‘Who the F*@% is Frank Zappa?’ breaks documentary film funding record

KEY ART Zappa courtesy of zappamoviedotcom

Who the F*@% is Frank Zappa? – director Alex Winter’s effort to produce a documentary film about the life of musician Frank Zappa – has broken the record for most-funded documentary on Kickstarter.

Reaching $865,195 in pledges, the project has surpassed the previous record of $859,425 held by the Bill Nye Film campaign.

Winter’s project aims not only to fund the film, but to catalogue and preserve Frank’s at-risk archives, known as The Vault.

Winter and Glen Zipper (producer of the Academy Award® winning Undefeated) are the very first people outside the Zappa family to be given access to The Vault, a vast repository of never-released media (video, film, unreleased music, interviews, concert recordings, and more) from and by Frank, which has literally been locked away in a chamber beneath the Zappa family’s Hollywood Hills home since Frank’s death.

The Kickstarter campaign’s minimum goal of $500,000 was enough to digitise the critical parts of the archive and start production, but surpassing the goal promises faster completion of the film, plus more fan access to Vault contents.

Winter describes the film as “an epic saga of a great American artist and thinker; a major film event worthy of the scope of Zappa’s prodigious and varied creative output, and the breadth of his personal and political life.”

Find out more via www.Zappamovie.com

Zappa-Alex-Winter-still-12courtesy of zappamovie dot com
Director Alex Winter explores The Vault

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

Frank Zappa vault opens for definitive documentary directed by Alex Winter

KEY ART Zappa courtesy of zappamoviedotcom

Acclaimed filmmaker Alex Winter is turning to fans to help make the first definitive documentary about the life of iconoclastic musician, artist, and revolutionary Frank Zappa.

But Winter’s real goal is far more ambitious: This morning he launched a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter not only to fund the film, titled Who the F*@% Is Frank Zappa?, but to catalog and preserve Frank’s at-risk archives, known as “The Vault.”

Director Winter and Glen Zipper (producer of the Academy Award® winning Undefeated) are the very first people outside the Zappa family to be given access to The Vault, a vast repository of never-released media (video, film, unreleased music, interviews, concert recordings, and more) from and by Frank, which has literally been locked away in a chamber beneath the Zappa family’s Hollywood Hills home since Frank’s death.

Courtesy of Zappa Family Trust 02
Zappa at the UMRK studio, Hollywood circa ’89/’90
(photo courtesy of the Zappa Family Trust)

Before her passing, the notoriously discerning Gail Zappa granted the team unprecedented access to Frank’s life and archives, and said, “We couldn’t be happier to be working with Alex, an extraordinary filmmaker in his own right. With an advanced degree in perfect timing and a shared respect for conceptual continuity, we feel it is our duty.”

The Kickstarter campaign’s minimum goal of $500,000 is enough to digitize the critical parts of the archive and start production, but surpassing the goal promises faster completion of the film, plus more fan access to Vault contents. Backers can claim rewards such as a screen credit on the finished documentary, a visit to the Vault, an opportunity to play one of Frank’s original guitars, or even — for a big enough contribution — Frank Zappa’s house. That’s right, for a cool $9 million pledge on eBay, one superfan can have the ultimate reward: Full ownership of the 8,000-square-foot Zappa family estate, along with an Executive Producer credit on the documentary and a slew of other Zappa rewards.

Winter describes the film as “an epic saga of a great American artist and thinker; a major film event worthy of the scope of Zappa’s prodigious and varied creative output, and the breadth of his personal and political life.”

Find out more via Zappamovie.com

Zappa-Alex-Winter-still-12courtesy of zappamovie dot com
Director Alex Winter explores The Vault

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

Panic Room “humbled” as Kickstarter campaign goal exceeded

Panic Room 2014

Wales-based prog-rockers Panic Room have been “humbled” by the response to their recent Kickstarter campaign, the band have said.

Having intially set a goal of £8,000 to fund a new acoustic album, the campaign target has now been exceeded with 24 days still left to run.

“We couldn’t have reached this target without all of your incredible pledges – we are high-fiving each and every one of you right now,” the band say in a statement. “We were Kickstarter virgins so we had no way of knowing exactly how successful or positive this project would be. But you have well and truly ‘broken us in.’

“Your support since we announced this acoustic album has been truly amazing, and we couldn’t be more proud, excited and humbled to have fans like you.”

The album is set to feature new versions of songs from all of the albums in Panic Room’s back catalogue. Recording won’t begin until March, but the band are already in rehearsals with new guitarist Dave Foster of Steve Rothery Band fame.

“These were our first-ever sessions with the amazing Dave Foster – and they have been fantastic. We’re too excited to put into words how the songs are sounding, but we really can’t wait for you to hear what we’re up to”, the band concludes.

Panic Room will head out on the road in May on their nine-date Wildfire tour. Confirmed dates are as follows:

May 02nd: London, The Borderline
May 03rd: Milton Keynes, The Stables
May 04th: Nottingham, Bodega
May 06th: Bristol, The Fleece
May 07th: York, Fibbers
May 09th: St Helens, The Citadel
May 10th: Swansea, The Scene
May 15th: Manchester, Sound Control
May 17th: Bilson, Robin 2

You can watch the band’s Kickstarter campaign video below. Numerous incentives are still available for contributors including signed CDs, a behind-the-scenes documentary, posters, t-shirts and a 40-page photobook. You can find the campaign page here.

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

L7 announce reunion, documentary and live shows

Photo of L7

Unless you’ve been living under an alt-rock, well, rock… you can’t fail to have noticed that L7 have announced their reunion.

The seminal all-female group will be playing a set at this year’s Download festival at Donington Park in the UK; their first since they split up in 2001.

They also be playing at Azkena Rock Festival in Spain and Hell Fest in France, with more shows to be revealed.

“It’s going to be a blast playing Download Festival this year,” said frontwoman Donita Sparks. “We can’t wait to see all of our maniac rock and roll mates in the UK again. Reunited, and it feels so good! See you there!”

The band have also begun a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary film, L7: Pretend We’re Dead, to be directed by Sarah Price. “The film takes viewers on an all access journey into the 1990’s grunge movement that took the world by storm and the band that helped define it as the genre of a generation,” reads a press release.

“Culled from over 100 hours of vintage home movies taken by the band, never before seen performance footage, and candid interviews, L7: Pretend We’re Dead chronicles the early days of the band’s formation in 1985 to their height as the ‘queens of grunge’ and follows a roller coaster ride of triumphs and failures. It offers particularly revelatory insight into the band’s eventual dissolution in 2001.”

The band announced their reunion with a short video that you can watch below:

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

Obituary tease new album, “Inked In Blood”

Obituary Band Crop 640x360

Floridian death metal legends Obituary have released a teaser for their new album, Inked In Blood.

The album is the band’s first new material in over 5 years, and is scheduled for release via Relapse Records on the 27th of October. It was funded via a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over $60,000 against an initial target of $10,000.

Says the band: “We don’t know how to explain it but we really hit the ‘metal nail’ on the head with this album. We have been writing and working on the new material for nearly three years and we could not be more excited how these songs have turned out.”

The full tracklisting for Inked In Blood is:

“Centuries Of Lies”
“Violent By Nature”
“Pain Inside”
“Visions In My Head”
“Back On Top”
“Violence”
“Inked In Blood”
“Deny You”
“Within A Dying Breed”
“Minds Of The World”
“Out Of Blood”
“Paralyzed With Fear”

You can watch the official teaser trailer for the album, featuring clips of 3 songs, below:

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song