This week, we have a very special presentation of the hard-to-find documentary, Sonic Youth: Sleeping Nights Awake, Thursday 10/28, at 7PM in the Folino.

From the Project Moonshine website:

In the summer of 2006, a group of seven high school students from Reno, NV set out to make a documentary on Sonic Youth. As part of a non-profit organization called ‘Project Moonshine’, these teens were given cameras and a few days of training and set loose to record a day in the life of Sonic Youth. Shot on location in Reno, NV on the 4th of July, this intimate verite documentary is a behind the scenes look at one of the most influential indie bands of all time and contains some of the most insightful and candid concert footage ever recorded. Shot in glorious black and white, highlights in the set include ‘Tom Violence,’ ‘Shaking Hell,’ ‘Mote,’ ‘Incinerate’ and ‘Kool Thing.’ Additionally, the documentary contains rare interviews with Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo as well as their guitar techs and sound engineers. Filled with behind-the-scenes interviews, original performances and a little basketball, this film shares the enveloping experience of a Sonic Youth concert unraveling before our eyes. The result is a point of view that is authentically refreshing; a unique situation that allows the students to approach the band with an honesty and innocence that’s hard to find in veteran documentary filmmakers.

Project Moonshine is a unique, creative community devoted to empowering independent filmmakers by teaching them as students, to capture local, live events.  These events serve as launching pads, where groups of excited students come together to form a new perspective on documentary filmmaking, while establishing relationships with like-minded cinephiles.  Each film seeks to do more than merely capture the event it focuses on, delving deep into the personalities and local community which bring these gatherings to life.

Sonic Youth probably needs no introduction; within the alternative / Grunge wave of the early 90’s, Sonic Youth emerged as distinctly avant-garde interpreters of this new breed of rock & roll, producing a sound as indebted to Patti Smith as it was to Minor Threat.  The low-fi rumblings, noisy dueling guitars, battered found-object sounds, and oddly off-key phrasings, influenced what would come to be called “shoegaze rock,” referring to the crowds of youth apathetically staring at their shoes, not-dancing to their non-rock.  Sonic Youth continue to be alternative rock icons, producing their most recent of nearly 20 studio albums just last year.  Read AllMusic’s great summary of their musical influence.

About the filmmaker:

Michael Albright graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004 with a BA in Film Studies and English. Shortly after graduating, he moved to New York City and worked with renowned documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. Albright then returned home to Reno, NV where he started Project Moonshine, a non-profit organization designed to teach filmmaking skills to teenagers by providing opportunities to document important community events. Some of these projects included documentaries on Sonic Youth, Califone, Nevada beekeepers, collaborations with non-profits and local art projects. He recently completed his MA in Cinema and Media studies at UCLA in 2008 and continues to make films and manage Project Moonshine during the summer. His approach to teaching incorporates both theory and practice and he is a strong advocate of media literacy. Albright is currently pursuing a PhD in Film and Media Studies at UCSB and along with his scholarly work he is shooting several documentaries. His research interests include, Cinematography and Camera Movement, Alternative Media, Production Studies, Documentary and Electronic Culture.

Check out the trailer: