As most Canadian networks tread the safe and narrow with their new season’s programming or once again find a way to imitate what’s been done before, HBO continues to break new ground.
Friday saw the debut of the 8 part series “Sonic Highways” featuring the band “The Foo Fighters” tracing America’s musical roots and using that exploration to inspire new music.
Each week the band visits a different city and during one week of interviews and jam sessions with local notables constructs a new song which is recorded in an iconic studio.
It’s a remarkable concept executed brilliantly. If you don’t subscribe to HBO, find a way to steal it. This is one series worth being sent to video pirate jail.
Given this week’s announcement that HBO will soon begin offering an online streaming version of its service, it’s also a reminder of how those who intend to remain leaders in the industry use creative innovation to drive their continued prosperity.
And -- how those who continue to copy rather than try something new will find themselves left even further behind.
“Sonic Highways” first episode is set in Chicago, tracing that city’s connection to the Blues through Classic Rock bands like “Cheap Trick” and punk pioneers “Naked Raygun” examining how their music reflected the city and how the city in turn evolved the musicians who made it their home.
It makes engaging connections between the generations that have come and gone in the Windy City from Muddy Waters to Grunge, climaxing with a song whose lyrics reprise the highlights of what has been revealed in the previous hour.
What follows is a sampling of the series, followed by “Something From Nothing”, the song inspired by Chicago’s musicians.
Enjoy Your Sunday.