EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: THE STORY OF FISHBONE (Lev Anderson & Chris Metzler, 2010)
Marcus Garvey Park
18 Mount Morris Park West
Wednesday, July 11, free, music at 7:30, film at 8:30
When they were junior high school students in South Central Los Angeles in 1979, Angelo Moore and Norwood Fisher formed the core of Fishbone, what would soon become one of the most exciting live bands on the planet. Chris Metzler and Lev Anderson document the band’s rise and fall — and rise and fall, and rise and fall, etc. — in the stirring Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Using archival footage, old and new interviews, and playful animation, Metzler and Anderson follow the group — Moore and Fisher along with fellow founding members Chris Dowd, Walter “Dirty Walt” Kibby II, and Kendall Jones — through its many personal and financial struggles as it tries to deal with such socioeconomic issues as racism, violence, and the anti-liberal bias taking hold of the nation in Ronald Reagan’s 1980s. Fishbone held nothing back on such albums as In Your Face (1986), Truth and Soul (1988), The Reality of My Surroundings (1991), Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe (1993), and Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge (1996), mixing in pop, punk, funk, ska, reggae, R&B, soul, jazz, and hardcore, prancing about the stage without shirts, diving into the crowd, and always speaking their mind, and they hold nothing back in Everyday Sunshine as well. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, the film really picks up speed when it delves into the Rodney King beating and the mysterious circumstances involving Jones’s religious transformation and the band’s attempt at an intervention. The decidedly unusual tale also features an impressive lineup of talking heads offering their views on the history of Fishbone, including Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, fIREHOSE’s Mike Watt, No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal, the Roots’ ?uestlove, Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hutz, Parliament-Funkadelic’s George Clinton, Primus’s Les Clayool, Living Colour’s Vernon Reid, Circle Jerk Keith Morris, Ice-T, and, perhaps most informatively, Columbia Records executive David Kahne, who lends fascinating insight into what made Fishbone great — and what kept them from greater success. While you definitely don’t have to know a thing about Fishbone to enjoy this very intimate documentary, longtime fans should eat it up. Everyday Sunshine is screening on July 11 in Marcus Garvey Park as part of the ImageNation Outdoors summer series and will be preceded by live performances by GAME Rebellion and Daví. The festival continues with such free screenings as Night Catches Us on July 21 at Weekesville, Africa United with live music by Taj Weekes & Adowa, Shine & the Moonbeams, and Randolph Matthews on July 29 in Springfield Park, and Taking Root! A Tribute to Wangari Maathal on August 1 in West Harlem Pier Park.