Jason Blackmore’s film does exactly what it says on the tin and achieves everything that it sets out to do and more. Following a relatively simple premise i.e. interview a bunch of East Coast Hardcore and Punk luminaries about their record collections and music; Records Collecting Dust II travels beyond the boundaries set in place by its central idea, as each and every one of the subjects involved dig far deeper into their psyches than the dust jacket blurb would lead you to believe. What Blackmore, just like any, and every, other life-long fan, knows is that music has a unique power. As well as seeping into your soul, it has sense of place and history and by getting his interviewees to open up about their favourite childhood, teenage and adult records and by encouraging them to talk about the most prized items in their collections, Blackmore encourages them to talk about themselves, their lives and their personal histories. Because while the records that drew them toward music were “left” collecting dust on shelves and in boxes, the people who bought them became the musicians and the movers and shakers who helped to shape and define the East Coast Hardcore scenes of the eighties and nineties.
Focusing on Boston, New York and Washington DC Records Collecting Dust II through its series of involving interviews with Paul Bearer, Mike Gitter, John Joseph, Cliff Croce (nee Hanger), Ian MacKaye, Roger Miret, Pete Stahl, Al Quint, Amy Pickering, Brian Baker, Jack Kelly, Bob Cenci and many more, encourages the musicians who inspired a generation talk about the records, music and bands who inspired them. Blackmore’s film explores the impact that the records had on the then young impressionable minds of the interviewees and exams the often almost transcendental effect that a trip to the record store could, and did, have on his subjects. Records… is about discovery, about how finding music led to life-long friendships and stumbling into the scene that would go on to play such a significant role in their lives, and how in the pre-digital days before technology, the chase, the finding out about a record or a band, was almost as important, and fulfilling, as the eventually getting to hold, have and listen to a record. It’s also about the importance of bands like the Bad Brains, the Ramones, AC/DC, KISS and the furtive, secretive world of rock’n’roll and how once tasted, those involved were forever smitten and their lifestyle of choice became one of musical addiction. A fascinating insight into the human condition and the power of music to change, influence and guide destiny and choice, Records Collecting Dust II is the perfect way for any scenester to while away an afternoon in captivating and compelling company. Oh, and if Ralph Wayne (whoever “he” may be) is the hip, behind the curtain, happening cat that I assume he is for getting this film out, he’ll also release the soundtrack because it, as the kids are apparently so fond of saying, is all killer and no filler… Tim Cundle