Skip to content

‘The Icarus Line Must Die’ At Highland Park Independent Film Festival, Friday October 6th 2017

I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I went to see ‘‪The Icarus Line Must Die’, the movie about Joe Cardamone’s defunct band. Would it be a biopic? A series of interviews with concert footages as so many films about bands and music have done it before? Would it be fiction? After all, the trailer had the look of a thriller…

The film, which was screened during Highland Park Independent Film Festival last Friday night, is none of the above and a bit of everything. It sure isn’t another biopic featuring some behind-the-scene and concert footages, you see ‪The Icarus Line in concert during a dramatic last scene, but the movie is so much more. Described as a narrative feature film about LA freak out rock and roll group, ‪The Icarus Line, the movie was inspired by the films of New York’s Lower East Side during the late 70s and early 80s – director Michael Grodner cites ‘Blank Generation‘ (with Richard Hell), Amos Poe’s ‘The Foreigner‘ and Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Stranger Than Paradise‘ as his main inspiration. The superb cinematography builds a dark and mysterious ambiance in the usually sunny streets of ‪Highland Park, ‪Echo Park and Silverlake, where the film was shot. The charismatic Joe Cardamone is part rock icon, part thriller hero, and the scenes following him in his massive black car with the lights of a tunnel downtown LA reflecting on the windshield, make him look like the dark knight meets Nick Cave.

If the story is based on real-life events, ‘in complete reality and Joe’s life’, as director Michael Grodner said nobody can be sure of how much is true and how much is fiction,… ‘90%’ said ‪Annie Hardy during the Q&A following the movie, ‘20!!’ replied Joe Cardamone, who said he had never acted before. So you should take the answer which fits you the most, and the correct one is probably right in the middle, although we will never know.

One sure is certain, The Cardamone-fronted Icarus Line had a very promising start, whereas a hard-partying attitude mixed with a confrontational reputation were preceding each one of their performances. However tragedy struck many times: Drummer Tim Childs was killed in a car crash shortly after a recording when the band was still named Kanker Sores, co-founder and guitarist ‪Aaron North (who quit the band in 2004 to become lead guitarist of ‪Nine Inch Nails) suffered a nervous breakdown in 2008, and guitarist/bassist Alvin DeGuzman was diagnosed with bone cancer and tragically passed away two days before the screening of the movie. So we know that this part of the movie is true. And to add one more hardship, the band was also on tour with ‪Scott Weiland when the famous singer died in 2015. Joe Cardamone has since worked with ‪his friend Annie Hardy (‪Giant Drag), who had her own life-shattering experience when she lost her baby and companion a few years ago. The story of the Icarus Line is doomed from the start and carries such heaviness it would be impossible to imagine a colorful ambiance, the movie is shot in black and white, which gives a timeless dimension to the scenes.

While the powerful opening sequence features a visceral scream by Cardamone, as if he were exorcizing inner drama, we then follow him navigating as ‪The Icarus Line frontman in the current indie and punk scene of Los Angeles, visiting his very sick friend, getting on stage for an explosive and aggressive performance and even receiving continuous death threats on his cell phone. The movie features a lot of indie musicians and rock icons of the LA scene, Pink Mountaintops, Retox, Annie Hardy of Giant Drag, Obliterations, The Aqua Dolls, Together Pangea, Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks/OFF!), Alex Zhang Hungtai (Dirty Beaches), Raphael Reyes (Prayers), Ariel Pink, Jerry Stahl (‪Permanent ‪Midnight)… who are either performing or acting during semi improvised scenes.

Michael Grodner (the man behind Dirty Laundry TV) loves his subject and it shows, many scenes have this real cinema Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’ vibe, they are dark and intimate, mysterious and heavy, in line with a rock ‘n’roll spirit and a No Wave-film noir ethic, never compromising with sentimentalism, just like Cardamone’s music.

The movie was shot about 2 years ago with very little money, ‘It took a long time to edit it’ said Michael Grodner during the Q&A, while he was emphasizing on the collaborative effort with a low budget ‘The Icarus Line Must Die’ will be screened at Desert Daze Festival on Sunday October 15th, before hitting the Film Festival circuit and hopefully finding a distribution.

more pictures here

Joe Cardamone, Annie Hardy

Michael Grodner

Annie Hardy

Jacob Mendel, Joe Cardamone, Annie Hardy

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top