Thursday, February 24, 2011

Arthur Russell / Gary Wilson Free Screening Tonight! Totally Worth It.

Here is a little information about the screenings tonight. This will be the first night for the beer tap to be open at The Hydrant so bring some money and your ID for some booze.

9:00 pm

Tonight we have a very special screening for you at the Hydrant as a part of the ongoing ultra chic film series collaboration with the 'folk's over at I am proud to present a documentary double feature over two not so well known, but very important musicians of the late 20th century. Gary Wilson and Arthur Russell.

You Think You Really Know Me and Wild Combination are conventional documentaries over very unconventional subjects. During their time both artist received little acclaim outside of weirdo music fans and sold very few records except to the aforementioned group. In the case of Gary Wilson he is still releasing (albeit sporadically) music miles ahead of his contemporaries.

Over the years both have claimed  their places in the underground music pantheon by the gradual release of their music to a wider audience and  more marketable contemporary artist singing their praises. Wilson received a flaccid shout out on Beck's hit song Where It's At ("let the man Gary Wilson rock the most") and Rough Trade recently release an EP of Russell covers including Jens Lekman and Joel Gibb.

Gary Wilson and Arthur Russell's music share very little similarities except that they both disregard any notion of what contemporary pop music can be. Both approach their music not as music made for the masses but music as a cathartic extension of their own psyches. It would be easy to classify both as "weirdo" musicians who use the only way they know to express their demented or shattered personalities, but neither artist music is that simple. I imagine both as birds with clipped wings and songs to sing. Russell's spirit bird hidden in a bush attempting to get the crickets to dance. Meanwhile Wilson's bird is in full makeup making it's nest in the rafters of a smoky night club searching for the chick that broke his heart before they even hatched.

Arthur Russell is best known for his work in the realm of dance music, creating groundbreaking singles (under numerous monikers) around the same time as Larry Levan and other underground NY dance artist of the late 70's. If all we had were those few singles that would be swell, luckily in his brief time as a musician Russell recorded a treasure trove of elegant, sparse and forward thinking music, some of which has still yet to be revealed. 

Gary Wilson's latest release Electric Endicott, his third official album and the first since 2005's stunning Mary Had Brown Hair, solidifies Wilson's place as an artist who like Russell lives outside the main stream of contemporary artist. Gary Wilson the performer is a cross between the Fugs, Frank Sinatra and Charlie Brown. Endicott stands as his most accessible release, which I admit isn't saying much.  You might find out for yourself if you win the record tonight.

Would have liked to write more over this but I don't have the time, in fact this was written entirely on my lunch break! Russell and Wilson are two of my all time favorite musicians and look forward to sharing their stories and music with others. Two stories you do not want to miss, especially in the presence of others. I will be discussing recent releases by both artist in an upcoming feature 'Overlooked Albums of the 2000's' so keep an eye out for that. See you there and check back later tonight to see what is in store next week.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hydrant Series February 17th - Blow Up

After some wicked winter weather the Thursday night screenings are back on track. Check back every Thursday to see what next week's movie will be. Screenings are always free and beautiful gatherings to behold.