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Matson Films 

DVD Review: TOWNCRAFT: Notes from a local scene

The Deal: Documentary about the indie music scene in Little Rock, Ark., in the late '80s and early '90s.

The Good: This could be your hometown story. Hearing about teenagers growing up and learning about punk music, having a DIY attitude and being in it for the music -- this is the life I grew up in N.J., and imagine most people did wherever they lived. It's not just the local bands -- you get mention of others like Black Flag and Fugazi (Ian MacKaye appears in the film). It focuses on the stories behind the scene instead of on the music itself.

The Bad: You hear from a lot of different people -- though their names are given, no mention of a band or involvement in the scene is given. It's great that "Bobby had a mohawk," but I wondered, "Who the hell is Bobby?" I would have enjoyed hearing a little more of the music from their scene, instead of it being primarily in the background. At times it moves a little slowly, but it's a documentary, not an adventure movie.

The Verdict: A nice time capsule of a bygone era. It's very focused on one city, but the stories fit just about anywhere.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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