5 Must-See Music Docs At SXSW

 Bang! The Bert Berns Story
Courtesy Photo

A still from Bang! The Bert Berns Story.

From Gary Numan to Bert Berns and Pinetop Perkins

The SXSW Music Festival doesn’t kick off until March 15, but there’s plenty of music to be had during March 11-15’s SXSW Film Festival with a palette of features and documentaries showcasing musical icons, innovators, and institutions. Below are five noteworthy world premieres taking place during the film fest. 

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Bang! The Bert Berns Story: Narrated by Steven Van Zandt, Bang reveals the life of 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Berns, who helped create pop classics “Twist and Shout,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” and “Piece of My Heart,” as well as founded Bang Records, early home to Neil Diamond, before dying at 38. (premiere date: March 11)

Sidemen: Long Road to Glory:  Bonnie Raitt and Joe Perry pay tribute to a trio of  legendary Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters’ sidemen— piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and guitarist Hubert Sumlin— in a film that captures the bluesmen in their last performances before they all, eerily, died in 2011. (March 11)

Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of The Broken Spoke: Dubbed “The last of the true Texas dance halls,” this 50-year old, family-run Austin joint has hosted everyone from Bob Wills to George Strait, Willie Nelson, George Jones and Ernest Tubb, while staving off corporate encroachment. (March 13)

Gary Numan: Android In La La Land: The strange tale of “Cars” singer Numan and how his Asperger’s Syndrome, depression and anxiety derailed his career until he fell in love with his biggest fan, who rescued him both personally and professionally. (March 14)

The Art of Organized Noize: The three-man production crew behind Atlanta’s ‘90s music boom via hits TLC’s “Water Falls,” En Vogue’s “Can’t Let Go (Love),” and albums from OutKast and Goodie Mob get their due in this doc executive produced by Queen Latifah. (March 15)