Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sawdust Restaurants with Oyster Shells

Once again, I offer you a title with no relevance to the post itself. I pulled it from T.S. Eliot's The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, which has been one of my favorite pieces of literature since I first read it in high school.
Moving along.........
My posts on this here site have slowly, but surely, been tapering off. Since returning to Georgia, I've been rather preoccupied with projects, and have also been taking photographs for a local website called New York is Boring. It has honestly been a lot of fun, and has also helped me to become acquainted with the Georgia music scene. I've been able to capture some great moments of some great musicians, and as a result have a collection of pretty high resolution photographs. That being said, uploading them here would probably take an eternity. So, if you like to peruse pictures, below is a link to my Flickr page. Enjoy!!!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beats Happening

Well, I'm reaching the end of the road here at SCAD, which means a demo reel must be compiled. As a fun aside, I decided to mix my own soundtrack. Playing with beats is a nice break from playing with pictures. I can strain a different sense for once, and it just further expands my geekery. I think I'm gonna be a DJ in my next life. Not one of those "wicky-wicky" DJs though. No, no.
Anyway, this little piece mixes 1920s jazz with hip hop. The song sampled in this here short reel is "Over in the Gloryland," which I pulled from a compilation called "Jazz the World Forgot."

The most updated version of said demo reel can be found HERE.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mobbing the Midnight Hour: A Couch Surfer's Reflection upon June and Otherwise

A better version of this post can be found @:

New York is

"Because the night belongs to lovers. Because the night belongs to us." Patti Smith's classic song rang throughout Whitaker Street's Hangfire, as DJ Brian Lackey spun an exuberant crowd into last call. Such was the auspicious climate of Friday, June 18th - the night of Outlet Magazine's Summer 2010 release party.

The fun began at The Co-Laboratory, where attendees were treated to live music and copies of the publication we were all out to toast. Thrill seekers then spilled over to Hangfire, where the PBR flowed like water, and Savannah proved that it deserves the title of "Dance Party Capital of the East Coast."

Last week's Outlet party was the culmination of an adventurous month, which began, not only with New York is Boring's 3 day launch party, but with the symphonic invasion of Athens-based troupe Venice is Sinking onto our turf in the Low Country.

Athens, GA is no menial point of origin for a band. The city has, in the past, given us The B-52s, R.E.M. and Of Montreal. Venice is Sinking released their latest album, Sand and Lines, on June 15th. A quietly experimental live piece, it possesses a gentle, yet profound sense of melody and composition. With a creation such as this under their belt, Venice is Sinking might just be the next essential puzzle piece to emerge from that prolific locale.

Until recently, it seemed that Savannah was a forgotten city on tour routes. The times, it seems, have changed. Venues such as The Jinx, The Wormhole and The Co-Laboratory create raw, honest experiences for audiences. Things are happening here in Georgia, and other locations on the East Coast could learn from its example.

The music circuit in my hometown of New York was once filled with a sense of grassroots dynamics. Much of the spark that had resided there is now absent, and the current conducted energy level is often equal to that of staring at the walls of a bank interior.

Now, I would like to provide a little back story. I grew up in Merrick, Long Island, and went to high school in the mid-late 1990s, an era which many consider to be the "glory years" of the Long Island music scene. My early experiences range from sitting in on countless basement band practices, to getting kicked in the face in a mosh pit at The PWAC.

At 13, I caught a Foo Fighters show at NYC's Tramps - 3 months before the release of their 1st album. When I was 15, my buddies and I danced on the stage during a performance by San Francisco punk outfit Tilt. That same year, I also stepped in a pool of vomit at a Bouncing Souls show. I just thought you'd like to know that.

Those last 2 episodes took place at Coney Island High on St. Mark's Place, which, to me, is STILL the coolest place to have ever existed. The above accounts are, obviously, remembrances of things past, and I regret to inform you that all of the aforementioned venues had shut their doors by the early 2000s.

Today's fledgling Long Island bands often have to take it to backyards to showcase their stuff. While up there earlier this month, I attended one such exploit. The event was to promote local band Midnight Mob's debut as headliners at NYC's Webster Hall on Sunday, June 27th.

