Have You Ever Had A Beard?

Mar 05, 2012

(Kathy Wolf and Pat Thomas, 2011, USA, DVD, 35 min)

Sponsored by Easy Street Records
Post-screening performance by Calvin Johnson!
Directors in attendance!

Like a title weight bout, raucous music writer Chris Estey goes "toe to toe" with cagey music maverick Calvin Johnson about important subjects such as beards and other mysteries of life. Have You Ever Had a Beard? is a study in contrasts, comparing the lyric heavy songwriting of Calvin Johnson against the the ebullient music journalism of Chris Estey.  Meeting for the first time, both men perform at the Columbia City Theatre—a Seattle stage that’s played host to everyone from Bessie Smith to Jimi Hendrix since its opening in 1910. 

Standing at ground zero of a series of music movements that include Rriot Grrl and Grunge, singer/songwriter Calvin Johnson and his label K Records spawned a music scene unrivalled in the indie world. Both raconteur and sensitive artist, Calvin’s deep baritone booms across a generation of inspired vinyl.  However this film documents Calvin performing his new work, singing solo as he spits literary bop prosody in the form of three songs.  
In contrast, bearish Chris Estey, with his boisterous laughter and almost irrepressible need to be self-confessional, reads stories from his life, each memory spurred by a song on his favorite album, “Phil Ochs’ Greatest Hits.” In parallel tangents, his life story unfurls from mobile homes to LA flops, all to the soundtrack of Ochs’ seminal album. Afterwards the two men compare notes, observations and platitudes about music, personal behavior and the experience of having facial hair, in what could be characterized as less an interview than a philosophical boxing match.

Screens with
All Ages Music and Arts

(Doug Plummer, United States, 2012, Blu-ray, 7 min)
What happens when thousands of music lovers in a musician’s Mecca can’t go to shows? Seattle and Olympia recount the birth of their famous all-ages scenes. Featuring The Vera Project and The Olympia All Ages Project, with music from Meowtain, Tender Forever, The Hive Dwellers, Knowmads, Lemolo and Twin Sister. 

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