ECLECTIC ARTS

ECLECTIC ARTS

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The LEX Experience!

Greetings!


I'm very honored to publish one of the first interviews with an up and coming musical artist:  LEX!  I caught their show here in Seattle back at the end of March and was intrigued by what I saw and heard.  Check out their site here:


LEX Official Site!


The following interview is with vocalist Alexis.  And remember - you heard about them here before they blow up big time!


Cheers!
Mark
EA


***


Thank you so much for the honor to be interviewed by Eclectic Arts! - Alexis/LEX

EA:  Greetings!  Thank you for taking the time to do the interview.  Please introduce yourself as well as your band mates that make up the entity known as LEX!

A: WE ARE AN ALL FEMALE SYNTH FANTSY BAND MADE UP OF ALEXIS, LP, LICIA AND J.

EA:  How did LEX form (history)?

A: THE DARKNESS COVERED THE LAND. ITS FOG SEDUCED, CRAWLED AND SUFFOCATED. DREAMS WERE DESOLATE – PLEADS TO THE STARS. THE QUEST BECAME CLEAR; THE EMPRESSES HAD TO COMBINE THEIR POWERS TO OVERCOME THE VOID. AS ONE, THEIR JOURNEY BEGAN – FOR THE ILLUMINATION OF THE UNIVERSE. THE COMBINATION OF THEIR POWERS, ARTISTRY, INNOVATION AND ELECTRONIC EXECUTION IS LEX.

EA:  What music background do each of the members have?  Influences?

A: WE ALL COME FROM A JAZZ BACKGROUND AND HAVE ALL COME TOGETHER UNDER THE INFLUENCES OF BLADE RUNNER, LABYRINTH AND THE NEVER ENDING STORY.


EA:  What is the connection with Daft Punk?  How has it been a help in your career?

A: GRAMMY AWARD WINNING PETER FRANCO PRODUCED THE SONGS ON OUR LEX EP AND HE IS BEST KNOWN FOR ENGINEERING THE LAST TWO DAFT PUNK ALBUMS. HE HAS BEEN A HUGE BELIEVER AND SUPPORTER IN US SINCE THE FIRST MOMENT HE HEARD THE LEX MUSIC. FROM THE DAFT ARTS TEAM CEDRIC HERVET DESIGNED OUR LOGO, PAUL HAHN HAS GIVEN US GUIDANCE, SAM COOPER PROVIDED US WITH VINTAGE ANALOGUE SYNTHS TO MANIPULATE AND PLAY WITH ON OUR ALBUM, TODD EDWARDS LENT US HIS STUDIO AND HIS SKILLS ON SOME OF OUR SONGS, AND PETER FRANCO CONTINUES TO PUSH US, ADVISE US AND SHARE HIS BRILLIANCE WITH LEX.

EA:  You recently completed a mini tour of the west coast.  How were the shows?  How was the experience?

A: IT WAS INSPRING AND MOTIVITING TO BRING THE LEXPERIENCE TO THE WEST COAST.


EA:  Your EP comes out on May 5th.  What can you tell us about it?

A: IT IS A COMBINATION OF VINTAGE AND FUTURE SOUNDS.  PUT IT ON, TURN IT UP, LAY ON YOUR WOODEN FLOOR AND LET IT ENGULF YOU.

EA:  Your first single is "Mystery Boy".  How did this song come together?  Will there be a music video for it?

A: THIS SONG CAME AS A CALLING TO OVERCOME A VOID WE WERE EXPERIENCING. IT WAS THE FLICKER OF LIGHT THAT WAS TO START THE JOURNEY .

THERE WILL BE A MUSIC VIDEO AND LEX AND THE ZAMORA SISTERS ARE IN THE CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT STAGES.

EA:  You EP came out on 5/5 - and you held a listening party with a Q&A.  Tell me how that went?  Also, will a CD version be released?

A:  IT WAS A REALLY WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.  SONOS STUDIOS DOES A FANTASTIC JOB AT SUPPORTING ARTISTS AND NURTURING VISIONS.  WE WERE ABLE TO TRANSFORM THE SPACE COMPLETELY INTO OUR LEXEXPERIENCE WHICH INCORPORATED OUR VISUALS, INSPIRATIONS, SHOW PIECES, AND OUR MUSIC.  THE EP IS AVAILABLE ON ITUNES, SPOTIFY, RHAPSODY, AND AMAZON.


EA:  I also thought I read somewhere that you did a photoshoot for Vanity Fair?  What was the shoot for (an article?), how was the experience, and what issue will the photos be seen?

A:  WE HAD THE JOY OF BEING PHOTOGRAPHED BY ONE OF THEIR PHOTOGRAPHERS DURING A PARTY AT COACHELLA WHO WAS THERE TO CAPTURE THE EVENT.

EA:  For someone that's never heard LEX - what would you tell them about the band, your sound, etc?
A: LEX IS A COMBINATION OF FUTURE AND PAST.

EA:  What's coming up in the future for LEX?  More touring?  A full length release?

A: CREATIVITY, EXPLORATION, COSTUME DEVELOPMENT, LIGHTING EXECUTION AND EMPOWERMENT.

EA:  There's an air of mystery surrounding the band (in terms of there not being much out there on you which includes the fairly vague website).  Was this intentional?  What is the vision for the band?

A: EVERYTHING WE HAVE DONE SO FAR HAS BEEN INTENTIONAL. IN AN ERA WHERE EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING IS ACCESSIBLE, WE FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT TO LET THE MUSIC SPEAK FIRST.

Crypticon Seattle 2015 Report - Calling Lost Angels!


Crypticon Seattle 2015
May 22nd, 23rd, and 24th
Hilton at Sea-Tac Airport and Conference Center

Greetings!

The skies bled red, rats owned the streets, and my Memorial Day weekend was once again sacrificed to the Gods that run Crypticon Seattle!

This being the fourth consecutive year that I've covered the convention for my magazine Eclectic Arts (print, blog, and now video), I was looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new friends, and spending three days forgetting that I have a day job.

The ever-familiar row of hearses lined up outside the parking garage at the Hilton has become a welcome, and oddly, comforting fact that I'm back at Crypticon.  Is that weird?  I think not.

