This week’s much publicised collapse of the UK’s most recognisable record store chain HMV led to some predictable handwringing over the state of the music industry. It was just the latest chapter in the almost universal pessimism surrounding this much-maligned cultural cornerstone – a tale of decline that blames variously globalisation, technology and insidious taste-makers. Massive kudos then to the Sundance Channel and Nokia who have produced six films bucking this trend, celebrating the vibrant music scenes in six American cities where exciting and innovative talents shape and are shaped by their hometowns. Cleverly they’ve been directed by some of SomeSuch & Co’s stellar roster of music video directors, who are able to offer authoritative tonal and aesthetic insights into these scenes while having the chance to turn their hands to something slightly different.
So there is Emily Kai Bock on New York’s new urban music direction, Tyrone LeBon on Atlanta’s strip-club scene and acid house in Los Angeles, Bob Harlow on Detroit’s street sounds and Abteen Bagheri charting Portland’s dance culture and the modern manifestations of New Orleans’ musical heritage. Even though we’ve only seen trailers and teasers so far, there’s more than enough reason to be confident that this will be a special set of films.
The teasers for New York, Atlanta and New Orleans are below and the full films debut on the Sundance Channel tomorrow.