If meta-folk-rock idiosyncrat-renaissance artificer Cory McAbee has anything to say about it, irony is not dead—it’s merely lost in the stars. This lovely little wedge of 2001 garage band silliness, which the frontman of The Billy Nayer Show wrote, directed, and stars in, may casually traverse the solar system and consist mostly of shadow and basslines, but it could’ve been shot almost entirely on the Bowery. An asteroid is represented solely by the interior of a low-ride gin mill; Jupiter is an old Maspeth ballroom; Venus is an open field populated by waltzing Victorian nymphos. The story is non sequitur pub comedy (that was, all the same, midwifed through the Sundance writers’ lab), and the straight-faced musical numbers—equal parts Neil Young and Kurt Weill—are funnier than the hyperextended gags. But the movie is precisely the kind of arch, serenely ridiculous thrift store indie post-punk downtowners used to make before the Sundance splash of the late ’80s, when whimsy became product. Extras include, hilariously, scads of production sketches and test footage.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 15, 2005