All the Way From Michigan Not Mars Matt Boyd

All the Way From Michigan Not Mars Matt Boyd
After releasing a few records with Sub Pop and living a life of deadlines and clocking in, Rosie Thomas, the Seattle-based singer-songwriter, stepped away from label obligations, wanting a simpler, more personally expressive and passionate mode of making music and art. In doing so, she wound up recording her These Friends of Mine album with fellow folk-loving buddies Sufjan Stephens and Denison Witmer in their Brooklyn apartment. The result was arguably Thomas's most assured album, deceptively simply in instrumentation, while achingly authentic, despite its cutesy, precious veneer. This documentary, All the Way From Michigan Not Mars, details the latter promotion of this album, along with Ms. Thomas's ideas of art and self, throughout her many interviews, anecdotes and occasional stand-up comedy. Throughout the many shows and radio appearances, which demonstrate the juxtaposition of melancholic, finger-picked guitar, with bizarre anecdotes about socially awkward Germans that love house music and Bryan Adams, we get a sense of what's important to the songstress. She has never really fit in with others, concerned more with inner-harmony, and resultantly values the music made with her dear friends, hence the title These Friends of Mine. Functionally, aside from the occasional insert of Thomas dressed up as her neck-brace-wearing alter ego, Sheila, the documentary is a fairly straightforward behind-the-scenes look at the trio's low-key approach to touring. There is no hostility on display, rather it documents a group of people that get along marvellously and have a fantastic sense of humour about it all. Thomas ruminates about her occasional sense of discord amongst her peers, who seem keen on popping out babies and settling into a routine, when not sharing stories about auditioning for Star Search and acting inappropriately in a Dunkin Donuts. Included with the DVD are assortments of deleted scenes, which, for the most part, are stories that weren't as entertaining as those within the film. (Factory 25)