'All My Friends Are Funeral Singers': Califone's life beyond Sundance
For those who missed the multiple screenings of "All My Friends Are Funeral Singers" at the Sundance Film Festival last week, fear not: the film and the band behind it may be heading for a venue near you.
"All My Friends..." is a 2009 album by Chicago post-rock troupe Califone, which shares the film's director and writer Tim Rutili. The screenplay and the songs were inspired by the same themes and premises: superstition, the blur between reality and unearthly, the passage of souls.
Califone took the tunes on the road, playing live along with the screening even prior to Park City, and it works, even on a meta level. The quartet performs almost constantly in the film, a foursome of ghosts whose clamor, improvisations and harmonies swell and descend within a house occupied by spirits who had not yet "crossed over," equally clamorous and harmonic. The home's only living occupant, psychic medium Zel (Angela Bettis), would be the music's sole audience. The band, off the screen, performs both for itself and the film's protagonist, as well as for movie-watchers invited into this ghost world.
It's a tidy story -- one where there doesn't need to be a witch-hunt, as it were, for plot holes -- beautifully shot in only 11 days on a tight budget. Sundance was the first stop off at a film festival, and the movie is headed to the San Francisco Noise Pop festival on Feb. 28 (with a screening featuring the pre-recorded version of the soundtrack instead of the live band). Rutili hopes to take "All My Friends..." to South By Southwest in Austin for the film week, in addition to full-band sets during the music portion of the fest. They'll do a screening with the live music again on March 9 at Chicago's Lincoln Hall.
This is all preceded by a normal tour in February, with Califone (in operation since 1998) tapped as openers for fellow Chicagoans Wilco during a Northwestern and Canadian trek -- with a stop-off, too, at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. With any luck, fans can expect another slew of Califone/"All My Friends..." music-movie dates in the spring.
Here are Califone's tour dates:
02/07/10 Missoula, MT @ Adams Center w/ Wilco
02/09/10 Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall w/ Wilco
2/07/10 Missoula, MT @ Adams Center w/ Wilco
2/09/10 Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall w/ Wilco
2/10/10 Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre w/ Wilco
2/12/10 Victoria, BC @ Royal Theatre w/ Wilco
2/13/10 Vancouver, BC @ David Lam Park w/ Wilco
2/15/10 Edmonton, AB @ Northern Alberta Jubilee w/ Wilco
2/16/10 Calgary, AB @ Southern Alberta Jubilee w/ Wilco
2/17/10 Saskatoon, SK @ TCU Place w/ Wilco
2/19/10 Duluth, MN @ DECC Auditorium w/ Wilco
2/20/10 Madison, WI @ Overture Center for the Arts w/ Wilco
2/21/10 East Lansing, MI @ Wharton Center w/ Wilco
2/22/10 Hamilton, ON @ Hamilton Place Theatre w/ Wilco
2/24/10 London, ON @ Centennial Hall w/ Wilco
2/28/10 San Francisco @ ATA 4:15pm (movie screening, no musical performance)
3/09/10 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall (band performs live along w/ movie)
3/10/10 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall (regular music performance w/o movie)