The first annual Don't Knock the Rock music and film festival will begin August 15th in Hollywood and include performances by Sonic Youth, Alex Chilton, J. Mascis, Wayne Kramer and the Mike Watt-fronted Real Oh My.
Director Allison Anders (Border Radio, Gas, Food, Lodging) founded the three-day festival after teaching a class on rock films at the University of California at Santa Barbara. "I really got revitalized teaching that class," says Anders. "I thought, if I could spend my time watching movies at a festival and see great bands at night and have that all in one place, it would be like a dream for me."
Tiffany Anders -- Allison's daughter -- selected the bands for the festival and will herself play a Saturday show at the Knitting Factory, as part of an evening line-up hosted by actor Matt Dillon.
The film portion of the festival will include rock documentaries Head, The Decline of Western Civilization, MC5: A True Testimonial and 1991: The Year Punk Broke, as well as unseen film of the Flying Burrito Brothers shot in the late Sixties.
"The first time I saw it, I was gasping," Anders says of the raw footage of the late Gram Parsons and his Burritos. "It's beautiful footage with colors we just don't have anymore. It was shot on film stock that doesn't exist anymore. The texture and quality of the images is stunning."
A Southern California resident herself, Anders noted the relative lack of major festivals in Los Angeles. "There's five great American cities of rock & roll but I think you gotta put Hollywood first," she says. "We have the Capitol Records tower. Even Dylan moved here. The Beatles came here. Even when something didn't originate here, it all ends up here. We're Hollywood. It's time to step up."