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Let’s call Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ the ‘Sgt. Peppers’ equivalent for rock fans of the 80s and early ‘90s. If you can accept that, then ‘Spiderland,’ the 1991 album by Slint, could be the ‘Pet Sounds’ for the same generation. ‘Spiderland’ is that album that never made a dent in the mainstream upon release, and even had to wait before its true audience, the burgeoning indie and post-rock crowd, embraced it fully.

‘Spiderland’ did eventually hit its audience, and it was almost instantly canonized. Everyone in a certain crowd had it, in part because it has sounds that are impossible to ignore. Gentle harmonics give way to piercingly unusual guitar squeals, with crisp, precise drumming as a stern navigator for most of the songs. Bands like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky bear the marked, significant influence of ‘Spiderland,’ and have brought sounds derived from the album to huge audiences.

Lance Bangs, part of the Jackass crew (he’s the cameraman who always pukes), and a music video and commercial director and all-around talented guy with a camera, has made Breadcrumb Trail, a documentary about ‘Spiderland.’ The trailer below shows that he has not only amassed the expected interviews with indie luminaries, but also some great early footage of the band when they were just high school kids, at which point they were already playing with the character and talent that is recognizable on the LP.

Here’s Bangs explaining the movie:

My new feature length documentary Breadcrumb Trail is about Slint and the Louisville music culture they emerged from. It includes footage going back to the early 1990s that I shot when repeatedly driving up from Athens, GA to Louisville to try to chase rumors of what they guys were up to. Over the years I tracked down more stories about them, then began filming interviews with each of the band members and their contemporaries. We also unearthed some unseen/uncirculated footage from their few live performances as well as the writing and arranging of Spiderland.

Here are current theatrical dates for the film. A new ‘Spiderland’ box set, featuring a DVD presentation of the doc, will arrive on April 15.

  • Cinefamily, Los Angeles March 11, 12, 13 followed by Q&A with Lance Bangs
  • Roxie Theater, San Francisco March 20th followed by Q&A with Lance Bangs
  • PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia March 14th & 15th followed by Q&A with Lance Bangs and Slint member David Pajo.

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