In the African worldview, dance is a conduit of individual and community healing. African conceptualizations of illness and health integrate social, spiritual, physical and mental realms all of which are impacted by trauma.

This film reveals the healing ritual called the N'Deup Healing Ceremony. Every gesture has a meaning: the dances, the millet, the beat of the drums together with the litanies pronounced by the priestess. In the indigenous belief system it is known that the family and community collaborate with the N'Deupkaat to heal the patient.

This is a rare opportunity to witness and learn about the healing ceremony that very few outsiders have been privileged to witness.

DVD / 2009 / 31 minutes

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Directed by Benjamin Franzen

Copyright Criminals examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law, and (of course) money.

This documentary traces the rise of hip-hop from the urban streets of New York to its current status as a multi-billion-dollar industry. For more than thirty years, innovative hip-hop performers and producers have been re-using portions of previously recorded music in new, otherwise original compositions. When lawyers and record companies got involved, what was once referred to as a "borrowed melody" became a "copyright infringement."

DVD / 2008 / 54 minutes

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Inside Bob Dylan's Jesus Years is an insiders view into Dylan's "Born Again" transformation with rare photos, unearthed interviews, and exclusive live concert footage from 1978-1981. Once called "Dylan's God Awful Gospel" by his most loyal fans, Bob Dylan's "Jesus Years" are today regarded as among the best of his career.

In late 1978, Bob Dylan fell into the Arms of the Lord through the Vineyard Christian Fellowship Church. In his first-ever interview, Dylan's Bible class teacher, Pastor Bill Dwyer, details Bob Dylan's embrace of Jesus Christ and Christianity. Dylan then made three Gospel albums, winning a Grammy for Gotta Serve Somebody. However, Dylan's radical new direction alienated fans and enraged critics as he preached evangelical messages from the Book of Revelation.

DVD / 2008 / 120 minutes

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Directed by Tony Glover

Koerner, Ray & Glover was an historically notable group of three blues musicians from Minneapolis, Minnesota: "Spider" John Koerner on guitar and vocals, Dave "Snaker" Ray on guitar and vocals, and Tony "Little Sun" Glover on harmonica. They were notable figures of the revival of folk music and blues in the 1960s.

This Tony Glover directed 1986 documentary contains performances, interviews and rare archival footage of the acoustic blues trio, as well as '95 and '07 chapter updates, and 9 bonus live performances from '91-'99. It's the story of three notable American music originals, told with characteristic wit, grit and irreverence by those who lived it.

The original film has been updated by Glover with album-by-album postscripts, 10 full-length performances, and more. It also includes special appearances by Willie Murphy and Bill Hinkley.

DVD / 2007 / 118 minutes

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Payola! As the dirty business of making hits and selling records went on everyone had their hands out.

The Wages of Spin chronicles the Philadelphia music scene from 1952-1963 taking a comprehensive look at the creation, growth and popularity of Bandstand. From Bandstand's concept and creation to the rise of the iconic Dick Clark and a true national phenomenon, The Wages of Spin looks behind the curtain at the inner workings of the music industry and the people who were involved, told by the people who lived it, the performers, dancers and those waiting in the wings.

The music industry was by no means a paragon of American business ethics; characterized by underhanded practices, conflicts of interest, and most notoriously, Payola! As the dirty business of making hits and selling records went on everyone had their hands out. Clark emerged at a unique time in American cultural and economic history, saw an unprecedented opportunity and exploited it. Talent was a secondary consideration in the system of graft and legalized corruption that prevailed at the time.

DVD / 2007 / 70 minutes

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There are moments in music history that have impact far beyond the expected or predictable. This film documents one...

Rare footage of the 1966 World Tour where Bob Dylan traded in his acoustic guitar for the hard-edged sound of an electric one. As history recalls, the change was not received well.

With a set of drums and an 8mm color home movie camera, Mickey Jones toured the world in 1966 with Bob Dylan and The Band. He filmed "The tour that changed Rock and Roll forever" and the booing crowds, scathing reviews, stomping feet, and infamous catcall of "Judas!" in response to Dylan trading in his acoustic folk guitar for an electric.

