Monday, September 28, 2009

sometimes late night snacking gets epic

what started with a little grab n dip of chip into salsa launched into a full on nacho mouthfuck as I realized I had cheese, chips, and jalopeno

in the oven little chips sit with cheese melting, a jalapeno on top
and soon i'm dipping that

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

a blog entry! that's really bloggy.

Ugh, I did my assignment wrong for Production today. It made me feel like crap because I'm trying so hard to get everything right this time around - meaning that I screwed up law school and I'm not going to make the same mistakes again. I'm a person who's had success in cutting corners and doing things "my way." But that's not what I want to do now. Not now that I'm paying so much to learn so much and progress so much with my life.

Someone said that NYU's grad film program teaches you in 3 years what working would teach you in 12. Intense, wonderful, I see how that's possible here. My class is 36 students, all full time, and it's an intense conservatory. The way it works is that you have a film you have to make periodically, and so all classes, production, sound, editing, directing, writing, camera, etc - inform how you will make these films. The film is not treated like a simple assignment, but as a piece of work to be taken seriously, shared with the world, submitted to festivals, broadcast on television, etc.

There's a lot of work. More work than I ever had in law school BUT I like this work so much more but as I'm developing a craft, it's a lot more practical than memorizing a court case that I could look up online.

And it's very personal, as art is personal, and film is collaborative and it involves people. All day long there's people in front of me, telling me things, asking me things, actively engaging me, not leaving me alone. I must be present, alive, productive, forward moving.

It's draining, scary, intense. I'm being made to face the things inside me that inspired my script and it's a lot more personal than I expected.

And in some moments, it's all going to be ok.

I'll be shooting my first project on BW 16mm FILM! At an apple orchard oooh! Here's some photos of the location.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

youtube keeps yelling at me about all of its awesome contents

I really must post a couple new favorites. carry on amongst yourselves!

Major Lazer "Pon De Floor" from Eric Wareheim on Vimeo.

From my friend comedian Jen Kwok

And I've come to reallllly love "sound" in movie making after my sound classes and examining the role of sound in film. Check out this video:

"Tetro" Sound for Film Profile from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

I've also started to love Milos Forman, after seeing the very funny "Loves of a Blonde" and then looking up his other work.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My 12 Favorite Albums of the Decade: A Love Story

I graduated high school in 1999, so this decade is the decade of my 20s, starting with college, the internet, and subsequently being an adult and living on my own in NYC. Though I took a high school HMTL class called "The Internet and You," and quite enjoyed looking at the Space Ghost adult swim websites in the high school library, I didn't really have the internet or use email until 1999, my freshman year of college.

I'm starting with the year 2000 and including how I discovered these albums, which is turning out to be somewhat of a love story.

My 12 favorite albums of the decade (12 because it felt right):
1. Arcade Fire - Funeral
Possibly the most talented new band of this decade, Arcade Fire does it right. The trend of pop-folk using big bands with nearly orchestral talents, a multitude of instruments, and blending classical sounds with pop, electronic, rock - they execute it all perfectly. Funeral is a must experience album. I discovered Arcade Fire when "Rebellion" was used as a song on a digital invitation to a party back in 2004. This album is completely free of any association to men in my life and is from a definitively single time in my life. The invitation came from a boy who liked me, but I didn't like him like that, and I didn't want to touch him there. He was more innocent then. Now he's an - albeit impressively creative- semi-famous egomaniacal beast.

2. Postal Service - Give Up
No not Death Cab, this album is more perfect. Each song is so carefully designed, and the sound is unique, not to mention its pop-culture relevance. This generation held on to these songs in it's sound tracks and mushy moments. I remember listening to DC Sleeps Alone Tonight off some mix CD my ex-boyfriend Brian made for me when I drove down to visit DC for the first time post college. I'm sure this was an important album to make out to in cars and lose virginities to. This mix CD was important to me, and opened me up to a vast new catalog of artists I'd never heard of. Brian was alone in his room a lot with many movies and music that were important to him. I think it was his own way of escaping the desolate burnt grass wasteland of central florida. I could hear him escaping to somewhere cooler in almost every track.

3. Sufjan Stevens (all of it)
For me to pick a favorite Sufjan album would be arbitrary, and all of it counts cause it's from this decade. He's got a new one coming in October, so maybe that one will be it, though Michigan, Seven Swans, Illinoise, A Sun Came ... all good stuff. I imagine Illinoise is more celebrated and "important," but there's too much genius in all of the other albums, it's difficult to choose just one. He's got quite the diverse sound, carefully planned, deeply felt, artfully composed. My exboyfriend David enthusiastically taught me about Sufjan, he used to love listening to Illinoise on his ipod when he jogged in the park. That album is more cheerful than my usual taste, but so was David though he doesn't see himself this way, and luckily Sufjan had plenty of darkness for me to discover "underneath the floorboards."

