Rockumentary: A Few Thoughts on Hype!


Over the last few nights, I’ve had the nostalgic pleasure of indulging myself in the mid-90’s rockumentary Hype! It’s basically an exploration of the Seattle-scene phenomenon of the late-80’s and early-90’s, and while the whole “grunge” style is a bit dated at this point, I was happy to see the movie and music it covers really isn’t. A few (random) thoughts:

— There is something beautiful about the community of youth, art, and music that rises up in cities like Seattle. I was lucky enough to witness the Louisville, KY scene of the mid-90’s. The scene always goes through a phase of inflation where everybody wants a share, but the core community of “believers” always seems to survive and keep making music that only they care about. I wonder if this has stayed true in Seattle, or if the grunge movement, and subsequent successes of Death Cab and Sub Pop-acts like The Shins & Fleet Foxes has “ruined” the Seattle-scene?

— I really appreciated that the movie didn’t “preach” about the way money ruins everything. It’s definitely there as a theme,  but it’s almost handled as something to get over, an inevitable fact of life.

— I now officially miss the Pacific Northwest like crazy. The scenery played a huge part in making this such an authentic film. It really feels home-grown and true to the spirit of the region. The greater Seattle area is simply one of the most glorious places in the world.

— Come to think of it, I’d love to see a sequel to this film at some point, especially representing latter day successes like Death Cab For Cutie, Fleet Foxes, and Modest Mouse. There continues to be a steady stream of  great bands issuing from this region (especially when you include Vancouver, BC), so it would be interesting as a continued exploration of what makes the kids tick up there.

— Post-to-come: My Top 10 Pacific Northwest LP’s.

Check out a clip of the film here:

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