Posts tagged journalism
Posts tagged journalism
This is my latest “Behind the Video” post for Seattle Weekly’s music blog, “Reverb.” You can also read this article here.
Ellie Goulding Adds ‘Director’ to Her Resume After “Figure 8” Shoot
By Azaria Podplesky
In a beautifully simple back-and-forth between scenes of a near-colorless world and shots of a vibrant red cloth, English singer/songwriter shows that lovers really do hold onto everything and anything. We chatted with Goulding about the video for “Figure 8” before she takes the Showbox at the Market stage tonight for a sold-out show.
The Video: “Figure 8” was shot about 30 minutes outside of London in a mansion Goulding says was full of interesting rooms. Director W.I.Z., who came out of a retirement of sorts to work with Goulding, was behind the location and most of the video’s concept.
“He wanted me to have this red handkerchief, and for it to symbolize a person,” Goulding explains.
After deciding that the video for “Figure 8” just wasn’t quite right after the initial shoot wrapped, Goulding and her friend, Ben, went out and did a little filming of their own, shooting all of the scenes that featured Tim Shieff, Goulding’s friend and a “bad ass” free-running champion.
“[We] did another video and realized that both of them had a very similar feeling so we edited it all really nicely,” Goulding says.
No Pictures, Please: Though Goulding enjoys the acting she gets to do in videos, she doesn’t always enjoy being the center of attention, especially when it comes to photo shoots and red carpet appearances.
“That’s my biggest fear,” she says. “I’m not a model. You see pictures of models all the time and you think that’s how you’re supposed to look, and then you realize that actually they’re just models and you’re not and so photo shoots have always been a really difficult one for me.”
Goulding says that despite the multiple costume changes and the, at times, unreasonably low temperatures, the “Figure 8” video shoot was really fun, thanks in part to the crew and the friends she had on set.
According to Goulding, having the right people involved in a video shoot makes all the difference.
“Just like writing a song, you’ve got to find the right person to collaborate with, whether it be a director or another songwriter or a producer,” she says. “You’ve just got to find the right person to work with.”
I wrote an article for The Inlander about Listener to coincide with their upcoming show in Spokane. You can also read this article here.
By Azaria Podplesky
“If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
Many a band has taken this saying to heart, but perhaps none more so than Listener, a spoken word rock band.
In their early days as a duo, Christin Nelson and Dan Smith made their first album, 2007’s Return to Struggleville, by hand in their Arkansas living room. During their first three years of touring they screen printed all of the shirts they sold at their “souvenir table” after shows.
The band also has a penchant for house tours, as evidenced in multiple YouTube videos that show them playing intimate shows to a few dozen people crammed into a living room or basement.
In a sense, that’s where the band’s roots are. Nelson and Smith first met at a house show back in 2005.
Back when he lived in Las Vegas, Nelson hosted a house show for Smith — then a hip-hop artist who was looking to stray from performing with strictly hip-hop acts. After a post-show chat about music and tattoos, Nelson and Smith decided to join forces.
According to Nelson, the duo clicked right away. They recorded Return to Struggleville before they played a single show together, which helped them mesh even further as musicians.
Their first practice before heading out on tour lasted about an hour. During that time, Nelson says they didn’t make it through an entire song. After the third show of the tour, though, everything came together.
“That year was a bit rocky because we were still finding our way musically as a band, but we learned quite a bit from the experience,” Nelson says.
The band — now a trio — calls the music they make “talk music,” a term Smith originally coined because he didn’t know what genre to file his music in. Introducing the world to that genre is hard work, but good work, the band says on its Facebook. They leave their families for months on end to play shows night after night, sleep on floors and eat, mostly, unappetizing food.
“It’s a real humbling thought to imagine a person working a job they might not enjoy to make money and pay to come see us for one moment of inspiration, hope, escape or any reason they have,” Nelson says. “We don’t do this to take from people — we do it to give as much as we possibly can, and then give a little more.”
This mission has produced three more independently released albums, not including Time Is A Machine, for which Nelson is currently in the studio finishing song rewrites. It only took the trio a week — of what Nelson calls a very specific process of chaos — to write the album, using bits of music and lyrics that didn’t make 2010’s Wooden Heart.
“We have come to a place where we will let a song tell us what it wants to be rather [than] try to force something into a box of what we perceive it should be,” Nelson says. “Usually I’ll have a music idea or song demo written and Dan will have his various writings and we will sit together and just see what happens and let things take shape from there.”
There is no concept to Time Is A Machine, though Nelson does note that some of the songs are tinged with western themes and that, lyrically, the DIY album is more uplifting and encouraging than some of their previous releases.
