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Musical Documentaries #3

This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, 297. Musical Documentaries 3

It is inspiring to see what journey other creative people have been on. That’s why we love watching music-related documentaries. Here is the third in our series of musical documentaries.

Check out the episode for the full discussion.

As we get older, we realize how important history helps us fill in music history that we weren’t particularly aware of, as well as the personal paths of folks who have been either pop culture icons, as well as folks who have created some incredible work. What’s ironic is that I thought I knew some of these folks’ life-story, but these films helped put their music in cultural context. What I am realizing now is that the more I learn, the more I find out that there is more to learn. This list of 5 music-related documentaries enlightened us in impactful and inspiring ways. We hope these do the same for you.

Here are the 5 musical documentaries that have inspired us recently:

Needless to say, this documentary focuses on the making of this iconic album and has interviews with a host of people who worked on the album (Michael Sembello and Greg Phillinganes, to name a couple), as well as those who situate the album within the cultural historical context. The album contains quite a few genres, including jazz fusion, R & B, and pop. Also, the range of topics are as varied as political discourse to love songs. It was a double album vinyl set that came with a 45 single disc. That’s how much music was on this critically-acclaimed album.

Musical Documentaries 2:

My mom always talked about Dione Warwick, so I was aware of some of her story, but I was amazed to know what ground she broke early in her career. Needless to say, she is in the current purview, because of her inflammatory tweets, but it is nice to understand more about who she was when she started her career, as well as why she might feel a little entitled to share her feelings on current culture.

Date night at Janet Jackson:

3. “Janet Jackson” (2022)

Even though this documentary was NOT hard-hitting news—and was more of fluff piece—it did allow us to understand some of the behind-the-scenes activities and her motivations for doing some of the things she did. For instance, I did not realize how autobiographical the lyrics are for the “Control” album. According to the documentary, it was her coming out from under other people controlling her career. So, though we lived through—and were very aware of—her rise and watched her career, we had no idea how some of the decisions were made and what impact she had on those around her and/or the complicated relationship she had with her late brother, Michael Jackson. –Also, we KNEW we were going to her concert about a month after we saw the documentary and it helped me appreciate her artistry even more.

This film documents a trip back to their home, Ireland, with David Letterman. As you might know, Bono and The Edge are the core songwriters for U2, so we are made privy to their history of how they became a band, their impact on the world when they first broke onto the scene, and how they evolved in their practice of the craft over the years. They even wrote a song on the spot for David Letterman to show how they write together.

Unboxing of Akai MPC One+:

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This documentary had some real gems in it as far as how to craft a “successful” song—which we will be discussing in our NEXT episode, “3 ways to craft a successful song,” so don’t forget to check that out.

This film covers the history of Nashville as a songwriting mecca, as well as how the new songwriting conclaves work. It reveals the methods they use to write their songs, as well as some basic ideas to keep in mind as you approach creating music.


So, will we do it again? HELL, YEAH! 🙌🏾 In fact, our NEXT livestream is scheduled for Friday, July 28, where we will debut for Bourgeoisie Paper Jam’s next single “It’s Gonna Be Alright.” We will also premiere the music video live and on-air—unless you are a member of our Patreon community. (If you’re in our Patreon, you will see the video one week earlier. Join here.)

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Have you seen any of these films?

Let us know what music-related documentaries YOU like.

Leave it in the comments below.



Did you know that along with putting together our next album, we are working on our first book?

Here’s the link, if you want to pre-order:


Here’s what we’re into now:

· We’re featured in Variety Magazine!

· The video for “Every Heartbeat” is doing well in Indonesia!

· The Tony Webb "Funkalicious" video is going crazy in Honduras, y'all!

· One of our videos for our song, “Tell Me What You Want,” is going gangbusters in Vietnam!

If you like this, you might enjoy:

· Basic Recording Studio Setup:

· What to do when real life interrupts your artistic process?

· 7 Strategies for rebounding from creative burnout:

· How to give better interviews (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to give better live performances:

· How to collaborate better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to write quicker, but better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· Should you ever play for free?

· 17 Tips for taking better band photos—ESPECIALLY if you taking them yourself:



New single, “One Love (Find a Way),” by Bourgeoisie Paper Jam and

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· Gab & Jam podcast:

· Soundcloud (music):

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· Prejippie Patreon:

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Until next Monday, here’s wishing love, peace, and chicken grease!




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