what did you expect? an archers of loaf concert documentary

what did you expect? screening: q & a

what did you expect? screening: powerwalker

it’s always the east coast, i’m always the asshole

“Freezing Point” is not necessarily my favorite Archers of Loaf song, but for some reason, it is my favorite song on last year’s gorgeous re-release of Icky Mettle, which would have been my #1 record of 2011 if it hadn’t been a re-release (I make them their own category). And the version from last summer’s triumphant Archers of Loaf reunion shows at the Cradle is just staggering in Gorman Bechard’s lovely and loving What Did You Expect? It took my breath away during the screening at the Cradle on Saturday night, that line above, right before Bachmann and Johnson launch into the clatter and clang of the rest of the song.

what did you expect? screening: backstage with powerwalker

I didn’t make it to those shows, like I didn’t make it to the first Superchunk show at the Cradle in years back in, I don’t know, 2006, even though shep. wanted me to. (I think I was broke then. Last summer we were out of town for a wedding.) I didn’t make it to either of this spring’s Archers shows, either, not the one at Haw River Ballroom (and holy crap, retroactively I would pay big cash money to shoot Matt Gentling doing his bassist dinosaur stomp dance under those lights) or the one at Kings. (I was having a breakdown. It was one of about seventeen so far this year. I’m fine.)

what did you expect? screening

But on Saturday night, perched on a bench at the Cradle, I felt like I did, because Gorman’s documentary is so intimate, so fierce, so full of life that it is like having been at those sweaty, joyous shows. Three women danced behind the rows of chairs while it ran, that’s how much life it has. It was beautiful. It is beautiful.

what did you expect? screening: backstage with powerwalker

It was not just a night of a beautiful film, though; it was community, a haphazard band of people I respect and people I know and people I love becoming Powerwalker, the world’s premier and probably only Archers of Loaf tribute band. It was trying to explain the Whiskeytown story to Gorman over the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten. It was “let’s take a walking tour of all the old Cradle locations!”

It was why I live here, why I understand why Gorman had to make the movie, why Chapel Hill is still perfect. The full set is here.

it’s always the east coast

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