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  • Wow... this film is a must-see for musicologists familiar with the Laurel Canyon scene of the '60s. Terrific interviews w/key players during that time. But... I think a bit less Jakob Dylan and newbies would have done. I suppose his being Exec Producer on the film necessitated his being in too many scenes, annoyingly nodding knowingly at comments.... that is, one supposes, the curse of being the offspring of the Great One. I am also wondering why Mama Cass barely got mentioned and Joni Mitchell was completely omitted. Was it due to disparaging remarks Joni made about pere Dylan a few years ago? Would that this film had been an eight-part comprehensive series on Netflix.
  • Greetings again from the darkness. "Go Where You Wanna Go", a catchy pop song by The Mamas and the Papas, always seemed a quintessential 1960's song, but now, thanks to an insightful interview with singer Michelle Phillips in this new documentary, it's a reminder that even the era's free love carried a price. Director Andrew Slater, the former President of Capital Records, combines the nostalgia associated with the California Sound with the contemporary staying power of the songs and the musicians.

    Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers (and Bob's son) is really the face of the film. Not only does he conduct most of the (many) interviews, he's also the driving force behind the 2015 concert at the Orpheum Theatre celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Byrds debut album ... an album we are told kicked off the fusion of folk and rock. Dylan's first interview is with the legendary Tom Petty (in one of his final interviews before suddenly passing away in 2017). The two are sitting in a guitar shop with Petty regaling the brilliance of a Rickenback, and how the music of 1965-67 influenced him as a songwriter and musician.

    An aerial view of Laurel Canyon accompanies its description as the antithesis of the plastic TV world of the 1960's. It was an area that attracted bohemians - musicians, artists, and actors - and collaboration and community were the calling. Jackson Browne and Tom Petty both mention "cross-pollination" ... the "borrowing" of ideas from each other, as it's contrasted with outright theft. The concert at the Orpheum acts a bit as a framing device, and Jakob Dylan takes the lead and performs with other modern day acts such as Regina Spektor, Beck, Jade, Fiona Apple, Cat Power and Norah Jones. We cut to modern versions of the 60's classics after an interview with the original artist or clip of the original band is played. It's a way to connect the dots and show how the music still stands today.

    Those interviewed include: Jackson Browne, music producer Lou Adler, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Michelle Phillips, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, and Ringo Starr. Each of these musical luminaries serves up a story or two, and takes a stab at defining the era and its influence. Roger McGuinn tells us how The Beatles influenced The Byrds, how The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" influenced "Sgt Pepper", and how so many songs and bands are interlinked. Brian Wilson is compared to both Mozart and Bach, and Eric Clapton admits to taking a bit from Buffalo Springfield.

    We see and hear Brian in the studio with Jakob, as well as Clapton riffing with Stills. It's fascinating to listen as Brian explains 4 different local studios were used to cut "Good Vibrations" because of the various sounds needed. A bit of artistic lunacy? Perhaps. But it makes for a great tale. It's a bit odd to have clips of Jacques Demy's MODEL SHOP, starring Gary Lockwood and Anouk Aimee, interspersed throughout, but Dylan explains how the film inspired the concert and film. Lastly, we can't help but chuckle since even Jakob couldn't coax his notoriously reclusive father into providing even a touch of recollection for the project. "Expecting to Fly" is offered as the end of the era.
  • Unless you really want to see Jakob Dylan's monotonous voice singing all the classic 60's songs, then you're better off fast forwarding every time he's on screen and just watching the archival stuff. Better yet, find someone else to make this movie about the scene and not have a lame concert of knock offs. It has some merit though, it'll make you go back and re-listen to all that great music by the original artists!
  • irazig28 September 2019
    I was dying to watch this documentary. I grew up during this period and all of these groups influenced me greatly.

