Independent radio artists Elizabeth Meister and Dan Collison are working with acclaimed Califone songwriter Tim Rutili on a documentary called Journey of the Asian Carp.
For the uninitiated, the Asian carp is a destructive non-native fish that has wreaked havoc on Midwestern waterways by crowding out native fish and uprooting plants. Notorious for their jumping ability, they also pose a physical danger to fishermen and their feeding habits make them hard to capture.
Meister and Collison hope to weave the documentary with Rutili’s music to create something that is more than the sum of its parts. Rutili’s music will supplement the documentary’s narrative as it follows the invasive carp’s slow migration from the American south “to the brink of Lake Michigan, focusing specifically on communities along the Illinois River that already have been invaded.”
If all goes well (more on that later), Meister and Collison will visit some of the small American communities that depend on their waterways and native fish but have been devastated by the Asian carp’s invasion. Click here to learn how you can help…
In the early 2000s, art/folk/experimentalists Califone played a few shows in which they improvised accompaniment to silent films. The sessions were documented in the Deceleration series, and though the discs are quite good, they seemed like a different side of Califone, rather than a natural path.
Enter 2009 and All My Friends Are Funeral Singers. Tim Rutili set out to make a movie using only cell phone cameras. Things changed, ideas grew, and a feature film was born. This time, it had a Califone soundtrack and Califone stars, and the film itself had the Rutili touch. Funeral Singers is a remarkable, wildly imaginative film that — along with the band’s 2009 album of the same name — sees Rutili at a creative high point. All My Friends Are Funeral Singers premiered at Sundance, SxSW, and Sarasota film festivals. Paste magazine called it one of the highlights of Sundance, a “whimsical movie…full of fascinating characters…directed with a light, deft touch.”
To win a copy of All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, just comment below and include your email address in the form (your email won’t be visible to the public). The winner will be chosen at random on July 12, 2010.Califone tour dates are below…
Red Red Meat’s Bunny Gets Paid, easily one of my favorite albums ever, has been remastered and re-released by SubPop as a two-disc deluxe edition. Pitchfork recently reviewed the re-release and gave it a glorious 8.9. The deluxe edition contains a number of rarities, including a dub version of the song “Mouse,” as well as an early cover of Low’s “Words,” which some have said predicates the sound that Low would later adopt.
In other good news, Red Red Meat successor Califone is set to release a mysterious new album. With the release date, title, tracklist, and just about everything else still unknown, you should go buy Bunny. You won’t regret it.
With Bunny, all of a sudden Red Red Meat seemed artier, more hidden and inscrutable. Rutili has always spoken in riddles, content to braid together phrases or even single words that sound pleasing to the ear, but here the fragmentation became more extreme. Somehow, when the syllables pile up and the flow of vowels and consonants rides the arc of the music, the effect could be sublime. “Mink-eyed, marble-eyed/ In the gauze, in the weeds/ By the drain, red on pale/ There’s a nail by the vent,” goes the chorus of “Gauze”, Bunny Gets Paid’s stone classic and a contender for the best song Rutili has written. Who knows what it means. But if you can picture a scrubby patch of weeds and in it a clump of gauze, possibly soiled, twitching in the breeze, and the disconnected image of decay stirs something in you, you’re on your way to falling in love with Red Red Meat.