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Case Number 19853: Small Claims Court

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Todd P Goes To Austin

MicroCinema // 2010 // 70 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart (Retired) // October 6th, 2010

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All Rise...

Appellate Judge James A stayed home.

The Charge

"We are literally bringing the rock show back down to just like the simplest version of itself."

The Case

In Todd P Goes To Austin, indie promoter Todd Patrick takes on Austin's huge SXSW music festival. No, I didn't say he takes it in, going to shows. I said takes on, meaning that he held his own festival, with free performances over five days and a roster topping a hundred bands. He also did a show for the SXSW folks, starring indie rockers Matt and Kim.

His goal was to teach Big Music a thing or two. "The music industry doesn't know how to nurture or appreciate the quality. It sees something that came out of the grassroots, and it latches its little talons into it and turns it into shit. Really no alternative than to take it into your own hands and promote stuff on your own."

Director Jay Buim followed Todd and his team in a cramped van on a wandering journey from New York to Austin, with stops for concerts in places like Washington, D.C.; Pensacola, Florida; New Orleans; and Tucson. The van also stops because, well, it's an old van and not in very good shape. Buim also presents a few highlights of the shows in Austin.

The movie gives viewers a sense of the concerts—just about all loud—by performers like Matt and Kim, The Death Set, Best Fwends, Mika Miko, and Team Robespierre, to name a few (the official site has links to the bands featured). It also gives viewers a sense of the high-energy crowds that go to Patrick's concerts. The music itself gets a good chunk of the 70 minutes of screen time.

However, Patrick and his team, along with the musicians, must have put a lot of work into the event. You'll see musicians setting up and people checking their electronic devices while in the van, but this appears to just scratch the surface. I wanted to see a little more of that behind-the-scenes nuts-and-bolts stuff, to get more of a feel of what was involved in what must have been the biggest event of Patrick's career. The DVD cover calls it "a documentary about doing it yourself," so I was expecting a little more of that.

There's a commentary, in which Matt and Kim join Buim to talk about the movie. There are some tidbits (Mika Miko has broken up since the documentary was filmed, for example) in the semi-serious narration, so it can be interesting, although uneven. There are also trailers and teasers for the movie, and a photo gallery. Stick with the feature till the end; there's a silly bit after the credits, sort of like a Psych-out.

The movie uses a lot of natural light, so you'll find overly bright or dark scenes.

Todd P Goes to Austin gives viewers a taste of Patrick's indie promotions. If you're into indie rock and curious about these bands, you'll get just enough to make you want to go to a concert or get their latest album or sound file.

The Verdict

Not guilty, but sticking to the music means it's just for indie followers.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 85

Perp Profile

Studio: MicroCinema
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 70 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Concerts and Musicals
• Documentary
• Performance

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Photo Gallery


• IMDb
• Official Site

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