The world has no shortage of examples of death arriving prematurely, but now there's one that's the subject of a fascinating pop music documentary.
"A Band Called Death" explores the intriguing story of three brothers from Detroit who formed what appears to be the first black punk band back in the early '70s, a group that recorded forward-looking music that proved to be too forward-looking for its own good.
The film, which starts a one-week theatrical run June 28 at L.A.'s Cinefamily on Fairfax, had its premiere last year at the
The resurrected band also will perform at 6:30 p.m. June 27 (tonight) at Amoeba Music in Hollywood and after the June 28 and 29 screenings at the theater.
The short version -- Calendar will have a more extensive story in the next few days -- is that music-loving brothers Bobby, David and Dannis Hackney formed Death to channel their passion for the rock 'n' roll music that surrounded them in the 1960s.
Rather than being drawn to Motown’s brand of R&B and soul that was so prevalent in the Motor City, guitarist David Hackney explains his goal in the film: “If I could play chords like [
Filmmakers Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino explore how the band's name came about, a provocative choice that almost assured the Hackneys that no record companies or radio stations would touch their debut single, even if they liked the music -- and several did.
They also lay out the facets of family loss that are a crucial part of the tale, and the role that latter-day music geeks played in the rediscovery and revival of public interest in Death, whose one and only album was belatedly released in 2008 by the indie label Drag City Records.
The film draws several parallels to last year's film festival breakout hit
Bobby and Dannis Hackney will be joined by their friend Bobbie Duncan for Death's performance following Friday's screening of "A Band Called Death," which will continue at the Cinefamily through July 3. Friday's event starts at 8 p.m., Saturday's begins at 7 p.m. Full details at the Cinefamily website.
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