What was the process like? Did all of The Drones have to agree on each band?
Yeah, we had to agree on everything until we ran low on ideas, I think. Basically all we had to do was think up a list of bands and send it to ATP. They do the rest. But that list got pretty long in the end. We all agreed on everything in the end, though.
Is there anyone you tried and couldn’t get, for whatever reason? Name names!
Yeah. The Jesus Lizard, Television, PiL, Modern Lovers, Lightning Bolt, Toumani Diabate, Jesus and Mary Chain, Low, Butthole Surfers, Latin Playboys, OFF!, Marc Ribot, Guy Clarke, Fugazi … the list goes on and the reasons why people couldn’t make it vary pretty wildly. It’s a weird world.
Gareth Liddiard from The Drones talks ATP on the Mess+Noise website in January 2013!
BTW Kev Carmody was booked to play but had to cancelled because of illness.
The cinema at ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror in Melbourne runs on both days, with all films free of charge and handpicked by our co-curators The Drones. Below was the movies screened…
|Come And See
(1985, Dir. Elem Klimov, 146 mins)Come and See is one of the greatest war films ever made and one of the finest achievements of Soviet cinema. A devastating account of the Nazi occupation of Belarus during World War II, it tells the story of a young boy s abrupt loss of innocence when he joins the Soviet resistance and is thrust headlong into the brutal horrors of combat. Featuring terrifyingly authentic battle scenes and poetic, almost surreal imagery, director Elem Klimov has fashioned a vivid and unforgettably powerful portrait of the atrocities committed by men in the name of war.
(2005, Dir. Andrei Kravchuk, 98 mins)This critically acclaimed film features a standout performance from Kolya Spridonov in the lead role and was Russia’s official entry to the 2006 Academy Awards. A childless, affluent couple from Italy comes to a provincial Russian children’s home to find a child for adoption. The orphanage is a harsh place, run by two rival internal factions. Alongside the official, adult administration, run by a corrupt headmaster with the help of a greedy adoption broker ‘madam’, there is a shadow children’s gang operating out of the institution’s boiler room.
|Night Of The Hunter
(1955, Dir. Charles Laughton, 93 mins)The only film to be directed by Charles Laughton, ‘The Night of the Hunter’ was critically panned on its release but is hugely revered now and was Robert Mitchum’s personal favourite. Set in Thirties rural American South, Mitchum stars as the psychopathic preacher, Harry Powell (with LOVE and HATE tattooed on either hand), who is arrested for a minor offence in a small West Virginian town. His cell mate, Ben Harper (Peter Graves), who faces the death penalty, confides that he has hidden $10,000 from a bank robbery. When Powell is released Harper has already been hanged, so the Preacher tracks down his widow and children in an attempt to get his hands on the loot.
|Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey
(1993, Dir. Steve M. Martin, 80 mins)A documentary about the amazing life of Leon Theremin, inventor of the theremin, the electronic musical instrument so beloved of 50s sci-fi movie music. Theremin amazed America with his instrument until his kidnapping by Soviet agents in the mid-30s. Upon his release from a labor camp, he worked on surveillance devices for the KGB. Almost 60 years later, he is brought back to America for a touching reunion with his friends and colleagues.
|Down By Law
(1986, Dir. Jim Jarmusch, 107 mins)Jim Jarmusch’s Down by Law is in the same minimalist, oddball, black-and-white groove as his classic of American independent cinema, Stranger than Paradise (1984). The setting is Louisiana, where two losers (musicians Tom Waits and John Lurie) find themselves stuck in a jail cell together. One day they are joined by a boisterous Italian (Roberto Benigni), and the chemistry changes–suddenly an escape attempt is on the horizon. Conventional drama is not Jarmusch’s intention; one of the emotional high points of this film is the three guys marching around their prison cell shouting, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Yet the deadpan style creates its own humorous mood, underscored by melancholy (also underscored by the music of Lurie and the gravel-voiced songs of Waits). This was the first American film for Italian comedian Benigni, (Life is Beautiful), and he lights it up with his effervescent clowning.
