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Arts and Entertainment

LACMA Film Series Features New Scores Performed Live By Members Of Bauhaus, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Warpaint

From left to right: Daniel Ash of Bauhaus, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Emily Kokal of Warpaint. (Photos by Jim Dyson/Matt Winkelmeyer/Jason Kempin /Getty Images)
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At El Segundo's Old Town Music Hall, an organist belts out a medley of tunes that accompany a silent movie. Of course, with the advent of “talkies,” the services of a live musician have been rendered obsolete. LACMA wants us to rethink this, however, as they’re teaming with Film Independent to roll out a new film series in which musicians perform re-imagined scores as a movie is being screened.

The first installment for “Bring The Noise” will launch on January 28, with Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx billed to perform live. While the exact film has yet to be announced, tickets for the show will go on sale on Thursday. Other musicians who are slated to participate in the future include Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus), Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Emily Kokal (Warpaint), Jack Antonoff (fun. and Bleachers), and master composer/producer T Bone Burnett, who’s responsible for the music you hear in everything from The Big Lebowski to True Detective (you can thank him for that endless loop of Leonard Cohen’s “Nevermind” playing in your head).

How’s it going to work? At each screening, the musician will perform the re-worked score, while the music on the film will be removed, leaving only the dialogue and various sound effects. The musicians will ply their wares on a stage right beneath the screen. On the surface, this sounds simple enough, but the experience presents a thrilling (and probably daunting) new challenge for the performers.

“They will not be playing the film’s score, but new music,” Josh Welsh, president of Film Independent, wrote to LAist in a message. “The idea is to reimagine classic and cult films by screening those films with live, new musical accompaniment.”

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Welsh says that the series was partly inspired by the non-profit's former "Live Read" series, in which director Jason Reitman hosted live readings (duh) of scripts from vaunted classics such as Dr. Strangelove and His Girl Friday. “Bring The Noise” will be bestowed with that same blend of homage and forward-minded exploration, but it’s also uncharted territory for Film Independent. “We’ve never done anything with music in quite this way before,” said Welsh, when asked about the scope of the undertaking.

So far, details for the upcoming shows (including neat movie posters that will be designed by Matt Owen) have been kept under wraps. But announcements for movie titles and participating musicians will be made on the Film Independent Twitter.

Tickets for the January 28 show, which can be found here, are $50 for the general public and will go on sale at 12 p.m. on Thursday. For LACMA members, students with a valid ID, and seniors 65 and older, tickets are $35. There is a two ticket limit. For Film Independent and LACMA Film Club members, tickets have already been released, and are $25.