Drummer-turned-actor Mickey Jones, with Director Joel Gilbert, chronicled the legendary Bob Dylan World Tour through his discovery of the home made films. This updated release includes new, exclusive interviews with Charlie Daniels, Johnny Rivers, Trini Lopez, soundman Richard Alderson, and new insights by Mickey Jones.

DVD / 2006 / 95 minutes

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Written and Directed by Rick Ernst

Featuring the biggest bands in heavy metal music, Get Thrashed! Covers the origins, cultural impact, and musical influence of Thrash Metal. Told first-hand by the members of bands like Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, as well as using raw, original show footage. With special features including bands from around the world, over 3 hours of content.

Featuring members of Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Pantera, Slipknot, and more.

DVD (Color) / 2006 / 100 minutes

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The classic concert from 2003... Recorded live in Amsterdam's historic, 17th Century (1675), Portuguese Synagogue, the performance features three of the world's greatest cantors in a program of inspiring Jewish secular and religious song.

Amsterdam has long been at the crossroads of the two major streams of the Jewish faith: The Sephardic and Ashkenazi. It is therefore befitting that this magical performance took place there.

Performing with a 46 piece orchestra and 16 voice choir are Alberto Mizrahi of the renowned Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago, Naftali Herstik of Great Synagogue Jerusalem and Benzion Miller of Young Israel Beth-El of Borough Park, New York.

Full performances include:
Ki Lo Noeh
Yedid Nefesh
Yerushalayim Shel Zahav
Sunrise, Sunset
Kol Nidre
Mayn Yiddishe Mama
Sephardic Medley
Yo M'enamori D'un Aire Los Bilbilicos Cuando El Rey Ninmrodv'lirushalayim Ircho
Hevenu Shalom Aleichem
Tzena Tzena

DVD / 2003 / 75 minutes

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Featuring Morgan Freeman, Robert Mugge's acclaimed 2003 music documentary, LAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI JUKES, explores the fading traditions of rural Mississippi juke joints.

The blues was first played by itinerant musicians in juke joints on the edge of cotton plantations, later migrating into so-called urban lounges, and regional musicians still practice their craft and entertain their fans in both, as well as in modern blues clubs and casino lounges.

The film focuses, in particular, on two well-known Mississippi venues: Jimmy King's legendary Subway Lounge which, for three decades, operated in the basement of the historic, black-owned Summers Hotel in Jackson, MS; and actor Morgan Freeman's and attorney Bill Luckett's Ground Zero Blues Club, a contemporary blues venue in Clarksdale, MS that incorporates the design elements, menu, and spirit of a traditional juke.

The story of Mississippi jukes is told by blues historians Dick Waterman and Steve Cheseborough, by the club owners, by local politicians, and by participating musicians. The musicians also demonstrate styles of blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta and elsewhere around the state.

Performing at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale are Alvin Youngblood Hart with Sam Carr and Anthony Sherrod. Performing at the Subway Lounge in Jackson are Bobby Rush, Chris Thomas King, Vasti Jackson, Patrice Moncell, Eddie Cotton, Greg "Fingers" Taylor, Lucille, Abdul Rasheed, Levon Lindsey, J.T. Watkins, Dennis Fountain, Pat Brown, George Jackson, Steve Cheseborough, Casey Phillips, Jimmy King, David Hughes, Virgil Brawley, and the Subway's two alternating house bands: The House Rockers and The King Edward Blues Band.

LAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI JUKES looks at the buildings, the landscapes, and the communities where the blues began, and it examines how original blues traditions have evolved over time, carried into a new century by committed musicians and club owners, both in Mississippi and around the world.

DVD / 2003 / 86 minutes

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The world of improvisational rap is explosively explored in this award wining and critically acclaimed authentic look into the life, music and history of 1990's underground hip hop culture!

Packed with rare and archival footage of some of the most amazing MC's ever to bless the mic, including Mos Def, Notorious BIG, The Roots, and many more! The movie features the story of MC Supernatural and his quest to become a champion, battling many in his way including his arch nemesis Craig G of the famed Marley Marl Juice Crew.