  
Said day job delayed my arrival on Friday.  I picked up my press credentials on the third floor only to find that they were specific to each entity this year - a nice touch.  However, upon closer inspection, I discovered some thief calling themselves Electric Arts had taken my passes!  It was actually a typo, folks.  I know how much work goes into things like a convention so something as small as a typo on my passes is going to happen.  No biggie at all.  I've been called a lot worse over the years.  But, for new readers sake, it's called ECLECTIC ARTS - due to the eclectic nature of the artists I cover.  Just so everyone knows.  I suppose Electric Arts could be like a reference to amplification or something.  Nah.  Onward!


Other than one guest cancellation for Friday recently, all of the guests were present at their tables on Friday evening.  The crowd seemed bigger than in recent years which was nice to see.  For those that panel it all weekend, Friday provided topic panels only, along with films for viewings later in the evening.  This was the same course of action last year as well (no guest panels on Friday).  Parties all three days were on the schedule as usual, too.

It was nice to see Bill Mosely and Sid Haig again in Seattle.  I saw them in 2011 for the now defunct ZomBCon.  Both were as down to earth as ever.  

Twin Peaks fans were drooling over the fact that both Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee were in attendance this year.  With the third season of the show filming in the fall, there is a renewed interest in the show.  And, of course, with it being filmed in the North Bend, WA area, that certainly adds added interest for sure.

Ted White, best known for portraying everyone's favorite hockey mask wearing killer, Jason Voorhees, in Friday the 13th Part 4, the Final Chapter, was in attendance this year.  One of my favorite films in the series, I was looking forward to chatting with Mr. White over the weekend.  And at his table - did I see hockey mask replicas like his character wore in Part 4?  Oh man - my wallets going to take a beating this year before the convention closes.

The layout this year was changed from previous years.  The biggest change was that the guest panels were all moved to the main Hilton building - which means you had to head down to the ground level of the conference room building (vendor room), walk across the breezeway, and then find the various rooms.  In the past the three rooms between the vendor room and the author alley were used for guest panels (and topic panels, too). 

Other than convenience with the old layout, the new changes were an improvement in my eyes.  One - the Alpine room had better lighting.  Still not ideal but at least it wasn't so off putting that in the past I wondered if I had a tumor when I walked into those old panel rooms.  They seemed a bit bigger too but that may have been my imagination. 

The waiting area was a vast improvement as it was a huge hallway between the new panel rooms and the gift shop.  So there was really no congestion whatsoever.  The old panel rooms used to get packed with folks waiting outside the doors as earlier panels finished up.

Other than the Sunday Brunch changeover taking longer than anticipated, the new set up should be considered for next year as well in my opinion.

I left Friday after checking everything out, knowing that Saturday and Sunday would be very full days.  One of these years when I have some extra cash, I'm going to stay at the hotel and partake in the nightly festivities, as I know I'm missing out on a whole other aspect of fun at Crypticon.  One of these years it'll happen.


I arrived Saturday at 11am, met my assistant, and then took in a few panels.  A few family members were also attending on Saturday so it was sure to be a fun day.  I had my eye on the Twin Peaks panel that Steve Lange was going to moderate.  The Devil's Rejects panel that moderators Tony Kay and William Biven were going to co-moderate.  And the Soska Sisters panel that T.J. Tranchell moderated this year.  Any other panels were going to depend on my time and interests.

I walked around the vendor room, taking in more of everything than on Friday evening.  The usual wares from repeat sponsors like Arakus Productions (heavy metal opera), Nightmare at Beaver Lake, and Champion Party Supplies to new artist tables.  There's always a wide variety of dark, gothic, and horror related vendors at Crypticon. 


The display for Christine - the car from the film and book of the same name - was also set up in corner of the vendor room.  A wide display of memorabilia, books, film posters, etc was all set up around the perimeter of the car booth area.  Package deals were there where fans could take a picture with Christine - either posed with or pretending to be attacked by Christine. 

After a spin through the author's alley of folks, we ventured over to the panel rooms to hear the Twin Peaks panel.  A full room greeted Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee.  Steve Lange, being a huge Twin Peaks fan, moderated the panel.  Well, I don't know if you could call it moderating.  He said a quick introduction and then turned it over to the audience for a Q&A, interjecting a question or two of his own when needed.  This format was fine as the audience had more than enough questions to last the hour-long panel.

Both actresses were funny, polite, cordial, and blunt at times.  They talked of the upcoming new season of the show; things related to David Lynch, and a few other non Twin Peaks projects.  A very entertaining panel - particularly if you're a fan of the show.


Next up - the returning Soska Sisters - Jen and Sylvia.  Having guested at Crypticon 2014, the twins returned to a very dedicated fan base.  They hit the ground running, constantly talking, laughing, swearing, and telling stories of upcoming projects and anything else the audience wanted to hear about.  The lights in the room went out for a brief moment - which was kind of spooky as it seemed planned - but nothing happened other than the lights returned.

The sisters were very genuine - genre fans themselves - who are working their asses off to turn their love of horror into a career.  They're getting more and more popular - and judging by how they treat their fans - there's a distinct reason for their popularity (see my Sunday interaction with them further in this report).  


The third panel hour for me was spent at, arguably, the best panel I've ever been to at Crypticon.  The Devil's Rejects panel has five actors from the film, celebrating its tenth anniversary.  Bill Mosely, Sid Haig, Ken Foree, Michael Berryman, and William Forsythe sat at the panel table for the next hour.  And what an hour it was!

The chemistry amongst the five actors was impeccable.  They were clearly on friendly terms with each other, much like getting the "old gang" together.  Co-moderators Tony Kay (hi Tony!) and William Bivens (hi William!) kept things moving.  But with five characters like all of the actors mentioned, they didn't have to moderate much. 

The actors told stories to the audience about the making of the film, funny goings-on during certain scenes, and shared so many memories that I was actually laughing out loud like I was at a comedy show. 

It was such an entertaining panel - it made me want to watch the film again immediately (I did this on Saturday night).


After that high note of a panel, I ventured back into the vendor room for the remainder of the day. 

I watched people take pictures with Clint Howard and his prop from his film "Ice Cream Man".  I wish I had done the same as I decided to wait until Sunday to get a photo with Mr. Howard - but he ended up departing early (I believe he wasn't feeling well - based on what he said at his panel on Sunday).