Though Listener is proud of their independent work ethic, Nelson says he and Smith don’t want to be grouped in with artists who use Kickstarter and similar websites to solicit donations from fans to fund projects. Nelson says these websites are for people who want to take the fast track.
“We’ve never asked people for money to do what we do,” he says. “If you are really committed, you will find a way. End of story.”
Nelson insists that Listener’s grassroots way of making music and touring will continue as long as the band exists, and that they’ll be practicing the same DIY principles they preach: taking their time, paying their dues and being patient with the music they create.
“People try to say we are a ‘big’ band and we’ve ‘made it,’” he says. “We still don’t know what that means but we know we have more albums to make and more work to get done.”
Listener with A Quiet Place and Jake Jerome • Sat, Feb. 2 at 7 pm • The Hop! • 706 N. Monroe St. • $10 • All-ages • 328-5467
This is my latest “Behind the Video” post for Seattle Weekly’s music blog, “Reverb.” You can also read this article here.
“Vacationer Is Less of a Band And More Like a Supplement For Relaxation”
By Azaria Podplesky
Sometimes, usually between lunch and the end of the work day, you just need a little break. A trip, rather. Sure, it would be nice to just get up and go, but in those instances when hopping on a plane isn’t possible, there’s the music of Philadelphia-based nu-hula band Vacationer.
Lead singer Kenny Vasoli talked to us about the Dave Homcy-directed video for “Trip” and the music that he listens to when he needs to take a mental vacation before the band plays The Crocodile tonight.
SW: What was it like shooting the video in Oahu?
It was pretty unbelievable. I think that the video is pretty accurate to how fun it was being there and the experience of shooting it. I went down there in the middle of a month-and-a-half of touring so I was pretty well burnt out from the road, pretty worse for the wear so getting to go down there and just soak up some sun and get to see all these beautiful places on Oahu was such a refresher for me.
Whose idea was it to shoot the video on Lomography cameras?
I think that was sort of a collaboration between us and Lomography. We got to do a showcase in their Austin store [during SXSW] and they hooked us up with free film cameras … and through keeping in touch with them, they had the idea of us doing some sort of promotion with the cameras.
We went down there with the intention of shooting two videos, one for “Good As New” with the Lomography cameras and then one for “Trip” with high-quality film. We put together all the film that we had and it seemed like we didn’t really have as much of a narrative or as much compelling visual with the stuff that we shot with high-def and so we readjusted the agenda and just took the Lomography footage and put it towards the “Trip” video.
It’s interesting because in the song, you talk about needing a trip and the video looks like old-school vacation footage that you’d show friends or family.
That’s always sort of been the aesthetic with us. With both visual and sound, we’re into the highly-saturated kind of aesthetic and a little bit of scratchiness to it. When we play our live shows, even before we made that video, we have footage behind us and it’s all compiled 8 mm and 35 mm footage, more or less, from archive sites that we just spliced and put to the music while we play so I’m glad we got to sort of follow in that line of a visual.
You all call yourselves “The eastern seaboard’s foremost relaxation specialists.” Did that come as the band started experimenting with different sounds together or did you all use that phrase to guide the music you made?
We wanted to come up with a biography for us that wasn’t so typical for bands. We tried to come up with something that was sort of clinical [laughs] for what we do and Vacationer is less of a band and more like a supplement for relaxation. I think it sort of makes it a little something that’s more than a band, almost a state of mind, which is something that I definitely get put into when I’m playing and making music with the band.
[Vacationer] was designed to be something that was a break from the music I was making in the past and something that sort of relieved my ears of really loud volume and thrash tones and something that I could listen to when I’m riding my bike and chill, so really breezy.
The bio also mentions that Vacationer’s music takes the listener on a trip without airfare or reservations. What music do you listen to when you need to go on a no airfare, no reservations trip?
The stuff that I listen to is sort of all over the map. In terms of that stuff, like when I’m at home and I want to put some records on or if I’m buying records, I really look for stuff that I’ve never heard of. I really like psychedelic exotica. I found this record by a group called The Fabulous Echoes … they have this live record that they recorded in Hawaii that I really like. I love live records like that, especially ones from the 60s and 70s just because they were so simply recorded and the bar was set so high for how well you had to perform at the time because there were really no tricks to get around being able to play. I think that’s really my favorite kind of music to listen to when I’m in my living room and I just want to sort of get out of my head and visit somewhere else.
That was all I had; is there anything you’d like to add?
I just hope everybody is enjoying the record and hopefully, I would say, in the next couple months, we’ll be able to start the next chapter and record some new music and take some people elsewhere.
This is my latest “Behind the Video” post for Seattle Weekly’s music blog, “Reverb.” My editor wants me to try to do Q&A “Behind the Video” posts instead of the articles I was writing so this is my first try at the new format. You can also read this article here.