Made by a grass roots co-operative of independent local community filmmakers, b-boys, DJ's, and MC's, this documentary takes us on a journey through the previously unexamined dimensions of hip hop as a spiritual and community based art form. Combining the best of independent art house cinema within the hip hop mix tape format, the film features legendary battles from New York to LA, including The Lyricist Lounge, Project Blowed, and The Wake Up Show!

The artists featured in the film including Jurassic 5, Planet Asia, Freestyle Fellowship, MC Juice, Lord Finesse, Wordsworth, Boots Riley, and The Living Legends provide insight into one of the least seen faces present in the music: improvisation and creativity. Structured with insights from the Last Poet's esteemed Abioudun Oyweole and jazz & rap historians Freestyle connects the dots from the pain and love of yesterday's poets to today's hip-hop innovators. Revealing the art forms stunningly emotional outlet; whether sharing energy in a street corner cipher for block cred or a stadium's commercial rap performance full of 1,000s of paying fans. Like the Griots of Africa or the wail of Coltrane's saxophone, today's hip-hop MCs all have a similar purpose: to share their experience with others hungry for truth, community and healing.

DVD / 2000 / 75 minutes

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Robert Mugge's loving survey of the diverse musical styles and genres of the State of Louisiana.

To describe the recent films of the documentarian Robert Mugge as cultural reference books doesn't mean to imply that these explorations of the musical byways of Southern rural America are lacking in pungent musical sap. It's the careful balance between music and scholarship that lends Mr. Mugge's films a foundation of academic seriousness that flirts with dryness without becoming mired in trivia. Documents of a flourishing below-the-radar culture, often involving musicians who won't be around much longer, they are archival records as well as entertainments. For every obscure blues or folk musician shown performing in his films, there is usually an expert standing by to explain where this artist or group stands on the family tree of American vernacular music. Instead of concentrating on the trunk and larger branches, Mr. Mugge likes to examine the smaller branches and even the twigs.

Filmed in 3 parts:
Part 1: Another Country / Northern Louisiana
Part 2: Spirits of the Night / New Orleans & Baton Rouge
Part 3: Music in the Air / Southwestern Louisiana

Features Kermit Ruffins, Frankie Ford, Rosie Ledet, Dale Hawkins, Henry Gray, Henry Butler, Nathan Williams, Sister Pearlee Toliver, Warren Storm, Claude King, Hackberry Ramblers, La Famille Viator, Rod Bernard, Lil' Alfred, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Easter Rock Church, Ever Ready Gospel Singers, Po' Henry & Tookie, Rev. Gerald Lewis, Kenny Bill Stinson, Lil' Bryan, Dale & Grace

DVD / 2000 / 120 minutes

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The first 20 years of Chicago Blues' label Alligator Records!GADVD-7005Allig:DVDbox

Film about famous Chicago blues label, Alligator Records featuring icons such as Koko Taylor and Sonny Boy Williamson as well as newer school blues artists like Kenny Neal and Lucky Peterson. The folks at Alligator started a love affair with the blues 40 years ago and this is the story of the first 20 years.

Blues and the Alligator is a film by Jim Downing, shot in 1991. The documentary includes extensive music. Track listing:

  • Sky Is Crying-Horroscope-You Don't Love Me
  • Snatch It Back and Hold It-Roll Your Moneymaker
  • Can't Let These Blues Go-Devil Child-Stormy Monday
  • You Got Me Running-Darling I Miss You So
  • Jealous Man-Like Father Like Son-Star Spangled Banner
  • It's A Dirty Job-Sky Is Crying-Sweet Home Chicago

  • DVD / 1991 / 52 minutes

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    Double Feature: Robert Mugge's feature-length films on Hawaiian music and dance, both traditional and modern, released together at last.

    In the 1970s, Hawai'i began what is known as the Second Hawaiian Renaissance, a period of renewed interest in native Hawaiian history, language, crafts, music, dance, and spirituality. Out of that period of resurgence came enormous social, cultural, and political excitement and activity which, to a great extent, continues to this day.

