The Vinyl Act

Known to hip-hop heads and vinyl connoisseurs as Peanut Butter Wolf, Chris Manak is a DJ and producer who is also the founder of influential underground label Stones Throw Records. The new documentary Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton tells the story of this nearly two-decade-old Los Angeles record label through Wolf, starting back when he signed a toxic major-label deal along with his best friend and musical soulmate, the late Charles Hicks, aka Charizma.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with Stones Throw releases, the film is an excellent look at the importance of curation and art direction at a smaller record label. “It’s certainly an artist-first label; traditional labels are much more concerned with how they are going to market an artist,” says director Jeff Broadway. “Stones Throw doesn’t make artists; they find artists.” With everyone from Kanye West to Questlove discussing the label’s influence on their own work and Madlib sharing his contribution to the Stones Throw discography, Vinyl is a seamless blend of storytelling, music, art and archival footage. (Fans of late label superstar J Dilla will be especially pleased to hear more about the life and work of the rapper and producer.)

Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton screens at 7 p.m. tonight at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets are $12 to $15 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 303-595-3456, or at denverfilm.org.
Sat., April 12, 7 p.m., 2014

 
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