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Forty years ago, concert film were big. No really, they played on big screens and carried cultural import. In 1970, the documentary Woodstock won an academy award. When Talking Heads released Stop Making Sense in 1984, people were apparently dancing in the aisles of the theater.
Then, shortly thereafter, there were no aisles left to dance in. VHS made the concert film less of a public event and more of an at-home-with-a-bag-of-Cheetos experience. By the time Radiohead made its stuffy tour film, Meeting People is Easy, in the late ’90s, the wonder and mystique were pretty much extinguished. Then YouTube came along and the screen got smaller still. These days, the large-scale concert film genre is basically a graveyard—-home to the dead (Michael Jackson, This Is It) and the undead (The Rolling Stones, Shine a Light), with the JoBros the only remaining trace of once abundant youthful vigor.
Perhaps those eerie vibes are what has drawn D.C. expats Dead Meadow to the scene. Or maybe the trio, who play bluesy psych-rock, had been spending a lot of time with Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains The Same. Whatever the rationale, in March the band will release Three Kings, a film that’s one part concert footage, one part stoner-ghosts walking around in robes, and one part bassist Steve Kille firing an Uzi at a light bulb. At least, that’s what this preview suggests.
A video for the song “That Old Temple,” excerpted from the film, is up after the jump
Dead Meadow “That Old Temple” from Artificial Army on Vimeo.