    Inspired by what he encountered during his first visit to Hawai'i in 1986, filmmaker Robert Mugge joined forces with state politician Dr. Neil Abercrombie (later to become the U.S. Congressman from Honolulu and then Governor of the state), University of Hawai'i ethnomusicologists Dr. Ricardo D. Trimillos and Jay W. Junker, kumu hula and educator Vicky Holt Takamine, and Honolulu Academy of Arts film programmer Ann Brandman to produce an 85-minute documentary on Hawaiian music shot largely on the Island of O'ahu, and then, with the help of Cove Enterprises executives Roy Tokujo and Ronald Letterman, an 85 minute documentary on Hawaiian dance shot on all six of the primary Hawaiian Islands. In both cases, Dr. Abercrombie was able to convince his former colleagues in the state legislature to fund the films because of their educational and promotional value for the state.

    HAWAIIAN RAINBOW, a 1987 film about Hawaiian music, examines Hawai'i's traditional chants, percussion, ukulele, slack-key and steel guitar, male and female falsetto, and lush vocal harmonies, many of them accompanied by authentic Hawaiian dance styles.

    KUMU HULA: KEEPERS OF A CULTURE, a 1989 film about the art of the hula, explores Hawaiian dance traditions going back to 500AD when Polynesians first arrived in the islands. Those traditions have been passed along from generation to generation by kahuna (priests and sages) and kumu hula (master teachers). In this film, shot at exotic locations throughout the islands, Vicky Holt Takamine and other respected kumu hula reveal ancient traditions that have survived, flourished, and (where appropriate) evolved in spite of attempts by Nineteenth Century missionaries, plantation owners, and US Marines to repress Hawai'i's indigenous culture.

    DVD / 1989 / 174 minutes

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    A nostalgic salute to stars who brought music and laughter to the troops in WWII, featuring Bob Hope and many others.

    World War II affected everyone, and everyone found his or her own way of helping the cause. For American entertainers, choices included enlisting, selling war bonds, visiting the wounded, and entertaining the troops.

    In this 90-minute documentary, filmmaker Robert Mugge pays tribute to hundreds of well-known (and not so well-known) performers who assisted the military both at home and abroad. Included are rare period performances by the likes of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Dorothy Lamour, Frances Langford, the Andrews Sisters, Abbott and Costello, Lena Horne, Carole Landis, Dinah Shore, Jerry Colonna, Danny Kaye, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Larry Adler, Kay Kaiser, Cass Daley, Irving Berlin, Bugs Bunny, and many others, as well as special appearances by such prominent actors as Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard (in the last appearance before her untimely death), and Edward G. Robinson.

    Rounding out this tribute are 1988 interviews with Dorothy Lamour ("the Bond Bombshell"), Frances Langford ("the G.I. Sweetheart"), Mel Blanc (the voice of World War II's Private Snafu, alias the Sad Sack), and Maxene Andrews of the Andrews Sisters, as well as a reunion of Bob Hope's World War II troupe of performers (videotaped just three days before Hope's 85th birthday).

    DVD / 1988 / 90 minutes

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    Led by the success of the B-52's and R.E.M., Athens, Georgia was the most happening music scene in the country by the mid 80's.

    Following several different bands from different genres, this film paints Athens as a magical artistic environment where bands are not in competition, but co-exist in harmony.

    Live performances of R.E.M.'s "Swan Swan H" and "Dream (All I Have To Do)" at the Lucy Cobb Institute chapel are included. Also featured are performances and interviews frm the B-52's, Pylon, B-B-Que Killers, Time Toy, Jim Herbert, Flat Duo Jets, Love Tractor, Kilkenny Cats, Squalls, and more.

    DVD / 1987 / 120 minutes

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    "Buddy Rich: The Lost Tapes" is an historic preservation and restoration project. The producers recovered the masters from a fire in 1990 and went about restoring the original surround sound track of the last concert Buddy Rich recorded before he passed away in 1987. This release follows the Emmy Award winning Channel One Suite and both concerts were recorded the same night.

