Tuesday, December 30, 2008
There are few words that boil my blood more. Ok, maybe "There was no Holocaust" or "Pepsi is better than Coke" are a bit more dire, but people who are seriously mad at Lucas for the prequels, or who bitch that Optimus Primewas adorned with flames in the movie just need to get off of it. I realized it a long time ago, and wrote a monologue about it. It was called I Hate Fanboys. I performed it in college, and it got some laughs. I later distilled it into an article for another blog. Again, more laughs.
This year, I read an article by Devin Faraci over @ CHUD.com (I prefer this site to AICN, mostly because Harry Knowles frightens me physically and socially.) call I am not a Fanboy!
The Link to it is below. It is quite long, but correct.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
So, last week, Chinese Democracy, the new Guns N' Roses Album, came out. I know people have been curious as to my opinion of the album. So, as a service, I have review the album, track by track.
Chinese Democracy - Good Tune, wish it had more of a straight up hook, but a good, simple riff. A rocker to say the least. Still a little too produced...
Shakler's Revenge - Hard to follow. Reminds me of badly done Eurotrash, but with vocals by Axl. I hate this song.
Street of Dreams - Sounds like a cross between Gn'R, Queen, and something from the musical Rent. I like it alot...alot.
If the World - Starts with the weird Casbah guitar and piano part right into an AWESOME funk riff. A HUGE departure fromGuns N' Roses. In many ways, the bravest track on the album...something COMPLETELY different...even once the crunchy guitar layers into it...What a good freakin' track!
There was a Time - I mean, really... the choir was a bit much, especially since it sounds like the choir was done on a casio...Over produced... Beside that, interesting song...I really like the strings. Interesting transition into the chorus... Unsurprisingly grandiose...It sounds like BOWIE... alot. And that's a good thing.
Catcher in the Rye - Queen meets Bowie...No wonder I like this album. This song really shows how much Axl has grown as an arranger.
Scraped - Annoying intro. Once it starts, the riff sounds like Soundgarden, or some other 90's Seattle band. I don't think I like it...
Riad N' the Bedouins - The intro sounds like it should be from Blade Runner...Kinda cool. Another very 90's sound. Like Chili Peppers or even Jane's Addiction. Very catchy. I like this song alot.
Sorry - Good Tune! A little Bowie-esque.
I.R.S. - Damn Drum Machine!!! Thank God it's only for eight measures. A Very 90's era Guns N' Roses song, once the techno babble ends. A really good song, that has nice transitions fromcool acoustics to crunchy guitars, to some soulful solos... All around, the best composition on the album. Probably the most straight forward song on the album...
Madagascar - Opens with some orchestral work, or is it a synthsizer??? You see, I know the answer, but that's only because I have read alot about making this album. A Really good tune WAY too produced (Yes, it's a theme for this album for me...) Awesome vocals...Axl almost sounds like Tina Turner, which, in case you are wondering, is a really good thing. The guitar work is very Gn'R. I really had no issue with the sound clips in the song...I like it, actually.
This I love - Need a razor, anyone??? Sounds like it should be the tragic centerpiece to some kind of Jim Steinman rock opera. A really good song. The Orchestra sounds...like an orchestra. The Orchestra and lone Piano opening the song is very effective. When the guitar does chime in about 2:25 into the song, it's muted and dark, very cool, until a really solid, bluesy solo. And when the drums kick in??? NO DRUM MACHINE!!! The song I have been looking for on this album!!!
Prostitute - Pretty good song. The opening verse seems a little all over the place, with the melodic guitar soloing behind the verse, which I hate for the most part. Good hook on the chorus. And wait, what is that, right behind the Drums, staring at about 3:15??? Could it be?? Could it??? Of course it is...IT'S A FREAKING DRUM MACHINE...Behind the live Drummer!!!! WHY?!?!? It's not like you have Steven Adler playing the drums on this album, and he can only play with the non stroke ridden half of his body, so he needs help!!!
1. Fresh, new arranging. The songs definately show Axl's different influences. A Very telling album. I feel like i know a little more about Axl as a musician after listening to this album.
2. Axl's voice - Still spot on...If you liked his vocal stylings in the past, this album will not disappoint.
3. Departure - there are some really interesting departures from the Gn'R sound. And yet, with the exception of a few tracks, it sounds like it could have been a Gn'R record with the original members.
