Posted February 1, 2021 by Jeff in Flicks

‘Something Better Change’ Documents Punk Rocker’s Unlikely Political Campaign

Something Better Change
Something Better Change

Documentary filmmaker/director Scott Crawford (CREEM: America’s Only Rock’n’Roll Magazine) and producer Paul Rachman (American Hardcore) just launched a Kickstarter campaign in support of their new film Something Better Change.

The film documents hardcore punk band D.O.A.’s frontman and lead guitarist Joey “Shithead” Keithley’s unprecedented political rise in his native Burnaby, BC Canada and his 2022 re-election journey while also exploring how music and activism often interlink via raising awareness about important social issues, inspiring people to get involved, and fostering real, dynamic change.

Directed by Crawford, the documentary also features interviews with former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke, Henry Rollins, Keith Morris (Circle Jerks), Duff McKagan (Guns and Roses), Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) and many others.
Throughout the 1980s, D.O.A. helped solidify and pave the way for politically active punk artists in modern culture alongside other legends such as Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat. After decades of fighting against oppression, homelessness and corporate greed via D.O.A.’s music and in his own personal life, frontman Joey “Shithead” Keithley ran for city council in his native hometown of Burnaby, B.C. in 2018. With only a $7000 campaign budget on a Green Party ticket, he won, while also helping to unseat the former five-term mayor Derek Corrigan who once famously said, “I would never bend over to give a homeless person a dime because he might steal my watch.”
Something Better Change documents every step of Keithley’s campaigning for a second term and it also explores how music often serves as an introduction to social issues that inspire people to get involved and foster dynamic change.
“Not only have I been a longtime fan of D.O.A.,” Crawford says in a statement, “but Joe Keithley’s ‘David versus Goliath’ story of affecting change from within the political ecosystem is one that I think will resonate with audiences — especially given our current political climate.”

This is a film that will explore how music and activism continue to interlink, with music often serving as an introduction to social issues that inspire people to get involved and foster dynamic change.

Crawford has been a documentary filmmaker for the last 10 years. His debut film was Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC and his second effort was last year’s CREEM: America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine. Both films received critical acclaim and won multiple film festival awards across the globe.


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].