    DVD / 1987 / 90 minutes

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    By Robert Mugge
    Tenor saxophone master Sonny Rollins has long been considered one of the most important artists in jazz history, and still, today, he is viewed as the greatest living jazz improviser.

    In 1986, filmmaker Robert Mugge produced SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS, a feature-length portrait of Rollins, named after one of his most celebrated albums. The project began in May of that year when Mugge and a small crew accompanied Sonny and Lucille Rollins to Tokyo, Japan where the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra premiered his Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra with Heikki Sarmanto of Finland conducting and Rollins himself soloing throughout. The next big shoot was in August, when Mugge and a larger crew filmed Rollins and his ensemble performing at sculpted rock quarry Opus 40 in Saugerties, New York. The most surprising part of the latter concert was that, midway through his performance, Rollins leaped from a 6-foot cliff, fell to his back on the ground and, in spite of suffering a broken heel, continued to play his saxophone.

    Rounding out the production were interviews with Rollins in Japan, with Heikki Sarmanto in Japan, with Rollins and his wife Lucille in New York City, and with jazz critics Ira Gitler, Gary Giddins, and Francis Davis, also in New York City. A soundtrack album, "G-Man," released by Fantasy Records, was named by Village Voice music critic Robert Christgau as the best album of 1987, whether jazz or rock, and the fourth best album of the decade.

    DVD / 1986 / 101 minutes

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    Directed by Scott Ross and produced by Gary Reber, recorded in 1985 (King Street Studios in San Francisco), this Emmy Award winning performance was Buddy Rich's last in-studio recording.

    The musicians featured are:

    Buddy Rich (Drums), Steve Marcus (Tenor Saxophone), Scott Bliege (Trombone); Bill Cunliffe (Piano), Paul Phillips (Trumpet), Mike Davis (Trombone), Eric Miyashiro (Trumpet), Jay Craig (Baritone Saxophone), Bob Bowlby (Alto Saxophone), Mark Pinto (Alto Saxophone).

    The track listing is superb:

    1. Machine
    2. Best Coast
    3. One O'Clock Jump
    4. Sophisticated Lady
    5. Norwegian Wood
    6. Love For Sale
    7. No Exit
    8. Channel One Suite

    DVD / 1985 / 90 minutes

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    Robert Mugge's portrait of actor, writer, attorney, activist, and Grammy Award winning world music artist Ruben Blades.

    "Robert Mugge is a filmmaker with a music critic's sensibility. His good taste in subjects is matched by the subtle way in which he lets his movies reveal all the music that fits. The result is filmmaking that informs and entertains, and in the age of overblown music videos and the blatantly artful hard sell of music, Mugge's movies are a relief to watch.

    For salsa fans, THE RETURN OF RUBEN BLADES is a must-see. Politicos looking for a credible and humane view on the fire down below our borders, and people interested in the evolving dynamics of pop culture will likewise find engaging ideas and insights in Mugge's effort...a refreshing portrait of an artist with a demonstrative grace and an irresistible beat.

    DVD / 1985 / 82 minutes

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    Acclaimed filmmaker Robert Mugge's GOSPEL ACCORDING TO AL GREEN examines the turbulent career of soul singer and gospel preacher Al Green.

    In the early and mid 1970s, the release of songs like "Let's Stay Together," "Love and Happiness," "Tired of Being Alone," and "Take Me to The River" made Al Green one of the most successful soul and pop singers in the world. However, as the decade progressed, Green suffered an existential crisis, prompted by a questioning of his own increasingly decadent lifestyle, as well as by the death of a girlfriend who scalded him with hot grits before shooting and killing herself. He also claims to have had a religious reawakening after performing a concert at Disneyland.

    All of this led to his abandonment of popular music, his purchase of a Memphis church building, his installation of himself as the pastor of that church, and the start of a part-time career as gospel artist.