1. Drum Machine...Too often, there is a transition from drum machine to drums...It's annoying and not effective at all. And it's on almost EVERY FREAKING TRACK! Either that, or Axl and his engineers of doom have so over produced the drum tracks on this album, that they are made to sound synthsized. I don't know which would be sadder...It really draws away from some truly epic sounding music at times...
2. Too Many guitars. Alot of these songs are really good compositions. I feel like Axl felt bad for hiring so many guitarists and had to make sure they were put into every song. Songs like Catcher in the Rye would have benefited from less guitar layering, for example.
3. Shakler's Revenge - Have I mentioned that I hate this song???
A Very Solid Album. Like all Gn'R Albums that followed it, there are a few songs I could do without. Was it worth the wait? Well, that really depends on how long you waited for it...
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The presidential race this year was a showcase of that dichotomy; not of the two Americas, of Real America and somehow Less-Real America, as Sarah Palin would put it; but of two philosophies on how we as a People should view our country and the challenges we face. One side would tell you “Love it or Leave it” while the other side would say “Love it or Change it”.
Last night we as a People voted to change it. Last night we showed our American pride.
I am prouder than ever to be an American. And I am proud of my country.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I have to say that Jon, my co-director and general partner in crime, having my back was a tremendous confidence booster for me, though. He was awesome! He helped me get comfortable with the equipment (thanks to Russ for the tutorial) and with my role, giving me a lot of freedom and latitude with shots and performances. This was really a test to see whether or not the Jon Bristol and Jim Williams directing team that we has envisioned for so long would actually work in a practical setting. I think we were able to prove to ourselves and to those we were working with that not only did it work, but it was extremely effective and all around awesome.
Thanks to Jon, Stegmaier, Mark, Ron @ Central, as well as the lovely Michelle behind the bar, for making Saturday such a personal success.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I am looking very forward to the week ahead, as I will be "on vacation". I honestly have no idea what we will be doing or where we will be going if anywhere, but it will be nice to not have to go to work.
I have been dealing with some vaguely psychological things lately, and have had to look at myself differently than I have for a long time. I don't even know what that means, but it's true.
We have lived in the house for 2 years now, and only recently have I begun devising ways to spread out a bit more in the house. I have a tendency to hole up in one or two rooms and be content there. I think it's being used to living in an apartment for so long that I forget that I have more space to utilize.
I have a tendency to make a list of things I want to get done on my time off. I also have a tendency to end up not doing any of those things. So let's just say I have a few projects in mind and leave it at that.
Sorry for the rambling...perhaps I will leave a more coherent post later...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
As you may or may not be aware, I am a partner in a small production company here in Central CT, Elmwood Productions. Based out of Plainville, CT, we are focused mostly on comedy short-film making involving puppets. This fall, we will be filming our first feature length film, Josh and Todd: A Story of a Man and his Puppet. This will be a "hybrid" film, consisting of live actors interacting with foam and fleece, "Muppet-Style" puppets of our own creation and manufacture. We are very excited about this project, which promises to be a lot of fun for all involved.
This is where you, my many creative friends and associates, come in. We will be holding auditions and screen-tests in the next few weeks, and I would love to extend to each of you an invitation to come and try out. We are looking for actors and actresses aged 18-35, with varying ranges of experience and/or training. While, at this point in time, no compensation is being offered, we are offering points to cast and crew for future compensation in the event that the film gets picked up by a studio (This is fairly standard for most truly independent films.)
As stated previously, we will be scheduling the auditions/screen-tests in the next few weeks. These auditions will be by invitation only. If you are indeed interested, or if you have questions, please give me a call at 860-538-3320 or drop me an Email at EvilJim@elmwoodproductions.com .
We are really excited about this project and look forward to hearing from all interested parties.
I am getting ready…In a day or two I will be sending out an audition invite for Josh and Todd. At that point, there will be no turning back as we will be involving outside individuals, even if just for screen testing. This is a project that I am very attached to, as I have worked very hard on the script, really worked on developing the characters, and tried very diligently to put my vision onto a page. All of this coupled with staying within the parameters of the original work made this a very involved work.
I have to say that I am really excited. It’s a great script, some great characters, and some great moments throughout the piece. I think that with some hard work and real attention to detail, this could really be a leap forward for the work we do. I think this could be a great independent film, accessible to many different people.
