Archive for January, 2009

Transmission 1.19.2009 Life During Wartime 1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 19, 2009 by everythingwentblack

It’s snowing outside.  Finally winter is here.  It used to be that the cold started in November around Thanksgiving and lasted until March.  That’s no longer the case; I have visions of rainfall in the Arctic Circle and polar bears set adrift on detached sheets of ice.

 

We’ve been playing shows and gearing up for the short tour with Dysrhythmia starting in a few weeks.  We’ll be on the road with Defeatist for a few days prior to the formal start of the tour.  I’m looking forward to it.  The tour is only a little more than a week long, but I’ll take it.  Long tour, short tour, it makes no difference to me: I’m just looking forward to getting out of the blank soulless wasteland of Brooklyn and NYC in general.

 

Lately, it’s seemed more soul-crushing than usual.  Across the street from where I live, a huge condominium complex is in the final stages of construction.  I’ve observed the slow, arduous task of it’s construction for almost two years.  It was the case of a project getting funded when money flowed and the future looked bright for the cannibals that run the real estate hustles in this city.  Times are different now and I can’t help but think that the guy at the top is sweating it out and questioning his grand scheme for making a quick buck in Greenpoint.

 

It’s almost over.  At least most of the work is taking place inside: finish carpentry, plumbing, electrical and architectural work.  I remember crews of non-union laborers yelling all day and my street being shut down without the proper permitting.  I wonder how many units are pre-sold and how many will remain vacant.

 

It’s someone’s dying dream; some greedy cunt’s scheme that blew up in his face.  Maybe it’ll go Section 8 Housing.

 

I’m ready to get away from this place for a while and see something different.  I’m ready to see something that doesn’t make me want to light fires and shoot guns.

 

The guy and girl upstairs are still making noise.  One night I had a talk with him about his girlfriend’s habit of cranking the Beatles and singing along at 0100.  The Beatles of all things to listen to.  I imagined her sipping some red wine and spinning Revolver or some equally weak bullshit record.  She really feels it.  She feels it so much that she had to scream the lyrics so loud it woke me up out of a sound sleep.

 

Yeah, I’m ready to get out of here for a while.

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Transmission 1.07.2009 Making a Rock Video Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2009 by everythingwentblack

Tonight we’re heading over to Kevin’s studio to check out the latest cut of the video for the track “Gossamer”. So far I’ve seen two cuts of the video that was emailed to us for review. It’s really uncomfortable watching yourself perform like this; actually, I don’t even like seeing my image captured in any way. I get creeped out when I see photos of myself.

The actual video looks killer, especially for the amount of time it was done in. Kevin is a top-notch guy. He usually works with pretty high profile artist, so I feel fortunate to have been able to work with him on this.

Anyway, tonight will be the night we hopefully can sign off on all of this and put it behind us.

Transmission 1.02.2009 Making a Rock Video Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 2, 2009 by everythingwentblack

We’re in the middle of making a “Rock Music Video”, something that none of us have ever done before.  I had mixed feelings about the whole thing when I got the call from Gordon.  Somehow he wrangled this guy named Kevin Custer to produce the video for short money, mainly because the guy dug the band and was down to do something creative.  I went online to check out his work and was pretty blown away by some of the artist he’s worked with; mainly hip-hop and stuff I can’t relate to but there was no denying his technical and creative skills.
Kevin and I set up, a meeting at his studio over in Park Slope, to get to know each other and discuss basic concepts.  He’s a really likeable guy and seemed open to a lot of the non-ideas that I had because let’s face it, I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to videos.  I know that before he had this opportunity, we were brainstorming with Thomas Hooper about producing some kind of visual piece that didn’t involve any of us being in the video.  The turning point for me was when Kevin and I both arrived at Anton Corbijn, the guy that made the Joy Division movie, “Control” as a common point of reference.
A few days later  we met at the space at 1600 to pick up our gear.  It had began snowing and was cold as Hell.  We ate a quick dinner at our familiar haunt, Williamsburger and drove out to the shoot location in Bushwick.  We rolled up at 1800 and Custer and his crew were already there setting up the gear and getting prepped for the shoot.  The location was this gigantic 2500 square-foot ground level loft that apparently was available for this kind of thing.  We were able to secure the place for a “budget price” if we worked off hours.
We loaded in.
He set us up and began working on the lighting.  We had all of our gear set up but nothing was powered up.  I had a mic on a stand in front of me but the XLR cable just trailed off camera.   Custer had a PA System set up and was cranking “Gossamer”.  Andrew’s direction was to play along as accurately as possible.  Carson and I were directed to “play along” and exaggerate our movements.  I was told that for things to appear dynamic on film, you have to really emphasize your movements.  I took it upon myself to sing “live” when we were rolling.  We worked on takes for the next several hours.  He used a variety of different camera angles.  At one point, a boom was used and this sled-looking contraption that made me think of Sam Raimi.  I remember, out of habit, I kept turning the volume knob on my guitar down after each take.  Doing the video shoot was possibly even more un-natural than recording.
We broke for food and coffee about three hours into it.  Anki, the host of MTV Norway Headbanger’s Ball stopped by to check out the shoot.  I was told that she’s the Rikki Rachtman of Norwegian Headbanger’s Ball.  She was cool.  She informed me that she was at one time married to Frost from Satyricon/1349; how cool is that?
We wrapped at about 2330 and loaded out.  Kevin Custer is probably the most professional guy that I’ve ever dealt with in the “music industry.”  Hopefully working with us wasn’t too excruciating.
I’ll be checking out a cut of the video later on next week.