Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Look At What The Light Did Now
Review of Feist’s Look At What The Light Did Now
FacebookOf all of the remarkable things that Feist has done in the past few years, one of the most impressive is managing to go from a state of almost complete ubiquity circa The Reminder to one of relative obscurity. Over the last two years, there’ve been the occasional guest appearance on others’ records and even rarer live appearances with Broken Social Scene, but by and large she’s done a fine job of keeping a low profile – presumably working on a new record but no one really knows.
That profile has risen again of late with the upcoming release of Look At What The Light Did Now, a documentary film culled from footage taken during The Reminder tour. Coming out on DVD on December 7 with an accompanying CD of recordings taken from and around the film, it received a hometown screening last night at the Royal Ontario Museum… which probably seemed like a good idea but proved to be an almost disastrous one thanks to the horrible acoustics in the main atrium. But if there was an upside to it, it was that you were forced to pay almost unnatural attention to the film to extract anything comprehensible from the echo- and reverb-drenched audio.
With regards to the film itself, some have questioned if there’s really a need for a Feist documentary when her career isn’t a decade old, and if Light was a biography of any sort, it’d be a valid question. But rather than focus on Leslie Feist the person, it spends most of its running time examining the art around The Reminder – not only the songs and the album itself, but everything surrounding it. The portion focusing on Clea Minaker’s shadow puppet/projections were particularly fascinating; I already regretted not seeing any of The Reminder shows – I last saw Feist perform way back in the Summer of 2005 – and now regret it even more now that I see what I missed.
Other segments recounted the recording of The Reminder in France, the filming of videos for “1, 2, 3, 4″, “I Feel It All” and “Mushaboom”, the last of which is not Reminder period-correct but offered some terrific anecdotes from director Patrick Daughters, and the assemblage of the artwork for The Reminder. Though there were some segments focusing on her early days and ascendancy to stardom, they were kept to a minimum, as were the behind the scenes tour footage that’re typically the bread and butter of musician docs (though the scenes of Feist and her band and crew playing ball hockey was pretty great). Instead, the topic of who she is and how she got where she is was left to be implied by her work, how she approaches her work and how and why she works with others. In focusing on the what and how rather than the who, Look At What The Light Did Now manages to be an engaging and entertaining document of one of Canada’s biggest and brightest musical stars while barely acknowledging that fact.
And in the Q&A with Feist following the screening, the inevitable question of “when is the next record coming” was raised and all that she’d offer in return was that she’d be recording over the Winter – based on that, I wouldn’t expect a new album before next Fall.
Away from the city for far too long – she played here four times in eight months circa Neptune City – Nicole Atkins returns to Toronto for a show at the Horseshoe on February 26 with support coming from Cotton Jones; tickets $15 in advance. Her new record Mondo Amore arrives January 25.
Keren Ann 101, the new record from, Keren Ann will be out February 21 – the rather divine first single “My Name Is Trouble” is currently streaming at her website.
John Vanderslice has set a Janury 25 release date for his next record, which will bear the title of White Wilderness, a record recorded over three days with the assistance of the Bay Area Magik*Magik Orchestra.