Crosscut Tout: MTV's '$5 Cover: Seattle' screens Monday night at SIFF Cinema

The 60-minute film, directed by local talent Lynn Shelton ("Humpday"), features 13 Seattle bands in short, scripted vignettes.
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Thee Emergency, one of 13 Seattle bands featured in MTV's '$5 Cover: Seattle'

The 60-minute film, directed by local talent Lynn Shelton ("Humpday"), features 13 Seattle bands in short, scripted vignettes.

It'ꀙs been a few years since MTV has prominently featured music from Seattle, but that is changing tonight (March 1) as MTV'ꀙs "$5 Cover: Seattle" debuts at SIFF Cinema.

The 60-minute film, which will air online only later this year, follows 13 Seattle bands during the course of a weekend through 12 short, scripted vignettes. It was filmed in August 2009 and features a wide array of local musicians including campfire rockers The Moondoggies, garage-blues band Thee Emergency, spacey rap duo Thee Satisfaction, indie punks The Lights and more.

Local director Lynn Shelton, known best for the critically acclaimed Humpday, was tapped by MTV to lead the project. According to various interviews promoting the film she has said she used real stories told to her by the musicians to create the scripted shorts that make up the film. Shelton will be at tonight'ꀙs one-time-only screening, along with most of the film'ꀙs crew and many members of the bands appearing in the movie.

The trailer for the film seems to make sure viewers know events are scripted and that $5 Cover: Seattle is not a concert documentary. Still, watching it is enough to make any local music fan get excited. Simply hearing Thee Satisfaction'ꀙs 'ꀜMagnetic Blackness'ꀝ made me well up with pride. In the trailer we see Sean Nelson (formerly of Harvey Danger and the Long Winters) having what appears to be an intense conversation with Blood Cells'ꀙ Ryann Donnelly; Thee Emergency'ꀙs Dita Vox getting a farewell kiss; and the Moondoggies delivering a beautiful acoustic version of 'ꀜDon'ꀙt Be A Stranger.'ꀝ The rest of the musicians featured in the film, aside from those previously mentioned, include: Champagne Champagne, Tea Cozies, Whiskey Tango, The Spits, Corespondents and The Maldives.

Other than the trailer and a few clips shown at Sundance earlier this year, not much is known about "$5 Cover: Seattle" and the scripted stories it will tell, which makes this screening all the more interesting. If anything, the film will have one of the best soundtracks ever for a film shown at the SIFF Cinema, and it will provide some much needed exposure for some of the city'ꀙs best undiscovered artists.

"$5 Cover: Seattle" shows at 7 p.m. at SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St. Tickets cost $15 ($12 for SIFF members). An afterparty at Ballard'ꀙs Tractor Tavern that includes yet-to-be named bands featured in the film begins at 9 p.m. True to the film'ꀙs name, the cover for the afterparty is $5.


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