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Nutshell Film Review: Hello Everywhere

Hello EverywhereYes, this includes VMA talk. But it’s short, and has nothing to do with twerking (which is now legally a word), I promise.

I bet I speak for many when I use the word “disgusted” to describe my feelings towards Taco Bell’s ridiculous amount of participation in this year’s MTV VMAs (yes, I mean the Moonman for “Artist To Watch (Presented by Taco Bell)”). I was even more disgruntled after finding out that the fast food chain had produced a documentary featuring Nutshell favorites Passion Pit, and their recent 2013 SXSW performance at the Hype Hotel with Wildcat! Wildcat! But then, after doing a bit of research, actually watching the movie, and even submitting to the power of a couple of late-night tacos, my perspective shifted. Not about the restaurant’s presence in the award show, of course. It was actually about the documentary, and the reasons behind the making of it.

First off, there’s a need to clarify. The rock-doc was in fact produced by Taco Bell…more or less. It was funded by the creator of fourth meal’s Feed the Beat program, which is entirely dedicated to the discovery and raising of new bands and musical acts. They help in ways ranging from free tour food to promotion, and even big shows. This where Passion Pit comes in, with the band actually being alumni of the program from during the time that Manners was starting to be shopped around. They teamed up with Feed the Beat again, this time to both return to a festival that they had less than amicable feelings about, and also to support the upbringing of virtually unknown indie rock group Wildcat! Wildcat!, who exploded in a ridiculously similar manner to the way that Passion Pit did a few years ago: online marketing (or a lack thereof) that led to a fluctuation in popularity of one of the band’s tracks. The rest, for Passion Pit anyways, is history. Wildcat! Wildcat!’s journey is just beginning, very specifically at the SXSW show where they opened for Passion Pit. Which is where this film just so happens to start.

The creative part about this movie is that, despite the focus on one specific concert, the content expands way past that. Between sit down conversations with both focus bands, you see many huge topics in the music industry get touched upon. One of the most notable is when Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos actually praises the benefits of illegal downloading and filesharing of music, even going so far as to say “Piracy is the reason that we have a career…at the end of the day it still benefits the band.” The internet is a huge part of the industry according to both bands, with the members of Wildcat! Wildcat! discussing the importance of social media sites taking the place of fans who will stick around  to tell you that a show was great. Drummer Jesse Carmichael describes these thoughts as “opinions of people that 5, 10 years ago you would’ve never even known existed…that’s the way we can hear these stories.” Between these interviews, along with interviews of fans, you also get a feel of how unique SXSW as a whole really is, with almost every show being an intimate one.

However, an intimate show doesn’t mean it’s something to scoff at. The documentary goes out of its way to state that it is one of the smallest shows on Passion Pit’s tour. But to Wildcat! Wildcat!, a show at a packed 1500-capacity venue with online streaming and live documentary film crews, it’s no laughing matter. This is a fascinating part of the movie that shows how different two band’s perspectives can be on literally the same exact thing. And the cameras rolled throughout both pre-interviews, post-interviews, and the performance itself to catch every moment of emotion from both bands, whether it be fear, excitement, or anything in between.

Hello Everywhere is one of the most honest documentaries I’ve seen in a while. Maybe not necessarily the most informative or most beneficial to me in history class, but I’ve never seen a film where the topic is as up front as a simple concert, where they just dive into it so clearly. If you are a fan of music, concerts, movies, tacos, or fun, then this is a movie to check out. You can stream it for free here, and if you’re interested, you can also find out more information on Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat program here. And I feel as if, since the main point of the movie is to promote them, I should also let you know that you can check out Wildcat! Wildcat! on their website for tour dates, music, and more.

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