Never Lift A Finger – Adam Green’s modern reinterpretation of No Wave

THOMAS PATTERSON talks with ADAM GREEN about Aladdin and its inspirations


Perhaps more than any other city, New York is renowned for its experimental and underground filmmaking, from the riotous celluloid outpourings of Jack Smith to the avant-garde creations of Shirley Clarke, Jonas Mekas and Stan Brakhage. And more often than not, where far-out filmmakers go, wild and wonderful music can be found – think Andy Warhol and his Velvet Underground, or Harry Smith, famed for his Anthologies Of American Folk Music, who spent years working on his masterwork Mahagonny from his room at The Chelsea Hotel.

The apex of this underground film and music interchange came with the No Wave scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s, when likeminded filmmakers and musicians came together on the lower East Side to spew forth a glorious alternative movement which has rarely been equaled. Celebrated filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch and Susan Seidelman emerged from the slums of NYC into the wider cinematic world, whilst notorious and outré shock merchants Nick Zedd, Richard Kern and Lydia Lunch – inspired by the works of Baltimore’s John Waters – spearheaded the Cinema of Transgression, No Wave’s snotty cousin. The soundtrack, meanwhile, was provided by the denizens of CBGBs and The Mudd Club, from Debbie Harry to James Chance and The Contortions to a fledgling Sonic Youth and beyond. Alas, rising rents and gentrification, coupled with mainstream success, sounded the death knell for the No Wave movement, and its anarchic spirit seemed forever lost.

Thankfully Adam Green, acclaimed singer-songwriter and one time member of anti-folk act The Moldy Peaches, is here to pick up the reins with his wild and wonderful new film Aladdin. A very lose reimagining of the panto tale, Aladdin is a colourful labour of love, self-financed for $250,000 in a Brooklyn warehouse, set in a papier mâché world with papier mâché props, inspired by the filmmakers like Robert Downey Sr, and Alejandro Jodorowsky. As Green says, “I guess Holy Mountain was one of my biggest influences. Jodorowsky, he’s probably my biggest inspiration of all.”

Aladdin also features a semi-all star cast that includes Natasha Lyonne, Penn Badgley, Devendra Banhart and Mr. Home Alone himself, Macaulay Culkin – according to Green, the man who acted as a satellite for other talent to jump in and help Green realise his unique vision. Read more Never Lift A Finger – Adam Green’s modern reinterpretation of No Wave

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Quilt ‘Padova’

Another video debut. This time from Quilt, who Shindig! had the pleasure of watching last week here in London


While it would be easy to wax poetic about the lyrics, moods, and textures of the ‘Padova’, there are no words that could supersede those of songwriter Shane Butler, who wrote this song as a reflection on his mother’s death. Watch the touching Christopher Good-directed video, and read Shane’s words below.

“This song was written shortly after my mother passed away. It was written in Padova, Italy on a night where we were scheduled to perform there in the courtyard of a beautiful villa-like building on the outskirts of the city. There were old ceramic walls, chandeliers, Italian vines, and horses on the periphery of the property; it was idyllic to say the least. During this period of time, after my mother had passed, I would talk to her every day. Whether it was in imagination or in spirit doesn’t really matter; my experience was the same. That night in Padova my mother and I talked for a long time as I took a walk around the property. I then happened to come across an old busted up guitar in a giant wooden room with a chandelier in it, I tuned it to something that would work, and this song came out.” Read more Quilt ‘Padova’

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Darren Hayman and Papernut Cambridge ‘I’ve Been A Bad Bad Boy’

A top Paul Jones cover from Darren and Papernut Cambridge


For 15 years, and over 14 albums, Darren Hayman has taken a singular and erratic route through England’s tired and broken underbelly.  Influenced by punk through his art college years and then American lo-fi indie in the ’90s he fronted John Peel favourites Hefner. His solo career has earned widespread critical acclaim with his many and varied projects including his Essex trilogy, his Lido album, and recently a project to set the poems of William Morris to music entitled Chants For Socialists. His forthcoming album Thankful Villages is due out on Rivertones in June.

In addition to his solo career, Darren has been moonlighting as the drummer in Papernut Cambridge, the sprawling pop collective led by former Death In Vegas guitarist Ian Buttonand pals, described by Mojo as “An escapist mix of 70’s glam, Nuggets-psych and 80’s indie, all balancing pop bliss and more sinister psychological depths”. And now Darren has stepped out from beyond the drumkit to record two cover versions, with Papernut Cambridge as his backing band – ‘I’ve Been A Bad Bad Boy’ by Paul Jones, and Big, Big Deal’ by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. Read more Darren Hayman and Papernut Cambridge ‘I’ve Been A Bad Bad Boy’

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Ty Segall ‘Candy Sam’

The UK debut of Ty’s new video


 

Following a most sketchy tour of the United States in February and March which included stops at populist TV programs The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and CONAN, Ty Segall & The Muggers went underground. Coinciding with warmer weather elevating the city’s ripe sewer stench, they’ve re-emerged, grimier and bleaker than ever – even more suitable for the great unwashed they typically attract on the road. The road of which we now speak runs through the European continent, as Ty and his Muggers are about to embark on a month long trip in search of big babies and squealers with all the sweet treats that only ‘Candy Sam’ can provide. What’s a “Candy Sam?” Well, aside from being a standout ripper from Ty Segall’s most recent LP, Emotional Mugger, it’s now a most essential (and très creepy) music vid!

Read more Ty Segall ‘Candy Sam’

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Shindig! Broadcast #24 debuts on Soho Radio

This is a big one for us and very exciting… Every four weeks we will be playing out live on Soho Radio doing what we have always done… but LIVE… as the early errors on this fab show will attest. Tune in now!


 

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Not everything was played, but you’ll get the idea. We took in way too much. Read on to see the tracklist. Read more Shindig! Broadcast #24 debuts on Soho Radio

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