|The King Of Comedy
(1983, Dir. Martin Scorsese, 109 mins)The King of Comedy, which flopped at the box office, is actually a gem waiting to be rediscovered. Like A Face in the Crowd (a not-so-distant cousin to this film), Network, and The Truman Show, its target is show business- specifically the burning desire to become famous or be near the famous, no matter what. Robert De Niro plays the emotionally unstable, horrendously untalented Rupert Pupkin, a wannabe Vegas-style comedian. His fantasies are egged-on by Marsha, a talk-show groupie (brilliantly played by Sandra Bernhard) who hatches a devious, sure-to-backfire plan. Jerry Lewis is terrific in the straight role as the Johnny Carson-like talk-show host Jerry Langford. De Niro’s performance as the obsessive Pupkin is among his finest (which is saying a lot) and he never tries to make the character likable in any way. Because there’s no hero and no-one to root for, and because at times the film insists we get a little too close and personal with Pupkin, some will be put off. Yet it’s one of Scorsese’s most original and fascinating films, giving viewers much to consider on the subject of celebrity.
|There Will Be Blood
(2007, Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, 158 mins)Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood is a masterly, unflinching examination of a consummately evil man. Daniel Plainview (via a transcendent performance by the great Daniel Day-Lewis) is, as he likes to remind those around him, an oil man: he finds it, he drills for it, and he makes money from it. Following a tip from a visitor named Paul Sunday, whose family sits atop a veritable ocean of oil, Plainview travels to the town of New Boston, California, with his young son. Sunday’s preacher brother Eli (both roles are played by the excellent Paul Dano) grudgingly accepts Plainview’s ambitions under the condition that he help fund the town church. As Plainview’s plans come to fruition, a series of events begin to fracture the insular world he has constructed for himself, pitting Plainview against Sunday and forcing him to become even more vindictive and ruthless. Anderson proved with Boogie Nights and Magnolia that he was adept at handling expansive storylines and layered plots; however, he stakes out a claim here as a new master of the cinematic epic.
Yeah, books at a music fest! As part of their curatorial duties The Drones have also picked a list of Books to recommend to attendees of I’ll Be Your Mirror Melbourne, which you can see below…
|Atomised / Les Particules elementaires
(author: Michel Houellebecq, publisher: Random House)Half-brothers Michel and Bruno have a mother in common but little else. Michel is a molecular biologist, a thinker and idealist, a man with no erotic life to speak of and little in the way of human society. Bruno, by contrast, is a libertine, though more in theory than in practice, his endless lust is all too rarely reciprocated. Both are symptomatic members of our atomised society, where religion has given way to shallow ‘new age’ philosophies and love to meaningless sexual connections. Atomised (Les Particules elementaires) tells the stories of the two brothers, but the real subject of the novel is the dismantling of contemporary society and its assumptions, its political incorrectness, and its caustic and penetrating asides on everything from anthropology to the problem pages of girls’ magazines. A dissection of modern lives and loves. By turns funny, acid, infuriating, didactic, touching and visceral.
(author: Courtney Collins, publisher: Allen & Unwin)A breathtakingly brilliant debut novel in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy – inspired by Australia’s last bushranger, young woman Jessie Hickman. It is the dawn of the twentieth century in Australia and a woman has done an unspeakable thing. Twenty-two-year-old Jessie has served a two-year sentence for horse rustling. As a condition of her release she is apprenticed to Fitzgerald ‘Fitz’ Henry, who wants a woman to allay his loneliness in a valley populated by embittered ex-soldiers. Fitz wastes no time in blackmailing Jessie and involving her in his business of horse rustling and cattle duffing. When Fitz is wounded in an accident he hires Aboriginal stockman, Jack Brown, to steal horses with Jessie. Soon both Jack Brown and Jessie are struggling against the oppressive and deadening grip of Fitz. One catastrophic night turns Jessie’s life on its head and she must flee for her life. From her lonely outpost, the mountains beckon as a place to escape. First she must bury the evidence. But how do you bury the evidence when the evidence is part of yourself? Inspired by the life of Jessie Hickman, legendary twentieth-century bushranger, The Burial is a stunning debut novel, a work of haunting originality and power.
