Open Roof Festival’s 8th week brought with it that characteristic blend of music and film that the audience has been enjoying all summer long. We started the evening with a singer-songwriter performance then transitioned into Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, a critically acclaimed documentary of great importance.
Local singer-songwriter Liam Titcomb returned home from Nashville to perform for us. His banter was quite personal with anecdotes between songs on topics ranging from song writing influences, to his recently deceased grandfather, to his “hippy-like” upbringing, to the current political climate in the US. Titcomb’s performance was loud and energetic enough to work terrifically in an outdoor festival but also felt intimate for a small venue. We also felt quite grateful that Liam Titcomb was able to perform for us on his 30th birthday.
Following Titcomb’s performance we were treated to the 2017 Hot Docs Audience Award winning documentary RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD. This film demonstrates just how large of an influence indigenous people have been on rock and pop music, and how overlooked that influence has been. RUMBLE does such a great job at this that it itself makes an impact on music history.
The subjects of the film, while broad, provide a formidable display of the range of indigenous influence on popular music. There is an incredible array of musicians profiled including Link Wray, Charlie Patton, Buffy Saint-Marie and many more. Also impressive are the varied subjects interviewed about the influence of these artists, including musicians such as Wayne Kramer of MC5 and Robbie Robertson (who was also profiled, as he himself is indigenous), filmmaker Martin Scorsese, and many academics.
The documentary had a style that worked well with the subject matter. Interviews were interspersed with archival materials, including recordings, photographs, and filmed footage showing the immense talent of these musicians. When no archival images were available, animation was used to great effect, giving the film a form of spiritual fluidity. In places, graphic images strongly drove home the point of just how persecuted these musicians were and how important it is to keep these names and music alive in our social consciousness.
RUMBLE is an example of a music documentary that exceeds the realm of music. The important role that indigenous people and culture have played in our society cannot be understated. Films like RUMBLE help remind us that this influence and inclusion is rarely the common knowledge it needs to be.
Next week our next performance and screening will be on our regular Tuesday schedule, August 22nd. Our musical performance will be singer/songwriter Marlon Chaplin, and the screening will be Trey Edward Shults’ horror film IT COMES AT NIGHT. The evening promises to be a fun mix of rock and scares!
Remember to share the hashtags #MoviesMusicBeer #OpenRoof17 throughout the summer.