Opening acts Vision Through Sound and Harold's Trousers kicked off the evening, which reached its climax when Midnight Mob took to the arena with its self-described brand of "Psychedelic Sex Rock." Their strong class rock influence, and electric live energy, conveyed that they are certainly worthy of tearing up the main stage at Webster Hall.

Produced by Chris Russell, Midnight Mob includes Lauren "Blackey" Palazzo (vocals), Mickey "Squeez" Occhino (lead guitar), Carly Quinn (bass), Michael James "Mikey Catastrophe" Sarna (drums) and Sal "Spydyr" Manteria (rhythm guitar).

They originally united as a cover band in 2008, but quickly abandoned that route in favor of creating original music. They've spent the past year competing in a contest sponsored by Emergenza, winning 1st place in both initial rounds. The show at Webster Hall is the final round of U.S. competition, and if they win, Midnight Mob will head off to perform in Germany.

Their ability to work as a team has greatly expanded their fan base, and Sarna feels that, with the addition of Spydyr this past spring, things have "finally come together." "This is just the beginning. It's scary and exciting," stated vocalist Blackey Palazzo. "Life has been so small. I don't think anyone grasps that it could be you."

At just 21-years-old, Blackey has already shown the verve necessary for success in the music industry. Highly influenced by Southern gospel and blues, while still a teenager, she traveled to Mississippi to aid in the post-Katrina clean-up. Blackey's sense of altruism and gratitude rang out during Mob's set that night, when they presented a wild rendition of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire."

To this band, it's about more than just tours and screaming fans - it's about the soul of the music itself; one that is derived, not just from a Southern blues tradition, but from the roots of their own backyards. Guitarist Squeez is of the belief that the scene on LI currently fails to cater to original music, and that Midnight Mob can play a significant role in "bringing back" the vitality of previous generations.

The day after that backyard show, I got into my rental car to trek back to Georgia, stopping to spend a few hours in Athens with the members of Venice is Sinking. Bands such as Venice and Mob make me optimistic about the future of music, in that both are fueled by a passion stronger than the superficiality that exists in much of today's market.

When I 1st dropped into Savannah 5 years ago, I was a prematurely jaded stranger on a "blues tour" of the American South. Equipped with a spiral notebook and a video camera, I sought to answer a somewhat rhetorical question: "Is the spirit of Rock 'n' Roll alive in the land of its birth?".

While painting the town on 1 of those 1st nights, I was full of whiskey and a crisp 23-year-old attitude. At some point, I bolted across Congress St, over to The Jinx, hit the "record" button on my camera, and voiced my question to the crowd of partygoers. With just a few words, a man summed up what it has since taken me 5 years, and countless travels, to distinguish: "The spirit IS alive. The spirit is alive - HERE - in Savannah." If that same fire can be further fanned up in New York, it's possible that, one day, that place can again become, well, just a little less boring.

All photographs share a copyright with New York is

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Here is a clip of the intro I've created for the music video for Got a Hold. I love making intros. I think they totally set the pace and tone of the rest of the piece. This time around, I color/speed corrected pixilation footage I'd shot in NYC's Washington Sq. Park to reflect the feel of 8 mm film. I coupled that with a sound clip of an 8mm projector, and then cut up both the video and audio tracks to imitate a projector skipping. Technically accurate? I doubt it. There are still a few more details I'd like to throw in, but those can wait. I have other things to do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Let's Get Digital"...or..."Midterm Malaise"

Until further notice, the titles of my posts will take on the naming convention of the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. That being said, the first title makes me think of yesterday, when my professor started singing that in class, and then proceeded to dance behind me down the hall, repeating the phrase over and over again, until I jokingly exclaimed, "Aaaah, there's a crazy man following me!" I still have his little tune stuck in my head. Thanks, Larison.
Anyway, I don't know why I have the desire to post my silly little thumbnail drawings, but I do. I guess it's because they show a process, and a certain degree of looseness that I've developed over time. These are from a script that was written by the department's Comic Book Scripting class.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"When the hell did I start liking Coldplay?"..or..."I think I burnt my retinas."

