Noise Pops as Hollyweird Haunts SF

Inside the Fed’s mostly abandoned 50 UN Plaza, Harvey Milk & George Moscone are being repeatedly asassinated for Gus Van Zant’s cameras over the past few days, meanwhile the ghost of Darby Crash is haunting a theater owned by a certain bankrupt college on 16th St tonight.

“What We Do Is Secret”, a film written about the LA punk band the Germs, has it’s SF debut at 9:15 at the Roxie. Darby Crash’s life story is one of a frustrated street hustler and his obnoxious hardcore punk band breaking down barriers to blow minds (and ear drums) in L.A’s monied moustache rock scene of the late ’70’s. Let’s just say the Eagles, Stevie Nicks and the rest of the denim & diamonds crowd didn’t look up from their mirrored coffee tables to notice the dirty din blasting out of the Starwood in Hollywood.

Ironically, or not, the film’s cast and backers couldn’t be farther from the real life of Darby Crash, amongst those appearing on behalf of the production tonight are ER star Shane West as Darby, and film producer and millionaire scion of the SF socialite scene, Todd Traina. Other cast members up on the screen include the daughters of 60’s & 70’s music industry big wig’s Lenny Waronker and Papa John Phillips, showing that a lil’ nepotism is still hip in show biz.

These two pedigreed young ladies, Anna Waronker & Bijou Phillips, get to play the punky pioneering presences of Joan Jett and Germs bassist Lorna Doon respectively, women in reallife who weren’t handed any family favors by the entertainment industry, gals that had to prove their worth in inexorably inhospitable conditions.

But who ever said Hollyweird was about “keeping it real…”

More on the flick, and other Noise Pop events after the jump:

The film has been in works for the better portion of a decade, and has generated quite a bit of press, even inspiring the surviving band members to reunite with lead actor West singing. If the crowd I saw at Oakland’s Metro club on New Year’s Eve is any sign, there’s still quite an appetite for the Germ’s uh, music today.

I don’t have real high expectations for he film though, as it’s the first effort from the direcotor, Rodger Grossman, and it seems to have taken a roundabout route to get out to the public, and that is generally a bad sign…

Other flicks featured in the Noise Pop film program show at Valencia St.’s ATA on Friday and Saturday, including two Chicago-centric documentaries. On Friday one flick is a look at the life of the late & eccentric street performer Wesley Willis, and a film on Saturday documenting the Windy City punk scene from 1977-1984.

The Noise Pop film fest is an extension of the annual Noise Pop rock festival that sweeps through numerous venues in town each February. Started well over a decade ago with a single gig at The Kennel Club booked by fledgling promotor Kevin Arnold, it’s practically an instituition now…

Most of the day to day duties are now left to a team that devises schemes throughout the year and keeps the Noise Pop momentum going through an array of projects including last year’s Treasure Island Music Festival.

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