DVD: We Fun

We Fun
(MVD Visual)

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We Fun is a DVD from Walter O. Robison Pictures, featuring several interviews, performances and footage of bands from the Atlanta, Georgia area. Such bands include Deerhunter, King Khan and the Shrines, Carbonas, Bobby and the Soft Spots, Baby Shakes, The Subsonics, The Coat Hangers, Mastodon and more. Notably, the film focuses around The Black Lips, considered one of Atlanta’s finest byproducts of a dying music scene.

There are interviews with bands like Deerhunter, whose lead singer (Bradford Cox) is shown performing a uniquely ambient version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in memory of Kurt’s death, one year previous. Cox says when he first saw The Black Lips, he was not expecting anything worthwhile, but as soon as they began playing, “it was like a hurricane spinning in place.”

The Subsonics, a band who The Black Lips actually cited as an influence of theirs, laughingly described themselves as “ticks on the Black Lips…riding their coat tails out of Atlanta to other music scenes.”

Indeed, before the Black Lips, many bands from Atlanta were simply part of an unknown scene. Says writer/singer Tom Cheshire of Dryinkmag.com, “What is a scene? A group of people who play music…and they create a moment or a vibe or a noise. Bands have been playing for years but maybe there wasn’t enough of them to make a noise for the whole country.” Similarly, Henry Owings of Chunklet Magazine states that he’s surprised how far The Black Lips have come, as they used to be a “train wreck,” breaking equipment and “whipping out their d*cks on stage.” But Owings agrees that by “actively, aggressively touring,” the band has made a name for themselves.

The Black Lips themselves speak on the film about the importance of getting your music out by touring vs. staying strictly local. “We were told to avoid the ‘Atlanta syndrome,’” which were bands from Atlanta who never got out, “and we took that to heart…I don’t think anyone would know about us if we hadn’t left the city…We didn’t even get much respect in Atlanta till we got respect from other places.”

Overall, We Fun is an interesting look at what “scene kids” are up to in Atlanta, and how unlike other cities (NY and LA,) bands from here play music to have a good time instead of playing music to gain commercial success.

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