Some of my family members got photos with Michael Berryman, William Forsythe, Sheriyln Fenn, and Sheryl Lee.

The convention seemed packed again - and not just because it was a Saturday.  It seemed like there were more people in attendance this year than last.  I'd love to hear numbers if anyone from Crypticon could confirm attendance this year.

I made the conscious decision that I would make my rounds with the guests on Sunday.  My assistant from Saturday returned on Sunday so she got a double dose of Crypticon this year compared to last year.  The originally scheduled Sunday assistant was under the weather as was Friday's assistant.  But things worked out in the end, thank goodness.

Sunday for me started with the Clint Howard panel with Tony Kay moderating.  Coming from a show business family, I was sure Mr. Howard would have plenty to say about his career as a character actor since the age of 2.

Mr. Howard was matter of fact, like he knew what he wanted to talk about ahead of time.  Tony did a great introductory piece and kept the panel moving.  It went by really quick.  Those of us in attendance got to hear many stories of some of the legends Mr. Howard has worked with over the decades.  It was rather mind boggling to hear in person.

Mr. Howard apologized that his voice was tattered from the three days of talking at the convention - which is why I believe he left early once the panel was finished.

After the panel, it was back into the vendor room to talk to the guests.  First target - William Forsythe.  Besides "The Devil's Rejects", I have always associated him with the TV series "The Untouchables" where he played Al Capone.  One of my favorite underrated series, Mr. Forsythe told me how he got to know over 100 family and friends in Al Capone's circle.  Think about that for a minute.  He spoke with people that were around Al Capone.  Incredible!  He also mentioned that all of them spoke highly of Capone - that he was a very likable person - not how he was exactly portrayed in the film version of "The Untouchables" or the Robert Stack TV version.

I had heard William was either very, very nice or at times a bit difficult.  I'm happy to report he was the former.  He couldn't have been nicer to me or to anyone else I saw him talking with.  I know he's been at Crypticon before (but I wasn't in attendance that year) so I'm sure the convention folks already knew he was a great guest to have.


Seated right next to him was Michael Berryman.  Seeing that everyone was asking him about 'The Hills Have Eyes", I wanted to ask him about something different:  his appearance in the Motley Crue music video, "Smokin In The Boys Room".  Michael talked about his agent saying there was a music video being made that a company wanted him for.  The band was Mutley Crue.  He thought to himself what kind of name is that - Mutley Crue?  Once he was on the set, he found out it was Motley Crue.  Michael said that the ending 4 seconds of the video when he wiggles his ears was cut from the video but due to fan demand, it was cut back into the video.  Little did I know that wasn't a trick as Michael wiggled his ears for me.  I wish I had video taped that with my phone!  He said the guys in the band were great and he has fond memories of making that video.

During this - William Forsythe was listening in.  He chimed in that back in the day, he used to bounce at the Troubadour (club on the Sunset Strip in LA) and threw Motley Crue out of the club more than once.  He then added that about two years ago, he met Vince Neil (singer of Motley Crue) and Vince said "great to meet you finally - I've been big fan for a long time" to which William replied, "we already met - I used to throw your ass out of the Troubadour motherfucker"!  Great story from William!


I snaked my way back over to Sherilyn Fenn's table.  Since 1992, I've been a huge fan of the Gary Sinise version of "Of Mice and Men".  So, I had to talk to Ms. Fenn about that film!  She was very glad to hear someone wanted to hear about that film as she loves it dearly.  It was the film that made her feel like a "real" actress!  We talked about the differences between her version of the character and the book, that I used to have the movie poster in my classroom, and that she was perfectly cast in the role.

I then brought up the subject of her writing - specifically her blog.  She hasn't written in it since 2014 and I asked her if she planned on changing that.  She said she knows she needs to write again as it's something she loves doing and it's very therapeutic. 

If you haven't read it, check out the entry from late 2014.  She writes about a very dark period in her life.  I found it so raw and real that I couldn't help but relate to it (when I was going through my own dark times in my life).  I told her about this and she was genuinely moved and understood the importance of what she may consider just a blog entry, is actually reaching out and helping others in the world.  That's powerful stuff, folks.  Perhaps she'll start writing in it when she has down time in between takes filming Twin Peaks this fall.


Sid Haig was next for me as he had a line - again.  Sid has slowed down (perhaps due to his recent health issues) but the man's been around forever it seems.  I love that he wrote "I'll fuck you up" on my 8x10.  After I got a quick photo with him, he excused himself to go to the restroom.  His assistant also went up to get Benadryl from his room as he was coughing quite a bit.

Odd aside to mention but I was in the bathroom stall taking care of business.  The stall next to me, a guy walks in with big black shoes - shoes that I recognized belonged to Mr. Haig.  He was coughing as well.  How weird is it that here I am taking a dump and next to me Sid Haig is taking a leak?  I don't know - I found it weird but cool I guess?

I heard a fan near the sinks bugging Mr. Haig with a gazillion questions.  Dude, ask a question or two, and then let the man get back to his table.  Or, better yet, wait until he leaves the restroom before asking him questions.  Mr. Haig was polite enough but then even he had to say, "I have to get back to my table - there's fans waiting". 


I went back to the vendor room to talk to Clint Howard only to find he had left.  The Soska's, who had a line most of the weekend, still had one.  So I made my way over to Ted White's table.  Dressed up all three days like a gentleman, I introduced myself and talked to Mr. White about Corey Feldman - who was in Friday the 13th Part 4 The Final Chapter with Mr. White. 

If you watch interviews with the director of the film, he says nice things about Corey.  If you see interviews with Mr. White, he says the kid was a brat that drove him crazy.  So, I had to find out what Corey was like from the man himself.  Sure enough - Mr. White didn't like him.  He said that Corey was a nightmare to work with, not only for the actors, but for the crew as well, just a crazy, arrogant, kid actor. 

He mentioned he did a convention with him a few years ago and that at the panel, half of the audience walked out.  True story apparently.  It's kind of sad that as an adult he hasn't changed much.  Mr. White did add though that as much as Corey bugged him, he did like his performance in the film.

We talked about what it was like working (stunt doubling) for John freakin' Wayne and Clark Gable!  Just unreal the legends Mr. White has worked with.  The scope of film history really became apparent when talking with Mr. White.  It was a pleasure chatting with him.  

