Midlake, Jason Lee + More Celebrate Premiere of Band’s Film at CMJ
With all the challenges of “making it” in the industry today, many bands are happy to survive their first few years. However, for Midlake, they’ve proven that a band can make it to a decade and celebrated that feat by filming a recent concert in their hometown, Denton, Texas, which premiered at CMJ yesterday (Oct. 23).
Entitled ‘Midlake: Live In Denton, TX,’ it was directed by actor Jason Lee — known for his roles in ‘Mallrats,’ ‘My Name Is Earl’ and, more recently, ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ — and filmmaker Eric Noren. The 90-minute movie not only shows the folk rock band performing at Dan’s Silverlake to promote their fourth album, ‘Antiphon,’ but it also highlights the city that Midlake (as well as other musicians like Sly Stone, Neon Indian and Sarah Jaffee) have called their hometown. Parts of the film have also been incorporated in Midlake’s video for ‘Aurora Gone.’
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“I have to go back about 11 years in 2003 when I bumped into a hairy bunch of Texans in Austin at SXSW,” Bella Union head honcho and former Cocteau Twins member Simon Raymonde, who signed the band to his label in 2004, told the audience during his introduction of the film. “They’ve become a huge part of my life.”
Screening for the first time ever at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, Midlake’s lead singer and guitarist Eric Pulido couldn’t hold back his emotions as he thanked everyone for coming — especially Raymonde and Lee.
“This is quite an overwhelming moment for me and for the rest of the guys in the band,” Pulido said at the event. “As much as it might seem like a stop at CMJ at some random club in New York City to come see a film, to me it’s really big. And it’s really moving. And it’s for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is that almost 11 years ago Simon Raymonde got turned on to our band, and we’re just a bunch of guys who were looking for someone to listen, for someone to love what you’re doing. When you’re in a band, you’re just trying to play a show. You’re just trying to get out of town. Maybe you’ll get reviewed. Maybe you’ll put out a record. Maybe you’ll get to go to the other side of the pond. Maybe someone might know you’re band and start singing the lyrics to your songs. And maybe you might make a dollar… and he’s been like a second father to us.”
In his thank you to Lee, Pulido recounted the band’s first encounter with the actor and director. “We were at a club in Austin, Texas, at SXSW,” he reminisced. “And as I was meeting a guy I’m a big fan of, he poured out as a fan to us. Like he was actually the fan. And people were coming up to him saying, ‘Hey Jason, can I get a picture? I’m a big fan.’ And he said, ‘One second, I’m talking to one of my favorite bands.'”
It was not only an honor for the band, but it was also one for Lee, who had nothing but kind words to say about Midlake.
“I just want to give a personal thank you to Simon for turning me on to Midlake 10 years ago,” Lee said. “He sent me their CD, ‘Bamnan and Silvercork’ and it was amazing. I’ve been friends with them ever since. I’ve directed things for them on the way with them, and the band, of course, it’s been 10 years. This is sort of the last big thing we’ve done and maybe we’ll ever do, we’ll see.”
He also added, “I’m just a big fan of music and a big fan of the band, and I’m happy to be here in New York City.”
Check out photos from the event below: