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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Tupelo Honey – Caught Up In The Excess – (Wax Records/Warner Music Canada)

I normally don’t review albums I buy, just because I prefer reviewing stuff I get sent and you know that is how I’ve always done it. But there is the rare occasion where I’ve bought something that I think people just need to hear and this is one of those occasions. Tupelo Honey are a rock band from Canada and I discovered them thru my one of my favourite websites Alternative Addiction and let me tell you I reckon this one of the best rock albums you will hear this year, I would go as far and say it’s my favourite of the year. They play modern rock music and they do it just rick. From the opening rock anthem Pull Me Closer to the end album track Last Thing is a good solid album that mixes up the energetic pumping tracks like Pull Me Closer, Falling, Best I Could & Reason to the balladeers tracks like One Step, Moment. They do it just right. But not only do you get this kick ass 9 track rock album, you get 6 of their earlier songs redone as acoustic versions that sound incredible with strings and use of keyboard just make them sound something special. Dan who is the lead singer of the band has a great voice that suits the music well and he and the band know how to write and play such good tunes. I really dug this album in a huge way. I’ve always loved modern rock music but when it’s done so well like this, it deserves to be told about. If their is only one modern rock album you buy this year, make sure it’s this one you won’t be disappointed. 

Interview with director Joseph Pierson about the film EvenHand

EvenHand is a film I came across a few years ago about the lives of cops in a small city in America. I liked the look of the trailer and thought the movie & it’s director needed some PR. So here is the interview and find out about the movie.

http://www.evenhand.com/


1. What was the inspiration for the film?



1. The
screenwriter, Mike Jones, is a Texas native. One day, his sister frantically called
him from the airport saying she had forgotten her ticket. Mike found the ticket
and sped off to the airport with it. He was shortly pulled over by a cop for
speeding. Mike jumped out of the car, waving the ticket, expecting to explain
his way out of a jam. Instead, the cop drew his gun and yelled for him to get on
the ground. In the cop’s eyes, he was a lunatic, jumping out of the car, waving
his arms. This led Mike to ponder what it must be like to be a cop, to never
know what to expect when you knock on a door, or pull someone over. He then
watched a lot of "Cops" episodes and wrote "EvenHand."



2. Was it hard to raise funds for the movie?



2. Yes,
it is always hard to raise funds for a decidedly low concept indie flick. But,
I believed in the script and my persistence paid off.



3. What have you learnt from making the movie that you would use in future releases?



3. Be
prepared. Time is your most precious commodity, so you have to make the most of
every moment. Shot list every scene. When someone doesn’t show up, or something
breaks, find a creative solution. When an actor questions your choice as a
director, be able to defend yourself and your choices, but also have the
flexibility and presence to recognize someone else’s good idea. Don’t use the
cheapest camera equipment you can find because it will break and then you will
be screwed. If anything else breaks you can work around it–not the camera. But,
don’t compromise on sound–believe it or not, bad sound is worse than a bad
picture.



4. Was it hard to edit the film to make the story flow?’



4. EvenHand
is very episodic in nature, so it took a lot of tweaking to find the right rhythms.
It wasn’t possible to know how it would all fit together until we got to the
editing room. And knowing how to edit is one of the most important skills to
have as a director. One important example: you can’t be too in love with
everything you shot because inevitably some of it just doesn’t belong in the
movie. You need perspective to know when it just doesn’t work.

 



5. Was it hard to make the film with the budget you had?



5.
Absolutely. We shot on 35mm, which was the only real option then for a film we
wanted to see in theaters. Distributors weren’t too keen on digital formats at
the time. But by using almost all local cast and crew, we saved a lot of money.
The DP, me, one of the lead actors and three or four other crew members stayed
in a rented house to save money. It was like living in a dorm, but filled with
insane film people. I slept in the converted garage. One of my fondest memories
are the blue pancakes my Swedish assistant made for breakfast.

 



6. Did the actors stay pretty much to the script or was improv allowed?



6. I
thought the dialogue in the script was excellent, so unless the actors could
come up with something better, I encouraged them to stick to the writer’s
words. But, as they got into character, there were subtle changes that
reflected their interpretations of the characters, which made the film feel
more real. We also shot several scenes of the two cops riding around talking that
became part of a series of montages, that were entirely ad libbed by the two
leads. These are some of the funniest moments in the film, and entirely
consistent with the characters Mike Jones created.



7. What was it like having a real cop on the set. What did he bring to the table?



7. We
had several real cops on the set on most days. But one, Richard Hodge, became
our unofficial resident consultant. He advised us on radio protocol, how to
cuff a suspect, and innumerable other small details of day to day cop activities
that really helped the film to be as realistic as possible. Most police
officers who have seen the film are impressed with the verite quality, which is
in large measure due to Richard’s and his colleagues’ contributions and eye for
detail. We also used off-duty cops for all the police scenes that involved
additional officers. They showed up in uniform and we simply swapped their San
Antonio Police badges and patches for our own San Lovisa versions.



8. How did Mike Doughty get involved with the film?



8. Mike
Doughty was a friend of Bill Dawes, one of our lead actors. Bill introduced us
and after Mike saw a rough cut of the film he agreed to write four songs for
the film. I was very pleased that he really understood the film, which is
reflected in the excellent songs he wrote for us.



9. Do you think it is hard to make an independent film in this day in age?



9. From
a logistical standpoint, it has never been easier to make an indie film. The
technology is cheap and easily accessible. But 1000 channels on TV and streaming
video on the internet means even less money in license fees for the handful of
films that are lucky enough to get some form of distribution. And all I hear at
festivals and panel discussions these days is that the filmmakers are now
expected to be their own distributors. Making movies and marketing movies are
two very different skills.  Artists are not expected to know how to run
galleries; writers don’t start publishing houses, and yet twenty-something
filmmakers have to become their own distributors and marketing executives to
achieve any measure of success. I’m not sure if that means it’s tougher than it
used to be, or just a different kind of tough.



10. What is next for yourself?


10. I
have a novel by the great Patricia Highsmith under option now, "A
Suspension of Mercy." My friend and colleague, Bruno Coppola, has written
a terrific screen adaptation and we are now shopping it around. With any luck,
we will be in production sometime in 2012.


 

Bec Plath Interview

 

Photo by Elleni Toumpas

I discovered her today and really liked what I heard from this talented singer songwriter. Love the tunes and thought an interview was a must.

http://www.becplath.com/

1. Are you happy with the response to the new EP so far?

Absolutely happy.  The response on AirIT has been incredible.
 
2. How were things different recording wise compared to the last EP?
 
My
first EP was basically a university project, that I had remixed for
release.  It was done quickly and cheaply.  What was good with that
though is that the songs still shone through on their own merit, despite
inexperienced production.

This time around I employed Guy Cooper from Serotonin Productions to
co-produce the EP with me.  We spent a lot of time in pre-production
and really planned out what we were going to do with the tracks.  I am
really happy with the outcome.  It was nice to be a lot more in control
of what direction, production-wise, the EP took. 

 
3. What has been the inspiration for the new EP?
 
There’s a variety of inspiration.  Obsession and What I Was Looking For are inspired from relationships; Absent Mind comes from an analysis of myself and my quirks.  At The End Of The Night
was written whilst on holidays in a beautiful place in northern NSW,
Yamba.  It was such a lovely and relaxing time, I just didn’t want to
leave.  It made me think about how stressful and busy life can be, and
how necessary it is to take time just to breathe and relax. 
 
4. What inspires you when writing your songs?
 
Lyrically,
life!  Initially what spurred me on to start writing was the breakdown
of a relationship (I think this is quite a common ground for most
songwriters).  However, more and more I get inspired by more than just
love and heartache…interesting people that I see on the bus, for
example; even my own craziness!  Writing is such a a therapeutic
excercise I find. 

Musically, is a bit more magical for me.  I usually get this
feeling that I’m going to write something and will feel the need to sit
at the piano.  Quite often I’ll just write something on the spot, then
and there.

 
5. How the internet & social media played a part in getting your music out there?
 
It has provided a great platform for people to hear my music.  It allows people from all around the world to listen to my music.
 
6. Do you think Airit & AMRAP are fantastic tools in getting your music played on radio?
 
Absolutely!  For my previous EP, community radio stations from around Australia were serviced by AMRAP.  Just recently my song ‘Obsession’
made the Top Ten accessed for airplay on community radio.  I have had
great success on community radio, and AMRAP has certainly assisted in
getting my music to a great audience than I could do on my own. 
 
7. What do you hope the new EP will do for your music career?
 
I hope that more people will get to hear my music and it will open doors to more touring opportunities and radio airplay. ]
 
8. What advice can you give to somebody wanting to make a music career?
 
Get
out to local gigs and meet bands!  Not only are you supporting the
local scene, networking is imperative to succeed in this industry.  You
never know who you will meet. 
 
9. Who has been your greatest help with your music so far?
 
I
think support from community radio has been amazing.  My music hasn’t
yet been played on radio stations like Triple J or commercial. 
Community radio fills this gap of giving emerging artists, such as
myself, air time.

Also venues, such as X & Y Bar in Brisbane that have supported
me and given great opportunity to play gigs on weekends, when other
venues wouldn’t as yet, just because they believe in my music.  That is
such an amazing compliment. 

 
10. What is next for Yourself?
 
In the next few months I am playing a number of EP launches:

Thursday 21 July – Low 302, Sydney NSW
Friday 22 July – Builders Arms, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 6 August – Beetle Bar, Brisbane QLD
Friday 9 September – Pacific Hotel, Yamba NSW

All
of this whilst finishing my final semester of my music degree at
university!  So hopefully will also be graduating at the end of the year
too 🙂