    Instead you get some footage, interesting stories from some of the musicians. The problem is Jacob Dylan is the main focus. Most songs are covered by his band and assorted musicians. Sorry, I want to hear the originals. This is false advertising! Why would I rent a film filled with covers of famous songs? Exactly!! Sell it as a nostalgic romp through the 60's & people will rent it, but those who didn't live through those times won't understand the strength and beauty of those groups without HEARING the original recordings, not Jacob Dylan interpreting them. Certainly he doesn't need the money!
  • Film was interesting strictly from an anecdotal point of view. Some interesting tidbits, archival footage and new versions of the old songs. Jakob Dylan was too fawning and not enough probing with his questions and the group session with Beck, Regina Spektor and Cat Power added nothing to the proceedings. As a result the doc lost some of it's focus at time. Also, can someone tell me how the song 12:30 (Young Girls Coming To the Canyon)! was not included either in the film or over the closing credits. I mean, come on!
  • Sorry but it seems like there wasn't enough good footage available so they decided to give Jakob Dylan the starring role, even though he wasn't born until 1969. This was a very disappointing movie, as I thought it would have way more story telling about what Laurel Canyon must have been like in the 60's. There was some of that, but generally speaking, I feel like I was sold a bill of goods here...
  • I had been looking forward to seeing this since the trailers first appeared as it covered the groups that a grew up listening to. Sadly, it didn't meet up to expectations as more than half the "documentary" is focused on Jakob Dylan and not the groups.

    On a plus side the interviews with key players of the era are excellent but diluted by the ego of Mr. Dylan, turning up like an unwanted gatecrasher at the party.

    I hope someone makes a less self-indulgent tribute to what was surely a collective seam of talent we'll never see the likes of again.
  • This movie is just one big vanity project for Jakob Dylan. There could be a mini documentary series on the Laurel Canyon scene and it's greater influence on music as a whole, instead you get an eighty minute documentary that is more than 50% Jakob Dylan recording cover songs of the bands mentioned in the doc and him performing said covers at a live show.

    I'm tellin you... you get so sick of seeing Dylan in every frame. He is in frame during the interviews. And he consistently offers random meandering thoughts on the Laurel Canyon scene. There is no cohesion to be found whatsoever. It's a shame bc Dylan had the access but there's no focus to be found.

    My only hope is that there will be a REAL documentary on the subject someday. Don't support this vanity project.
  • rmsdds18 July 2019
    This could have been so, so good. Instead it was so, so bad. Jakob Dylan is the WORST interviewer, the worst musician, a weak lame singer and BORING. When he interviewed these talented gods of 60s music, his face was dead, lacking ANY expression, soulless. It was like getting interviewed by a corpse. He reacted not at all to the musicians. Just stared at them with dead eyes. He singlehandedly WRECKED this project. And to have his sad, pathetic band of wannabes do all the music was a travesty. Well, good idea for a project. POORLY handled. Result: a disaster! Keep Dylan away from film and music. Forever. He's a tumor!
  • This is such a worthy subject, one that hasn't been explored in a lot of detail in other documentaries, so I was very excited to see it.

    What a disappointment this film turned out to be. I'm a little surprised by all the rave reviews on the site - perhaps people are confusing the great music that was showcased, with a good documentary, which this was certainly not.

    Point blank, this was a 90 minute exercise in false advertising. It is essentially an extended promotional video for Jakob Dylan. The interviews with music veterans, and interesting photos and bits of archival footage are great when we get to see them, but they only comprise about 30% of the whole show. The rest of the time the audience is subjected to footage Jakob Dylan in concert, Jakob Dylan in recording studios, Jacob Dylan in conversation with his music pals, and Jakob Dylan nodding along in interview clips. Basically Jakob Dylan inserts himself into virtually every frame, whilst having the humourless stony faced charisma of his old man. The songs he's playing are cover versions of classics, but I wanted to see a documentary about the creative ferment in L.A. during the mid-to-late sixties, not a movie about Jakob Dylan (who last had a hit about 25 years ago).

    The musicians featured had such great stories, and I wanted MORE of them, not a concert film of Jakob Dylan and his contemporaries. Aside from Michelle Phillips, the film also pretty much ignores the female artists who were active at that time in Laurel Canyon. On a poignant note, Tom Petty is a wonderful interview subject, and watching this final footage of him made me sad that he is no longer with us.

    Instead of a frustrating and annoying vanity project, someone needs to give these musicians their proper due, perhaps in a multi-part cable documentary, before they too, are gone.
  • I'm not a folk music super-fan, but I really do like the genre. Of course though, my affinity for the music is largely lacking: I have never listened to Pet Sounds or an entire album by the Beetles, but I like modern manifestations of Folk like Fleet Foxes and Good Old War.

    With that being said, a lot of this felt nostalgic and lost on me because the movie didn't resonate on that deep of a level.

