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Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

Their music was too black for white people, and too white for black people.”
— George Clinton, Funk Superstar

Who put the funk in punk? It hasn’t been easy, but for over 25 years a band out of South Central Los Angeles has been challenging racial stereotypes and defying musical genres. The desegregation of Los Angeles public schools in the 1970s via mandatory busing had a profound impact on the social fabric of the city; it also inspired the hybridized and genre-bending music of Fishbone.

Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, Everyday Sunshine follows the ups and downs of the Black punk/funk band Fishbone from their roots in South Central to almost “making it,” and explores the social and cultural forces that influenced their music. Despite never fitting into an easily defined category, larger-than-life personalities, multiple personnel changes, waning popularity, and one kidnapping charge, they’re still at it 25 years later.

From the shifting faultlines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan’s America, Fishbone rose to become one of the most original bands of the last 25 years. With a blistering combination of punk and funk they demolished the walls of genre and challenged the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation. At the heart of the film’s story is lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher who show how they keep the band rolling out of pride, desperation and love for their art. To overcome money woes, family strife, and the strain of being aging Punk rockers on the road, Norwood and Angelo are challenged to re-invent themselves in the face of dysfunction and ghosts from a painful past.

Featuring interviews with Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Perry Farrell, Branford Marsalis, George Clinton, Tim Robbins, Gogol Bordello, Questlove, and others, Everyday Sunshine traces the band’s history, influence, and struggle as individualistic, genre-blending artists up against an unforgiving music industry that threatens to pass them by. Everyday Sunshine was awarded a production grant as well as a public engagement grant in 2010 to project directors Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler.

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