Big Star is a band that I first became aware of via the single "Alex Chilton" from The Replacements 1987 album Pleased To Meet Me. But I didn't hear them until college when they were gathering buzz from other bands like REM (other bands included Teenage Fanclub, Jesus and Mary Chain-I didn't know about their popularity in the UK) and had their albums re-released by Rykodisc as well the lost solo album by Chris Bell, I Am The Cosmos. Once we heard the music, all of my college friends were appreciative of the band of whom was given homage at local shows by The Posies (who later become honorary members of the band and play live shows) who would often open shows with, "Feel," the opening track from #1 Record. We were awed that our Memphis friend Harris Schoener had played with the legend in Memphis. So I am the ideal audience for the documentary, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012). It was great to hear the stories of how the records were made and what Alex Chilton did in his many careers (producing The Cramps, Pantherburns, and the Gories for example) before acknowledging the homage from the many fans of the bands many who went onto form their own bands. The co-founder of the band Chris Bell had the most tragic story in that he probably killed himself at 27 due to frustration from the commercial failure of the band and never got to live to see the band get their due much like a band they loved and covered, The Velvet Underground (there are many parallels between these bands despite the differences in their signature sounds). At some point I picked up the classic double album of the first two recordings #1 Record (some faves from here are: "In the Street"-now know as the theme song to That 70s Show, "Thirteen," "The Ballad of El Goodo," "The India Song," basically not a bad track on the album) and Radio City (The closest thing to a single for them was "September Gurls" from this album and again not a dud on it). But somehow I lost recordings of the third album Third / Sister Lovers and Chris Bell's solo album also released by Rykodisc, I Am The Cosmos. So I reacquired that and have been enjoying the classic tracks such as: "Thank You Friends," "Jesus Christ," "O Dana," "Kangaroo," and many others. I think everyone should see the documentary and know the music of one the greatest unheralded bands of all-time.
The second musical documentary I saw was about a band that I was much less familiar about, The Minutemen. I was not a fan, but i was aware of them because they recorded on SST records with many of my alternative favorites like Sonic Youth, The Meat Puppets, etc., and they were one of my best firends' favorites bands back in high school. Neko Case cited them as an influence despite their differences in style and recommended the documentary, We Jam Econoco: The Story of the Minutemen (2005). I was never sure what they were about, and through this documentary I can see what they were trying to do. I can't say that they won me over, but I can respect what they were trying to achieve and it was worthwhile to find out.