    DVD / 1984 / 94 minutes

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    BLACK WAX is a musical-political entertainment film produced and directed by Robert Mugge in 1982. It was the first American film to be fully funded by Britain's then-brand-new Channel 4 Television and also likely the first film to use Steadicam from first frame to last.

    DVD / 1983 / 79 minutes

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    Directed by Lech Kowalski

    D.O.A.: A RIGHT OF PASSAGE is the ground-breaking classic documentary about the origin of punk rock.

    Centered around the Sex Pistols 1978 tour of the United States, which ended with the group breaking up, the tour was the only one the Pistols played in the United States. Director Lech Kowalski (East of Paradise) followed the band with handheld 16mm cameras through the clubs and bars of their seven-city U.S. tour. Mixing this with footage of other contemporary bands, trends in the fashion capitals and punks of all shapes and colors, Kowalski captured a gritty, stained snapshot of the punk movement at its peak (which includes the now famous footage and interview of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen in bed) along with rare interview and concert footage of the late seventies punk rock music scene.

    DVD / 1980 / 90 minutes

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    Acclaimed documentarian and music historian Robert Mugge's definitive portrait of jazz visionary Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

    Years ahead of his time, composer, keyboard player, bandleader, poet, and philosopher Sun Ra coupled images of outer space with those of ancient Egypt, acoustic instruments with electronic ones, and modern American musical genres (jazz, soul, gospel, blues, swing) with the sounds of Africa and the Caribbean. He also combined his music with dance, poetry, colorful costumes and backdrops, and pure theatricality, influencing other innovative musical ensembles as diverse as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic, and Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, and he was among the first musicians to use electronic keyboards and portable synthesizers in public performance. For his one-hour documentary,

    Robert Mugge spent two years shooting Sun Ra and members of his so-called jazz Arkestra in a wide variety of situations. Ensemble performances were filmed at Baltimore's Famous Ballroom, at Danny's Hollywood Palace in Philadelphia, and on the roof of Philadelphia's International House on the edge of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Sun Ra's poetry and mythological pronouncements were filmed in the Egyptian Room of the University of Pennsylvania's anthropology museum, in a sculpture garden in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., and inside and outside of the house he shared with key band members in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.

    Interviews with band members were filmed inside and outside of the house, as well as inside their nearby Pharaoh's Den food store, and a band rehearsal and a solo keyboard performance were filmed in the house as well.

    Transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored for the best possible viewing experience. Songs performed in the film include such Sun Ra classics as "Astro Black," "Mister Mystery," "We Travel the Spaceways," "Along Came Ra/The Living Myth," "Spaceship Earth (Destination Unknown), "Requiem for Trevor Johnson," and many more. This release also includes extended audio versions of these and other songs.

    DVD / 1980 / 60 minutes

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    Robert Mugge's 1976 film GEORGE CRUMB: VOICE OF THE WHALE is a portrait of the brilliant American composer George Crumb and includes a complete performance of his hauntingly beautiful composition "Vox Balaenae for Three Masked Players" which is conducted by Richard Wernick and performed by his Penn Contemporary Players: Barbara Haffner, Carole Morgan and Lambert Orkis.

    Most of the film was shot in black and white, with musical performance sections tinted blue and sections concerning Mr. Crumb's life (including interviews with him, his musician wife Elizabeth May Brown, and fellow composer Richard Wernick) tinted green. This clip features the opening of the film.

    The film was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and makes innovative use of color and a dialectical structure to reveal Crumb's life (green-tinted-footage), his work (blue-tinted footage, and connections between the two (full-color footage).

    DVD / 1976 / 54 minutes

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    On Saturday, July 6, 1974, Mississippi-Delta bluesman John Lee Hooker was a star attraction at an all-day festival attended by 6,000 people. The event in the town of Gardner Massachusetts was called "Down in the Dumps," a musical event held in the city landfill area.

    Hooker's performance was captured on a three camera shoot and broadcast on cable television in local cities and towns.

    Track listing
    It Serves You Right to Suffer
    Sweet Sweet Thing
    Boom Booom
    Whiskey & Women

    DVD / 1974 / 45 minutes

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