The overwhelming bevy of underwhelming pop tarts, trite boy bands, toy rockers, and overhyped rappers that have held the music charts hostage over the past few years has inspired actress-turned-filmmaker Rosanna Arquette to confiscate pop music's microphone and return it to some of its greatest songwriters, singers, and musicians so they can wax poetic about the state of music today, how they balance life and art, and their muses in rock 'n' roll. Important artists in nearly every genre, from the 1960s to present day, are represented, including Willie Nelson, Burt Bacharach, Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Peter Gabriel, Iggy Pop, Sting, Boy George, Annie Lennox, Mary J. Blige, Flea, Sheryl Crow, and André 3000. Through a series of interviews set in the warm, intimate confines of these rockers' homes, backstage dressing rooms, and recording studios, Arquette's two-camera chat-fest allows audiences to become a fly on the wall to refreshingly honest, sometimes funny, and mostly thought-provoking conversations. There's David Crosby observing that he finds Britney Spears "as deep as a birdbath, compared to Joni Mitchell," while Mitchell herself reveals that she opts out of today's music game because she dislikes the record promotion machine. And then there's punk icon Patti Smith, who gets sweetly
tender when discussing the joys of parenting in rock 'n' roll. Unlike most celebrity-driven, puff-piece documentaries, this film is an enjoyably lean tête-à-tête-even the few tangents are engrossing. A must-see for all music lovers.