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Monday, July 23, 2007

Bishop Allen

I met up with John, his fiance (!) Heather, and a couple friends of theirs last night to see Bishop Allen at the Black Cat. It was a great show -- their stuff is poppy and smart, and they're good show(wo)men, too. (You can check out a few mp3s at their site, if you like.)

What made it particularly interesting, though, was that Justin Rice, the lead singer, also played the lead part in Mutual Appreciation, one of my favorite movies of the past year. In that movie (an extremely indie movie, self-released), he plays a young musician, and performs some material from his fictional band. Meanwhile, I got into Bishop Allen after hearing Things Are What You Make of Them in Funny Ha Ha, another movie by the same director, Andrew Bujalski. Got that?

Anyway, it was similarly disorienting to see Rice up on stage being an indie rock musician -- one who bore some resemblance to his character in the movie, but definitely a different person. (You can see him in both personas by looking at the trailer for the film and at concert clips on YouTube.) It's quite odd to "know" someone first through one medium and then see them in another, especially when his character riffs off his actual life without actually playing himself.


Anonymous said...

I should mention that the IFC Center (where we saw the Oscar Shorts and Inland Empire) is having a brief festival of "mumblecore" films. (This is the type of film you're talking about.) Both Mutual Appreciation and Funny Ha-Ha are playing! (Since I've not seen Funny Ha-Ha, I'm stoked.) Plus, the main feature of the festival (Hannah Takes the Stairs) stars the *director* of MA and FHa-ha. Another role shift!


teague said...

Heh, that's pretty good. I do wish I lived in NYC when it comes to that sort of thing. If you ask me, Funny Ha Ha is very good, but not as good as Mutual Appreciation.

(As a side-note, while the term "mumblecore" is actually sorta evocative, the "-core" suffix used to identify genres is silly. It made sense with the original "hardcore" (a word itself), and the derivative "softcore," but not so much with other applications. I guess it does fill a gap in the language, though, since we need something to indicate that a normal word is being used as a genre name, and at least it's not as annoying as "-holic.")