Monday, February 25, 2008

Sand The Crack (Or How To Make A Video). Issue #38

On Friday we started shooting the video for my first single off SONGS FROM THE ORANGE ROOM, "Sparkle And Fall". After getting up at 4:00 AM (Ouch), the crew and I met up at Carkeek Park in North Seattle for what would be the first of three days of shooting. When picking location shots for the video, I really wanted it to take place in all my favorite areas. Carkeek has always seemed like a magical place to me since I was a child so there really was no other option for a beach setting as far as I was concerned. Since we planned on filming the whole thing outside, we had been keeping our eyes on the weather reports pretty closely and if you were in town you now know that we really lucked out with one of the sunniest weekends in a long time! Now, you know as well as I do that sun does not equal warmth, and you don't even know how cold it was down by the water. Good thing frostbite is all the rage in 2008...

After filming the "morning" scene forom 6:00-2:30, we called it a day and everyone was happy with the footage we got. I'm not gonna give away to many details regarding the video because I want it to be a brand new experience you see it, but I've included some behind the scenes pictures and from those you may be able to piece together some sort of storyline....

On Saturday, we met up at THE COMIC STOP in Lynnwood (another favorite place) for the second day of shooting where I meet some "unusual characters" in an otherwise normal setting. The hardest part about this shot was trying not to laugh at them the whole time and though I'm tempted to show them to you, I'm going to make you wait until you see it.

The next locale was a park in Shoreline where I meet a little kid who hustles me for money in an action figure war. Yes, an action figure war. My co-star in this scene was Kai, an adorable 4 year-old who's parents were kind enough to have him appear as anything but that. I'll just say his dad spent the week with him working a "mean face" that almost transcended "mean" into "disturbing". This was Kai's first introduction into the biz and I can say he impressed everyone with his ability to follow acting staging directions and his mad skillz. I don't think I could have done that at age four. I think it helped though that every 15-minutes he would stop for a cookie break. Good idea, and I think I'm going to work that into my rider next time...

I know I mentioned last week that I was going crazy trying to make 20 violins out of cardboard for the final scene A LA Michel Gondry. Well, it took my 2 hours to make one of them and after it was finished I actually began laughing hysterically when I realized how band it looked (it was that or cry). It was official that cardboard violins would just not do, so I began a mad hunt by calling all the rental shops in the area until someone took me seriously ("I'm sorry...HOW many did you want?").
My new friend Patrick at KENNELLY KEYS hooked it up, and a big stress was lifted as after seeing how cool the video was going to be from the 2 days of filming, I realized that the bar had been raised past my ugly cardboard monstrosities.

On Sunday I did my rain dance to ward of bad weather, and I think it worked as again we were treated to a beautiful day that I needed to close the deal on the shoot. My employers and I came to the agreement that in addition to the scene driven video, they wanted me to put together a performance based one as well. The band and I shot Sunday morning back at Carkeek right on the waters edge and seemed to be the car crash that beach goers couldn't look away from. At some points we had gathered quite a crowd only to be ditched for the much cooler trains that passed by every 45-minutes.

At 1:00, the "string section" showed up comprised of old friends that have supported my music for many years and band spouses. Everyone was in an all black attire at my request as I wanted to create the vibe of a Grammy-esque string section. After "rehearsing the look" for a few hours (Thanks Shaun!) we were all ready for the big final shot of the video where the string section would perform behind the band rocking out full stage setup and all. We had a little bit of a panic during this scene as the tide began rising very quickly and really was only about 8 feet in front of the amps! Just as I had envisioned, by the time we started filming the sun hit the witching hour light and everyone was bathed in a beautiful orange glow from a setting sun. If it looks as good on tape as it did in real life it will be AMAZING!

I am VERY happy with the experience and the creative professionalism of director Heather Canik and her her team, and can't wait to get to editing so I can show everyone what we created! I think you'll love it.

Next week, I'll give a final wrap up of how RPM Challenge 2008 turned out!

A reminder that COLLIDER and I will be performing this Saturday (3/1) @ THE SHOWBOX in Seattle for our debut show.


'Nuff Said.