I had debated about getting one of the replica Jason masks (due to cost) but then decided I needed one for my wall.  Part 4 is one of my favorite films in the series anyway so what the Hell?  My wallet didn't want to talk to me for the rest of the day, though.



At this point, I was getting ready to wind things down.  I saw that the Soska's line wasn't so long so I stood in that.  Tony Kay chatted me up a bit while I waited.  He was trying to use the opportunity to get pics/chat with the guests as well as had been doing panels all weekend. 

The Soska's do what smart bands do when they're coming up.  They plant seeds by taking the time to talk with their fans in a sincere and fun way.  Hugs abound, whether they know you or not, constant comments (in my case about my tattoos), and pictures sandwiched between the two of them.  They did this with every fan.  They took time to talk with every fan at length.  Their fan base is growing because the fan's feel like they are one of their own that are making the films that genre fans love.  I didn't quite get why they were back after having just been here last year.  I get it now.  They're awesome good fun!

 
It was time to head out as I had another commitment that Sunday night. 

This year's Crypticon was a good mix of guests as always.  There is always a friendly, familiar convention vibe there that I always enjoy.  Every year I attend, it feels more and more like home.

Major kudos to the organizers and all the hard work they put into making the convention a success every year!

As I put my signed photos on the wall of my home, I feel a little sad that I have to wait another twelve months before the convention is back.  But, before I know it, the skies will turn red once more - announcing that Crypticon 2016 has arrived!

Cheers!
Mark
EA

Want more Crypticon Seattle reports?  Check out my previous reports:





Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bleachbear, Kathleen Parrish, and The Female Fiends 4/23/15 Review

Greetings,

I find myself playing catchup after a productive week and weekend.  I'm on my way to experience Nightwish and Delain tomorrow (which will have a gig review) so I thought I best get this review up prior to the Fins and Dutch infiltrating my mind on Sunday evening.

For those that follow EA, you already know I've written two pieces on the local Seattle band Bleachbear.  One was a gig/contest review and the other was a CD review.  Find them here:

SoundOff Report w/Bleachbear

Bleachbear "Lost Parade" CD Review

For my third piece, I conducted an interview this past Thursday 4/23/15 with the band prior to their gig.  Find the interview here:

Bleachbear Video Interview

Of course this means this is the gig review.  Onward!

The gig was held at the Funhouse Lounge at El Corazon (the new home for the formerly defunct Funhouse) on Thursday evening.  For those that know the club, the Funhouse now run the lounge side of El Corazon.  Being an all ages show, they had the bar sectioned off and the main area open. 

An intimate setting which proved effective compared to the main stage side of the club which would have been too big/sparse.  There was no gig on the main stage side either so that meant no sound bleed through which was a welcome sight.

I was conducting the interview with the band as the first band took the stage so I only saw half of their set.  The Female Fiends are a four piece from Kent, WA.  They played a really enjoyable mix of alternative with some guitar work that reminded me a bit of bands like The Cure but without the Robert Smith mopey vocals.

Their songs were well written and they were a good start to the evening.  You can find them on FB and Band Camp.

The Female Fiends on Facebook

The Female Fiends on Band Camp

Next up was Kathleen Parrish - who I understand organized this gig.  Kudos to you Kathleen for doing this!

A four piece with Kathleen Parrish as the front woman, it's really hard to describe their music.  It reminded me at times of like a mix of indie with adult contemporary tones (especially the vocal delivery).  That description isn't on the mark but it's all I can think of right now.  Backed by a band of guitar, keys, and drums, Kathleen performed a set of tunes that showcased her vocals and songwriting.  While different than The Female Fiends, she was equally enjoyable.  Plus she's from Edmonds (my current residence) so she gets extra points for that!

They have a gig coming up in May at the Firewheel Coffeehouse in Everett.  Check the official site for more information.

You can find Kathleen Parrish here:

Kathleen Parrish Official Site



The last band of the evening was Bleachbear.  After some issues with Tigerlily's (vocals/guitar) pedalboard, the band played about a half hour set of original tunes - a few I recognized from the SoundOff performance. 

The band at times seemed like a different band than what I saw back in March - in a good way.  Some of that had to do with where they were playing (a more comfortable straight forward gig - not a competition), some of that had to do with the fact that they just finished up an EP of tunes in the recording studio, and some of that may have just been the night.

The band was in fine form - the mix was a little off (especially with the background vocals - sound guy could of punched those up a bit more) but overall, the band sounded really tight.  And I need to point this out - Emiko (bass/keys/background vocals) really stood out.  I didn't notice in March just how much the bass is pumping all over the place - even with the solo bit in one tune.  Some artists come out of their shell when they hit the stage - Emiko is one of them.  She has her own vibe on stage - dancing and swaying to the music while bopping around the neck on the bass.  Impressive!  And thank you for playing bass with your fingers - (pet peeve of mine when I see a bassist using a pick).

Bird (drums/percussion/backing vocals) seems to have grown a bit as well.  Her drumming tonight was playful but more on point than in March.  Playing her own kit may have helped with that instead of having to use a backline kit (like at the EMP gig).

Tigerlily's made the best of one effects pedal in her arsenal and it really wasn't noticeable from an audience standpoint.  Singing and playing while dancing to the songs, she was definitely more at ease at this gig and it showed.

The band as a whole seemed in sync, more focused as a musical unit, and it made me eager to hear this new EP and how their sound has evolved.  

My only complaint?  The set was short.  I guess I'm not up on these all ages type gigs - I think every band got the same amount of time to play to make it fair (correct me if I'm wrong).  I'm used to the normal set times:

Opener:  30
Special Guest:  40/45
Headliner:  Hour to 2 Hours (depending on number of bands and sound curfew)

Oh - and my other complaint - the red lights the Funhouse/El Corazon uses on the right side and rear.  Emiko and Bird were bathed in red light the whole set while Tigerlily had the white spotlight on her.  Clean that up Funhouse people - or at least mix it up a bit.  

By the time you're reading this, the band have a gig on Sunday 4/26/15 at the Crocodile so catch them if you can. 

In May they are playing at the Folk Life Fest (they're scheduled for Saturday the 23rd - time/location TBD - schedule comes out online on May 1st).

