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Archive for June, 2009

Chicago Song

By , 30 June, 2009, 1 Comment

Still working on the complete audio piece, but the Chicago Song is done. This one’s a little long (a minute) but I’m digging the idea of Twitter-styling the rest of the US city capitals.

The Chicago “Big City” song:


You put the 8 ball there in the corner pocket
Hit the shoe shine boy, buy a girl a locket
Screw your head uptown in the city socket
this Chicago is a big big town

Takes a toll, that’s the big old city
Oh the big city, the night so bright and pretty

You take this girl alley dancing
Her eyes are smoke, her dress unfasten
The juice is right for sweet romancin
The place condemned, burn down the mansion!

Follow the Man straight to Chicago!
All the demand is for Chicago!

Oh the big city, oh the big city!

Sam and the Butterfly

By , 23 June, 2009, 3 Comments

Sam found a butterfly on its last little shred of wings.  Seems like the butterfly itself was ok, but his wings were all torn up.  I don’t know if that’s how butterflies begin the goodbye, but it seems like it.

The 48 Hour Film Project

By , 16 June, 2009, No Comment

Last day - 3 hats, 2 canes, 4 jackets.
Last day – 3 hats, 2 canes, 4 jackets.

When I first heard about these flashfire filmmaking projects where small groups of knuckleheads get together and avalanche a short film in just two days I thought:  no no no.   I pushed back in my crickitty old rocking chair and let the cobwebs settle back down on me.  I puffed my pipe and wondered why the fussy rush oh youngsters?

But then I started to notice the dipsy doo of my own time and saw how this was a way to do a little  “dream squeezing”.  And then Bill Rogers of Coruway Films asked me to collaborate and who can say no to Bill Rogers?  I say no one.  I say no one.  I say it 3 times out loud into my hands.


So on Friday, June 12, Bill and I sat with a leaden chocolate glazed donut at Double D Comics in Manchester and we jumped through the burning ring of fire.  To prevent any pre-making, the 48HFP provides some cinematic whiplashers.  Each team first went up to pick their “genre” from a hat.  These included drama, comedy, mockumentary, musical, fantasy…and for us:  Buddy Film.

Last Scene of the Flick
Last Scene of the Flick

Rick Ganley makes a stunning point.
Rick Ganley makes his plate disappear.

The other limits:  a line of dialogue (Don’t just stand there, move it!), a prop (sunglasses) and a New Hampshire Landmark (we shot in Portsmouth and our film is bedribbled with landmarks).

And then it all spun out like some combination of crazy glue and silly string.  Like jumpstarting some old jeep in the desert using a flint and magnifying glass…like sinking the ship and swimming for a distant island carrying a box of bells…like putting on your freshest pair of jelly jeans.

We didn’t know what we were doing and that was the plan and it never really stopped being the plan.  [audio:]

We improvised everything and could only see as far our next scene and even then we didn’t know where we were or what we had.  We only sort of knew that it “seemed” like we were heading somewhere and “seemed” like we’d established something.

Rick and Doria find out there's no pay for this one.
Rick and Doria find out there’s no pay for this one.

We began with the idea of Sherwin being an old guy walking around telling stories into an old fashioned cassette recorder.  And it went on from there to become….”The Waiter” starring  Rick Ganley (his first acting gig – and what a natural old natural he is!) and the beautiful and talented Doria Bramante.

We were assisted and charmed by the warm and winning ways of Jay Childs.

The Drama of the gifted Jay Childs
The Drama of the gifted Jay Childs

Bill sets fire to a distant building using a blank postcard.
Bill sets fire to a distant building using a blank postcard.

It was an amazing and hard experience.  Like hiking an enormously steep, but somehow flat mountain.  I loved it.  I loved how well we all worked together.  It was a perfect collaboration.  Ideas getting thrown out, played with.  Freedom.  Really nice.  Bill directed, edited, harnessed. I did a couple songs.

The Thing in Spring

By , 12 June, 2009, 1 Comment

Poster by Eric Gagne

One weekend in the Spring, artists and musicians gather in Peterborough New Hampshire for “The Thing in Spring“.

I was invited to read a story alongside the bands Redwing Blackbird and The Low Anthem.

It was a very beautiful night.  Lovely to meet Eric and Austin and finally to talk with Ryan Wilson!

Also, my old friend David Champoux showed up with his wife Amy.

Sherwin wrote a new story “Lemay’s Last Case” and read it out from his rocking chair: