Tuesday, April 01, 2014
"In Heaven There Is No Beer" documents the "Kiss or Kill" rock-and-roll scene in Los Angeles from 2002-2007
“In Heaven There Is No Beer” (2012, directed by David Palamaro) is a somewhat improvised documentary about the “Kiss or Kill” rock band music scene in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2007.
The film does not explain exactly what this scene was for non-rock people, but it appears that a number of rock bands got together in a few specific clubs to provide a down-to-earth and low cost experience for fans. Many clubs had “pay to play” policies that had made if difficult for many bands to get off the ground. Some had aggressive “doormen” (rather like in the movie “54”).
Gradually, though, the scene fell for the same economic pressures that had always plagued the rock band business.
In my own experience, I am familiar with a few clubs around the country that give new artists performance venues, although I have no idea how these clubs relate to the problems presented in the film. These would include the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, on Lake Street (which hosted IFPMSP), the Poisson Rouge in New York City’s Greenwich Village on Bleecker Street, and the Club 930 in the U Street area of Washington DC. But all of these places have ample space for customers, full service bars and food as well as performance stages. The Poisson Rouge also sometimes hosts classical music artists (like composer and pianist Timo Andres).
The final Kiss or Kill Club had its own blog here.
I do wonder if the Rock and Roll Museum in Cleveland presents the "Kiss or Kill" history.
The film (from “No Money Productions”) is shot in small (4:3) aspect ratio. I watched a free private Vimeo screener.
The “Kiss or Kill” movement should not be confused with the 1997 Australian outback thriller film by the same name.
Picture: outside the Rock and Roll museum in Cleveland, Aug. 2012.