See you there!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Brain Is Melting. Issue #37

The title of this weeks blog says it all. Honestly, I don't think I was really thinking when I set out to do RPM Challenge 2008 for which I have to write and record a full 10 song album to send off before March 1st, AND plan and record a music video in the same month. Not really one of my smartest moves, but I can't say that I haven't be productive this month for sure...
If one could say that having 5 fully recorded and written songs by the 15th would have meant I was halfway there, then yours truly is unfortunately a little (lots) behind. Still, I have faith that I will come out strong in the end.

I have 8 songs written and basics tracks laid down as of Wednesday afternoon, and the final 2 should come together over the next couple of days. These new beings can be called out to in a crowd by the the following names...

"Antidote, I'm Tired"
"Hard And True"
"Vouch For Me"
"Roman Candle"
"Always Remember"
"Sun Takes You Home"
"River Valentine"
"Matches In The Walls"

The funny thing is, these are being written and recorded so quickly I have already forgotten how to play some of them and couldn't tell you how to sing a few of the bridges without hearing what I have recorded myself. It's definitely a MUCH different way of writing and working for me (also refreshing) and I think when it's all said and done I'll have a 10 song album of songs that I will learn to grow close to. Right now, it's kinda like I'm just shaking hands with people after arriving at a party, and I know I'm not gonna remember their names until I spend time with them. I'm very excited about a few of the tracks and I hope the rest will come out and shine as they become more produced and mixed.

As for the video for "Sparkle And Fall", we shoot this weekend and I still have to "make" 20 violins between now and then. I'm expecting the whole thing to be a trip, a lot of fun, and I'm planning on taking some pictures to post next week to give you an idea of what went on.

Kinda short blog this week...lot's of work to do!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, February 11, 2008

COLLIDER due date...IT'S A BOY! Issue #36

Last week I shaved off my beard and found that I had accumlated enough face protein to pull of an excellent Creepy Porn star/Villain mustache (see left). Sadly, I only had it for a day but in the meantime figured out that this is the look for me should I ever feel the need to tie down a damsel in distress on the railroad tracks or if I'm wanting to torment Scooby and the gang. We all have a secret life we hope to live if only for a day (Sigh)...

It's been cool to hear all the feedback and emails regarding the new COLLIDER stuff the band and I posted last week. I'm happy to report that we just booked our first show at great Seattle venue, The Showbox! The show will be MARCH 1ST , All-Ages w/ a bar, and we'll be opening for DARLINGS OF THE LO-FI, BEE SIMONDS, and HOW AND LIGHTNING. The last time I was at The Showbox was in 2001 when Laymans Terms and I won this weird Sam Goody Records NW Battle of the Bands type thing and opened for JIMMIE'S CHICKEN SHACK (very random, I know). It was us and a ska band named Civilized Animal competing to go to the next round in California. We were 20 and had to stand outside the whole time until we took the stage. The other band won the round, but to this day I swear it was the best on-stage sound I have ever had the pleasure of performing with. We have advance tix to this show for $7 ($10 at the door), so if you want one please contact me and we'll find a way to get it to you. This will be great show!


As I said a few post back, we'll be filming a video for my song "Sparkle and Fall" off SONGS FROM THE ORANGE ROOM at the end of the month. Currently, the producers and I are working out the final details and storyboarding all the ideas and shots. Considering I've never done a "proper" video before, it was a little daunting in the beginning as I had no idea what it would be like but things seem to be coming together nicely. The X-Factor in the whole thing will be whether or not the weather wants to cooperate with us or not during the filming weekend since most of the shots will be outside. Oh, and does anyone have a tank I can borrow? We're trying to cut down costs...

RPM CHALLENGE 2008 Update...

Last week I said that I was going to participate in RPM CHALLENGE 2008, a non-competitive social experiment that challenged participants to create a 10-song or 35 min. long album recorded in February and made up of only ideas created within the month. Since it last week was my first full week, I jumped in feet first only to have my recording program crash on me 2 days in.


I think the problem is fixed (at least for now), but did not appreciate the added obstacle being the 10 recorded songs is enough of one for me. Still, I managed to crack out two rough drafts of songs by the names of "Vouch For Me" and "Hard & True". I'm trying use sounds that I haven't used before, and we'll see how those make their way in over the next week or so. So far, the basic feeling is different than the songs on SFTOR which is what I was hoping for without making it sound forced. Hopefully the tunes will stay on that direction...