Keep up with the band here:

Bleachbear On Facebook

Bleachbear On Bandcamp

Bleachbear On Instagram

A very pleasant night of music by all three artists!

Mark
EA 

Video Interview #2 - BLEACHBEAR!

Greetings!

We're on a roll - please check out video interview #2 - local Seattle artists BLEACHBEAR!

Cheers!
Mark
EA



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DOYLE (ex Misfits) Video Interview Numero Uno!

Greetings,

EA has finally entered the 21st century - aka video interviews.  Up first:  Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein.  Check it out!

Cheers!
Mark
EA

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dee Wallace: An Interview from The Vaults

Greetings!

As the third month of 2015 nears the end, I thought it would be a good time to release this interview from the vaults.

This interview was conducted in May 2012 at Crypticon Seattle.  For those that have been reading EA, you already know I was severely concussed when I attended the convention that year.  This interview and one other were already pre-planned weeks in advance so I had no intention of cancelling them.  With my assistant in tow, I somehow conducted this interview without sounding like a complete fool.   Well that's what I think - you, dear readers, may have a different opinion.

Ms. Dee Wallace was warm and direct when we did the interview.  She is a very caring person but she will also call you on your bullshit in an instant.  I'll be honest I was nervous during this one but everything turned out better than I expected.  By the end of the interview we took a photo where I was standing a good person's length away.  Dee grabbed me close to her - which explains why we look like lovebirds in the pic (look further down the interview for the photo in question).  I love that photo!

Dee was gracious enough to sign a copy of her book, "Bright Light", and give it to me on her dime.  Just another fine example of her generosity as a person.  She told me she wanted to know what I thought of it after I read it.  I told her I would write her and she looked at me like "you better".  The book truly hit home with me.  So much so it was rather scary.  I wrote her a very lengthy email stating so and, much to my surprise, she wrote back to me which was quite heart warming  Still is, actually.

I have nothing but good memories of my time speaking with her.  And considering my medical state at the time, that's saying something.  ;)

Much thanks to Dee for doing the interview.  It was such a thrill for me!

EA readers:  I present Ms. Dee Wallace!

Cheers!
Mark
EA



EA:  Hi!  The first thing is that at your panel yesterday, I want to mention that one of the fans asked you about working with Eddie Diezen and you were like I don’t remember who that was on "Critters".  I did my research last night.  As it turns out you didn’t work with him.  You were in "Critters" while he was in "Critters 2".

DW:  Oh good, because I really felt bad when I forget.  You know, you work with so many people. 

EA:  Sure especially in your case with a career over 40 years.  So yeah, you didn’t work with him.  

DW:  Thank you for purging the guilt.

EA:  With this being the second convention that I’m covering for my magazine, do you remember what your first convention was like and that whole experience from the very first time you did one of these shows?

DW:  Oh I think I had about 4 pictures on my table and a lot of the older actors were there and they were trying to school me on how to do it like put plastic over the photos and wear gloves and don’t shake people’s hands.  That lasted for about a half an hour and then I went screw this.  You know who I am right?  I’m a hugger and you know I love to shake people’s hands.  The "don’t talk to them, just run em through", that’s just not me.  It’s not who I am.

EA:  That’s great though because that makes it more of a personal experience for the fan and they don't feel like they’re getting bum-rushed through.  

DW:  Yeah, it’s not fair to everybody.  You guys spent so much money and everything getting in and you deserve time with us.  That’s part of the thrill.

EA:  Right, it is.  I know I appreciate it. 

I want to hear all about your healing and your energy healing.  It seems like it’s really a priority with you and you have all kinds of events coming up and you have a radio show and for someone like me that doesn’t know a lot about it, where did it start, how did it start, what can you tell me about it?

DW:  Well it started after Chris (husband) died and I’ve been hurt a lot in the business which I talked about in "Bright Lights" and I just kinda fell to my knees that I don’t want to be a victim anymore, I don’t want to be angry anymore.  I want a way we can heal ourselves.  Those were the key words and literally within minutes I started channeling.  It was weird.

Yeah, I’m an English teacher from Kansas so becoming a clairvoyant within minutes was not something that was in my comfort zone.  But I think probably just because I am the girl next door and I am able to explain it in ways that people can really understand and have fun with it and everything.  Maybe that’s why the gift came.  Basically it’s around directing your own energy and that you have to take responsibility.  

You have to take responsibility for yourself and if you don’t create yourself you become the created upon literally, by society and media and genetics, you know, all that stuff.  So you really have to step up and take responsibility for yourself and then the entire universe can come forward to help you and support you, but you’ve got to direct the energy first.  You have to choose first.  And most of us are waiting for somebody else to choose somebody else to do it for us.

EA:  You’ve written three books related to the energy healing.  Or is it kind of a combination of an energy healing and your autobiographical stories?

DW:  Well, "Bright Light" is autobiographical.  It goes through my career and everything with the healing lessons that I learned sprinkled through.  The other two, "Conscious Creation" is totally channeled and the "Big E" I call my toilet book because you can literally read it on the toilet.  It’s a page and a half on a lot of all of the sayings that we’ve been raised with like “You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”?  And what they mean literally in the New Age healing world.
 
EA:  Okay, I’m definitely going to want to pick up one of those books before I get out of here.

DW:  They’re pretty awesome books.  They’re helping a lot of people.

EA:  Yeah, do you have any plans to like with your energy healing to maybe do anything that would be like a television show or special or…

DW:  I’d love to do a TV show on it.  I’m just waiting for everybody to catch up.  You know, they all want a gimmick and right now we’re into reality shows where you make fun of people which I refuse to do.  So, yes, I would love to do a healing show about it.

EA:  It just makes so much sense, if you’re doing these and you’re doing private sessions with clients, I could see it on Lifetime or on Oprah’s channel, numerous channels actually.

DW:  Well I’m holding that vision with you.


EA:  I saw on your website you had a quote that said, “Love yourself beyond anyone or anything else, love yourself so much that you can’t do anything that doesn’t make you love yourself more”.  Does that kinda sum up the…

DW:  Yeah, that’s the cornerstone of everything, really.  Because if you don’t love yourself, you’re not going to want to give yourself the joy and happiness and the money and the health and the relationship that you’re asking for and that’s where most people get tripped up because they aren’t in harmony with what they’re asking for.  You know, they’re judging money and they’re still holding all these silly beliefs that money’s the root of all evil and money can create unhappiness for you, when really money has no power in itself, it’s what your consciousness behind the money does with it.

