Rooftop evening with Jose Gonzalez

New York summers are known for rooftop parties that overlook the vast landscape of cramped buildings.  For 15 years, the “Underground Movies Outdoors” have been bringing choice indie flicks to the people of Gotham.  On this Sunday evening, one Jose Gonzalez meshed his music with film, and the event, not surprisingly, was sold out.  After playing with his band Junip at Prospect Park on Friday night for the Celebrate Brooklyn series, Jose turned his attention to a recent documentary made about him, “The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of Jose Gonzalez”.  The al fresco screening began with a 30-minute set, which included an encore of “Teardrop”.  Jose wasn’t sure if he was allowed to encore, but there was no doubt that it would be allowed.

The film was like no other roc-doc I’d seen as it included animation for deep conversations about his song writing process.  What we learned is Jose is a nerd.  He admitted it.  He was shy of completing a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Gothenburg as his popularity as a musician took off.  Jose talked a lot about protons, DNA and nuclei. One can see a link between his analytical thought processes to his meticulously slow productivity on his last album “In Our Nature”.  Boy likes to take his time and that’s alright when you produce fine compositions.  What I loved the most about the film were the mundane moments captured on tour from awkward interviews to backstage conversations.

At the conclusion of the film, Jose and one of the directors, Mikel Cee Karlsson were on had for a Q&A.  One question posed tackled the accuracy of the portrayal, which Jose answered was a side of him, the slow songwriter side.  It was interesting to see the subject of the film answer for the celluloid.  What you see on screen isn’t very different in person. Jose is reserved but not completely closed.  I almost think his trite answers are more an edit of all the thoughts he has in his head.


All in all the rooftop evening was a unique event where music and film collided in the best way.

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