3. Portishead - Third
Portishead is my second favorite band of all time. They had 2 amazing albums in the 90s that left fans salivating for more. When they finally released Third, it didn't at all disappoint. It's simply fantastic. They are skilled artists with a vibrant, unique sound. Every song is so sexy and personal. It was once said that Tool is great BJ music. Portishead is great make out music, though Third is crisper and less sensual than prior albums.

This band found me in the 90s and I can't say for sure how I discovered them. Maybe it was because they had a song on the Tank Girl soundtrack - which was important to me (Tank Girl the movie was not). Maybe it was 120 minutes or Alternative Nation. They also had a great song in the movie "The Craft" but I loved Portishead before then. I took an interest in trip hop and Massive Attack at the time. I remember seeing this CD case on the floor of cool boys' cars in the 90s.

4. Jimmy Eat World - Stay on my side Tonight
My favorite Jimmy Eat World album is Clarity, but that's 1999, and of everything they've made this decade, which is plenty, the Stay on my Side EP shows them at their best. These songs are tremendously interesting, beautiful, and strong. JEW is important because they are more than emo, more than emo sweetness - and they are definitely important in this genre. Their commercial success might lead some people to believe that their music is saccharine crap at the level with Dashboard Confessional, but give a real listen to them and you'll see that the composition is far more sophisticated.

My first listen of Jimmy Eat World was a vinyl single for "Lucky Denver Mint" at my ex-boyfriend Justin's house. I was angry with him and I just kept blasting this single throughout his parents' house partly because I loved it, and partly to annoy him. Lucky Denver Mint also showed up on a subsequent mix CD that a boy made for me while Justin and I were on a break and he was in study abroad in Prague. It was from a boy I grew up with and he meant a lot to me. As a friend he influenced a lot of my music in the 90s, when we would go to punk and ska concerts in Asbury Park and NYC.

5. Bradford Cox: Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, all albums
Oh god, Deerhunter. Beloved by hipster culture - especially all of Brooklyn and the blogs - and a shining example of great taste/modern sensibility/true talent that has emerged from it (because I truly believe that this hipster generation has great achievements though it is so severely mocked). Bradford Cox, the colorful character (songwriter, guitarist, lead singer) at the head of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, is a truly gifted individual.

The first time I saw Deerhunter live was at a secret show at Market Hotel in shitty Bushwick Brooklyn. I went with my now boyfriend Adam, who is extremely influential on the music in my life. At the time we were trying to be just friends but there was something magical about that night that didn't allow for such a thing, and I'm pretty sure that music enabled the youth inside us to rise to the top. Then again that might not have had anything to do with Bradford and his music, and everything to do with the weird voodoo shit that disables us from keeping our hands off each other. Recently (and more soberly) I saw Deerhunter's Bradford in a round robin playing with Dan Deacon and No Age at Brooklyn Bowl and it was invigorating. Every Deerhunter song was so beautiful and alive. He played his guitar like a rockstar, his musical ability upstaging his meek physical demeanor with every chord.

6. Bright Eyes - Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
Bright Eyes came to me at a time when I was just starting to learn about the modern world of "indie rock". I've always been drawn to whatever is the "coolest of cool" or unusual, but my favorite music in the 90s, when I was a teenager, came from late night MTV shows like 120 minutes, and weird magazines I stole from Barnes and Noble when I was 16. I didn't use the internet until 1999, and that's huge when it comes to the modern indie music scene. I discovered Bright Eyes and Saddle Creek records in 2004, and I'd download whatever free mp3s they had available from their artists on the Saddle Creek website. I loved all Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos (a Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes, side project) releases instantly. I don't love Conor's new solo stuff because for the most part it lacks the guttural intensity of earlier work. He has an extremely raw voice, as though it's been ripped out from deep inside him. His lyrics are so heartfelt it's almost too much at times. The songs are passionate, sincere, and creative. Digital Ash in a Digital Urn is a favorite though he's put out many other great albums in this decade. It's a great pleasure to scream with some of his songs with friends who want to sing along. Highly recommended.

Brian included the Bright Eyes song "The Calendar Hung Itself" from Fevers and Mirrors on a mix CD he made me, and it ironically made its way onto my essential breakup mix, I'd blast it after our messy breakup. It made a really good angry-about-it juice.

