Bradley's Almanac

[New England Premiere] ARCHERS OF LOAF concert film at the Brattle on Wednesday

Posted on July 13, 2012 at 11:44 am | No Comments

First, the straight facts…

On Wednesday night, July 18th, 2012, the new concert film “What Did You Expect? Archers of Loaf Live at Cat’s Cradle” will make its New England premiere at the venerable Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, Cambridge. The film, which documents last year’s surprise live return of one of the greatest rock bands of all-time, North Carolina’s Archers of Loaf, will screen at 9:30pm after a special showing of director Gorman Bechard‘s other excellent music doc, “Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements”, which was a personal highlight of last year’s IFFBoston.

Tickets for the “What Did You Expect?” / “Color Me Obsessed” double feature are available here. Individual tickets for CMO are here, and for WDYE go here. Gorman will be in town for the screenings to hold Q&A sessions after each film.

And now, the personal touch…

Like most of their fans, I never thought I’d get to see the Archers of Loaf play again. I’d only caught them once in their early-90s heyday, and yeah, it was pretty much mind-blowing. I felt like I’d seen some kind of light… they combined the best of straightforward indie-rock guitar-centric awesomeness with a dash of skewed mathy skronk, throwing in seemingly random chords and outta-left-field changes that just somehow worked, against the odds. Two ace, unconventional guitarists, one a tall, lanky frontman whose voice could go from a low growl to a fierce howl on a dime. A killer rhythm section with probably the most so-totally-into-it bassist I’d ever seen. A four-piece offering up the perfect balance of raw emotion and calculated oddness that got me good… and then they were gone.

Until they came back. Out of nowhere, literally, they magically reappeared in January of 2011 with a surprise show at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, North Carolina. With no fanfare, minimal advanced whisper, and despite the ongoing (and artistically successful) musical concern of frontman Eric Bachmann’s Crooked Fingers, The Loaf returned. From all reports, they unsurprisingly blew the damn doors off.

In the wake of that unexpected reunion came the announcement of Merge Records album reissues and, thankfully, more shows. With fingers crossed, I waited for a Boston date, only to be left wanting. 2011 ended with no area show… but an emailed promise of something to come. That something would be in late April 2012, and jeez, was the wait ever worth it. Two weekend nights, a packed house for both, a band on fire, and a setlist that touched every button. I was there for the Friday show, on April 27th, and they were everything I remembered and more. The band, and the songs, hadn’t aged a bit.

Only the band knows how long these weekend-only tour stops will continue, but lucky for those who have seen them, and luckier for those who haven’t: Their two night stand at the Cat’s Cradle last August was caputured by longtime Archers fan, director Gorman Bechard, and six cameras. “What Did You Expect? Archers of Loaf Live at Cat’s Cradle” premiered last month in Toronto, and it hits the Boston area this coming Wednesday along with Gorman’s Replacements documentary, showing for the first time since last year’s Independent Film Festival Boston. For the simple reason that I couldn’t wait to see it, I helped set this screening up, and turned down the kind offer to get a preview copy for this write-up… because I want to see it in a theatre packed with fans, on a big ol’ screen, with big ol’ speakers. So let’s fill the Brattle up on Wednesday.

Pick up your tickets. Here’s a little tease


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  • About the ‘Nac

    This is Bradley's Almanac. I'm your host, Brad. Barely holding it together since February 2000.

    "I love this song. It's so true. I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
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