9/19/03 I really do like

9/19/03

I really do like the culture surrounding film festivals, in the same way that I actually enjoyed summer school: there’s nothing quite like Total Immersion in a particular subject. Film festivals have mediocre movies, great parties and fantastic food, and we talked our way into one this evening at Woodstock.

We originally came up to watch Jamie Block play a small comeback gig at Legends (“gateway to Woodstock,” we were told), and it was a great reminder of how little Block has lost since his anti-folk days. On the last song “Rhinoceros” he attempted to rip the strings off the acoustic guitar, but stopped just shy of creating a scene. Needless to say, we whooped and hollered.

Jamie was recently signed by Gill Holland to sonaBlast! records, a marriage of old friends that was so obvious I can’t believe we didn’t think of it sooner. I was honored to play on a bunch of tracks for the new album, so I have a vested interest in it making a splash, other than the desire for Jamie to get his due in the fickle music world.

And I’ll say this about Gill: he may have his detractors (like I do), but nobody has shown such grace, fortitude, good humor and energy in the face of frustration as he. After making a big splash in the indie world with Hurricane Streets, he made a spate of well-reviewed and important independent films that ultimately made him no money. He constantly gave his time and lent his name to many projects that wouldn’t have had a shot otherwise. And though he may have spread himself too thin at times, he never lied about what he could do for you. Now he has crossed from the 2nd most cynical business in the world (movies) to the most cynical business in the world (music) and retains his childlike passion for it all.

me and Gill on fall break in 1989; us again last year at the 24-hour plays

At the after-party we saw Natane with Liev Schreiber and his brother Pablo (who was also an early Pink House favorite – now he stars on HBO’s “The Wire” and rocks), so Jamie and I schmoozed and drank cosmopolitans out of cheap plastic cups. One good thing about marrying well is that people like talking to your wife better than they like talking to you, so both Tessa and Susan went off to make their myriad friends while Jamie, Gill and I talked shit. Since we’re not allowed to have a separate cigar and scotch room after dinner, that’s going to have to suffice, yo.