Weirdest mix ever. It’s still a bastion of progressive filmmaking, but this year’s Sundance Film Festival is stuck in a time warp when it comes to music guests. While there were a handful of credible singer-songwriters on tap — the achingly beautiful Rachel Yamagata and Damien Rice both put on memorably moving performances — the biggest name draws at the Sundance Music Café this year were the frontman of the Goo Goo Dolls and a performance by the Gin Blossoms. Seriously.
The most culturally relevant music star, 50 Cent, who was in town to tout his new film production company, performed at a private party earlier in the week at Tao. But the real VIP ticket was a morning workout with the rapper. Pumping iron with 50 Cent (while Russell Simmons did his yoga in an adjacent room) might have sounded like a great idea, but skinny white boy designer Richie Rich missed out on his grunting session. “I showed up as he was toweling off,” the adorable Rich told us, glitter sparkling around his eyes. “He thought I chickened out, but we just overslept.” He had a good excuse: The night before Rich performed his “Celebutante” single at the Queer Lounge and hosted a dance-off between fans. It was Britney, bitch, vs. Madonna. Old school Vogue-ing, he reports, beat out Brit-Brit’s Toxic dance moves.
Meanwhile, at least music buffs got some quality screen time at the festival: It Might Get Loud, a guitar godhead doc about Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White generated the loudest buzz, while Adam Bhala Lough’s The Carter, a documentary about rapper Lil Wayne (which we are still waiting to see) is said to be riveting.