Anvil! The Story of Anvil rocks; Dave Dondero, It’s True tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 5:47 pm July 29, 2009

As you know, I generally don’t review movies on Lazy-i unless they have a music tie-in, and Anvil! The Story of Anvil certainly does. The documentary, which is now playing at The Dundee, is one of the best music docs I’ve seen since Some Kind of Monster, the 2004 Metallica doc, and in many ways, it’s better. The movie tells the story of ’80s Canadian metal band Anvil as it continues to reach for the rock ‘n’ roll golden ring even though the band’s members are now in their 50s.

Brief interviews with members of G ‘n’ R, Slayer, Motörhead, Metallica and others lay the groundwork before the opening titles. We’re then introduced to the key members of the band — Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner — as they struggle with their daily jobs and their daily lives before heading off to a disastrous European tour. The film has been called a real-life version of Spinal Tap, and the incidents depicted in many ways resemble that film. The difference, of course, is that this is real.

It is virtually impossible not to feel something for these lovable schlubs who, through bad timing, bad luck and a series of bad managers, record labels and recording experiences, missed the boat that made all those ’80s hair metal bands millionaires. Now all they want is their chance with a major record label. You can’t help but shake your head as they walk into the iconic Capitol Records building in LA carrying a bagful of CDRs with them name written on them in Sharpie.

This film won the Audience Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Within two months, it became the highest-grossing rock documentary in U.K. history. It’s only now getting U.S. distro and has a rare 100 percent Top Critics rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The whole time I was watching it I was thinking that these guys’ lives will forever be changed by this documentary, that their days of playing to nobody in tiny bars is over (for now, anyway). Sure enough, when I got home and did some Googling, I discovered that Anvil is opening three stadium dates for AC/DC next month.

I don’t know how long The Dundee plans on screening Anvil, though they usually change films on Fridays, so make plans to see it tonight or tomorrow. It’s well worth your time.

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Speaking of things worth your time, Dave Dondero is playing a gig tonight at The Barley Street with Micah Bruce. $5, 9 p.m. Also tonight, It’s True is playing at Slowdown Jr. with Theodore and Andrew Bryant. $7, 9 p.m.

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