Throw 100 bands into a Hackney field for a weekend and things will start to get a bit weird. Add musician, madcap filmmaker and former Moldy Peaches singer/guitarist Adam Green and things are guaranteed to get very weird indeed. Welcome to this year’s Field Day.
Next month sees Victoria Park play host to the tenth Field Day festival on June 11th and 12th with stellar musicians such as PJ Harvey, Four Tet, Dean Blunt, Junior Boys, D.D Dumbo, Anna Meredith and Roots Manuva on the star-studded line-up.
But this year’s joker in the pack is Green. He’s on a proper high after releasing his new film Aladdin, a hyper-sensory, poetic and humorously subversive take on the Classic Arabian Nights tale. Oh yeah, and it stars former Home Alone child star Macaulay Culkin, as well as oddball musicians Har Mar Superstar and Devendra Banhart. Told you it was going to get weird.
The film sees the New York City rocker-about-town Green star as Aladdin, of course, as it explores ‘the recesses of his symbolic imagination’ where the lamp is a 3-D printer, the princess is a decadent socialite, the planet gets a sex-change and its population prints out an analogue version of the Internet. Or so he tells me.
Aside from writing and directing the film, Green also composed and recorded the accompanying soundtrack. Not one to delegate, he even created most of the sets and props for the film – from many tonnes of papier mache and bright-coloured paint. It took him four years. But two of those sets and 50 props were recently shown at the prestigious Fondation Beyeler museum in Basel, Switzerland.
It’s really hard to know what else to say about Adam, other than that he’s never been afraid to go where his spirit leads him. So I let him do the talking as he reeled off a list of his current top five favourite albums. Naturally, his mate Har Mar made the list. But you’ll be surprised by the rest…
Har Mar Superstar – Best Summer Ever
Har Mar is a straight up amazing soul singer! He is bending reality and making up this whole weird genre. I love this man. ‘My Radiator’ is a beautiful song.
Aeriel East – Rooms
When I first heard this lady sing, I thought for the first 30 seconds that I didn’t like it – and then I suddenly realised that I love it! Her album is one of the best of the year; sometimes bleak, sometimes pretty, always melodic. It captures the imagination, makes you want to dress up fancy and start going to supper clubs.
Rodrigo Amarante – Cavalo
Rodrigo is one of the greatest live performers I have ever seen – he’s so intense and delicate. Cavalo is his masterpiece, but all of his songs are great.
Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear
Thank God this dude sings interesting lyrics and can always make them sound effortless and musical. It’s so nice that he’s willing to step on critics’ toes – because it makes everybody else look like they are playing by the rules.
Skaters – Rock and Roll Bye Bye
These guys are great songwriters and one of the most talented crews in NYC. They are touring the UK right now, looking to party. They rock pretty hard, too! Check them out.