Vaya con dios, brah: Literature explains its Keanu Reeves-themed fundraiser
by Dan Solomon
Keanu Reeves is the perfect figurehead for the post-irony and contemporary New Sincerity movements—impossible to take seriously, yet impossible to not love. That love/ridicule dynamic is shared by the garage rockers of Google-proof Austin band Literature. So it was obvious to them, when planning a fundraiser to finance the forthcoming video for the song “It’s Cruel”, to make it Keanu-themed: The result is Keanu Reeves Double Feature Presents, a back-to-back screening of two of the star’s most maligned (and, in that post-ironic way, most cherished) pictures, Point Break and Johnny Mnemonic, taking place this Sunday, Dec. 12, at Bolm Studios (5305 Bolm Rd. #12, 512-385-1670). In anticipation of the fundraiser, The A.V. Club checked with Literature bassist Seth Whaland and guitarist Kevin Attics to see what was up with the Keanu fixation.
The A.V. Club: Keanu Reeves’ body of work doesn’t have much connection to Literature’s music— how’d you guys settle on this theme for the fundraiser?
Seth Whaland: Our friend Shawn Kornhauser, who made a video that I really love, offered to shoot one for us. We met up a couple of times to discuss ideas, and we decided to remake the chase scene from Point Break. When we realized that we were going to need to spend a bit of money, which we don’t have, we decided to throw this party to try to help raise the funds. I’ve never seen Johnny Mnemonic, but Kevin has.
I have a friend who worked on a movie with Keanu once. It was that one about the time-traveling mailbox—The Lake House. When [Reeves] was watching a scene that he just shot, I guess he was blinking a lot in it, and he said to my friend, “It looks like I have a case of the blinkie winkies.” We’re all pretty big Point Break fans now, too—we’re becoming intimately familiar with about three minutes of the chase scene, anyway.
AVC: In addition to taking donations at the door, will there be Keanu-themed memorabilia for people to purchase at the screening?
SW: No, but we do have a recent 7-inch out. It’s called Cincinnati. You can buy it online, but if you come watch Keanu movies with us on Sunday night and donate $5 or more, you can walk away with a 7-inch and not have to give any money to PayPal, which won’t let us give any money to WikiLeaks.
AVC: So, no limited-edition Dogstar T-shirts or anything to further tie Literature and Bolm Studios to Keanu?
Kevin Attics: Unfortunately not. Although that band was named after Dog Star Man, the Stan Brackhage experimental film cycle (Note: LIES, LIES, ALL LIES. Dogstar was named after Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Siriusly. - Ani), so Keanu actually does have some art-scene ties. Plus, we’ve stolen all of their material, and are going to start playing all of their songs.