Of Mice & Men’s Austin Carlile: “The Touring Lifestyle Becomes Your Main Lifestyle”
By Azaria Podplesky
“It’s very cold in your state of Washington right now. Maybe I’ll buy some long johns,” says Austin Carlile, lead singer of the sunny California-based metalcore outfit Of Mice & Men. Despite the unfamiliar chill in the air, Carlile and the rest of the band are ready to get the first show of their current tour under their belts. We chatted with Carlile about the video for “The Depths” and life on tour before they took the stage Saturday at El Corazon.
SW: What’s the story behind the video treatment for “The Depths?”
It’s basically all of the producers’ creative ideas. I told them I wanted a video that was really dark and kind of morbid and scary and nothing over the top but also nothing just kind of safe. He sent in the first draft of the actual write-up and I literally said “This sounds perfect! This is exactly what I had in mind.” I filled it in and they sent me back another one that polished the entire idea and that was the quickest decision on a music video we’ve ever had.
Going along with the dark treatment, what do the man and woman covered in plaster represent in the story?
Honestly, I have absolutely no idea [laughs]. I’m not gonna lie to you. I don’t know. They’re just people looking creepy and crazy … This song is kind of about being put down and being pushed around and I think any other video idea would’ve turned out to be something really cheesy so we just wanted to do something with that crazy divide of how the video turned out.
What would you say was the most memorable part of the shoot?
I don’t know. Music video shoots aren’t what people think they are and what they’re all cracked up to be … We went [on set], they said “Here’s a guitar, bang your heads on the stage and go,” and so that’s what he did [laughs].
Unless it’s a fun video, you kind of dread having to do it. You’re there and you’re listening to your song about 40, 50, 60 times in a row and having to rock out to it with no crowd and there’s just a bunch of people looking at you, shooting, filming so it’s kind of a tedious process and it’s not really something that’s all that glamorous.
I get that answer a lot actually. Most musicians seem to look forward to being on stage and recording, not filming videos.
I think it’s because we know they’re not real and just having to mouth the words of the songs and not actually even singing them. It just takes all the realism out of it and it takes the genuineness of the actual song out of it. But on the other side of things, I think our video looks very good and it looks cool and it makes the song sound completely different to me, which I think is awesome and I think that’s what music videos are made for.
Being on the artist side of it, it’s hard to get into a song when you’re just mouthing the words. I wish we could just do it live and you film it and whatever you get, you get [laughs]. That would be more real than saying “Here, stand in this scene.” When I perform, I have a box that I stand on … and then in the video, I’m kind of wandering around. I look like an idiot singing because it’s not natural to me, it’s not comfortable. That’s not how we perform so that to me takes the passion about the song out of it for me.
What do you think is your biggest challenge as a touring musician?
It’s something that takes getting used to. There’s a definite lifestyle change, you start referring to the road as home … You have to sell yourself to this, you have to give 100 percent of it or else it’s going to drive you absolutely insane. So the hardest thing I have to deal with now is figuring out what I’m going to wear when it’s dark and I don’t want to wake anybody up in the bunk area or it’s two in the morning and I can’t sleep and I’m on the bus. The touring lifestyle becomes your main lifestyle.
What do you hope a fan takes away from an Of Mice & Men show?
Just a fun experience. For them to come out and just to really enjoy themselves for that hour and 15 minutes we’re on stage and to let it all go and sing as loud as they want and scream as loud as they want and jump up and down. Let out all that stuff from the week and the stuff that they’ve been going through and leave it all there and then have a really good experience and then go home and feel satisfied for that period of time and feel good about that night.
This is my latest “Behind the Video” post for Seattle Weekly’s music video, “Reverb.” You can also read this article here.
Hot Bodies In Motion Stick Close To Home, Tell a Cautionary Tale in “That Darkness” Video
By Azaria Podplesky
It wasn’t until after graduation that college friends Ben Carson and Scott Johnson, lead singer and guitarist of Hot Bodies In Motion (HBIM), respectively, started playing music together. With the introduction of drummer Tim Lopresto by their original bass player, the rock ‘n’ soul band really got going. After picking up Allen Stone’s old bassist, Tyler Carroll, though, Carson says the band’s writing style evolved and that they really grew into their soulful sound.
We caught up with Carson and got all the details about “That Darkness,” off the recently released Principle A, before the band takes the stage at Neumos on Saturday.
The Video: Directed and produced by SHEP Films, who also worked on HBIM’s “Old Habits” video, “That Darkness” features characters the band and crew all refer to as “Light Eyes.”
