Deerhoof tracks…Harry Smith

Pub date March 28, 2006

This morning, I went to the press conference for the San Francisco International Film Festival (April 20-May 4) — wunderbar to hear the appreciation for the “avant-pop” Deerhoof, who have been enlisted to score beat filmmaker Harry Smith’s Heaven and Earth Magic for the fest, live, one time only (though that Yo La Tengo score a few years back took on a life of its own, didn’t it?).


You can hem and haw, huff and puff, kvetch and moan about how this fest isn’t up to that fest or how women, Latinos, Africans, and African Americans aren’t represented — and you can be satisfied that those concerns were definitely the focus of the questions at the press conference — but this Deerhoof event is guaranteed awesome. Innovative filmmaking — a band at the top of their freakin’ game. The SF-Oakland Runners Four are supposedly trying to utilize Castro Theatre’s impressive pipe organ, too. I’d get your tickets now for the April 27 performance. Visit or call (925) 866-9559. You’ve been warned.

Further music-related coolness at the fest: Brothers of the Head, Favela Rising, Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, “Not so Quiet Silents with Alloy Orchestra” — not counting outright musicals like psych-noir-film legend Seijun Suzuki’s Princess Raccoon and actor John Turturro’s Centerpiece.


Guardian film intern Jonathan Knapp wants to wax positive about Noise Pop’s film program this year. Here’s what he wrote:

Bookended by a pair of docs about American musical icons both thriving (Flaming Lips-trailing The Fearless Freaks ) and enduring (Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley), the Noise Pop Film Festival, like the festival itself, spans the indie rock landscape. Of particular historical significance are Borderline: The Heavenly States and The M-80 Project.

The former finds local power-poppers the Heavenly States documenting their 2005 tour of Libya, the first by any Western band since Qadaffi came to power 35 years earlier. Long discussed in the sort of anxious whisper reserved for artifacts considered lost, the footage comprising The M-80 Project captures new wave culture before it became a marketable sound, fashion, and eventual retro touchstone. Minneapolis, 1979: future MTV darlings Devo meet no wave upstarts the Contortions and Judy Nylon and other post-punk experimentalists at a local art center. They play music, young Midwestern lives are changed, and, years later, the legendary video resurfaces.

For doc deets, visit