|Title:||Fortune Tellers Make Killing Nowadays|
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|05.17.10||DVD|| I've been a fan of Clutch for a long time. I strongly identify their early stuff with the highschool version of me and have found that, over the years, as my tastes have changed their sound has evolved as well. I feel like they're the musical equivalent of my friend Jim. I had a circle of friends in highschool just like I had a whole stage of musical involvement, but both the friends and the music have moved away as my tastes and interests have changed; all except Jim and Clutch. While I am not super all the time best friends with either, I still feel connected with them and think they have grown in a similar track as me.|
So a lot of this documentary was a lot of fans at a lot of shows saying basically the same thing. I find that pretty cool... that this band has cultivated perhaps a whole generation of fans who are able to enjoy a band for 15, 20 years. I feel like I've grown up with them and am really comforted that their new albums still rock and the same four dudes are still together making music.
Plus they are so Maryland. Looking at the early footage included on this disc, they are totally dudes who could've roamed the halls of my high school. They're really just a few years ahead of me... I have vivid memories of being turned on to them by my neighbor and friend Cameron... going to this crappy amateur hardcore show with like 30 kids there just because he said they'd show up (they never did), getting a copy of their 7" on tape, listening to Juggernaut over and over again, their Passive Restraints single, their first album with that ridiculous Rats song, see them once then twice then who knows how many times... The old 9:30 club, the new 9:30 club, some random club with just me and TJ waiting outside for the doors to open and my dad freaking out because we were in such a crappy neighborhood, going with Bill Brown to see them at Hammerjacks where they played with Prong, but mostly I remember their second album coming out and really defining everything I like about Rock n Roll music. The first two songs went together and although Big News II was well hard, it wasn't your typical hardcore wall of distortion, and Neil had toned down his gravelly scream to actually sing, and there was this weird near-theme of space and aliens and conspiracies weaved through all the songs and the last third kind of dips into a slower spacier section that fades into an instrumental jam that you kind of feel you could put on while you sleep and unlock the 6 hour version with Tim Sult battling the greys all night long.
So this DVD is half concert film, with Clutch performing that personally pivotal self-titled album in full at the 9:30 club, then a second disc with a full-length doco following them on the road and interviewing everyone involved.
One thing that I really enjoy about this band is that they are clearly not geniuses. I mean, in interviews Neil has stated that they got together for the same reasons a lot of bands got together: they weren't particularly athletic and got mediocre grades. So for regular dudes from Silver Spring... they are now pretty well respected in the musical community for their craft... and it's really just because they never got super famous, they never broke up, and they never stopped playing music. JP Gaster has evolved from the weird-lookin dude without a shirt on in the band picture from their first album to... a weird-lookin dude who is maybe the most technically proficient and soulfull drummer in any contemporary rock band today. His solos are on par with the great jazz drummers who commanded their own bands. He's like the a#1 dream drum teacher of all time, talking here about the differences in tone between kits that he plays on the albums vs. taking on tour and sitting with his drum tech to practice on pads. Then you have Dan's solid basslines in perfect time with the beat. I love how this doc proves Dan to be "the quiet one" just like Almost Famous. And Tim's completely unique guitar sound that's equal parts blues and rock perfectly melded and Neil's penetrating eyes and deep voice and truly enviable beard... Perhaps it's a good thing they hardly ever come to Austin because i'd probably be the guy in this doc who poses with Neil for a picture and just before the flash goes off says quietly "you know i love you," completely freaking him out.
So this disc is great. Plus!!!! They sent a huge-ass Clutch sticker signed by the whole band just as a sweet-ass surprise! Maybe everyone who pre-ordered got one I don't care... what an awesome touch!
I'll probably never ever get to make a movie or anything like that, but I seriously have this fantasy... please don't laugh. I'm sitting in a studio in Santa Monica being interviewed by Elvis Mitchell for The Treatment and he's asking me how I came about deciding to entirely score my film with Clutch music. And I start by saying something about how Virgin Suicides kind of got criticized for AIR's music invading the film too much but in this case I wrote the movie from the start with this idea in mind... and how on one level I just wanted to have the excuse to sit in with them while they jam but also see how they'd do with longform composition. And I'd mention The Cinematic Orchestra doing an alternative score for Man with the Move Camera, and the Alamo's shows where they bring in bands to supply live scores to silent films and all that stuff then I'd mention how we ended up projecting the film at a club (probably somewhere in Austin although the 9:30 club could work as well) and having the band play live and just take the board recording for the score rather than have them record in a studio and the soundtrack will be a digital download because it's 100 minutes long but also there will be an audio-only track on the dvd and just revel in my cinematic success tied so closely to Clutch.
Some would say pitiful, but fuck you it's my fantasy i can do what i want. The root of that is that I think they are capable of an amazing score. I even tinker with making a fake soundtrack for a fake film out of their existing stuff but the problem is there is so much i'd want to put on it that I can't come up with a track list.
Anyway, i've been typing a long time. I liked this disc a lot.