7. Jay Z - Black Album
I love this album. I like a lot of rap and hip hop and this one carries the best energy. I thought about including Kanye, because I think he's extremely relevant, and an important tastemaker for this decade. But the Black Album really killed me. 99 Problems is one of the best hip hop songs ever written, not just for the fresh beat and sound, but also those incredibly witty lyrics. Jay-Z and Kanye are on par with smart, funny, and indelible lyrics. There's just something about Jay-Z that seems so real, not deluged by ego, though he has a couple typical braggy lyrics, he mostly has fun and sometimes attempts to make real statements. His album is a great experience drawing from a wide variety of Americana, including Madonna in "Justify My Thug."

I have some friends who say they think of me when they hear "99 Problems." This is also from a fun single time in my NYC life. I used to play it at roof parties, and throw lots of roof parties. I used to take an interest in all things Vincent Gallo, why I even spent an innocent night with him once, a fact I never put in print as it's dangerous to leak personal celeb "gossip," but with that guy honestly I doubt he gives a damn. Anyhow Gallo is in Jay-Z video, a pretty stylish move on Jay-Z's part if you ask me. I distinctly remember blasting this in the car a lot when I would drive to the beach in the summertime.

8. Radiohead - In Rainbows
I first discovered Radiohead when I was watching an episode of "House Of Style" on MTV when I was in middle school. I remember, it was probably 1993 or 94. The credits of the show ran to the song "Street Spirit Fade Out" and I looked it up and ran to Nobody Beats the Wiz and bought the album, which later brought us creep and the amazing video "Just." When I think of Radiohead I also think of my high school friend Russ Reed who wore a knit hat like the OK Computer guy and would play it in his shitty car, a car that reminded me of the one in the Karma Police video.

When I first heard In Rainbows I was unimpressed. Then I listened to it. It was everywhere. And we listened to it, my now boyfriend, and it was fall, and then winter, and we loved it. Videotape, that's our song. I don't need to say much about Radiohead because so much has been said already. They make great music - they are extremely accomplished and celebrated. Albums like these make the new kids on the music scene cry in shame.

9. Nada Surf - Let Go

My friend Evan told me I had to listen to this album, last summer at the beach house. I usually don't agree with all of his music tastes, but this one blew me away. It's just perfect, personal, sweet, heartfelt. Such a gem. The track "Blizzard of '77" will blow your butt out with how pretty it is. Also, they remind me a bit of Blur who would make it on my favorite 90s list.

10. Silversun Pickups - Carnavas
Pretty sure I discovered these guys video a blog or something. Their single "Lazy Eye" got decently distributed and I wouldn't be surprised if it got radio play. I listen to this album over and over again and it never gets old. I would always play it at my last job at Thumbplay. I had the pleasure of seeing a flawless live acoustic Silversun Pickups performance and it cemented my adoration for the band. A lot of their songs balance pretty with energetic in a very fresh way. The weird alien pixie like voice of the lead singer ads to their appeal.

11. Muse - Absolution
I wouldn't call this album influential, just extremely enjoyable and well made, and an all time favorite in my earliest iPod years. I was in a phase of music discovery in 2005 when I started making "Finkmixes." I had a desk job where I listened to internet radio all day. MTV radio at the time had an "indie" channel and it was pretty well made. I used office supplies to make mix cds and every couple of months I'd come out with a new volume. I'd print them out and carry them in my purse and bring them to bars. I even gave one to Justin Theroux who was at a party at B-Bar one night. He is also the star of the awesomely sick Muse video for "Hysteria" which is one of the most exciting and viscous videos of this decade.

(Related interesting: shot by shot comparison of Muse's Hysteria video to Pink Floyd's The Wall Video)

I remember listening to Muse's later album "Origin of Symmetry" when I was reading my 2nd favorite comic book of all time "Starman" by Robinson which featured some interesting explorations into the main characters inner psyche as well as outerspace. It was the perfect soundtrack. Muse doesn't remind me of boys. But it does remind me of my Hoboken years.

12. Rufus Wainwright - Poses
I first saw/heard Rufus when he opened for Tori Amos, must have been about 2001. I remember reading a feature on him in the New York Times back when I read print. His crystal clear voice was so gentle, clever, perfect. I had the privilege of seeing Rufus along with his legendary father Loudon, and his sister Lucy, all singer songwriters, in a small show at the Living Room in the Lower East Side a couple years back. Rufus brings what he learned from his dad, a celebrated American folk artist, and ads his ideas, and I do think his perspective modernizes the music. Successful out gay single NYC male - that's something of this decade. The 90s were still a challenging time to be gay, famous, and out - whereas it's not really until this decade that it's normalized at least in the urban landscape. To hear him sing "I'm a One Man Guy" an interpretation of his father's music, is a fun exploration in sentiment and meaning.

