Stiching together divergent and distance points, references and relationships is just about my favorite thing ever. The wilder the connection and the more unlikely the sympathy, the more glee I get from making the fit. Tetris with pop culture, humanistic pieces? Psychographic, ethno-media Bento boxes?
A couple weeks ago I was at Dalva sipping drinks with a friend, a few filmmakers and a couple folks from the Roxie Theater. We were all just shootin' the shit and hanging out. Not too sure where it came from but this fellow from the Roxie (Mike Keegan) brought up the '90's alternative band, Belly. Sure - I remember them. More specifically, I remember their awesome cover of the Hendrix classic 'Are You Experienced?' on the '93 compilation Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
Then, deftly turning on a tangential dime, he transitions to the film of the same name; BELLY.
"Filmed in New York City an urban drama, the film stars rappers DMX and Nas, alongside with Taral Hicks, Method Man dancehall artist Louie Rankin, R&B singer T-Boz. Besides starring in the film, Nas also narrates and collaborated with Hype Williams on the screenplay."
His interest was not so much the film BELLY itself but more the surreal inclusion of scenes from the 1997 film GUMMO. Now, GUMMO had only been recently released and was far from the well-known cult film that it is today. Why - and how - GUMMO ended up on a big screen TV in a gangster's house is a mystery. Film critic Jeff Lester weighs in:
"After a gang of toughs rob a nightclub, they come back to somebody's crib and turn on the TV and come in on the middle of Harmony Korine's Gummo. It's a great moment, as tough-eyed gangstas stare disbelievingly as two kids in cowboy hats swear and pretend to kill a young kid with bunny ears. The scene seems more a statement of comradeship than of dismissal, as if the director is promising to do the same thing for gangsta youth that Gummo did for poor white trash. He doesn't even come close."
Wanting to get this all down and shoot out the experience to my friends, I spent a good 30 minutes lining up the right YouTube clip, writing a sub-140 word description for a Blip post and making sure my Bit.ly linked worked and generally crafting a solid content-rich effort.
And then I tweeted it.
Not a click, polite nod or high five. Certainly no RT's. It was lost in the stream of Other Important News; trampled in the fast-twitch information stampede that is Twitter. Bummer. And it's not as if I didn't know better. Hell, I even blogged about it a short time ago. So here I am - blogging about the experience and building out a better, richer account of the event for long-term reference. It's what I should have done first, anyway.
This post was good enough when I started. The connections and random happenstance of it all are fulfilling and entertaining. But when digging around for support info on Belly (the band) I learned something that took this post to a surprising new level.
The band consisted of Donelly on lead vocals and guitar, Abong on bass, Tom Gorman on guitar, and Chris Gorman on drums. Tom and Chris, who were brothers, were childhood friends of Donelly's; they had previously played in the hardcore punk band Verbal Assault.
Holy shit! Verbal Assault!?! That band was amazing! TRIAL is one of my favorite punk albums of all time. Listen to the title track!
My god - someone please tell me that the kid from GUMMO covers 'Crosstown Traffic' with the Verbal Assault guys on guitar and drums, Donnely on acoustic guitar/back-up vocals, NAS laying supplemental rhymes and DMX sculpting sick beats while Hype Williams and Harmony Korrine fight over whether or not to shoot a classic music video or bring in faux-masturbating twins dressed in matching Terrycloth robes to glare at a velvet Virgin Mary poster and bark occassionally.