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From Blowfly docs to unauthorized Beyonce biographies – don’t neglect Netflix ‘music’

May 21, 2014
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Scrolling through Netflix can be painful, tedious and ultimately disappointing – unless you’re a music fan. The music documentaries on Netflix have always displayed an impressive range of genres, covering both modern pop stars everyone knows like Katy Perry (Katy Perry: Part of Me) and hugely influential world musicians like Fela Kuti (Fela Kuti: Music Is the Weapon) who everyone really should know. Currently, their music library (which you can find in the Music category under “Watch Instantly”) has a slew of notable documentaries from the last year or so that landed big praise with critics and some of them also graced the Enzian, including Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me and The Punk Singer.

But there are also some lesser-known titles that definitely deserve to find their Netflix niche audience. Anyone who caught Blowfly at Will’s Pub last year likely remembers what a character he was onstage and might be interested to check out The Weird World of Blowfly, a documentary released in 2010 that also features Chuck D and Clarence Reid (which reminds us, when oh when will Deep City be available to stream?).

Metallica fans should likely look into Metallica Through the Never, punk fans shouldn’t miss A Band Called Death, and anyone who is still clicking that Jay-Z/Solange linkbait should jump on the unauthorized Beyonce biography, Beyonce: Baby and Beyond. Music  fans invested in the legends should prioritize Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm, which was made in 2010, two years before the Band drummer died, and features interviews with Helm. Or if you’re looking for something a little lighter, you could always put on the unseasonal Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular (which also stars Elton John, people). Want something more obscure? Try 2011’s The Libertines: There Are No Innocent Bystanders, including outrageous footage of the garage rock revival band.

Not sure what to watch first? Might I be so bold as to suggest something entirely different from band bio-pics and recommend I Need That Record!, which will probably motivate you to keep digging further into music history (on Netflix).

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