The Light Eyes concept came from the guys at SHEP Films. To create the creepy, blacked-out faces effect, Lopresto, one of the video’s producers and one of Carson’s roommates wore sunglasses with LED flashlights taped to the lenses over backwards-facing ski masks.
The trio understandably had trouble seeing so Carson had to guide them around at times during the shoot. On the plus side though, the ski masks helped keep the guys warm, unlike the mask-less Carson was left shivering during the three-night, plus one afternoon for the performance scenes, shoot.
Carson says “That Darkness” is intentionally monotonous, featuring scenes of the Light Eyes completing everyday activities like eating cereal and hanging out with friends at a bar, because, while we may appear “normal” to others, we all have darker instincts underneath the façade, hence the light eyes against the darkness in the video.
“It’s basically about recognizing that inner, dark instinct to look out for number one or pursue whatever it is that you want first,” he says. “Recognizing that darkness is the first step in understanding where you come from and where everybody else comes from as a human being.
“It’s that human element that I was mostly writing about, these innate, kind of selfish desires that everybody has and they’re not always physical to people around you.”
Home Is Where The Video Is Filmed: HBIM filmed “That Darkness” in several very familiar locations — Carson’s house, their Seattle neighborhood of Wallingford Playfield and Al’s Tavern, one of the band’s favorite local bars.
Before the shoot, the band took to Facebook to invite their friends to appear in the bar scenes, promising free drinks all night. These scenes ended up being the highlight of the shoot for Carson.
“Everyone was kind of handing me drinks because they knew I was supposed to be this drunk guy at the bar that leaves with these random dudes and so that was the most fun part for me was recreating that bar scene and then really getting into my role by actually getting drunk,” he says with a laugh.
Guiding Light: Originally, the video was completely made up of shots of Carson obliviously interacting with the Light Eyes until he eventually transforms into a Light Eyes himself.
This transformation occurs thanks to a bright light in a briefcase, representing, according to Carson, that “Aha!” moment when a person starts directing attention towards themselves, discovering where their desires stem from and becomes a person who is comfortable with the dark side of themselves.
Though it was originally intended, the band wanted to break up the video’s monotony and decided to add the performance shots. The interspersing of these shots with the Light Eyes scenes ended up forming a narrative of caution, as told by a man who had recently experienced the Light Eyes transformation himself.
“In my mind, the music video is cut together in a way where it’s like the scruffy, long-haired version of myself is telling a story about what happened to me just a week prior,” Carson says. “I think there’s a distinct difference in the way that I look between the two scenes. It wasn’t intentional per say, but it really leads into the story nicely where it’s almost like a cautionary tale from this guy that’s been there and that has seen it and then you’re seeing flashbacks as I’m singing it.”
From The Ground Up: “That Darkness” comes off of HBIM’s latest EP, Principle A, which will eventually be followed by Principle B and a few other songs to become the Principles LP.
While demoing Principle A, Johnson came up with the idea to stick a microphone in the band’s practice space and have Lopresto play whatever beat he wanted. Johnson, Carson and Carroll would then respond musically, creating songs organically based on each member’s natural musical inclinations.
“Basically, we went out to intentionally streamline our creative process a little bit,” Carson explains. “How do we collaborate together in the most effective way?”
The band then took these demos to a producer who was adamant about recording most of the EP live, telling the band he wanted to create a snapshot of them doing their craft together. Although they were a little apprehensive at first, the band consented and recorded much of the album live to tape rather than through a computer.
“I think the whole thing stems from a desire to be as organic-sounding and as genuine and true to our instruments as we could be,” Carson says. “It’s just like ‘Let you do your thing and let me respond to it.’ I think that made a huge difference in the writing process.”
This is my latest “Behind the Video” post for Seattle Weekly’s music blog, “Reverb.” You can also read this article here.
Who Needs Guitars When You Have Voices Like Pentatonix?
By Azaria Podplesky
What Glee did for show choir, Pentatonix did for a cappella music. The L.A.-by-way-of-Texas quintet won the third season of The Sing-Off, a now-defunct American Idol-like competition show, in 2011 and have since brought their brand of a cappella music to the mainstream. We caught up with singer Scott Hoying and found out all about the video for their cover of Imogen Heap’s “Aha!” before the group takes the stage at Shoxbox at the Market tonight.
The Video: Directors Ryan Parma and Gabe Evans, who have worked on Pentatonix videos in the past, had the idea to switch back and forth between the group at a bonfire and an undead version of the quintet as they terrorized a couple, played by Alex Segal, a friend of Parma and Evans, and Joe Sofranko, Hoying’s college friend.
“Aha!,” shot over eight hours at a friend’s house in Beverly Hills, also features Kayla Radomski, another friend of the directors, and members of Hoying’s college a cappella group, SoCal VoCals.
