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TOWER Playlist: 1966 Music Soundscape

Pure and simple, 1966 was considered by many critics as one of the greatest years for popular music ever [see the Guardian’s “Was 1966 pop music greatest’s year?” and the LA Times‘ “1966 Could be Rock’s Most Revolutionary Year“]. The AV Club’s Steven Hyden on why 1966 was his favorite year for music: “I chose … READ MORE

Meet the Patels on PBS Presents a Love Quiz!

Keeping with the “looking for love” theme of Meet the Patels, which makes its television debut on Independent Lens Monday, December 26, 2017 at 9 pm, we present you with a fun quiz that will tell you where you will most likely find true love! Even if you’re already “taken” we think you’ll still enjoy taking … READ MORE

The Black Panthers Pandora Mixtape

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution will be televised on Independent Lens February 16 at 9 pm [check local listings] but you can plug in, turn on, and get down ahead of time with our curated Pandora Mixtape. The set joins the politically charged soul music of the ’60s and 70’s with post-Panther era R&B and hip-hop that … READ MORE

Penelope Spheeris’ Decline of Western Civilization Rises Again

Editor’s note: While these aren’t Independent Lens films of course, the Decline films are some of our very favorite music docs, make for perfect summertime viewing, and are finally all out together on DVD. Read on for critic Noel Murray’s exclusive take on them, and a few more of his own favorites. By Noel Murray Each of director … READ MORE

Hawaiian Music: More Than Just Hula (But Also Hula)

In tandem with the upcoming PBS premiere of Kumu Hina, we created this Spotify playlist compiling some of the greatest Hawaiian music, from Hula to slack guitar, ukulele, and beyond. And yes, we also couldn’t resist tossing in a standard at the end, while finding inspiration for some of the other choices via Hawaii Magazine, Honolulu Magazine, King’s Hawaiian, … READ MORE

Rest in Peace, Jimmy Scott

Jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott, the subject of the Independent Lens documentary (and 2004 IL Audience Award Winner) Jimmy Scott: If Only You Knew, passed away June 12 at the age of 88.  Scott’s life and career was a real rollercoaster, which started with him singing in the 1940s with Lionel Hampton’s band, falling out of sight until the … READ MORE

Freddy Camalier Finds FAME at Muscle Shoals

First-time filmmaker Greg ”Freddy” Camalier shines light on how he first discovered the musical mecca of Muscle Shoals and the remarkable story of FAME Studios founder Rick Hall, who helped produce some of greatest soul and rock tunes of the 20th century.

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Meet the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Enjoy this collection of additional videos and links from the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, who are the center of Reuben Atlas‘s new Independent Lens documentary Brothers Hypnotic. Follow this horn-playing family as play everywhere from New York subways to a rainy Belgian concert, bringing the funk wherever they go.

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Reuben Atlas Gets Down to Brass Tacks with Brothers Hypnotic

New York-based producer, director, and “non-practicing lawyer” Reuben Atlas has filmmaking in the bloodlines and music frequently on his mind, so it’s no surprise he wanted to combine the two interests when running across the all-in-the-family Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. The result is Brothers Hypnotic. Read our Q&A with Atlas about the film.

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