Almost made it to the list for being good, but lacked greater sentimental value:
The Wrens - Meadowlands
Deftones - White Pony
MGMT - Oracular Spectacular (even if you dislike their following, this is well made music)
Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
Blonde Redhead
Cat Power
A Perfect Circle
Sigur Ros
Elliott Smith
Phish Billy Breathes
Grizzly Bear

NIN is not on my list of best albums because their best work was in the 90s with Pretty Hate Machine, Broken, Downward Spiral, and The Fragile BUT they deserve credit for this decade for their innovative business plan which I think will be greatly influential on the future of the music industry. I also think Trent's management of his career is going to prove influential on future artists. See this as reference:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

taking things rather seriously

my mind is completely amorphous, listening, absorbing things from my school program
listening and not blogging so much
i paid for this
paid plenty
and i just want to get out as much as i possibly can
i must say the first few days are already completely great - wonderful classmates, great professors, exciting assingments
and become the - wait, I wrote an essay that explains exactly how I feel in order to be admitted to the program. Here's my personal statement that I submitted for admission to NYU's Grad Film Program:

What a dream it is to take the weirdness out of my mind and sculpt it into video.

Something resonates in my gut, like I'm a lion in the wild devouring a zebra. The blood, the beautiful striped fur, the meat, ripped open in my winning mouth. That's how I feel when I make a comedy video. I've hunted the idea in my mind. I want to share it. Then I get others to believe. I execute every detail to let it develop. It's shot, it's chopped, it plays. The feeling is a mixture of creation, destruction, and satisfaction: I've hunted and devoured, and I am full. In the end there's video, which lives and breathes outside of myself.

The satiated feeling I get from creating film is my gut telling me that I'm doing what I was born to do. I know now, after trying law school and years in the working world that I want to create films. My belief is so strong that two years ago, I ran up my charge cards buying camera and editing equipment so that I have the power and freedom to create what I want, when I want. I'm currently left with two thousand dollars to pay and no regret.

Film is so special to me because it is the most satisfying conduit for ideas. It's beautiful how minds collaborate to compliment each other for a final product, each contributor enhancing the work of the other. The undeniable permanence and relevance of video strengthens its allure. Because of film, we exist in a world where we are able to show and hear imagined worlds. All people with heart fantasize about the film version of what they see in their mind's eye.

The life I want is as a comedy television writer, director, and performer. I have made a number of videos as a novice. I want to attend NYU to obtain a Masters in Film Production because I want to be an expert. My videos have been featured in TV Guide, Gawker, MTV, the DC Comedy Festival, the front page of Myspace, and have been in the top ranked comedy videos on Youtube. Recently, the selective comedy video company My Damn Channel commissioned me as a writer/director/performer to create original content for their website. Within the comedy community I am already known as someone who creates high quality videos. The success of my small passion projects gives me confidence that I can succeed as a professional filmmaker.

I cannot, however, consider my life goals or my past accomplishments without taking into account the fact that I am female. There are not enough powerful female directors and writers, especially not in comedy. The role of a filmmaker is powerful, as it mirrors perspectives and reflects the character of the status quo. It matters that women shape our social fabric. Mine is not just a female voice; it's a ballsy, brazen, bellowing female voice.

Many people say that you don't need film school to achieve in the entertainment industry, but I don't care about that. I want to have as much finesse and skill as possible so that I can share my voice with the truest possible sound. I want to make the best work that I can, and the NYU Kanbar Institute is the best film school in the world.


Anyhow, I'm in absorption mode - taking things in, not putting them out so much at the moment. The only thing I want to come out of me are my projects and assignments and I want to give it my 100%

I'll be performing rarely. You can see my show schedule and pre-film school videos here:
(Think Different and Meats - Underpants are my favorite creations)

oh and also twittering sometimes - thats on ur mobile and oh so easy

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

And now I'm a student

my days of being all super unemployed have come to an end
still unemployed
just balls deep in an academic program that I intend to take rather seriously

I'll be blogging less, but I don't doubt there will be things worth posting from time to time

WEDS Sept 2, 8pm
Topsham Pantsuit @ Pacific Standard 82 4th Ave (b/w St. Marks and Bergen) Park Slope, Brooklyn
To be taped for an upcoming show on British TV (which also stars EUGENE MIRMAN)! The details:

WEDS Sept 9, 10pm
Bowery Poetry Club
Skits and Tits Comedy Variety Show
308 Bowery
Manhattan (East Village)

FRI Sept 11, 11pm
Very Fresh Comedy Show
UCB Theatre 307 W. 26th Street
Manhattan (Chelsea)

- Alton Brown's kitchen hacks
- Olde English's Snickers ad spoofs

- a pool and sundeck in manhatts
- the newest snl members