A consistent creative force, folk-fusion band Califone perform their soon-to-be released album, All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, as a live soundtrack to front man Tim Rutilis first feature film by the same title. This event, which also marks the premiere of the film, kicks off the bands national tour. The Empty Bottle and the Museum of Contemporary Art
(MCA), Chicago, co-present Califone: All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, at the MCA Stage, October 10-11, 2009.
Starring cult actress Angela Bettis (Girl, Interrupted; Carrie) and shot in rural Indiana, the films screenplay was written in tandem with many of the songs from the album, which incorporates the same images and characters. Known for vivid storytelling, Rutili wrote and directed the film, which features rich, dense visuals and dramatic characters. Bettis plays a psychic whose dated and moody home is filled with ghosts who start destroying her life.
Described as Califones most ambitious and exciting album to date, All My Friends
utilizes the bands talented multi-instrumentalists (Joe Adamik, Jim Becker, Ben Massarella, and Rutili) and several notable guests to create a vibrant collection of fully realized pop songs with soulful folk melodies and electrified blues stylings. Featuring the sonic experiments in collaged sounds and textures that Califone is known for, All My Friends... uses an orchestra of instruments, including the classic (guitar, bass, piano, and horns), the unusual (optigan, stylophone, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, baritone ukulele, mbira, marimba, and steel drum) and a few oddities (ring modulators, loops, and synth bass).
Originally from Chicago, Tim Rutili is a singer, guitarist, keyboardist, and front man/lyricist for the rock band Califone. He found success in the late 80s with the band Red Red Meat. After the breakup of Red Red Meat, Rutili formed Califone as a solo project. Rutili's solo effort soon became a full-fledged musical project with a regular and rotating list of contributors, including many former members of Red Red Meat and some members of other Chicago bands. Though Rutili has spent the past few years composing soundtracks in Los Angeles, All My Friends Are Funeral Singers marks his first feature film.
Califone's sound is a combination of Red Red Meat's blues-rock and experimental music, with inspiration drawn from early American folk music, pop, and electronic. Califone's current lineup includes Joe Adamik (drums), Jim Becker (banjo, violin), Ben Massarella (percussion), and Rutili (vocals, guitar, keyboards). Having toured with the likes of Wilco, Modest Mouse, Calexico, and Iron & Wine, Califone has released nearly a dozen albums, including Quicksand / Cradlesnakes in 2003, Heron King Blues in 2004, and Roots & Crowns in 2006, much of which was recorded at Bridgeports Four Deuces studio with the help of producer and longtime collaborator Brian Deck. All My Friends Are Funeral Singers is scheduled for release on October 6, 2009, and the film will be submitted to film festivals in 2010.