Skyscraper Magazine » Castanets: Tendrils
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Dir. Mia Ferm
Asthmatic Kitty
Format: DVD
Release Date: May 20, 2008
By David Nadelle January 10, 2011

From the Archives: this review first appeared on the old Skyscraper Magazine site. It is being republished here for your reading pleasure.

Asthmatic Kitty is a music label that “gets it.” It is either that or they are led into creative ventures by its roster of forward-thinking artists through some sort of backward contractual hand-forcing. In keeping with his tenet – “The recorded version of the song is not necessarily the definitive version of the song.” – Castanets’ Raymond Raposa is given a visceral video treatment of his own In the Vines tracks reinterpreted by conspirers of his inner circle and cut together with care by Castanets collaborator and lens friend Mia Ferm.

The first two segments of Tendrils give a good indication where this collection is heading: Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors) placidly strums and croons “Rain Will Come” aboard the Staten Island Ferry then G. Lucas Crane (Woods) spray paints tapes, maniacally cross-fades between two battered cassette recorders, and ruminates on post-apocalyptic music making. The neighborhoods of New York provide perfect backdrops for many of the pieces: a simply shot street and show version of “This is the Early Game” by Golden Ghost & Silver Spokes is spliced with shots of a nearby chop shop and the near-isolation of Marla Hansen finger-plucking her violin in “Sway” and Jesse Ainslie’s powerful sidewalk rendition of “Three Months Paid” are among the best moments on this DVD. Throw in conversations with friends playing pool and sitting around (some telling lame jokes), Matt Lorenz reciting “Lost Lyrics” (in Farsi, with Polish subtitles) and a couple of “Interludes at Miller’s Pond” (basically home movies of water frolicking in cottage country, Anytown, U.S.A. but actually somewhere in Connecticut) and you have yourself a nice bit of eye candy for lovers of the handmade and the heartfelt.

Visit: Castanets | Asthmatic Kitty
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