Preview: Stand By for Failure – A Documentary About Negativland

A new documentary film about culture-jamming sound collage band Negativland gets a world premiere at Grail Movie House, May 20.

Negativland is one of the most thought-provoking groups in existence. And that’s by design: founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1979, the hard-to-classify group has made music that’s variously described as sound collage, industrial, experimental and avant garde. In fact it’s often all of those and more, all at once.

But beyond that, what makes Negativland of particular interest is the group’s insistence upon exploring issues that affect modern society: intellectual property, fair use, trademark law and more. Negativland’s “culture jamming” projects have brought them fact to face with adversaries like the band U2, Casey Kasem and (unsurprisingly) record companies. NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert had this to say about the group: “Negativland are proud subverters of culture, causing trouble while having fun.”

Now in 2024, director Ryan Worsley has created a motion picture, Stand By For Failure: A Documentary About Negativland. The film will receive its world premiere in Asheville at Grail Movie House on Monday, May 20 at 7pm. As a special bonus, two members of Negativland will be in attendance for the screening, and after the movie, they’ll take part in a Q&A session moderated by Asheville-based author and music journalist Bill Kopp (that’s me).

The screening is the latest installment in the popular Music Movie Monday series hosted by Bill Kopp, presented by Grail Movie House and sponsored by AshevilleFM 103.3.

SPECIAL NOTE: In tandem with the screening, Negativland will also make their first-ever onstage appearance in Asheville on Wednesday, May 22 at Sly Grog. That event is ticketed separately from the screening.

Don’t miss the one-night-only showing of the new documentary about this important and fascinating group. Tickets are available from Grail Movie House.

WHAT: Music Movie Mondays Series: Stand By for Failure: A Documentary About Negativland
Special screening + Q&A with band members Mark Hosler and Jon Leidecker, hosted by Bill Kopp
WHERE: Grail Moviehouse, 17 Foundy Street, Asheville
WHEN: Monday, April 8 @ 7 p.m. / Tickets are $15 and likely to sell out!