“The Past is a Grotesque Animal”…Yes, yes it is.

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Over the weekend I had finally watched the long awaited of Montreal documentary, The Past is a Grotesque Animal. I was hesitant to view this film for quite some time, as I thought it would destroy my perception of front man and songwriter Kevin Barnes. This proved to be an eye opening experience for sure. The film highlights the band’s career from the very start. Seeing all of the old footage of how the group came to be was rather charming and delightful. The behind the scenes footage was certainly a treat as well. Their vibrancy and quirkiness definitely shined straight from the screen. Every aspect of the band was touched upon. From troubling relationships, to the brilliant artwork and stage performance antics of brother David Barnes and co., it proved to be truly insightful. 

Throughout all of the good times and struggles the band often continued with, the film focused quite a bit on Kevin Barnes’ inner demons. The depression, the anxiety, the need to make ‘good art,’ no matter at what cost. The one problem though, is the need to make ‘good art,’ lead to the departure of longtime and key players Dottie Alexander, James Husband, Bryan Poole (B.P.), alongside Matt Dawson and Davey Pierce respectively.

The thing that struck me most was how easily Barnes removed himself from them to make a complete musical transformation. What came to be one of the most celebrated band of the 00’s, has changed into so many forms that there feels like there is something missing, especially in a live setting. The ever exciting line up during onstage dance parties are something that I, as well as many fans, truly miss. Though change can be good sometimes, The Past is a Grotesque Animal, made Barnes out to have villain tendencies. Whether or not this was the intention, it was an extremely fascinating look into a phenomenal band that has hit home with so many listeners over the past several years. 

I don’t think I will ever stop buying of Montreal records. Kevin’s songs have always struck a chord with me. This certainly gives me a different perspective into the world of of Montreal.

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“Todd P Goes to Austin” DVD is released!

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“Many other music docs and concert films can give you an idea of how great a band is live, but how many can truly make you feel like you’re in the audience? Todd P Goes to Austin is in elite company on that count.” -Goatdog’s Movies

“Todd P Goes To Austin” follows concert guru Todd Peterson and with it, you get to see electrifying performances fit to show the energy of the DIY underground scene. Featuring live performances from Matt and Kim, Dan Deacon, Mika Miko and many more, this movie illustrates the experience of concert-going. Check out trailer for the Jay Buim directed film below.

TODD P GOES TO AUSTIN trailer from OTTO ARSENAULT on Vimeo.

You can pick up a copy of the DVD here.