That ridiculous title has nothing to do with anything. In fact, this post has really very little to do with anything. I did some thumbnail drawings, and made some slides for an upcoming midterm presentation. Here's a few that I've liked so far. That's about it. See, this had no point. And somewhere in the midst of all of this sleep deprivation, I've pondered moving to China. Why? Well, because I can.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Do Drawerings

Just a few rough pages I did for class. I'm trying out this whole cartoony thing. It's definitely simplifying my process a bit, and it's more along the lines of how I'd like to create comics/animation/illustration in the future.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Heartbreak Hotel

Sometimes, every once in awhile, I still write poetry. To me, poetry has become the result of when your heart gives itself without your mind's consent. It's just a somewhat pretentious way of singin' the blues. Maybe it's a little dramatic; maybe it's a little old-fashioned; maybe it's a little pathetic-perhaps, it's even misplaced or unnecessary; but hey, if it takes shit to make bliss, then eventually I'll be able to convince myself to feel pretty blissfully.

Here are some words that have been in the vault for a few months:

Conversational cautions.
Lacrimose, lacrimonious, Lacrimosa.
The answer's not on the internet;
The answer's not in a cigarette;
The answer's not in solids exchanged under the stagnancy of night.
Tip-tap-tipping in sight.
Receiving a fright.
Engaging in a fight-
A flight...
I think I'll do both;
Causing one,
Effecting the other.
Dramatic swells of sound abound,
Cracking like shells on metals;
Uttering decrees of belief in-
And hope for-
Confidential liaisons.

Masses of hair.
Little freckles gently dot your epidermal landscape
Amidst the subtlety of gyrations.
Appease this-
My curiosity...
And weakness in resistance.

Pushing against heavy-reamed paper,
Attempting to tear the wall to shreds;
Taking the right-sided softness,
And masking it behind
Cold networks of circuitry.

This is the architecture I drafted.
This is the story I wrote-
In pencil,
I will stop running now.
I still have a ways to go.

I want a piece of ephemera with you written all over it-
Dashed with the potency of your stare,
And cased with the abbreviations of your words;
Guarded by the curtain of your hair,
And tilted like the tires of your car.
Axles crack,
As do cans of beer;
Codes plug-in systems,
And logic sometimes aligns with the toes of
Bought with style,
Somewhere in the city,
Boutique or not
I'd crack my front tooth again
Just to react in the mid-tone shadows
Of an unpurchased bar.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Design Graphically

Lately, I've been trying to curb my Facebook addiction, so I deactivated my account. I now need to find other means of digital procrastination. This is one of them.
In this post, you will find examples of overhead shot diagrams that I've been assigned to create for class. Instead of doing rough drawings of these, I've been building them in Photoshop; thus satiating this graphic design urge that I developed while in New York. And now, since I've given up Facebook, you have the privilege of glancing at some lovely diagrams, dear anonymous viewer-if you even exist.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Insert Witty Statement: [ ]

One very large After Effects file later, I've brought my SIGGRAPH Asia/SCAD piece to a reasonable conclusion. Aside from playing multiple, visual roles on this project, I also had the pleasure of creating my 1st "original" music track. I am not a sound designer by any means, and am entirely unfamiliar with commonly used sound programs; hence, I used Adobe Premiere CS4, which serves a decent enough purpose. Though I've been able to teach myself a lot throughout this exploit, I could not figure out a way to successfully remove "room tone" from some of the convention center clips, and will be making an attempt to augment the full track in the near future.
To digress for a moment, manipulating sound is a highly abstract procedure. It's like working from your mind's eye-from something intangible. I'm accustomed to seeing, not hearing, my process, and noticed that I compile sound like an animator. Anyway, below is a low res version of the film. It will be used by SCAD to promote their Hong Kong campus, which will be opening in the Fall of 2010.

*Video updated since original posting.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Heart 8 mm

My WIP video for Shut up Sean's song Got a Hold will contain, what I hope will be, nifty geometric and camera animation, as well as the usage of graphic Flash cut-outs. Aw, isn't the unification of vector-based programs adorable? Anyway, the aesthetics of the film will take on characteristics of the previous 2 posts, and projections of simulated Super 8 footage will be incorporated using After Effects. Here are a few clips that I've taken the liberty of Super8ifying. I shot some pixilation in downtown Manhattan, fiddled with it in After Effects, and then exported it at 15 fps. In the end, I do not want it to possess such a sepia tone; rather I would like it to contain more muted reds and yellows. In other words, less 1920s, more late 1960s/1970s. Rock on.


Another assortment of aesthetic influences for my project. Further explanation to arrive shortly. 'Til then, behave yourselves!