Eleven months after it’s release, 40 BANDS 80 MINUTES! is still making the news. Watch for a new round of publicity to commemorate the 40 BANDS! one year anniversary in mid-November. (Oh, and contrary to what the review re-printed below says, the *production time* for 40 BANDS 80 MINUTES! was seven hours—the music *really* lasted just 2 minutes per band!!)
40 Bands/80 Minutes!
Sounds Are Active Films
DVD Rating: 7 / 10
by Dan MacIntosh
You might want to think of 40 Bands/80 Minutes! as the anti Coachella. Although Coachella also offers more music than one mortal can reasonably digest in a short period of time, it also presents alternative music that is relatively easy to swallow. Not so with this film, however. Most every group is loud and unmelodic, which means essentially forty different varieties of straight ahead noise. The press materials boast of punk, hip-hop and jazz in this mix, but these participants represent the edgier wing of all three genres. Most casual fans won’t recognize these band names, but it’s hard not to chuckle at monikers like Bipolar Bear and Veer Right Young Pastor.
If, by the way, you happen to be a right-veering pastor, an act like the dirty talking Karen Centerfold is certainly not for you. It’s basically an aging porn star – or a porn star wannabe – telling naughty stories over minimal music.
But whether participants behave like adult performance artists, as does Karen Centerfold, or just make a sandwich with their feet, as does Rob Williams, every act is forced to stick to the strict rule of only playing two minutes on shared equipment. And all this commotion took place on one night – March 6, 2006, to be exact – at one small club. The II Corral, this film’s venue of choice, is an experimental noise house and many of these group’s regularly participate in producer Sean Carnage’s Monday night concert series there. Seven hours of music was whittled down to a mere 80 minutes, with no retakes.
Although not exactly musical, Rob Williams is the Guinness World Record holding foot sandwich maker. He’s also a friend of director Carnage, and both worked together on QTN, the gay network. Williams fits because this scene is all about breaking conventions. Nobody does sandwich making performance art at House Of Blues, but this scene has a much bigger, less commercially-motivated umbrella…
40 BANDS / 80 MINUTES! is now online for the very first time in remastered form!