The Life of the World to Come: A film by Rian Johnson is a very special filmed live performance of The Mountain Goats' recent album of the same name. Shot with minimal cameras and with no allowance for retakes, John Darnielle plays through the whole album, switching between piano and guitar, resequencing the album's running order in the process while joined by a special guest for two songs.
The film was made by Rian Johnson - an American writer/filmmaker whose credits include The Brothers Bloom (2008) and Brick (2005) for which he won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2006, Johnson directed The Mountain Goats music video for 'Woke Up New'.
In support of Record Store Day on April 17th, 4AD is making available 1500 copies of the film on DVD, which will be for sale at stores participating in RSD. The limited edition DVD is presented within a gorgeous custom designed 12-page book with liner notes by John Darnielle, created specifically for this project by Horse & Buggy Press in Durham, NC. Check here for a list of stores.
The film will also be screened at select venues in the US in the coming months. Here is the schedule, with screenings continually added:
26th March New Brunwick, NJ - New Jersey Film Fest
26th March Bloomington, IN - Bishop Bar
27th March New Brunswick, NJ - New Jersey Film Fest
27th March Brookline, MA - The Coolidge Corner Theatre
1st April Bellingham, WA - Pickford Film Center
1st April Asheville, NC - Fine Arts Theatre (Presented by Harvest Records)
2nd April Tucson, AZ - The Screening Room
3rd April Washington DC -- The Black Cat - the Backstage
10th April Athens, GA - Aux Festival at Athens Cine
16th April San Francisco, CA - ATA Theatre
17th April Seattle, WA - Northwest Film Forum
Here is more about the film as explained by John Darnielle:
“Rian and I met when he shot the 'Woke Up New' video at his Little Italy apartment; I'd spotted a credit to a band called "the Hospital Bombers Experience" in the end-credits to his film Brick and recognized a reference to a song of mine, and I looked him up, and we hit it off. He's been listening to my stuff since very early on, and I think he really gets the kind of axis I try to ride when I write: a kind of meeting point between a primitive formal style & a naked, raw feel. So when I listened to the demos to this album, I thought, I'd like to play them that way, too, and have that playing captured somehow. And then there was a line "I saw some old friends as I came to the city gate" in a song that didn't end up on the final album, which made me think of going back home to Claremont and working with friends, and playing the songs in the building where I took the state exam for young pianists when I was eight years old, not long after we'd moved to Claremont from Milpitas. So I wrote to Rian & sent him the album & we bumped ideas back and forth until we settled on the idea of a single live performance with a few cameras in a private space and we got really excited about it, and in early August I went out there and we did this thing that I think captures a face of the songs that I'm unlikely to catch elsewhere: before anybody else has heard them outside of the people making the record, almost all of them being played in a non-studio-or-living-room space for the first time ever, no re-dos for mistakes, only a few cameras on us & circling us as we sing and play.”
In other Mountain Goats news, the band are due to play shows in Australia next month and are returning to the UK this September to play three shows including the End of the Road Festival.
FORTHCOMING MOUNTAIN GOATS LIVE SHOWS:
13th March St. Augustine, Harvest of Hope Festival, US - (MORE)
14th March Orlando, The Social, US - (MORE
8th April Auckland, The King's Arms Tavern, NZ - (MORE)
9th April Wellington, San Francisco Bath House, NZ - (MORE)
11th April Brisbane, The Zoo, AUS - (MORE)
13th April Sydney, Manning Bar, AUS -(MORE)
14th April Melbourne, The Corner Hotel, AUS - (MORE)
16th April Adelaide, Fowler's Live, AUS - (MORE)
18th April Perth, The Rosemount, AUS - (MORE)
31st May Sasquatch Music Festival, US - (MORE)
8th September Leeds, Brudenell Social Club, UK - (MORE)
9th September London, KOKO, UK - (MORE)
10th September End of the Road Festival, UK - (MORE)