EA:  Right.

DW:  And if you hate your body, why would your body create health for you?  So you have to be in harmony.  Bottom line, if we all just live in joy and love, we wouldn’t have to do anything else. We wouldn’t have to read another book or study or do any of that, you know.  And we’ve known that forever, but we don’t choose to do it.

Like you were saying, I think that’s probably one of the biggest things is choosing to do things.  Choosing to love yourself so that everything else can kind of come back in line with you.  And that’s the foundation.

Everything’s a choice.  You know, people will call in to my show and go “yeah, but you know, he is playing around with me, right, with another woman and you know, I can’t feel good about that” and I said, “yeah, you can”.  Bottom line, you still have a choice.  Are you gonna stay in love and joy within yourself while you leave, while you divorced the bastard, right?  Because when you go out of that within yourself, that’s when your creation stops.  In the way that you want to create, you know.

EA:  Powerful stuff.

DW:  It’s great stuff and it’s freedom.  It’s really freedom, but you know, you have to choose and something happened at home last night and I just instantaneously got pissed off.  Right? And that lasted for about fifteen minutes and I went, okay, well this isn’t serving me.  It’s not gonna make it better.  In that moment you get to be human and then you get to choose how to shift yourself out of that so that you can create more of what you want.

EA:  Right, I used to work as a teacher for about 16 years with special needs kids and also at-risk kids.

DW:  Oh, wow!

EA:  Yeah, I used to tell them all the time that, “you always have a choice”.  You may not think you have a choice, but there actually are two if you look at it.  Maybe they both kinda stink.  One’s a little better than the other, but you can’t say I don’t have a choice.  No, there’s something there, I have to help you see that.

DW:  And then, they can start taking the power back instead of thinking they’re victims.

EA:  Right.

DW:  So many of us just think well shit happens and we have to react to it.  But that’s not true.

EA:  Right.  You can choose which way you want things to go.

DW:  You have to choose.   So, Victor Franco wrote about that very thing in his famous book "Man’s Meaning For Life" (about the Holocaust) that no matter how bad it got he got up every morning reminding himself he had a choice about how to feel.

EA:  Wow!

DW:  Nelson Mandela writes about the same thing.

EA:  There’s a quote from of all people, Gene Simmons’ mother, who was also in the camps during the Holocaust.  Her quote was that “any day above ground is a good day”.

DW:  Yeah.  It is if the day above ground you live in joy and love.  I mean, you can have a lot of days above ground and live in hell.  Not my idea of a life.

EA:  Like what you’re saying, if you’re not making that internal choice, you’re going to be going in circles.

DW:  Your internal choice creates the reality of your life.

EA:  Right, love it.  I love hearing that mentality, that’s the mentality that I have so…

DW:  Yeah, I can tell, that’s great (smiles).

EA:  You mentioned yesterday that you had a great story to tell about "Ten".

DW:  "Ten" was my first big mainstream movie  and I didn’t know to go over deal points and contracts and stuff.  I just thought your agents were supposed to take care of you.  Oh, dumb blonde me.  So I got down there and we got to the first day of shooting and we were on the beach in Mexico and Blake Edwards (director) comes over and says “welcome Dee, is everything great?”  I said, “oh Mr. Edwards, my room is so beautiful.  I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven.  It was this marble suite. This little kid from Kansas.  My room’s great and everything’s so nice, but where’s my trailer?Well I didn’t know that my agent hadn’t negotiated me a trailer. 

EA:  Oh…

DW:  And without skipping a beat, he turns to his executive producer Tony Adams and he says, "I don’t know Tony, where’s her trailer?And Tony goes, "uh, uh, uh Mr Edwards, it’s coming.  It’s on the way, but it’s a little late.Right?  So, he turned to me and said “well you’ll be in with Bo (Derek) until your trailer gets here.  Which did not make John Derek very happy at all, I might add.  So 40 minutes later, here comes the trailer and I had a trailer every day.  But that’s the kind of guy Blake was.

EA:  Speaks volumes about him.  He could have easily just said, “you don’t have one”.  Tough luck.

DW:  And the story I didn’t get to tell about Peter Jackson yesterday.  Chris died while I was shooting "The Frighteners".  And I went back and forth 4 times across half the world and they said you can settle up with us.  We’ll make the arrangements. Just settle up with us at the end.  So I went to settle up with him and the accountant looked at me and said “no, Peter’s taken care of it, it’s his gift to you”.

EA:  Wow!  That's really sweet of him.

DW:  Yeah, you hear so much shit about people in our business that it’s important to hear the love too.

EA:  Yeah, that’s awesome.  You’re right, from fans’ points of view, especially with the internet and everything else, the social media, you hear all kinds of bad things, the rumors.  There’s got to be good things going on to.  For me it’s like the football analogy, when all the Tim Tebow stuff was going on.  He’s kneeling down on one knee, he’s been a Christian all of his life and they want to make an issue out of that when they have other NFL players that are shooting people at nightclubs, players that are getting arrested for potential sexual assault for, etc.  Just let Tebow do that.  To me, it’s like you don’t hear enough of the good things.

DW:  Isn’t that what we were talking about?  As soon as you move into judgement, then the love and the joy is gone.  And the separation happens and then the I’m better than you are thing happens.  And you’re not going to be saved if you’re not the religion or…Judgement in our world just limits all of it’s so incredibly.

EA:  Right, right.  What was life like for you growing up in Kansas before you went to New York, before you went to LA?  Just your earlier childhood.

DW:  My dad was an alcoholic all my life.  We were extremely poor.  I lived most of the time with my grandmother.  We lived downstairs and she lived upstairs.  And he ultimately committed suicide, my father.  The other side of that was I was loved unconditionally.  I had an amazing relationship with my dad when he was sober.  And a huge support system with my grandmother and my mom.  Everybody was incredibly talented.  So it was a real Ying and Yang thing.  I talk a lot about it in "Bright Light "and how it affected me later when I moved into becoming famous.

EA:  When did you start dancing? Were you taking classes, lessons?

DW:  My mom started bartering that for me when I was about 4 years old.  That’s when I started my own daughter dancing.

