The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
I don't know if there's a music fan alive who hasn't dreamed of being in a band. Unfortunately, this dream often goes unrequited. But for those struggling to keep the embers of a dream alive, "Todd P. Goes to Austin" is a can of gasoline.
Todd P is a do-it-yourself show promoter; he describes his job as making music louder and making sure someone's at the door taking money. He waxes philosophical about the meaning of music, verbally punishes anything related to the music industry, and generally loves indie rock with all his being. Instead of dropping all of that on you at once, brilliant director Jay Buim intersperses interview footage among the tales of several vans heading down to Austin for a subversive, unofficial showcase headed up by Todd P in the middle of South by Southwest.
The bands chosen by Todd P are what make this film so excellent: the hyperkinetic and über-enthusiastic Matt and Kim get substantial camera time, the manic and incredible The Death Set own a storyline, and the attitude-filled girl punks Mika Miko take up another chunk. The final storyline is Todd P's own van, which has all the gear for the show. Oh, yes, there will be breakdowns.
The documentary does an outstanding job of capturing the frenzy and freedom of being in an underground rock band; the whole affair is painted as dramatic, romantic and enthusiastic. If you have a pulse, you will want to quit your job and form a band about halfway through the documentary. You will want to repeat the documentary as soon as it's over. You will need someone to restrain you from jumping up and down during the final montage.
The documentary is perfectly paced, beautifully shot and masterfully edited. It sprints by your eyes, stirring up endorphins and adrenaline. The only thing that the documentary does poorly is show how boring a lot of being in a band actually is. But why fixate on that crap?
"Todd P Goes to Austin" is the most entertaining music documentary I've ever seen, and high on my list of favorite documentaries.