Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jersey Loverboy Daniel Smith Goes to the Movies

Before there was Sufjan Stevens there was Daniel Smith, indie rock's resident weirdo, and his family band, Danielson. The forthcoming documentary, Danielson: A Family Movie, takes a look at Smith, Danielson Famile, and how Smith's peculiar place and quirky vision has touched the indie rock community. JL Aronson produced and directed the film, and some of indie rock's finest such as producer/engineer Steve Albini, author/musician Rick Moody, eccentric singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston, and Low guitarist Alan Sparhawk also appear in the 105-minute flipbook, which is scheduled for a limited run through major markets this winter.

Hailing from the historical New Jersey farm town of Clarksboro, Danielson--Smith and his siblings Megan Smith, David Smith, Rachel Smith, Andrew Smith, Elin K. Smith, and Chris X. Smith--came together in 1994 when the youngest member was just 10 years old. With their old-fashioned nurse costumes symbolizing the healing power of the Good News, Danielson's indie pop breath of fresh air landed in the pages of Rolling Stone, Spin, and the New York Times. Their first two albums--1995's A Prayer for Every Hour and 1997's Tell Another Joke at the Ol' Choppin' Block--became instant favorites among fans of the Pixies and Peter and the Wolf. With a successful run with Tooth & Nail and finding a new record label home at Secretly Canadian, Danielson went through a series of changes in the late 1990s. Band members came and went, many went on to work with the likes of Deerhoof, Half-Handed Cloud, Damien Jurado, Jens Lekman, and the Curtains while others finished school. Throughout these transitions, Smith was forced to face a solo career. He befriended Sufjan Stevens during this time, and became a mentor of sorts, a musical confidante for Stevens. And to think this all started out as a thesis project during Smith's senior year at Rutgers University?

DECEMBER
10-14: Chicago IL @ the Siskel Center
15-21: New York NY @ Cinema Village
11, 20, and 28: Austin TX @ the Alamo Downtown
15-21: Seattle WA @ NW Film Forum
*Late December (Dates TBA): Bloomington IN @ the Cinemat

JANUARY
25-27: San Francisco CA @ Red Vic
*Late January (Dates TBA): Portland OR @ the NW Film Center

Dates TBA: Boston, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Toronto

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