Beirut, "Santa Fe," And The New Movie "Bombay Beach"


Do you like that guy Zach Condon’s band Beirut? I sure do. He wrote a very nice new song recently (with especially nice horn parts, as you might expect), and played it in Norfolk, Virginia on Monday. (It’s funny that a band named after city makes a song named after a different city. Beirut has done this before, though with a less famous city for the song. Some other band must have done it, too. But can’t think of any other examples. Does Boston have a song called “Helsinki?” Did Berlin ever cover Seger’s “Katmandu?”) Oh, Beirut has a new album coming this summer, which is exciting, and also wrote (along with Bob Dylan!) music for a new movie directed by Alma Ha’rel called Bombay Beach. It’s a “documentary-record-cum-drama with dreamlike musical dance numbers” about people who live in a very impoverished area in Southern California, and to judge from the trailer, it looks like it could be really, really good.

But also maybe overly intense and emotionally sadistic? The scenes with the little kid and his mom tear your heart out in six seconds. Hmmm. It played for a week in New York last month. Here’s what Eric Kohn said about it in his review in Indiewire:

The small, impoverished community where the movie is set – buried in the heat of the Colorado desert in Southern California, on the cusp of the man-made Salton Sea – brings to mind the remnants of a vacation resort in a post-apocalyptic world. These are real people living in an abandoned fairy tale, with little to do besides stare into the horizon and sigh.

Jesus. And then with dreamlike musical dance numbers, too? I’m not sure I want to see this. But I might want to a lot.