EVERY YEAR, the Northwest Film Center's Reel Music Film Festival hits, bringing all sorts of music-related cinema to town. There's some great stuff this year, and also some not-so-great stuff, but trust us—it's worth foraging around a bit to find the worthwhile events. Here are a few of them; for more, check out nwfilm.org.
The Holy Modal Rounders: Bound to Lose (Fri Jan 5, Sun Jan 7)—Folk rockers the Holy Modal Rounders get a career-spanning documentary. Between the film's Friday and Sunday screenings, Saturday boasts a performance from the Holy Modal Rounders at the Crystal Ballroom. See Music on pg. 18.
New Orleans: Music in Exile (Sat Jan 6)—A doc about how New Orleans' musicians are struggling to fix the city's Katrina- decimated music scene.
Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) (Sat Jan 6, Sun Jan 7)—Harry Nilsson is so awesome. And here's a movie about why. Don't let the interviews with Yoko Ono and Robin Williams scare you off.
Rural Rock and Roll (Fri Jan 12)—A look at the underground music community in Eureka, California, a town halfway between Portland and San Francisco.
Air Guitar Nation (Sat Jan 13)—The official blurb: "Though the instruments may be invisible, the rock is real."
Danielson: A Family Movie (Wed Jan 17)—A look at Christian rockers Danielson, utilizing "collage, direct cinema, animation, and memorable performances." Special guest star: fellow Jesus-lover Sufjan Stevens!
Burn to Shine: Portland, Oregon (Fri Jan 19)—The third in the "Burn to Shine" series, Portland's entry, from 2005, features Quasi, the Decemberists, the Thermals, the Shins, Lifesavas, Sleater-Kinney, and more.
Northwest Passage: The Birth of Portland's DIY Culture (Thurs Feb 15)—This promising-sounding doc looks at Portland's music scene in the '70s and '80s, featuring members of Poison Idea, Smegma, and others.