EA:  You said like when you went to New York and eventually from New York you went to LA, you kind of danced yourself across the country.  Tell me more about that, what were you doing then?

DW:  Industrials, that’s how I got my equity card in an industrial, called the Millikin (sp) show.  I was in an Oldsmobile show. (sings)  “Tie a yellow ribbon around that Oldsmobile”.  I danced my way across and made some contacts out here  and went back to New York and then got the Coogle Peanut Butter stuff, right.  Danced into Coogle Peanut and just ultimately I kept ending up in LA.  That’s why I just decided to come for awhile.

EA:  I remember you saying yesterday in your panel, you did like over 400 commercials.  You put in the time, you paid your dues, etc.

DW:  I did.  I never looked at commercials as paying your dues.  I thought I died and gone to heaven every day I got to go to the mailbox.  Which is still my favorite thing of the day is going to the mailbox because I associate it with all the checks I got in New York and it was like… You know, when you’re raised in a really poor family, it’s like do we have enough food to get through the week?  Going to the mailbox and having a thousand dollar check is like you’re living on another planet.  I’m always very appreciative of anything I get because I remember those days when I didn’t have anything.

EA:  Right.  It’s almost like Christmas every day when you went to the mailbox.

DW:  Absolutely.   Now we go to the internet to Paypal and my assistant goes “all right we’re going to the internet mailbox”.  We celebrate every time there’s money in there.

EA:  You kinda mentioned a story yesterday with Tyne Daly and some young actors on a set that were basically not being respectful.

DW:  Assholes.

EA:  That sense of entitlement, that type of thing.  Is that from all the jobs you’ve done, all the work you’ve done, not only yourself, but tons of other actors as well, is it that sense of entitlement that you see with the younger generation of actors?

DW:  It’s not just with acting.  I can see a sense of entitlement with young people, period.  I think you have parents, they wanted to give their kids a better life.  And the intention was really positive.  They wanted to empower them with a better life.  And ultimately I think we gave them too much and didn’t teach them some of the principles.  As a healer, I go back and forth because I know creation should be really easy and can be really easy.  And the easier it is actually the more you create.  Until you have that down you really have to take a responsibility again for...  and I think we need to stop enabling, not only our young people, but anybody else in our lives.  Enabling people doesn’t empower them.

EA:  Dee, have you turned down any roles, that you kinda kicked yourself about later?

DW:  No, a lot of roles I wasn’t available to do because I was doing something else or didn’t get up for, yeah, a lot of those.  But none that I turned down that I’m sorry about.  Things that I turned down, turned into real B movies with gratuity and stuff like that.  It’s not what I was out for.

EA:  I was listening to the audio track on "The Howling" dvd.  I remember Joe Dante was talking about that when you guys shot that scene in the adult store in the film, you were genuinely freaked out by the whole thing.  Can you talk a little bit more about shooting that scene and similar ones?

DW:  When an actor gets into their role, you have to cross a line .  You have to.  If you don’t cross a line, then the audience doesn’t cross it with you.  So I let my character go in to lala land and I become the character in the moment.  There’s always a part of Dee that stays present but there’s a lot of Dee that, like the story I told you in "Cujo" when I broke the window,  there’s a part of me going, okay don’t take your knees and the kid over the glass.  But most of me is Donna having to get the kid out of the car.
 
EA:  Can you give me a birds eye view of your experience shooting "E.T."?  I’m sure you’ve talked about it a million times, but now in 2012 what stands out for you during that time of making that film?

DW:  Waiting, waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting.  I think I was on the set over 3 weeks before I ever worked.  Drives an actor nuts.  Steven (Spielberg) one time said “can you explain to me why it makes an actor so nuts, I mean, you know we hired you”.  I said, "well, we’re like a racehorse Steven, you come and get us and we go, oh, we’re gonna race, we get to race, we get to do what we love, right? And then you take us to hair and make-up and we get groomed and then we go to wardrobe and we get our saddle on and we’re ready to go.  And if you don’t let us go, that energy’s got to go somewhere.He said to me, “oh well, I never understood that, thanks”.  Next morning I was on the set at 7:00 am and worked all day.

EA:  You mentioned yesterday in the panel that working with the young actor in "Cujo" that if he wasn’t there, you don’t know what you would have done kind of a thing because he was just so together for a child actor.  Also, what was it like working with Henry Thomas in "E.T."?

DW:  Danny was fabulous and wonderful.  It was just me and Danny in "Cujo".  Me and Danny and the dog, right?  That little kid was asked to do so much far out emotional work.  All the kids in "E.T." were fabulous.  Again, Danny I think was asked to go beyond what a kid should have been able to do.

EA:  So that’s why he made even more of an impression.

DW:  Yeah.

EA:  Do you feel with your roles like in "The Howling" and in "Cujo" and even with "E.T.", have you been typecast at all?

DW:  Sure.  I don’t think I was typecast before "E.T.", but after "E.T.", I was the quintessential mom.  I was the mom that everybody wanted and it was just easy to stick me in mom roles.  So, I’m still trying to get out of it.

EA:  The upcoming film from Rob Zombie, "The Lords of Salem".  Is that going to take you out of that?

DW:  I’m SO not a mom in that film (smiles).

EA:  With all the remakes that Hollywood’s been doing, how would you feel if they tried to remake "The Howling" or for some weird reason try to remake "E.T."?  How would you feel about that?

DW:  They did just remake "The Howling" with young people.  They said it was a remake, it wasn’t at all of course.  Actually somebody’s just bought all the rights to "The Howling" books and they want to know if I would do another one based on my character or like my sister.  I’d be my sister.  I said, look, I have to read the script and I would have to know who’s doing it and I would have to know...cause I’ve got a responsibility to all my fans from "The Howling".

EA:  You mentioned about being frightened of being on stage like doing some theater work.  Did you already do it once and had a bad experience or already knew that’s not for me cause I’m going to forget my lines or…

DW:  It’s just every time I go on, I’m freaked out and then I forget my lines. I don’t know, maybe in another life?  I would’ve, but I always get through it.  I’ve done Annie Get Your Gun in front of 5000 people a night, I remembered the songs and dances, but I’m always scared to death I’m not going to.  I don't like the panic.

EA:  Last question - how long were you working as a teacher?  What you did you teach? 

