Friday, May 13th, 2011

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.

14 Comments / Post A Comment

Abe Sauer (#148)

Am I the only one who immediately thinks "Touch of Grey?"

Dave Bry (#422)

@Abe Sauer Ha! Nice, Abe. You're right.

Itisnobigdeal (#3,290)

This show was awesome. Everyone who can see them live should do it immediately. It should be noted that their trombone player has an impressive rat-tail. Can't wait for the new album!

Don Is (#10,212)

Well, Asia had an album called Phoenix. Does that count?

hockeymom (#143)

Nice! But when it comes to bands with horns, I'm still partial to Cake.

freetzy (#7,018)

Chicago: "Niagara Falls"

Dave Bry (#422)

@freetzy Good one! (The song Peter Cetera wrote about losing his virginity. I never believed him.)

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@freetzy Kingston trio, "M.T.A."

deepomega (#1,720)

Having been to Bombay Beach, I will note that there is a greyish beach where you think it is lined with stones or pebbles, and then you look closer and realize it is entirely composed of fish bones.

laurel (#4,035)

^ This is completely true. And your first clue is the stench. And the carcasses of dead sea birds, felled by an avian botulism epidemic.

Richard Misrach did a series of beautiful, bleak photos there: (one of which is on the cover of a Lloyd Cole compilation). It's one of those places that's only gorgeous through the camera lens.

Smitros (#5,315)

@spiralbetty Like both of you, I have stopped by there, and it gives me a sense of what the post-Apocalypse might look like.

laurel (#4,035)

@Smitros 'Zactly: it's the landscape of big plans abandoned, complete with the dead-eyed denizens of a tiki bar.

Amasa Amos (#9,654)

I have seen this movie, and it is good.

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