O.K, this one may be just for me, but by now you probably know about my affair of lustful love and hate with HALO 3. When the evil temptress envelops me, I am defenseless in her arms...

(You may want to stop reading here.)

Last Wednesday, February 6th 2008 @ about 9:03 PM I officially had a mental and physical breakthrough as I went RAIN MAN style on fools and unleashed a hellish assault of Battle Rife fire and Plasma Grenade explosions of the likes Shoreline (at least at my house) has never seen. I couldn't be stopped as I led my team in the most kills five games in a row each time beating my usual personal best score by 15 points a game (which NEVER happens).


Since then I have questioned everyday if that night was real, with my only reassurance being the blister on my trigger finger that is slowly going away and the roll of my womans eyes each time I bring it up as if she has heard it all before...

I'd like to THANK YOU to Trader Joe's "Lime Infused Mahi-Mahi" fillets for giving me strength to fuel the fight, and even more so to the Full Sail Brewing Company for making sure my heart was in the right place..."YOU'RE MY BOY BLUE!"

Thanks, I needed to get that off my chest.


Monday, February 4, 2008

RPM Challenge 2008. Issue #35

Hey Friends! I first want to apologize to everyone in the Idaho/Spokane areas who planned on coming out to the shows last weekend. TJ and I postponed the gigs to a later date due to The Pass being closed and weather making it not so safe to travel. We're not dig? Seriously though, it just wasn't safe to make the trip and we hope to reschedule soon.

Also, my band COLLIDER now has a Myspace page up! If you are a "friend" of mine on Myspace, please "friend" COLLIDER as well! I'm excited to see what everyone thinks of it so please let us know! As I stated before, COLLIDER is another project I have separate from my solo material. The musicians you saw at the CD Release show backing my solo music are COLLIDER and as well as acting as my live backing band, we rock in a very different way and musical style under the COLLIDER moniker. "KS" shows and COLLIDER shows will be different musical experiences, and would you not expect a musical alter-ego from a comic freak like me? I think not...

Thursday was the Season Premier of LOST and though I'm not a big TV guy I am forever obsessed with this show. Unfortunately, there have only been 8 episodes filmed before the Writers Strike started but us LOST fans (you know who you are) are more than happy to have that. In December of 2006 I had a chance to go to the LOST set and see a scene filmed in Hawaii and for me it was a freak-out moment. There was even a HUGE script book right next to me more than likely outlining the entire season and though everything in me told me to snag it and run, I tried to play it cool. Remember the scene from last year when "Sayid" was working at a restaurant and was called to sit at a table in the dining area with a man interested in hiring him? I was 10 feet to the left. AWESOME.

Last week I was catching up on all my friends' blogs when I was inspired from a posting that my friend Peter put up. RPM CHALLENGE 2008 is a worldwide social experiment in musical output and getting artists to quote "get off your ass and write something". Though I feel I have been off my ass lately (though wanting to plant it in a movie theater more and more lately), I decided I will accept this challenge.

The challenge goes like this...

Artists all around the world who accept adhere to the goal of recording an album during the month of February that is #1: Ten songs long, or #2: 35 minutes in length.
It's not a competition but more like a personal goal to see what you an accomplish when you don't have time to OVER ANALYZE YOUR MUSIC TO DEATH. I think it's a great idea, and here's the can't use ANY ideas that you previously had or recordings that you put down prior to February 1st. It has to be all new starting NOW. The experiment's motto? DON'T THINK, JUST DO.

I think this will be great for me because though writing songs is my job, it will force me to work quickly build a body of work in a very short period of time. My goal is it will be something that is completely different than anything I have ever done prior. RPM 2008 also works well because it's just for you, no energy given at all to how it will be accepted commercially that sometimes works it's way in the goings on of writing music for others to enjoy. Will I share it when it's done? Maybe. I'm not even going there until it's done, and that's what makes me really excited.

I'll keep you posted on how it's going, and if anyone else wants to do this as well, please don't hesitate to share your experiences. I'd love to hear them...

Enjoy the COLLIDER songs that we performed at my CD Release Shows in the videos below!