Indie musicians Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile gave a concert on November 6th, 2017 at the Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City as part of their fall tour. A concert that was also the subject of a lovely new documentary film called Friends of Wonder.
And what is so wonderful about this 34-minute documentary is we not only get to see both interviews with Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile and the duo performing several complete songs from their collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice live, we also learn a lot about this quite magical theater.
A theater that was saved from demolition by a local volunteer organization back in 1986 and then revitalized.
Nowadays, the Loew’s Jersey Theatre hosts plays, movies and concerts with the Barnett and Vile concert being chosen by directors Kurt Vincent and Irene Chin not only to showcase the two musicians, but also to help tell the story of the once due-to-be-demolished theater and its rescuers.
The interviews with Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile are one of the highlights of the documentary, as both are down-to-earth and honest about what they experienced during their fall tour. The first tour the pair has done together.
“It took me a long time to adapt to the bigger theaters,” said Vile. “I played some big theaters with my last album and I would just kinda basically…I just ate shit. I mean they’d just watch me wither into my own cocoon.”
Barnett agreed saying, “That happened to me too. It’s intimidating”.
As for their friendship?
“I actually felt like I knew her after the first time I met her”, said Vile about Barnett. “I felt like we were friends, even though we weren’t”.
“Yeah, it didn’t take long for us to kinda click” agreed Barnett.
The documentary, which was filmed in collaboration with We Transfer, is available to watch on Barnett and Vile’s YouTube channel, as well as in the video below.
It also has interviews with some of the people who were instrumental in saving the Loew’s Jersey Theater from inevitable doom and proves, if they can save a local movie theater and then renovate it, you could do the same in your part of the world.
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice was released last October on the Matador record label.
Courtney Barnett has also been working on a new solo album Tell Me How You Really Feel, which will be releasing on May 18th.