A Sentimental Celebration of a Legendary West Hollywood Club in Troubadours
All hail the Troubadour, the landmark West Hollywood nightclub that galvanized the late-60s/early-70s singer-songwriter scene, launching Carole King, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, and Elton John (as well as comedians like Steve Martin and Cheech & Chong). As seen at Sundance last week, Morgan Nevilles pop-doc celebration features all of said boldfaced names and more waxing broadly about their early days at the Troub, with the obligatory vintage-concert footage and Ken Burnsstyle zooming and panning over scrapbook finds. The cinematic occasion is the clubs 50th anniversary, marked by a 2007 series of King and Taylor reunion concerts, slickly packaged together to wash over viewers like a sentimental, VH1-worthy pleasantry. The film is entertaining but hardly penetrating, and theres something uncool about shaking the opening credits awake with the MC5s Kick Out the Jams before ditching rock n roll sensationalism altogether. Not that we need to hear any more about David Crosbys snorting habits, and Taylor was probably still a mellow, boring guy even as a hophead. But why isnt Doug Weston, the Troubadours late owner and curatorial masterminddismissed here as a greedy, crazy huckster by those who owe their careers to himthe star of the show?
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