All Tomorrow’s Parties on DVD

Published December 8, 2009 by Graham


Remember summer camp? Remember how fun that was? Now imagine going back to camp as an adult, but instead of making shoddy arts and crafts, you get to watch a few dozen mind-blowing musical performances. That’s what All Tomorrow’s Parties is– a series of festivals often thrown at off-season summer camps in the British countryside, featuring some of the best musical talents in the world.

Just peruse Wikipedia’s list of lineups from the many events bearing the ATP moniker– it’s a veritable who’s who of rad artists in the 2000s, frequently featuring now-beloved bands before they’ve broken. Instead of safely selecting big name musicians though a committee of concert promoters, All Tomorrow’s Parties will invite artists like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Thurston Moore, and Sleater-Kinney to curate their festivals. The result is an air of playful excitement that is impossible to replicate, at a festival with authentic enthusiasm for the artists it’s promoting.

Jonathan Caouette, the filmmaker who breathed new life into the documentary medium with 2003’s Tarnation, is behind All Tomorrow’s Parties, a documentary about the concerts that was just released on DVD. Using his razor-sharp editing skills, Caouette incorporates footage shot by fans, promoters, and the musicians themselves into a patchwork of pure experience that’s as exhilarating as it is intimate. Check out the trailer below:

Update: The awesomely prolific Lance Bangs writes in: young-lance

Just saw your write up, I shot for that film, that’s my young passport photo on the bottom of the cover! I assumed they were just going to use those in some credits section, didn’t know they were going to design such a cool cover out of them….

Isn’t he the spitting image of a young Paul McCartney? We love you, Lance!

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3 comments so far

  1. GARCIA says:

    That’s rad.
    Now if we can just get 1991: The Year Punk Broke and The Decline Of Western Civilization released we’ll be all set.

  2. sylvester fontenot says:

    it’s great they gave a thank you to the inspiration behind the trailer at 0:59 – i concur, stanley rules.

  3. meemalee says:

    Heya – I shot for the film too – I’m on the cat-eared girl to the right of Iggy Pop.

    ATP is seriously good – I’m so pleased that the film managed to capture the spirit of it so well.

    I just went to the 10th Anniversary “Ten Years of ATP” – my review’s here if you’re interested :)