If you haven’t yet caught up with the documentary Young@Heart, which looks at a senior citizen’s choir that specializes in rock songs, you can do so tonight when it is featured on PBS’s Independent Lens series (check here for local broadcast times).
With an average member age of 80, the Young At Heart Chorus could be the oldest rock outfit still performing. (Please note that I am avoiding any obvious Rolling Stones jokes.) With a set lists that cover James Brown to David Bowie to Talking Heads to The Clash, the group is no mere novelty act. While most of the members were probably too old to appreciate their repertoire when it was released, they sure have a new found understanding of the songs now. They may wince when choir director Bob Cilman pops Sonic Youth’s “Schizophrenia” into the CD player, but as they begin practicing the song, they slowly discover it and make it their own. At some point you realize that the chorus members are having so much fun, you don’t care if they perfect the songs in time for their upcoming concert gig. You just bask in their joy of making music together. At times loving and heartbreaking, the two hours you spend with this film is probably better spent than if you watch the season premier of a certain singing talent show tonight.