Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Danielson comes to London
Danielson is coming to London! Not only is there a rare appearance in the capital from the elusive New Jersey family/band (at the Luminaire on 3 December - with anti-folker Jeffrey Lewis), but there's a documentary about them being screened not long before the gig. Actually, I have a personal interest in the showing of the film - Danielson: A Family Movie - because my friend Ping* is putting it on. It's happening at 8pm on the evening of 26 November, at Shoreditch Church in er, Shoreditch (the big white one at the junction of Old Street, Kingsland Road and Hackney Road - map here).
There'll no doubt be more about the film on this blog in the next few weeks until the film is shown, but for now here's a short blurb about it. I've not seen it but Ping* assures me it's very good and I trust her judgement.
The movie was produced between 2002 and 2006. The Shoreditch screening is only the second time it has been shown in London (and the third time in the UK). According to the press release, the film is “a documentary about unbridled creativity vs. accessibility, Christian faith vs. popular culture, underground music vs. survival, and family vs. individuality. The film follows Daniel Smith, an eccentric musician and visual artist, as he leads his four siblings and best friend to indie-rock stardom.” OK, maybe stardom’s putting too fine a point on it, but certainly some kind of underground cult following.
According to director JL Aronson, he approached main Danielson man Daniel Smith in May 2001 because he was “fascinated with the contradictions of an earnest group of country kids wearing their faith on their sleeves and playing to a room full of cynical, atheistic city-dwellers.” What is it that makes a band who are both Christian and a bit weird accepted by secular indie music fans when they have been poorly received by many in the church?
The film also features Sufjan Stevens, a friend of Daniel Smith, who Aronson initially intended to be “my appointed stand-in as an outsider learning more about this eccentric family”, but who goes on to much greater fame. Probably more than the Danielson Family would want for themselves.
Anyway, I’d probably better not say too much more about this as I’m cribbing all this from the press release and director’s statement to make it sound like I know something about it. Which I don’t, apart from praise from friends who have seen it. I can’t wait to see it though. Roll on 26 November!
Since we're on the subject of Danielson, here are a couple of tracks from their latest album Ships. It's the only Danielson album I have, and it's one that I've recently returned to. But I'm finding that I'm loving it more with each play.
Download: Danielson - Two Sitting Ducks
Download: Danielson - Five Stars and Two Thumbs Up
Buy Ships from Amazon.