If you've never attended one of Roofless Records' Cinema Sounds soirees, then the whole concept can seem a little arty or highbrow or out there. And, duh, it's all of those things. But at the same time, no one's wandering around in a vintage tuxedo and monocle, reciting lines from some obscure cinematic manifesto.
In the most basic sense, there's a theater, some screeners, and a bunch of live music crews. You buy a ticket, the lights go out, and a film flashes across the big screen while the bands shred in the shadows, playing scores written specifically for this moment. It's like movie night taken to the nth degree.
Back in 2007, Roofless Rex label boss Matt Preira first launched the project after witnessing another film-and-noise event in Sarasota called Sensory Assault. "The big difference between that event and ours is the use of a bonafide movie theater, which I believe to be the crux of the thing," Preira explains. "Cinema Sounds came to be when the theater I worked at approached me about booking something and Sensory Assault was still fresh in my mind."
Over the next few years, Roofless kept its spectacle of simultaneous music and images in Sarasota, planning and presenting five installments of the semi-regular concert series. But last April, Cinema Sounds finally shifted south to Miami for its sixth edition, bringing local sonic experimenters Animal Tropical, Teepee, Slashpine, and Goatslacker to Tower Theater.
Talking to New Times in the days before that first Miami event, Preira assured us: "This is the first Cinema Sounds in South Florida, but it won't be the last." And even though it's been eight long months, the Roofless boss will make good on that promise when he presents #7 this Friday at O Cinema.
"It's gonna be the most rock 'n' roll Cinema Sounds ever," he says, psyched. On the bill: Emotive post-punks Bulletproof Tiger, dark rockabilly crew Axe and the Oak, nimrod bliss rockers Cop City/Chill Pillars, and pop-punk shoegazers Beings. "You know, the event started off as almost exclusively noise and with this seventh edition we've really flipped the lineup on its head."
But when it comes to the cinema side of things, the intel is top secret. We've begged Preira for the smallest scraps: Color? B&W? Silent? But he just shakes his head and insists: "Gotta keep it a secret. And the reason I gotta keep it a secret is a secret too."
Cinema Sounds #7 with Bulletproof Tiger, Axe and The Oak, Cop City/Chill Pillars, and Beings. Friday, December 10. O Cinema, 90 NW 29th St., Miami. The experiment starts at 9 p.m. and admission costs $6 at the door. Visit rooflessrex.com.