Though the group was all smiles while hanging out around the bonfire, they had the most difficulty shooting that scene, according to Hoying, because of the lack of power and challenges with lip syncing.
On the other hand, the group had no problems transforming into the undead Pentatonix.
“It was so fun to truly get to act like we were zombies and be attacking the actors,” Hoying says.
Keeping It Simple: When they’re not acting like zombies or, in the case of the video for their cover of Nicki Minaj’s “Starships,” astronauts, the group films one-take videos, usually shooting between one and five takes to get the final video.
“If a song inspires us to do a full out video, we will, but most the time we like to keep it relaxed,” Hoying says.
Of course, fans have mixed feelings about the official videos with some preferring performance-based visuals over those that are more story-centric.
Cover Story: Once a member of the group thinks they’ve found the next song to cover, they pitch it to the other members at rehearsal. If the song is unanimously agreed upon, the group starts working on an arrangement.
“We loved Imogen’s voice on ‘Aha!’ and knew Mitch [Grassi] could kill it,” Hoying says about the decision to cover Heap’s song. “We also love the production and thought it could translate well to a cappella.”
“Aha!” is just one of the many covers Pentatonix has tackled in their almost two years together. The group has also put their own spin on classics like Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know,” Top 40 hits by Rihanna, Maroon 5 and fun. and, perhaps most impressively, everyone’s favorite Korean ditty, “Gangnam Style.”
Most recently, Pentatonix has created a very timely cover of “Carol of the Bells” and an NSYNC medley. Check out those videos and more on the group’s YouTube page here.
alt-J Taps Maurice Sendak and a Kate Middleton Look-Alike For “Breezeblocks” Video
By Azaria Podplesky
It’s not often that a band makes an offer to be eaten whole sound romantic, but experimental British group alt-J manages to do just that in the lyrics for “Breezeblocks,” named after the U.K. term for cinder blocks. Keyboardist and singer Gus Unger-Hamilton told us all about the song, off their Mercury Prize-winning debut album, An Awesome Wave, before alt-J played a sold-out show at The Crocodile
tonight last night.
The Song: “Breezeblocks” was partially inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. In the song, the listener is asked “Do you know where the wild things go?” and told “Please don’t go/I’ll eat you whole/I love you so,” which is similar to what the Wild Things shout to Max, the young boy in the story, as he prepares to return home.
Unger-Hamilton says the story and the song share similar ideas about parting with a loved one.
“What love can do to you in that moment where one person wants to just leave the relationship or something and the other person has such a strong love for them that they don’t want them to leave and they’re willing to essentially hurt them in order to stop them leaving,” he explains. “That’s quite a powerful idea that resonates a lot with maybe a lot of people.”
The Video: The music video would not exist without a website called Radar Music, where directors can pitch ideas for a variety of projects. The quartet posted a brief of “Breezeblocks” on the site and eventually came across Brooklyn-based director Ellis Bahl’s treatment.
Bahl’s idea of a shot-in-reverse, cinder block-heavy video caught the band’s eye and he got the job.
The man in the video, Jonathan Dwyer, met alt-J at several of their shows prior to the video shoot and has what Unger-Hamilton calls a classic half-English, half-American accent. Eleanore Pienta is bound and gagged in a closet for half of the video while Jessica DiGiovanni plays a woman scorned. The latter, Unger-Hamilton notes with a laugh, looks a lot like Kate Middleton.
Unger-Hamilton says that reactions to the video have been varied, with some people questioning whether DiGiovanni’s or Pienta’s character is the man’s wife and others finding the video easy to understand and calling people who are confused by the video moronic.
“I think it’s got a fairly established narrative for the video,” he says. “You don’t know exactly who the woman in the apartment is … but she’s a bad sort so maybe she’s a wronged lover, maybe she’s just an attacker but yeah, I think there probably is a right way to interpret the video. Well, not completely.”
Leaving Well Enough Alone: When asked, if given the opportunity to reshoot the video, whether he would change anything about “Breezeblocks,” Unger-Hamilton immediately says no, adding that once you have created something, it’s not worth it to think about what you would change.
“If you put something out there, it’s public domain,” he says. “It’s not fair on your fans, on the people who project your art, if you then start saying you want to change things about it because as soon as it leaves the hands of the artist, it’s no longer the property of the artist.”
The guys in alt-J see making music videos as an opportunity to create something interesting, almost like a short film. According to Unger-Hamilton, inspiration for video treatments can come from almost anywhere; the only requirement is that the idea has to excite the band.
“We’re big fans of music videos ourselves and so I think you’ve got to think of the kind of video where it’s going to actually add something to the song and it’s going to make me enjoy the song more.”
