Tuesday, April 6, 2021

And it all seems larger than life

It took me a while to warm to The Chills, but I eventually got to the 'I'm a haunted alien youth' stage like everybody else, and listened to them alone in a dark room with a deep bottle of vodka. It's just what you did in Dunedin when you're a young 'un. 

And the recent documentary about the life and times of chief Chill Martin Phillipps was absolutely excellent, and not just because I ache for the past Dunedin, my absolute favourite city in the world as a kid.

It's because I also felt very seen when Phillipps is sorting out his 'collection'. It was so easy to see my own habits in the way he has built up this vast amounts of pop culture bullshit, with lines of DVDs snaking around the hallway, old boxes full of older toys and comics and records and all sorts of clutter.

And in between the heartwarming story of Phillips writing some of Aotearoa's very best songs, and the starkly brutal reality of his recent health issues, there's all this trash in the singer's house, cluttering up his world. And he's wondering how the fuck he ended up with a dog toy that means nothing to anybody, and is just a little chewed up piece of rubber.

I'm no Kondo head, and I like my stuff, but a collection has to be refined and curated and sharpened as often as possible, or it can take over your life, and that's no fun for anyone. Even melancholic pop genuises like Martin.


Steve said...

I used to work in a comic shop managed by a Kiwi who would play The Chills, The Bats and The Clean in the shop, all bands I'd never heard before but really enjoyed. I bought this on Vimeo because I was intrigued by the idea of watching someone go through their collection but it's such a rich, amazing story. My favourite band ever is The Fall so I'm definitely intrigued by any band that becomes essentially the vision of one person, assisted by a rolling cast of bandmates!

norrisjr said...

The Chills are terrific. I've yet to see this film, but it will happen sometime this week. The FALL is also MY favorite band.