|A Confederacy Of Dunces
(author: John Kennedy Toole, publisher: Penguin)Meet Ignatius J. Reilly: flatulent, eloquent and pretty much unemployable… The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged as well. Ignatius ignores them as he heaves his vast bulk through the city’s fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him. Ignatius must get a job. Undaunted, he uses his new-found employment to further his mission – and now he has a pirate costume and a hot-dog cart to do it with…
|For Whom The Bell Tolls
(author: Ernest Hemingway, publisher: Random House)In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from “the good fight,”For Whom the Bell Tolls.The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan’s love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo’s last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement inThe Sun Also RisesandA Farewell to Armsto create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving, and wise. “If the function of a writer is to reveal reality,” Maxwell Perkins wrote Hemingway after reading the manuscript, “no one ever so completely performed it.” Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author’s previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.
(author: Louis Ferdinand Celine, publisher: Bloomsbury)First published in 1944 but dealing with events taking place during the First World War, ‘Guignol’s Band’ follows the narrator’s meanderings through London after he has been demobilized due to a war injury. The result is a portrayal of the English capital’s seedy underworld, people by prostitutes, pimps and schemers.
(author: Don Walker, publisher: Black Inc.)This extraordinary memoir begins with Don Walker’s early life in rural Australia and ends in the late ’80s. In mesmerising prose, Walker evokes childhood and youth, wild times in the ’70s, life on the road and in Kings Cross, music-making and more. Shots is a stunningly original book, a set of word picture ‘shots’ that conjure up the lowlife and back roads of Australia.
|The Sirens Of Titan
(author: Kurt Vonnegut, publisher: Gollancz)When Winston Niles Rumfoord flies his spaceship into a chrono-synclastic infundibulum he is converted into pure energy and only materializes when his waveforms intercept Earth or some other planet. As a result, he only gets home to Newport, Rhode Island, once every fifty-nine days and then only for an hour. But at least, as a consolation, he now knows everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will be. He knows, for instance, that his wife is going to Mars to mate with Malachi Constant, the richest man in the world. He also knows that on Titan – one of Saturn’s moons – is an alien from the planet Tralfamadore, who has been waiting 200,000 years for a spare part for his grounded spacecraft…
(author: John Gray, publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux)The British bestseller Straw Dogs is an exciting, radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. John Gray argues that this belief in human difference is a dangerous illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned. The result is an exhilarating, sometimes disturbing book that leads the reader to question our deepest-held beliefs. Will Self, in the New Statesman, called Straw Dogs his book of the year: “I read it once, I read it twice and took notes… I thought it that good.” “Nothing will get you thinking as much as this brilliant book” (Sunday Telegraph).
|The Third Policeman
(author: Flann O’Brien, publisher: Harper Collins)A masterpiece of black humour from the renown comic and acclaimed author of ‘At Swim-Two-Birds’ – Flann O’Brien. A thriller, a hilarious comic satire about an archetypal village police force, a surrealistic vision of eternity, the story of a tender, brief, unrequited love affair between a man and his bicycle, and a chilling fable of unending guilt, ‘The Third Policeman’ is comparable only to Alice in Wonderland as an allegory of the absurd. Distinguished by endless comic invention and its delicate balancing of logic and fantasy, ‘The Third Policeman’ is unique in the English language.
The poster/flyer artwork was by Camille Rose Garcia!
This music fest was so bloody epic it needed three blog posts to cover everything. That’s it all but god knows what I can possibly blog about next without sounding like boring rubbish?