For The Sisters Of Chaos Chaos, With Age Comes A New Sound
By Azaria Podplesky
After years of performing as Smoosh, sisters Asy and Chloe Saavedra realized that it was time for a change. They were finished with high school, had just moved to New York and wanted to approach their music with a different attitude. With that, Chaos Chaos was born. The duo released their first EP as Chaos Chaos, S, last month along with the video for the first single, “My Hands.” We caught up with Asy and Chloe, who told us all about “My Hands,” before they play The Crocodile on Sunday and an in-studio session with 90.3 KEXP on Monday.
The Video: Directed by Seattle photographer Kiliii Fish, “My Hands,” was shot over four days in the Pocono Mountains. Asy says that while she and Chloe were brainstorming video treatments, they wanted to get Fish into their heads as much as possible, sending him the song’s lyrics and photos so he could see their thought process when creating the song.
The sisters were apprehensive about having all eyes on them in the video, calling bringing the same amount of energy as an on-stage performance to the forest setting unnatural, but decided that it would be the best visual representation of the song, which they say is about being beaten down by your own egocentrism.
“The song is about being cocky and you think the world is about you and then in the end, you’re the one alone in the woods and you’re falling into the river and things are not working out,” Asy says. “Also, there’s a lot of diva-ish attitude in the song but somehow we didn’t want it to be Madonna diva-ish so we thought having it be in the forest is just going to automatically take away any of that.”
“My Hands” is the first single off S, named after the universal symbol for entropy, or complete disorder. Asy admits that it’s a bit odd for Chloe and her to combine music and science because the two are so different but says that they like when one element of a project or experiment begins to branch out from the others and into new directions, thus creating disorder.
“That was the way we wanted to approach the EP, bringing a bunch of different, crazy music styles together that we wouldn’t normally think of putting together and kind of make disorder work,” Asy says. “It was kind of a challenge so I’m not sure if it worked but it was interesting.”
Down By The River: Depending on which sister you talk to, the river scene at the end of the video was either not that bad (Asy) or freezing (Chloe). Asy remembers that it was the final scene of the shoot and that they went home and warmed up afterwards. Chloe though, recalls her sister filming a scene after being in the water.
“This isn’t an obvious thing but we tried to make it amped up with the craziness. We tried to have it be as if we were kind of normal in the beginning and then we got pretty crazy towards the end … and we were making it like we were turning crazy from the woods,” Chloe explains. “The last scene she filmed was the crazy scene. It was messy and she did that after the water, cold scene and I think it gave her the last extra boost for the last scene in the video.”
No matter the order of the scenes, both girls recall Fish having river troubles of his own. As he walked backwards through the woods holding a steady cam, Chloe and Maia, the third Saavedra sister, were supposed to shout out which direction he should go so he wouldn’t crash into anything. Unfortunately, those directions didn’t always help and Fish found himself in the water at the end of the video shoot.
Mostly Happy Campers: Overall, the duo wouldn’t change a thing about the video shoot despite minor mishaps here and there. Chloe does have one request though.
“Maybe if we could’ve got some moose in some shots, that would’ve been awesome,” she says with a laugh.
“It’s weird because when you do something that is pretty spontaneous and in the moment and it wasn’t totally thought through before we did it, there were no expectations and so I wasn’t like ‘Dang it, we didn’t have this or we didn’t have that,’” she goes on to say. “I was just really happy with the outcome.”
I wrote the following briefs for The Inlander’s “Fall Arts” issue! You can check out the full preview here.
