directed by “Zeus” Henderson
I love the DIY ethos in entertainment. If you really need five weeks in a studio to record one song, you’re not focused on the right elements. David “Zeus” Henderson gets right to the heart of the issue with a 20-song, self-produced DVD. Mr Henderson hangs out in Atlanta, and over the past 30 years he’s shot slightly grainy, yet arty, super-8 films of old, industrial Atlanta and set them to his own “twisted pop” style of hooky guitar and drum songs. The music grows on you with repeated views — I can now tap my toes along to “Steel Mill” and spot landmarks along I-75 driving sequences in “Misses Me.” Old pictures of places I’ve been always entertain, and I’ve spent enough weekends in Atlanta to notice buildings that weren’t built when I first visited.
We don’t think of Atlanta as an industrial city, but there are enough pre-war brick buildings and wooden water towers to remind you that this is a city where more happens than changing flights and battling kudzu. Henderson’s music feels like a Vulcan mind meld of the Beatles, REM, and Arthur Lyman, and his visual tastes tend toward stream trains, tracks, and a faded, lost feeling of a time and place where hard work was rewarded with a stable, if unglamorous, life-style. “Slapping Houses” may be the most theatrical example, with a cartoon farmer who looks like he escaped from an Electric Six video bemoaning the spread of suburban sprawl as he and his pig deal with I-285 and that new Wal-Mart. I think that’s Mr. Henderson’s main story, and I sympathize while my toes are tapping.
Zeus Henderson: www.myspace.com/zeushenderson