Tour Without End

TOUR WITHOUT END is an experimental fiction/doc hybrid that casts real-life musicians, artists and actors as bands on tour, and expands into a cross-generational, Trump-era commentary on contemporary culture and politics. 


director bio

Laura Parnes critically acclaimed films and installations address counter-cultural and youth-culture references where the music is integral to the work.  She has screened and exhibited her work widely in the US and internationally, including: Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; PSI Contemporary Art Center MoMA Affiliate, NY; Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, FL;  Brooklyn Museum,  Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, ; The International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands and Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid and NY and on PBS and Spanish Television. She recently had solo exhibitions at LA><, LA, Participant Inc. and Fitzroy Gallery and solo screenings at the Museum of Modern Art and The Kitchen, New York City. Parnes is a 2013 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, a 2014 NYFA recipient and a 2016 Creative Capital Awardee. Video Data Bank published a box set of her work and Participant Press published a book of her scripts titled Blood and Guts in Hollywood: Two Screenplays by Laura Parnes with an introduction by Chris Kraus. She has also directed music videos for The Julie Ruin and Le Tigre.

TOUR WITHOUT END (Twenty-One Portraits and a Protest) stars the legendary Wooster Group founder Kate Valk and Jim Fletcher (The NYC Players), and includes musicians Kathleen Hanna, Lizzie Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance), Brontez Purnell (The Younger Lovers), and the poet Eileen Myles along with many other queer and feminist icons. Shot in real environments and situations, the core group of players improvise based on semi-scripted scenes. Because many of these performers are legendary in the downtown scene in  NYC, they are archetypes playing archetypes. As the players move in and out of fictionalized characters and real life -- the film moves in and out of non-linear narrative and historical document.

The work revels in the sometimes hilarious but always complex band dynamics the characters endure in touring, collaborating, and aging in a youth-driven music industry.  The sometimes self-indulgent, bubble the bands exist in is burst when, while on tour, they attend the protests surrounding the republican convention. The rockumentary tradition of  Spinal Tap and Medium Cool are evoked along with the political currents of our time— drawing connections between past and present to assert that no one exists outside of politics.

The film was shot over the course of 4 years from 2014- 2018 at over 15 DIY music spaces in and around NYC. Presenting a multitude of characters though this recent time functions as a time capsule made more urgent due to the rapid gentrification of NYC.  Many of the locations used have since shuttered their doors.

The players include: Matthew Asti (MGMT), Lizzi Bougatsos (GANG GANG DANCE), Becca Blackwell, Christen Clifford, Alexandra Drewchin (EARTHEATER), Nicole Eisenman, K8 Hardy, Johanna Fateman (LE TIGRE), Jim Fletcher (NYC PLAYERS), Shannon Funchess (LIGHT ASYLUM), Alessandra Genovese (CRUSH), Kathleen Hanna (THE JULIE RUIN), JD Samson (MEN), Gary Indiana, Rachel Mason, Tom McGrath, Neon Music (YOUTH QUAKE), Eileen Myles, Kembra Pfahler (VOLUPTOUS HORROR), Brontez Purnell (THE YOUNGER LOVERS), Roger Ramos (LOVE PIG), Kenya Robinson (CHEEKY LASHAE) and Kate Valk (WOOSTER GROUP).

about the cast


Kate Valk is an interesting theatrical figure, one of the greatest the American stage has produced in the last forty or so year.
— Hilton Als, The New Yorker, 2014


From 10 Great Contemporary Art and Music Crossovers. This legend of the downtown scene is equally at home in the Whitney Museum and at the Brooklyn waterfront, drumming out 88 Boadrum, composed originally by Japanese noise-rock band Boredoms.
— Hunter Braithwaite, Paste Magazine, 2015


Bassist in MGMT’s touring band. Seen as the most cuddly member, Matt is tall, awkward, and has great hair. He can also be described using the word “kittens” as well as band mate, Ben Goldwasser.
Sarah: “Who is the best cuddler you know?” Jane: “Matt Asti, duh!”
— whoismissing, Urban Dictionary, 2010


I want to spread a message of love, acceptance and fearlessness in world that does not typically cater to these ideals, especially in the media.” As a transgender rock musician, Neon Music spent many years in the downtown rock and punk scene with their band Youthquake, playing alongside artists like The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black, Lydia Lunch, Pansy Division, The Avengers, Reagan Youth and many other legends.
— Bullet, 2016


Kathleen Hanna and her band Bikini Kill inspired a generation with their wild, women-to-the-front gigs. Now she’s formed a new group, made a movie – and is looking back on her days as a weed-dealing, part-time stripper with some amazement.
— Emma Brockes, The Guardian


Brontez Purnell Is the Legendary Queer Punk Rocker and Hysterical Author Whose Book You Need to Read.
— Tierney Finster, MEL Magazine, 2017


When the actor, who is usually a head or two taller than the other players, takes the stage, you know you’re in for something interesting: sexiness, sometimes, a sense of tragedy and humor for sure, but also a cogent dissec- tion of masculinity, with a focus on the discord between what a man looks like and what he feels.
— Hilton Als, The New Yorker, 2015


Funchess, the Light Asylum frontwoman, drums and sings, pogoing around in a mix of black leather and new-wave neon, like a punker, harder-edged Grace Jones possessed by the sensibilities of Ian Curtis.
— Jacob Brown, New York Times, 2010


Eileen Myles isn’t interested in being your fucking legend, nor in hearing her name in the hallowed tones usually reserved for the aging white men of literature. And yet, in poetry, which hardly ever has celebrities, there is a sense—however fleeting—that if you survive long enough, keep beating your head against the status quo, one day, someone, just maybe, might declare you a national treasure.
Adam Fitzgerald, Interview Magazine, 2015


Through an unmarked door on an ice-lined street, a tall woman with a red gui- tar stood on a stage and issued missives from an alternative universe this past Thursday. I was new to NYC artist Eartheater, but her vision was so total that it was impossible not to get swept up in it.
— Ruth Saxelby, Fader


Indiana was an actor before working at New York’s influential Village Voice as an art critic… Indiana’s language is precise, literate, painfully honest and shock- ingly funny. He views these end-times with a reptilian eye, watching who gets to eat and who is eaten. His characters are disappointed with their share of the American dream, and become slowly poisoned by it.
— Christopher Fowler, The Independent, 2015