    And like some have said before, the modern adaptive performances of the music just felt largely inferior to the originals. That's not a fair standard to judge by, but when the point of the movie is to give a modern-day echo of the original. you'd expect their to be much more life and energy injected into the spirit of the songs.

    It fell flat to me. Maybe I just wanted a documentary about Pet Sounds after all, though, so I was bound to be disappointed.
  • This documentary had some good stories told by people who were a part of the scene back in the 1960s. But ultimately, this felt more like a vehicle for Jakob Dylan showcasing his remakes of the classics. Some of them were okay, and some were downright bad (like changing the key for In My Room and turning it into a solo vocal performance). There were a few other clunkers. I guess you could say it was nostalgia for 2 generations, the 60s folks, and the 90s folks who chatted about the 60s music scene. As an actual documentary about Laurel Canyon's heyday, I give it about half marks, and one less for bad interviewing skills of Dylan, or perhaps bad editing by the director showing Dylan's expressionless face too long as he listens to someone talk.
  • saberlee445 September 2019
    If you're really interested in Jakob Dylan, which I sure as hell am not, then you'll love this movie which shows more of him than anything else.

    This could have been an amazing project. For me, it was just an ego trip for JD using famous bands as a backdrop.
  • I was excited to watch this as the subject is near and dear to my heart, but I was very disappointed... I thought it was going to be all about Laurel Canyon and the legendary music / musicians and it ended up being 50% Jakob Dylan soundtrack promotion. I wanted more from Tom Petty's last interview and I wanted more from a rare glimpse at Brian Wilson .... i wanted way more in regard to archival footage and photos that exist... I did not need to see Bob Dylan's son in every scene of a movie that has nothing to do with him. Not to mention all of the artists that were there that they didn't even mention like Joni Mitchell and The Doors. Well done otherwise, star power was amazing, cinematography was amazing I'd give it a 7/10 although it could have been a 10/10. I wanted to be immersed in the stories and music of that time and instead they kept pulling the viewer into crappy Jakob Dylan rehearsals and cover band concert footage so we only ended up skimming the surface on a subject that has a lot lot lot more to offer which I felt was a shame.
  • I liked the back history and the trips to the old recording studio, but man, why does this movie star Jakob Dylan and Jackson Browne ? Very ill conceived. A lot of the new musicians re create old tired boring and uninspired covers of the fantastic great original songs. The recreations, performed live in a concert and in the recording studio are very uninspiring. Plus, this movie is more about Jacob Dylan than anything else, and he just looks so depressed the entire time, you want to take him out back and talk some sense into him / It could have been such a great movie, but the execution is so flat.
  • This is a story of what happened in Laurel Canyon in the 60's and it is a must for any lovers of the music coming out of the west coast that fits in well with the documentary about the Wrecking Crew. But in order to hear the amazing stories about the cross pollination, you have to put up with Jakob Dylan, who not only seems to have no chemistry with the people he is interviewing, to the point where you get the idea that the questions were coming from offscreen, but seems to think we need to hear his take on the songs. I thought it was amazingly self indulgent. I don't know if this was done because the producers couldn't get the original songs, did not have enough original interview material or if Jakob thinks he is better than them, but I'm not interested in his music making process. I want the stories not recreations.
  • I could definitely have done without quite so much of Jakob Dylan and friends. It's nice to know the music from that time can still find fans in younger generations, but please, please, PLEASE do not attempt to cover songs by the Mamas and the Papas if you don't have a vocal talent like Cass Elliot to lay the foundation for your sound.

    And one thing I will never understand is why they made liberal use of clips from the 1968 film "Model Shop", including a bit where Gary Lockwood drops in on some musician friends -- who are in fact the group Spirit, and their music is featured in that movie. Yet not once are they mentioned in the documentary itself, even though they were arguably just as much a part of the "West Coast Sound" as any of the groups featured here.
  • Ignore those who don't understand this was about a 2 year period....sorry Joni Mitchell wasn't around then! Andrew Slater and Jakob Dylan do a good job of telling the stories through interviews probably only he could get. Jakob like his dad is a love or hate artist and his covers are all well done. Tom Petty gives the entire film a good boost in his last on 📷 interview and it is dedicated to him. Very enjoying to watch and sing along!
  • So much history was neglected. And attention was given to musicians who live nowhere near the canyon. The contemporary renditions of the original music that had no resonance and lacked the energy and spirit of those seminal recordings. Color me disappointed.
  • geowolff15 September 2019
    Love, Loved, Still Love the breakthrough energy and passion of the Mamas and Papas, Buffalo Springfield, Byrds and the rest of the Laurel Canyon tribe. What we have in "echoes" is a half-hearted tribute to the originals, presented through low-key concerts and studio sessions and wan living room conversations about the original creators. The original music does pop through in brief flashes and there are brief interviews with some surviving performers, but they are unfocussed and don't add up to much. Most of the film is centered on Jakob Dylan and accompanyists like Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, Jade Castrinos and Beck swooning along in relaxed performances through the classics of the period. One writer here says musicians will get it. Maybe. As a fan, here is all I got. The music of the era was a clean break from the ballads of Sinatra and the rat pack. It was a deep dig into the "subconscious" (I would say energy and angst) of the California of the era). I suppose artists like Norah Jones attempt to dig deeper into the California subconscious in a way jazz musicians will get, using the least energetic songs of the period. Fair enough. but it is just an "echo" of a unique musical moment in Laurel Canyon.
  • The interviews were the best part with many of the old gang looking pretty good. Roger McGuinn was especially lucent with Michelle Phillips still holding on to a small vestige of her once world class transcendent beauty, IMHO. The film bogs down with the performances by Jakob and the younger generation which were strangely lacking in energy or commitment.. Nora Jones's segment reminded me of some one there just to get a check.
  • dneher29 December 2019
    This a Jakob Dylan promo video masquerading as a documentary on the Laurel Canyon music scene of the mid 60's. Dylan gets far more screen time than any of the ostensible subjects of the movie. He even takes his turn as a talking head.
  • If I hadn't read so many rave reviews I might not have been disappointed. But I did, and I was. The only person who shoud be unabashedly in love with this movie is John Hall.

    Put it this way. If you're the sort of person who believes older is always better and the sequel never equals the original, Echo In The Canyon will not change your mind.

    The celebrity cast speaks for itself. There is the heartbreaking charm of Tom Petty and suprising late in life wisdom from David Crosby. But the film seems to be about a group of young performers trying to capture what it was like, based in part on the movie Model Shop. Seriously. It could be worse; someday people will study City Of Industry or Miracle Mile as realistic documents of what L.A. was like.

    There are brief snippets of vintage performances and some are thrilling. Like Buffalo Springfield doing a seque from For What It's Worth to Mr. Soul. But the movie works it's way toward a tribute concert and unfortunately, none of the rehearsals or performances can match, let alone improve on, the originals. And that makes the whole thing kind of melancholy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Out of 1960's Laurel Canyon came an explosion of collaboration, talent, and creativity that shaped music for decades to come and still shapes it today. This movie is a showcase for Jakob Dylan, disguised as a half-hearted attempt at documenting that history. Too much time is spent on singers from today performing covers of 1960's songs, and way too little time showing performances of 1960's Laurel Canyon artists themselves. Also, too much Beatles. Their influence on Laurel Canyon artists is important, but the Beatles themselves did not rise out of Laurel Canyon and I think they should have been a side story rather than a centerpiece of this film. I give it 5 stars because of the amazing interviews with living icons of that era. The missing 5 stars is for what is missing from the film: Not enough variety, not enough female artists, not enough comprehensive history. Mama Cass Elliott gets way too little coverage although the Mamas and the Papas collectively get good coverage. Still, though, Cass's personal story isn't told at all which is, in my opinion, a huge omission. Carole King, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, and Frank Zappa are mentioned almost in passing. Completely missing are Joni Mitchell, Dusty Springfield, James Taylor, Judy Collins, Janice Joplin, Linda Ronstadt, The Monkees, The Eagles, America, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison, which is unacceptable for a documentary attempting to cover that era. Also missing are The Roxy and The Troubadour, among other clubs that showcased the music of these artists. This is more aptly a documentary about the background behind Jakob Dylan's tribute concert for that era and a marketing tool for the accompanying album. However, for hardcore fans of the era, it is very much worth a watch for the interviews and some of the older footage.
  • ... However Jakob Dylan and his band really ruined it for me. I wanted more of the originators of the music and less of his renditions of the same music. And it was very apparent they were lip syncing to recordings in the studio.
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