What do you get with one part fashion-producer-DJ Mark Ronson, three parts hip-hop (DJ Premier, Erykah Badu and Nas), a disciplined classical orchestra, rock icons (The Doors), dubstep creator, Skrillex, two country music legends (Dr. Ralph Stanley, LeAnn Rimes), a Detroit soul singing legend, Martha Reeves, breakbeat innovators, The Crystal Method, and electronic boy wonder, Pretty Lights? Throw in a slew of iconic musicians, four distinct US cities and music studios, plus a brilliant concept and you get the Re:Generation Music Project.
Strangely, this concept documentary was all made possible by a car company trying to win the hearts, minds and dollars of a younger generation—Hyundai. Last night’s Grammy week World Premiere of the film, directed by Amir Bar-Lev (Fighter, Trouble The Water, The Tillman Story), proved it can keep an audience of tastemakers in their seats, and laughing, as world’s collide with ground-breaking producers re-interpreting music of the past, while earnestly attempting to work with its makers. Have no fear, you won’t see the last of this trend as Re:Generation… raises the bar of what brands must do to win over the music obsessed.
Most of the aforementioned stars showed up in Hollywood at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to see the film on a night where there were dozens of other events to attend. They even stuck around for a panel of the music producers, moderated by KCRW Music Director (and long-time club DJ and electronic music advocate), Jason Bentley, talking about what an honor it was to be involved in such a unique project that truly delivered the goods in its final cut.
One of the funnier moments in the film is when a member of The Doors confides to Sonny Moore that he asked around to see if younger people he knew had heard of “The Skrillex.” After Sunday’s Grammy Awards, chances are several million more rocking adults will know exactly who Skrillex and deadmau5 are. Does that mean we have to find some other underground movement to obsess about?