by Adam Gold
When: 4:30 & 9 p.m. April 7-8
Where: The Belcourt
Spiderland, the landmark second and final album from late ’80s/early ’90s Louisville indie-rockers Slint, is a singular, haunting holy grail of the post-rock movement. But the band played very few shows and broke up shortly before Spiderland’s 1990 release, never really making a critical or commercial impact during its brief existence. The speculation and mystique surrounding them grew more and more mythic as cult appreciation accelerated.
Now filmmaker and famed music video director Lance Bangs tells Slint’s story — and, along the way, the history of Louisville’s Reagan-era punk and freak-rock scene — and the effect is, well, de-mystifying. Listening to eerie Spiderland ear-gougers like “Good Morning Captain” or this film’s namesake, “Breadcrumb Trail,” one might have imagined austere settings and isolated existences. But found footage of high school talent-show performances — or later, the barely out-of-high-school band wood-shedding those songs in the well-lit basement of drummer Britt Walford’s parents’ suburban home — might shatter those mental images. The same goes for stories of the well-adjusted band’s wily toilet-humor shenanigans.
The payoff, however, is a history lesson on the punk scene that inspired the band and the post-rock the band inspired — its members’ musical family tree includes Tortoise, The For Carnation, Will Oldham and Palace Brothers, The Breeders, Interpol and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Another payoff, of course, is a sonically thrilling soundtrack and anecdotal commentary from Slint contemporaries and collaborators the likes of Steve Albini, Ian MacKaye and The Jesus Lizard’s David Yow.