A final screening of the Michael McCallum drama is followed by a night of music from the soundtrack with Graham Lindsey and Jen Sygit
Wednesday, May 18 — The 2009 noir drama “Fairview St.” has won nine major awards and been accepted into 21 film festivals internationally since its release. The locally written and produced feature will be shown on the big screen one last time Thursday at Celebration Cinema. Following the viewing, a night of live music at Moriarty’s Pub will pay homage to another aspect of the movie – its moody, Americana-flavored soundtrack.
Taking the stage will be two of the singer/songwriters featured on the disc, touring musician Graham Lindsey and local favorite Jen Sygit. They will perform back to back, playing selected songs off the soundtrack, which took home the best soundtrack award at the Beloit International Film Festival in 2010.
This will be Lindsey’s first Lansing show in over six years. The last time he was here was in 2004 when film maker/actor Michael McCallum was still writing “Fairview St.” and happened to catch Lindsey’s show at Mac’s Bar — he knew right away he wanted Lindsey’s authentic folk in his film.
“Graham Lindsey's music is haunting,” McCallum said. “It creeps into parts of my soul with each new listen. When the film ends, it's important to me to keep the lights off because his song ‘Dead Man's Waltz’ finishes the story emotionally — even when the picture itself has ended. It's a beautiful complement to what’s onscreen.”
Lindsey, a Wisconsin native now living in Montana, has been praised by the likes of Rolling Stone, Uncut, Mojo and Q Magazine for his traditional, and sometimes dark, spirited folk music.He said the style heard on his four studio albums has been broadly categorized since his debut album, “Famous Anonymous Wilderness,” was released in September 2003.
“There have been a lot of labels stuck onto my kind of music over the years,” Lindsey said. “Like, alternative country, Americana, folk rock, American primitive, new old-time, folk-blues-mountain, murder-hobo-ballads. I tried keeping a list once of all the different descriptions people were giving it just for fun.”
One thing is for sure, Lindsey is a stickler for solid, thoughtful lyrics, which often leads him to old, dusty records.
“Lyrical content is the engine behind any song,” Lindsey explained. “It's where the soul in a song resides. I don't listen to much pop rock or pop-country music for this very reason — I find very little originality or passion in most of it. That's not to say listeners cannot have a passionate or authentic response to it, I just personally do not. There's an unpretentious purity in a lot of the older music that's very hard to find anymore with newer music.”
So just who are a few of the artists that pass his lyrical test? Aside from a number of lesser known old bluesman, folkies, and rag-time jazz artists, a few iconic names have helped to shape his taste.
“The Carter Family is a big one for me, just as Tom Waits is,” he said. “Hearing Bob Dylan, of course, really broke open the floodgates for me. He showed me it was possible that just a dude with a guitar and well-crafted lyrics could flatten mountains.”
Lindsey said he purposefully avoids singer/songwriter clichs and trite subjects, but he doesn’t feel that limits him at all.
“My lyrics are inspired from many things. I pull from my experiences and I try not to neglect any subject so long as I feel passionate about it,” he said. “I don't write political songs, although I won't say I never will, especially in our country's present state. I don't really write love songs, either. I'm not big on sentimentality because I don't think it ever gets to the heart of any matter. It's too cheap and easy, but everything else is fair game in my book.”
As for his contribution to “Fairview St.,” Lindsey said he is honored to be in such a passionate film.
“When (McCallum) had ‘Fairview Street’ all finished he sent me a copy,” Lindsey said. “My wife Tina and I watched it and I'm proud to say at the end we both cried. It’s such an unbelievably poignant, well-written and moving film. We remain good friends and I hope to work with Michael again soon.”
6 p.m. Thursday, May 19
200 E. Edgewood Blvd., Lansing $8.50 adults, $7.75 students followed by live music from "Fairview St." with
Graham Lindsey and Jen Sygit 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19