South By SF

April 12, 2009

The Anvil Experience at Slim’s 4/12/2009

Filed under: Film Reviews, Show Reviews — Tags: , , — Gordon @ 10:37 pm
A great movie about a not-so-great band

A great movie about a not-so-great band

The Anvil Experience at Slim’s promised a preview screening of the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil followed by a live performance by the band itself.  I figured this was going to the best possible way to see this movie, so off I went.

I’d be lying if I said I were familiar with Anvil.  Their name sounds familiar, but it’s so generic, it would sound familiar to anyone, I’d imagine.  They are a Canadian metal band that’s been playing together since 1978, and although they were influence on a few more famous bands, they never found success themselves.  Thirty years later, they still play together and try to make their rock and roll dreams come through.  The band goes on a comically bad tour of Europe, tries to get a record deal, and just try to keep themselves together as a band.

I’ve seen interviews where the band’s leader “Lips” does not like comparisons to This Is Spinal Tap, but here comes some.  And if he has anyone to blame, it’s the director.  There are some spoilers in the next bullet points, both for Anvil! and This Is Spinal Tap, so be warned. (more…)


Friendly Fires & White Lies at Slim’s 4/11/2009

Filed under: Show Reviews — Tags: , , , — Gordon @ 6:58 pm
This picture is not from this show, but the singer was wearing the same shirt.  Thanks to for allowing the share.

This picture is not from this show, but the singer was wearing the same shirt. Thanks to for allowing the share.

I thought I was seeing a White Lies show, and it was nice that Friendly Fires were playing. But by the time the show was over, it was clear I had seen a Friendly Fires show, and that it was nice that White Lies were playing.

I got there right as White Lies were taking the stage. (There was an opener called The Soft Pack but I was unable to see their set. Other reviewers might lie about this.) I like White Lies album a lot, and the music sounds good live. It’s just that they don’t do much on stage. They just stand there. Their music calls for them to be dressed better, too. I still like the album, but their set left me cold.

I scooted up front with some friends to watch Friendly Fires, and this band is a great time! The songs sound so lively on stage, and the band performs with a catchy intensity. It makes it hard to not dance. There was, in fact, much dancing. I still can’t recommend their album other than as a demo for their live show. Their set was only 40 minutes or so; they’re going to need more material to become a true headlining band. But if you are at a festival where they’re playing, make a point of visiting their stage.

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