Very soon, the work will begin…
Monday, July 07, 2008
I still think it's funny when people half ass the horns and throw up the "I love you" sign instead because they are afraid that the real horns will propagate the devil or something. You know that they are not throwing up "I love you". They are trying to throw up the posuer-horns.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Of course, I am tyring in earnest not to LOOK like Kevin Smith, so I also add in daily exercise of some sort, healthier eating, and such. But still, it's nice to know that my life won't change THAT much once I get rish and famous :-)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
The sea it swells like a sore head
and the night it is aching
Two lovers lie with no sheets on their bed
And the day it is breaking
On rainy days we'd go swimming out
On rainy days swimming in the sound
On rainy days we'd go swimming out
You're in my mind all of the time
I know that's not enough
If the sky can crack there must be someway back
For love and only love
Baby don't cry
Car alarm won't let you back to sleep
You're kept awake dreaming someone elses dream
Coffee is cold but it'll get you through
Compromise that's nothing new to you.
Let's see colours that have never been seen
Let's go places no one else has been
You're in my mind all of the time
I know that's not enough
Well if the sky can crack there must be someway back
To love and only love
Baby don't cry
It's hot as hell, honey in this room
Sure hope the weather will break soon
The air is heavy, heavy as a truck
We need the rain to wash away our bad luck
Well if the sky can crack there must be some way back
To love and only love
U2 - 2002
Monday, March 31, 2008
Danny had gone to school and honed his craft there. Paying for school on his own, Danny worked at the record store full time, while pulling down full time classes, and rehearsing at night. It was a grueling schedule, both physically and mentally. But spiritually, he was alive!
Danny married a very nice girl he met at school, in the theatre. Tess was her name, and Danny loved her more than life itself. The two of them dreamed of going to New York and working and living and starving and succeeding and dying together, at least for a little while. They moved in together made the best out of the meager apartment they had found, right near school.
Somewhere along the way something changed…Through no one’s action but their own, they decided to give up their dreams and settle down together, get married, get normal jobs, buy a house, and have kids. They thought it would be everything they ever wanted.
Now, Danny’s having second thoughts. He would still tell you marrying Tess was best decision he had ever made and that he has no regrets there. The rest of it, though…
Now Danny sits at his cubicle at the bank, staring aimlessly at a blank computer monitor, loathing it, and despising it; hating the fact that it is his only source of human contact for 8 hours a day…
The trappings of his normal life are great. Danny and Tess have a great house, a couple of great cars and some really tremendous neighbors. Danny still loves Tess more than life itself; there are times that the only things keeping Danny from drinking a bottle of Tequila and going on a shooting spree, or drinking a bottle of bleach and calling it a day for that matter, is his love for Tess. But neither of them is happy. Both have jobs they hate, and Tess has lamented on several occasions that she never got to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. Danny had figured that out, but decided that it would be better to have given it up, without ever giving it a chance…
Now he has second thoughts.
Looking at his life, the only thing Danny has worth keeping is Tess. Everything else is unimportant…Danny can see himself giving it all up…Except Tess. Danny would never give up Tess.
But that’s all…
Monday, March 24, 2008
it was nice to be reminded what I do all of this for, sometimes...
Thursday, February 28, 2008
And I pretty much volunteered for both!
I guess I better start practicing...
Monday, February 11, 2008
The kids were great! Everyone was really enthusiastic about puppets and very excited to build there own. They were all extremely creative! It was a really great session that left the kids wanting for more.
It also left us wanting for more. Doing this job left me feeling physically tired, but spiritually invigorated. I found myself looking forward to the next time I could do this. I can't remember the last time I looked forward to work!
I want to do more...
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I didn't follow his work too closely. I had seen a couple of his films, and he was quite good in all of them. But I can't help but compare Heath Ledger's death to that of River Phoenix almost 15 years ago (wrap your heads around that...15 years). A fine actor in his prime, ready to give us probably decades of great film.
But alas...'tis not to be...
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Now then...On to more Steve the Vampire scripts!!!!
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
It also marked a real milestone for us as a company as it was our first community job as a company, not just an individual. We also got paid...This is a big deal. I find a sense of verification in doing this. I am very excited and am looking forward to the next job in February with the Bridgeport Public Schools.