60 Works | Sept. 14-Oct. 6
This is exactly what it sounds like: 60 works from Oklahoma-born artist Del Gish, who currently calls Medical Lake home. Through the exhibition, the viewer is taken around the world to far-away countries like Russia, India and Rwanda, thanks to Gish’s incredibly lifelike sketches, still life compositions and paintings. Gish sees inspiration anywhere and in just about anyone, including rickshaw drivers, African bazaars, children, sidewalk barbers and his own father. Gish, who received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Idaho, stresses the importance of painting what one sees and certainly practices what he preaches. (AP) The Art Spirit Gallery, Free, 11 am-6 pm
Gift of the Artist | Sept. 14-Dec. 14
As they say, “It’s better to give than to receive,” and several artists are taking that saying to heart by donating their work to Gonzaga University as part of an exhibition called “Gift of the Artist.” From paintings, prints and photographs, to drawings, ceramics and sculptures, the exhibition will have something for most art lovers. Visitors will be able to see Brad Brown’s used and reused artwork “Look Stains (2290-2292);” screen-printing and metallic sequins from Michelle Forsyth, a WSU associate professor of art; sculptures, paintings and prints from Maxine Martell; a paper stencil from Kathleen Adkison; and much more. (AP) Jundt Gallery, Free, 10 am-4 pm
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis | Oct. 16
OK, Macklemore is just too cool for school. For one, he can rock a second-hand fur coat while riding a two-sizes-too-small blue scooter like nobody’s business. And that’s just in the video for his single “Thrift Shop,” the first from his upcoming album The Heist. He’s also a Bumbershoot alum, playing three times in the last five years, and played Sasquatch in 2011. The Seattle-born rapper — real name: Ben Haggerty — and producer Ryan Lewis have been steadily gaining attention over the last few years, especially with the July release of their single “Same Love,” which supports gay marriage. Fingers crossed he brings the fur coat and scooter on tour with him. (AP) Knitting Factory, $20-$23, 8 pm
The Pumpkin Ball | Oct. 20
This is essentially trick-or-treating for adults. Now in its ninth year, the Ball invites you to dress up in formal attire and try to get the best loot possible during the high-end live and silent auctions. There will also be dancing, a live band and, of course, a pumpkin carving contest. With 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery and Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, the Pumpkin Ball is a chance for you to make a difference and have fun, all without having to raid your kids’ candy bags. (AP) Spokane Convention Center, $150 for individuals, $1,200 for a group table, $2,000 for a corporate table, 5:30 pm
Allen Stone | Oct. 26
This Chewelah-born soul singer has been garnering more and more attention over the last few years, thanks to his smooth, R&B-tinged vocals. In the last year alone, Allen Stone has completed a European tour and released his self-titled sophomore album, which hit No. 2 on the R&B/soul iTunes chart and No. 9 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. He’s also performed on just about every late night talk show there is, including Conan and Late Show with David Letterman. He’s set to embark on another cross-country and European tour soon so I’d catch him while you can. (AP) Knitting Factory, $12.50-$13, 8 pm
Trans-Siberian Orchestra | Nov. 23
When producer and composer Paul O’Neill created Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 1993, his goal was to push the boundaries of progressive metal music. Inadvertently, he also made holiday music cool again. Over the years, the band has released quite a few rock operas, including its Christmas trilogy (Christmas Eve and Other Stories, The Christmas Attic and The Lost Christmas Eve) which will be performed in its entirety. Combining multiple vocalists with a string section, light shows, video screens, special effects and pyrotechnics synchronized to music, TSO has created a show that truly rings in the holiday spirit, one headbang at a time. (AP) Spokane Arena, $30.50-$60.50, 8 pm
Dayglow’s 2012 The E.N.D. | Nov. 30
What’s cooler than dancing to electronic music while watching a light show and being splattered with paint? Apparently nothing, because Dayglow’s paint parties have been going strong since 2006. Partygoers (sorry kids, you have to be at least 18) are encouraged to wear white for Dayglow’s 2012 show, “The E.N.D.,” which stands for, “Electronic Never Dies.” As Dayglow DJ David Solano plays all of your electronic favorites, LED screens create colorful visual effects while paint cannons make like a sick unicorn and spew colored paint on both attendees and performers, who will be interacting with partygoers from the stage and in the crowd. Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you try it. (AP) Spokane Arena, $30-$70, 8 pm
Small Artworks Invitational | Dec. 7-31
What do you get for the art-lover who has everything? Miniature art, of course. Now in its 14th year, the Small Artworks Invitational presents scaled-down woodwork, paintings, sculptures and more from some of the area’s biggest artists. Featured artists include George Carlson, who will again be showing his horse sculptures and Allen and Mary Dee Dodge and their colorful wooden sculptures. Renowned painter Peter Cox will also show his work. Steve Gibbs, the owner of Art Spirit, says that the exhibition is geared for the holidays and gift-giving. He also enjoys being able to show work from newer artists. “It’s interesting with artists who normally work on a large scale, to see their work on a small scale,” he says. (AP) The Art Spirit Gallery, Free, Tues.-Sat.-11 am-6 pm
Floater | Dec. 7
A staple of the Portland music scene for years, and seeing as next year is its 20th anniversary, this alternative rock band shows no sign of stopping. Forming in the early ‘90s after Peter Cornett answered a “musician wanted” ad placed by Robert Wynia, it only took one drunk guitarist and a ruined show for David Amador to step in and complete the lineup. The trio has released eight studio albums — most recently Wake, in 2010— which they self-financed. While Floater’s music doesn’t get the most radio play, the band’s die-hard fans and the trio’s passion for performing have kept the show on the road. (AP) Knitting Factory, $13-$15, 8 pm
Traditions of Christmas Musical Performance | Dec. 14-29
Finally, someone has taken all of the Christmas traditions worth celebrating and put them in one place! Traditions of Christmas features all of your Yuletide favorites including Rockette-like tap dancers, dancing elves, snowmen and Christmas trees, a Coca-Cola drinking Santa Claus, toy soldiers, wooden blocks and Raggedy Ann dolls, USO scenes, gospel singers and a Nativity scene, complete with live camels and sheep. Of course, they’ll be singing your favorite Christmas songs too. The show doesn’t start for another few months but one of the nine performances is already sold out, so get your tickets sooner rather than later. (AP) The Kroc Center, $15-$32, 3 pm and 7 pm
Spokane Symphony Holiday Pops | Dec. 15-16
For a decade now, the Spokane Symphony has helped ring in the holiday season. This year, part three in its six-part SuperPops series finds the symphony, with conductor Morihiko Nakahara, performing traditional carols and holiday favorites alongside the big man himself. Yes, you read that right. Santa Claus will be on hand to add some extra oomph to the Spokane Symphony performance. To make this event even more special, family packages are available for the Sunday show so your entire family can enjoy the event together. (AP) Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, $25, Dec. 15 at 8 pm, Dec. 16 at 2 pm
These briefs appeared in the August 29-September 4 issue of Seattle Weekly. I wrote about Barcelona, City and Colour, Ghosts I’ve Met, Katie Herzig, Hey Marseilles and Tyrone Wells. You can read the entire article here.
