Friday, August 17, 2012

Netflix Instant: TV & Movies Picks- Clawhammer edition

Over the last few weeks, I've felt like Hurley from LOST because I keep on seeing something at random places. But instead of seeing a demonic set of numbers, I saw banjos everywhere. It all started with the debut of a new banjo-tastic Mumford and Sons song  "I Will Wait." Then, I met a classy lady that happens to play banjo and finally, I watched GIVE ME THE BANJO which gave me the inspiration for this week's column. I wanted to highlight this documentary and others that deal with this instrument and a certain legendary jazz guitarist. Check them out after the jump.

While the movie is not about banjos, it deals with a guitarist that was prominent during the time period when the banjo was more widely used. Django Reindhardt is one of those guys that you hear about all the time as a guitarist who despite having injured his fretting hand, became a jazz guitar legend. This doc deals with the Django 100 Centennial Tour where 100 guitarists play a concert in tribute of Django.  

This doc deals with Bela Fleck going to Africa to perform in various countries and to learn more about the African roots of his signature instrument. 

If you're going to see one of the movies I recommend this weekend, make it this one. It encompasses the history of the banjo as an instrument with African roots that was (go figure) whitewashed later in history. As someone that took a lot of music history classes in college, a lot of this information was a little redundant to me. The part that interested me the most was when the people being interviewed talked about banjo playing techniques. Plus, anything seeing Steve Martin in a suit playing the banjo is badass. 

Well, that's it for this week. Now that I'm done writing this, I think I'll go strum a few chords on the ol' geetar.

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