Archive for December, 2009

Finding Mount Rushmore

In: Documentaries, News

Right now, the big bookshelf full of videotapes in my basement is a little bit intimidating. Half the time, I don’t dare look at it when I’m rushing out the door in the morning to go teach my classes.


I feel like the guy who looked at a mountaintop in South Dakota and saw Mount Rushmore.

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It’s A Wrap (Part 2)

In: Documentaries, Performing/Touring, Travel

In the ten years that I have known Peter Case, and the seven that I’ve been filming his shows, I’ve noticed how songs come and go in his live sets. He values spontaneity — we talked about this in an interview recorded in his Santa Monica backyard, what seems like half a lifetime ago.

Songs from Full Service No Waiting and Flying Saucer Blues were played for awhile and then retired (despite many requests, the only time he has ever played “Two Heroes” from start to finish was the day he recorded it). “Space Monkey,” long a crowd favorite, dropped off the radar in 2003. Thank You St. Jude, with re-recordings of songs from his three Geffen albums, brought back some old favorites. In 2005 there was a Plimsouls reunion, and songs like “The Oldest Story In The World” and “A Million Miles Away” made sporadic appearances.


I was curious what songs Peter would pick for his first performance in more than six months. He had told me at lunchtime that he’s been busy writing new material, but that he doesn’t plan on playing any tonight.

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About the Film

Troubadour Blues is a feature-length documentary that explores the fascinating world of traveling singer-songwriters. We see them in a variety of situations: impromptu performances, concert stages, formal and informal interviews and songwriting sessions. This is a story that needs to be heard. In our media-saturated age of instant pop stardom, there is real danger that the tradition of the itinerant working musician -- the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly -- is being diluted or lost. Troubadour Blues explores the hidden corners of our culture, where honest, authentic songs reflecting the human experience are still being made up and sung.

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