Barcelona (A Seattle band still waiting for Seattle to catch on.) Had singer Brian Fennell not asked a couple of buddies to play alongside him while promoting his solo work, Barcelona and its piano-rock sound might not exist today. Officially formed in 2005, the band released its debut, Absolutes, in 2007. After a two-year stint with Universal Motown, Barcelona self-released its sophomore album, Not Quite Yours, in May, giving Seattleites yet another reason to love the trio. AZARIA PODPLESKY Barcelona, 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Exhibition Hall Stage
City and Colour (This underrated folksinger sharpened his chops on the Vans Warped Tour.) Dallas Green, former vocalist of post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, goes by City and Colour (get it?) when he wants to let his folky side shine through. While the Juno Award-winning multi-instrumentalist is admittedly more popular in his native Canada, Americans fell head over heels with Green after 2011’s Little Hell. He just might be our neighbors-from-the-North’s best-kept secret. AP City and Colour, 7:45 p.m. Saturday, TuneIn Stage
Ghosts I’ve Met (The little band that could—and does. A lot.) This project from Seattle-by-way-of-Michigan musician Sam Watts stays true to its name, releasing hauntingly beautiful little ditties. Watts, with guitarist Ben Blankenship and cellist Brent Arnold (both formerly of Modest Mouse), have been busy in their two years, releasing a pair of EPs and a full-length album while receiving praise from the likes of KEXP, NPR, and Daytrotter. Here’s looking at you, year three. AP Ghosts I’ve Met, noon Monday, The Promenade
Katie Herzig (This Nashville-based chanteuse brings easy listening, heavy thinking.) You may not be familiar with Katie Herzig, but you’ve definitely heard her lilting vocals and folk-rock music; her songs have appeared on prime-time favorites like Smallville, Bones, and Grey’s Anatomy. Though topics like global warming and the economy appear in her songs, her airy voice makes it all listenable. Ask nicely and she might play her “Sweet Dreams/Seven Nation Army” mashup. AP Katie Herzig, 5:45 p.m. Sunday, Starbucks Stage
Hey Marseilles (A local band combines genres like there’s no tomorrow, to the complaint of—well, no one.) Throw indie folk, jazz, and pop into an auditory blender and you’ve got Hey Marseilles. They’re about as Seattle as they come, forming when founders Nick Ward and Matt Bishop attended UW and called Gas Works Park an early practice space. They’ve since grown, adding five members, countless instruments, and a debut album, 2008’s To Travels & Trunks, for good measure. AP Hey Marseilles, 8 p.m. Monday, Starbucks Stage
Tyrone Wells (The Spokane songwriter has come out on top after abandoning his safety net.) In his 12 years as a solo artist, folk-pop singer Tyrone Wells has done things most musicians only dream of, from signing a contract with Universal Records and releasing two successful albums, Hold On and Remain, to hearing his songs in countless movies and television shows. But he’s also done things many musicians would call crazy, including leaving Universal and again becoming an independent artist. After having a revelation on, of all places, a cruise ship, Wells just decided it was time for him to do his own thing. Though the leap may have been scary, it was the right choice. His 2009 release, Metal & Wood, spent nearly three weeks atop the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart, and 2012’s Where We Meet might be his most personal release to date. AP Tyrone Wells, 9 p.m. Monday, The Promenade