Invisible Bands seems a fitting name for a film that documents punk and new wave bands that ruled the South Florida scene in the late '70s and early '80s. Most of those who went to shows and remember the music are not exactly running around telling the tales of those crazy times.
The film documents the time of the Eat, the Reactions, Critical Mass, the Front, the Cichlids, Charlie Pickett and the Eggs, and so many others with rare footage.
Rob Elba, who is helping to promote the event, says, "The movie was directed and shot by Greg McLaughlin, who was the singer for one of my all-time favorite local bands, the Front." McLaughlin also played in Velvascurge. Elba continued: "After meeting up with peeps from other bands at a reunion show in 2008, he decided to get a camera and make a movie about the bands and clubs he remembered from back in the day." Thankfully, he did! South Florida needs to keep its musical memories safe.
Greg McLaughlin, the director
"He used one camera, done guerrilla style/punk/Warhol approach, no frills. To make a hopefully historical document of not only the music but of the time period itself." Elba calls it
"a time capsule of a 'lost scene' and the last gasp of vinyl records before the age of digital. Songs that came out then reflected the political events of the time: Mariel, death penalty, race riots, cocaine cowboys."
The premiere will be highlighted by live musical acts of both back-in-the-day fame and those of the moment, covering songs by the bands in the film. DJ Skidmark will bring the local music, and Charlie Pickett, DT Martyrs, Mr. Entertainment and the PookieSmackers, Rat Bastard, To Be Hated, '90s Teen, and Boise Bob and His Backyard Band will produce the live sounds.
There will be a visual-arts aspect to the affair with work by many of those subjects of the film, like the director, Isaag Baruch of the Reactions, US Furies, Jill Kahn of Psycho Daisies,
Larry Joe Miller of Larry Joe Miller & the Rockabilly Rockets, and Ian Hammond of DT Martyrs.
Watch Invisible Bands on Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale. Visit fliff.com. Admission is $10 and $8 for FLIFF members. Proceeds benefit the Stranahan High School Music Dept in honor of Pete Moss (Peter Murtha 1962-1997), who attended the school and was an integral part of the scene.
Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.