21 April 2007

{Make a Joyful Noise HERE}

Danielson: a Family Movie (or Make a Joyful Noise Here) is a 105-minute documentary (rockumentary?) by director JL Aronson. It follows Daniel Smith and his family-band (and friend-members) through a history of their group and questions what direction the band might go in as the members age into adulthood and find their own life paths.

Here's a nice synopsis from their releasing company:

This intimate and eloquent documentary traces the unorthodox path of Daniel Smith -- eccentric musician, visual artist and devout Christian -- as he creates a musical phenomenon with siblings and friends under the name Danielson Famile, eventually struggling to realize his own identity as an artist once the family members begin their own adult lives. Along the way he mentors an unknown singer-songwriter named Sufjan Stevens, whose subsequent success stands in contrast to the music world's uneasy reception of Danielson just a few years earlier. Combining hybrid storytelling, essential live performances, animated sequences and a dollop of Danielson archives, director JL Aronson offers a provocative yet subtle look at a complex life outside the mainstream.
For you Sufjan-fans, there's some nice goodies in the film for you too: an almost uncut performance of "To Be Alone With You," an early peek at "Chicago," some behind-the-scenes peeks at the making of Seven Swans, as well as plenty of smiles and coyly self-depreciating humor. Let's not forget a Tom Eaton animated short, and this gem:

The biggest (!)-moment for me was from a fan interview. A woman said that back in the mid-90s when the band was just getting its start, Jeff Buckley had been to the shows and started telling people to check them out. That's pretty damn awesome, and a helluva recommendation.

If you've been curious about Danielson Famile, this is a great primer for all things Danielson. Recommended for checking out on Netflix. Be sure to delve into those special features--the additional footage from the European tour is a must if you've always wanted to hear Daniel Smith butcher the German language (and let's face it, who hasn't?)

Danielson Famile - Did I Step On Your Trumpet?.mp3

Recommended starter albums: Ships and Fetch the Compass Kids.
You can buy the movie here.

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