BITTERSUITE : Chilly Gonzales video/movie clip (feat. Peaches & Tiga)

These days, artists don’t get much more prolific than Paris-based performer JasonChilly GonzalesBeck .  Unfortunately, they don’t get much more criminally overlooked either.  Hopefully you read our review of the musician/producer’s performance with Andrew W.K. last February, as part of his month long “Piano Talk” residency at Joes Pub in NY (other nights included A-Trak, Sia, & Princess Superstar).  This was not their first public encounter, with Gonzales successfully challenging and defeating Andrew in a piano duel at the exact same venue on Sept. 25, 2009.  Earlier that May, the “Entertainist” further established his piano skills in Paris, France by breaking the “world record for the longest solo-artist performance” (27 hours, 3 minutes and 44 seconds).  Further accolades include a Juno award and an Grammy nomination.  Although most U.S. residents do not know Gonzales by name, the majority should be familiar with at least some of the work that he is behind.  You know that new iPad commercial that is accompanied by that infectious little piano jam?  That song is called “Never Stop” and, along with a separate rap version, appears on Chilly‘s upcoming full-length, Ivory Tower.  He is a frequent collaborator with fellow Canadian-born, European superstar transplants, Peaches and Feist.  In fact, Gonzales is responsible for performing on PeachesI Feel Cream (2009) and co-writing half of the songs on the release.  He also co-wrote/produced 2 tracks from Feist‘s The Reminder and played piano, organs, vibraphone, and drums on the album, after offering similar contributions to her 2004 effort Let It Die.  Now that Ivory Tower‘s Sept. 14th U.S. release is quickly approaching, it appears that creating a simple album isn’t enough for the self-proclaimed “President of the Berlin Underground“/”Jewish Supervillain MC“.  Instead, Ivory Tower is also the title of a feature-length film that is co-written/produced/starring Gonzales and features acting performances by Peaches, Feist, and fellow Montreal-native/collaborator, Tiga.

In it’s most basic form, the film has been described through the following summary:

The story centers around two champion chess-playing brothers, Hershell (Gonzales) and Tiga (Thadeus) who share a love for the same girl Marsha (Peaches)

A much more elaborate explanation was provided in a director’s note from Ivory Tower director, Adam Traynor:

Ivory Tower is a Tour de Force, a series of set pieces performed with simple gestures in modulating forms. It’s a Rocky-inspired sports parody; a Sirkean melodrama; a nouvelle nouvelle vague; Free Jazz riff; a music video; a Youtube bricolage; a silent era Pastiche; a commercial.

In the end, Ivory Tower’s modal composition is the closest we’ll get to an explanation of Hershell’s esoteric vision for “Jazz Chess.” This is why (forgive the cliche) I like to think of Ivory Tower as several movies in one. So much so that I gave it some additional titles.

“Hey Hershell”

The brilliant nomad pitted against forms of progress which seem inevitable to those whose lives are shaped by them. A feel-good coming-of-age story.

“Mutual Zugwang: The Brothers Graves”

Hershell and Thadeus Graves are polar opposites- and thus they’re the same. Hershell the self-deluding idealist and Thadeus the ruthless competitor. They’ve switches sides in the middle of the game once before – will the do it again?

“White Queen is Drowning”

Marsha’s not so much caught between two brothers as between the future Mrs. Marsha Graves and Marsha Thirteen, performer of the ingenious violinstallation.

When we received our first visual teaser for the film and the first audio sample for the AlexBoys NoizeRidha-produced soundtrack, they turned out to be one and the same.  The following video for “I Am Europe” pulls double-duty by both, showcasing the track and operating as an “unofficial trailer” for the movie.


Obviously, that previous footage focuses heavily on the relationships between the 2 brothers and chess, addressed through Traynor‘s first two examples of films within the film.  This brand new video for “Bittersuite“, on the other hand, shines the spotlight on Peaches and elaborates on her character’s turmoil with her current relationship and with her past as an innovative performance artist, as described through the director’s concept of “The White Queen is Drowning“.  As with “I Am Europe“, the video for “Bittersuite” is again comprised of scenes from the film.  This time it’s presented as a “flashback of the egomaniacal Hershell missing the performance of his girlfriend, Marsha Thirteen, as she presents her new work, ‘Violinstillation’.


Screenings/Release Dates

The supporting album for Ivory Tower has an official release date of September 14th on the Toronto label, Arts & Crafts.  The film itself, will be hitting the festival circuit first and then receiving a theatrical release later this year.

For those in the U.S., Gonzales has two special presentations of Ivory Tower planned later this month.  His stop at L.A.‘s Largo (Sept. 19th) and at the Galapagos Art Space in NY (Sept. 21st), will each feature a screening of the film and a live 1/2 hour performance of solo piano by the artist himself.

Full list of advanced screenings are as follows:

Los Angeles

19 September at 19 Largo

Presented by Chilly Gonzales at the piano
366 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
Tickets at 310.855.0350 only


21 September at Galapagos Art Space

Presented by Chilly Gonzales at the piano
16 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 222-8500


24 September at Fliegende Bauten

Presented by Chilly Gonzales at the piano
Glacischaussee 4


26 September at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm

Presented by Chilly Gonzales at the piano
Waldschmidtstraße 4


28 September at Babylon Cinema Theater

Presented by Chilly Gonzales at the piano
Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30
Tel: +49 030 – 242 50 76


3 October at Cine 13

Sunday Night Acoustic Series Launch
Presented by Chilly Gonzales at the piano
Cine 13 at 1 avenue Junot 75018
Tickets : ++ 33 (0)1 42 54 15 1


1 October at Votivkino Cinema

Währinger Straße 12
presented by Chilly Gonzales at the Piano


11 February, 2011 at Theatre Forum-Meyrin

Place des Cinq-Continents 1
Tel : 41 (0)22 782 81 21


Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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