Raise The Spirit
Grant-Lee Phillips & The Section Quartet at Largo

“Largo has a been a big part of my life for a long while. When club owner Mark Flanagan and co-director Andrew Van Baal set out to capture the essence of Largo as a film I was excited to be a part of it. Regulars Jon Brion, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Sarah Silverman, and myself are among a wide range a performers featured in the concert film. Shot in classic black and white, “Largo” the film is true to the club’s eclectic charm. Flanagan relates that with so many hours of live footage, the out-takes were especially wonderful.

One such out-take is “Raise The Spirit” performed by myself and The Section Quartet. Flanagan and Van Baal had a strong visual aesthetic in mind from the beginning. While most of “Largo” was shot in limited lighting and audio conditions, the choice was made to capture this particular performance with greater control and liberty in terms of camera movement and sound quality. To avoid ambient kitchen and bar noise, the song was pre-recorded and lip-synched on camera, as with a traditional music video. The best-laid plans were called to task however when the footage was juxtaposed against the edgy guerrilla style of the film as a whole. It was like a bowtie on a flannel shirt – an odd fit. In the end it was an amped live take of “Raise The Spirit” with myself, Paul Brion and Jay Bellerose that made the final cut. It had the live energy and sweat that the film was building to. Nevertheless, this version of the song with The Section Quartet is a real treasure. A tragic victim of it’s own beauty; it deserves to be seen, heard and shared.

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