A Belated 'Thank You' To Paul Rudd For Enabling My Somewhat Distorted Love Of Big Star
Did you ever see the movie Diggers? It came out five years ago and it's always streaming on Netflix; it's written by Ken Marino (I LOVE YOU KEN MARINO) and it's the story of four buddies who are clam-diggers on Long Island in 1976. Paul Rudd's the main dude, this 34-year-old clam-digger/wannabe-photographer named Hunt who's sad-sacky-y but mostly in an endearing, non-draggy way that doesn't make me want to smack him in the nose. Hardly anything happens in the movie; all the dudes really ever do is hang around bars and smoke a lot and shit-talk each other and talk about girls and being broke. The dialogue's a little inelegant some of the time but I don't care, I love it wildly and I want to live inside its sweet, scrappy world where everyone's got beautiful jeans and dreamy hair and Big Star's always on the radio.
There's actually only three Big Star songs in Diggers ("Don't Lie To Me," "Thirteen," "O My Soul"), but Diggers has informed my Big Star opinions in a deep and major way. Because of Diggers, Big Star is a band about feeling hopeless and all right at the same time, ideally in Indian summer, in some sleepy nowheresville kinda town with lots of great big trees and the ocean. Right now I'm heavy in love with the song "Feel," how when Chris Bell sings "I feel like I'm dying/I'm never gonna live again" he sounds way desperate but loose and easy too; he's tough without being aggro, that chill virility thing all over again. The dudes in Diggers are so possessed of a chill virility.
Because of Diggers, Big Star's also about falling for the wrong girl(/boy) but maybe getting something good out of it anyway:
And it's about cigarettes being really romantic:
But mostly Big Star's about Josh Hamilton, aka one of the best-looking dudes in the history of the world, who plays a brainiac pot dealer named Cons who cutely quotes "Alice's Restaurant" in one scene where he's driving a boat on acid. I don't get why Josh Hamilton isn't in every movie ever made instead of just being in some movies and one episode of Sex & The City and one episode of Louie and not much else. In Diggers there's this part where Josh Hamilton and Paul Rudd are getting stoned at the kitchen table and Josh Hamilton meticulously makes so many little Ritz cracker + peanut butter + banana + honey + raisin sandwiches and I just love him so much. That's what Big Star is to me: a Ritz cracker + peanut butter + banana + honey + raisin sandwich made by a hard-up yet totally sweethearted stoner dude with a cool puppy face and perfectly greasy hair in 1976. Hi my darlin':
Apart from Diggers, the thing that makes me care most about Big Star is the track on the Lemonheads' Fan Club CD that's an acoustic version of "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You" followed by a cover of "Thirteen." Evan Dando was born for lots of reasons, but number six or seven's got to be singing the lyrics "Rock-and-roll is here to stay/Come inside now, it's okay" in his golden-gorgeous voice and probably with his hair falling in his eyes. And oh my god, his fake-Castilian lisp in the intro is all too much.
oh my god how have I never heard of a movie written by Ken Marino with Big Star on the soundtrack?ReplyDelete
"Hopeless and all right at the same time" is so perfectly Big Star. Goddamn.
thanks! ken marino's in the movie too -- he's so great and scary and wonderful and has an amazing mustache.Delete
Jeez Louise, the photo of Paul Rudd in the hat lighting the cigarette by the water!ReplyDelete
I KNOW! also he has this cool/semi-bad long island accent that just destroys meDelete