Bad Copy

Love Songs Of The Month

LoveSong of the Month “Backslider” (Toadies)

Taking you to church!

weird al yankovic stained glassThis time last year I waxed Music Lit so why not wack some Music Film this month? For the passing music doc enthusiast I’d like to spotlight a few gems that possibly went under your radar.

[I will be ignoring music biopics, those two-dimensional Bands For Dummies “airplane” flicks (as in, they can only be stomached while sequestered on an airplane). You know the ones… they each have the scene with an actor pretending to play guitar and the scene where the band signs a record contract and the scene where someone goes on a rock bottom bender.]

[There are some rare exceptions, like Rocketman and, of course, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.]



turnOnto the good stuff:

Never mind that my friends made this movie, or that the music scene it documents is so personal to me, Turn It Around is an objectively good music documentary. Even though much of the source archival footage is spotty, the sound, the video and the editing quality of the documentary as a whole are flawless. A professional effort start-to-finish and I wish the same could be said for so many other “punk” docs. The interviewees are wide-reaching and engaging, and the story is meaningful and hopefully inspiring to future generations of would-be DIY’ers. You don’t have to like the bands featured or the ethos of the venue but one can’t deny the appeal of a clubhouse for weirdos where creativity and personal expression reign supreme (for better or worse).


turn Sparks have been actively churning out alt-pop for FIFTY years. Wilder still, it is fronted by two brothers who, by all appearances, still enjoy each other’s company. Despite lacking the fraternal animosity seemingly required of brother bands (see: Oasis, Black Crowes, Kinks, CCR…) Sparks have been wielding the weird with unrivaled commitment, as The Sparks Brothers illustrates. They also exist in that rare space occupied by the bands on their scale who operate without outside pressure and who can then churn out whatever outrageous music they like (see also: Ween, They Might Be Giants). Like Turn It Around, even if you don’t harbor any feelings for the subject itself, it is hard to not appreciate what it stands for and the dedication behind it. And it is cool seeing Edgar Wright finally make a film about music rather than merely using music in his films (a skill he flexes time and again).


air Lastly, my favorite music doc of the last 15 years is Air Guitar Nation. I can recommend this without hesitation or bias because the era it covers precedes my involvement in the sport. However, it was released the first year I won so I became the promotional eye candy for the film, traveling to film festivals the world over as a representative of the art form. I got to see the movie over and over in theaters big and small and it was always met with the same series of reactions:

  • “This is stupid,”
  • “Wait, they’re serious?”
  • “This is fucking awesome.”




Fun fact: the co-editor for Air Guitar Nation, Clark Vogeler, is also the guitar player for Toadies. Here he is (on the left) accompanying my solo (on the right). (Photo: Alexandra Lipsitz, director of Air Guitar Nation)

Before we get to this month’s LSotM I would first like to hurl shout-outs to two dad doods who helped me make this video. Cody Christopherson is my rear neighbor and within 90 seconds of meeting each other we each learnt that HICKEY was our favorite band. The odds of two fathers sharing a fence in an aging hippy enclave and deeply loving HICKEY are as astronomical as they are unifying. The making of this video required all three of us involved to endure hearing the song over and over and over again, and so I feel this may be the first and last time Cody ever helps me make a music video. It was good while it lasted (for me, at least.) When I’m playing guitar behind the alter Cody is on the ground keeping the stacked pews from collapsing underneath me.

And secondly, I’d like to thank Brian Aloisio. While Cody and I share a fence, Brian and my’s kids shared a preschool. Many a sleeve was tugged impatiently by our wee ones amid our discussions of microphones and plug-ins. His camera work, his fearlessness, and his sense of humor in the face of adults-acting-like-children was crucial. We first collaborated on this video, and, even though I kicked up rocks in his kids’ faces, he was still down to do more silliness like this…

Download the song here:

Craigums ยท LoveSong of the Month “Backslider” (Toadies cover)

Separate from his main gig with The Love Songs, Craigums (and sometimes his friends) recreate songs that have no business being recreated.

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