DW:  I just taught a year of high school, theater and english.  Because my mom wanted me to have something to fall back on, if this didn’t go.  So I wanted to honor that wish so I got my degree, I taught a year and I then I said “mom, if I don’t go now, I ain't ever getting out of here”.  So with their blessing, little Deanna Bowers (Dee), who’d never been out of Kansas in her life, went to New York.

EA:  And then, here you are now.

DW:  I was there for two years and came out to LA.  The rest, they say, is history. (smiles)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bleachbear "Lost Parade" Review

Greetings!

I remember back in 2011 asking for local music to review for the magazine.  I received a lot of submissions.  I specifically requested hard copies to weed out those that only use digital forms of promotion for their band.

I had a stack of CD's, CDr's, and the like.  I think even a few cassette (!) tapes made it to my door.  While I'm not one to toot my own horn, ever since the 80's, I've enjoyed turning people on to new music.  A few examples - this band out of San Francisco that were playing this really heavy style of metal that reminded me of Motorhead meets Maiden/Priest.  They had a 12" single for "Jump In The Fire" out in the UK and Europe at the time.  The band?  These unknown guys called Metallica.  Ever heard of them?  It's too bad what they've turned into but back in the day they could do no wrong.  But I digress.

So, back in 2011, that pile of music I received was pretty much just that - a pile of crap.  Yeah, I'm not in a mood to sugarcoat my words today.  Surely there were a few exceptions you say?  Yes, there were - three to be exact.  One is still putting on their live production shows annually here - getting better each year.  Another is playing a gig tonight in West Seattle.  And another has adopted a stage name to protect his identity.  He has returned to the local stage and has produced a quality EP of music as well (after several CD releases).  Two of the three were interviewed and featured in Eclectic Arts (print version).

This brings me to my current review of Bleachbear's "Lost Parade" release.  It's hard to not include a few different perspectives on this release.  I want to be fair to the CD as I would any other that I review here but I have a bit more background on the band so my perspective isn't that of a newbie.  For better or worse, I will breakdown what I think of the album as if I knew nothing about the band, k?


I've been living with this music for the last week - week and a half or so.  I played it through my TV, my stereo, and my trusty boombox.  Front to back, I listened to it approximately a dozen times, maybe more.  I wanted to soak in the music before I wrote this review.

The CD starts out with arguably the strongest track, "Stuttering Hearted".  I can't think of one thing to make this song better.  It reminds me of the late great Ronnie James Dio when recording vocalist Geoff Tate (formerly of Queensryche) for the Hear N Aid release.  Geoff finished his vocals in the studio and Ronnie just said from the booth, "Great.  It's Great.  It's Great."  He said it with such finality you knew there was nothing more to be done to improve the performance.  That's how I feel about this tune.  It's great!

The use of vocal phrasing (mixture of voice) during the song adds dimension to the tune. Tigerlily's voice is upper register.  It is airy and distinct.  To me, it stands out on the entire album in a positive way.  To others, it may be a bit of distraction (or it may take getting used to).  "Stuttering Hearted" is the leading candidate for a single release if you ask me.

I must mention that the production is lively - very clear bass lines, drums, voice, guitar, etc.  I'm not quite sure if the basic tracks were recorded with the band as a whole or separately.  In any regard, it works.  Kudos to the production/engineering team for putting out a quality production that isn't overly produced/slick.  The organic-ness of the performance comes through which I love to hear.

The band consists of three ladies - Tigerlily Cooley (vocals/guitar/bass), Annabella Bird Cooley (drums/percussion), and Emiko Gantt (bass/bells).  All songwriting credit is given to Tigerlily Cooley. 

"Down By The Forest" is up next.  An upbeat number with more vocal phrasing around the two minute mark (seems to be a staple of the band).  The forest motif shows up in several of the songs lyrics.  There's a little, a liiiiiiiiiiitle bit of a oldies vibe to this tune (think 50's).

"Letters At Your Door" is quite introspective.  The glockenspiel seems to get a work out on the majority of the album too which is a nice touch - particularly on tunes like this.  It adds a dream/lullaby like quality to the atmosphere.

Next up is "Valentine's Day".  Guitar and vocals start off this tune before the bass kicks in and then the kick drum.  The pre-chorus has an almost Beatles quality to it.  The chorus reminds me of Tracy Bonham's work a bit.

"I Do It All For You" may be a bit of a cliche' title but the song is anything but.  Many of the songs have lyrical themes of being alone, relationships (good/bad), and letting go, among other topics.  The opening of this tune the timing of the guitar and the drums sounds ever so slightly off beat - just a smidge.  The snare hits in particular.  Nothing major at all, though.

This brings us to "Look At The Stars".  Acoustic guitar and vocals start this tune off.  Stripped down for the most part (there are bells on this track too along with eggs (shakers) and other percussion), this song reminds me of what the band could close the show with.  You know how some bands play the big bombastic song last while others leave the audience on a quiet note.  That would be this tune.

The left of field track on the album, "Astoria", captures the cinematic quality that I'm sure was the intent.  Lyrically haunting, the music fits it perfectly to create the ghostly mood.  This so reminds me of Veronica Falls from London (if you haven't checked them out, do so now) except that band is definitely darker and edgier.  One of the stronger tunes on the album, both in composition and instrumentation.  This would make a great song for a video.

And the last track (eight total) - we get "Stop Holding On".  Another stripped down song that eventually builds up in places, full of introspection, the track makes a fine ending statement on this release.

Eight songs feels a bit short for this release.  I would of loved to have heard a few more songs to make it feel more complete.  But, the statement within those eight songs is more than enough to tell the listener what Bleachbear is all about.

There are times when the band sounds a little like a solo act, though.  Like it's Tigerlily and the Bleachbears.  This makes sense as she wrote all the tunes.  But, I'd love to hear the band (and maybe they've already done this), all three of the ladies, sit down and write a tune or three together as a band.  Or, if Annabella or Emiko have any tunes they've written on their own, bring those to the band.  I think it would add to the cohesiveness of making the statement that "we are BLEACHBEAR" the band - hear us roar!  :)

Side notes:  the packaging of the CD is spot on.  Released in 2013 (or that's the copyright at least) in a digipack format, complete with lyrics.  I'm not sure what the trailer on the back has to do with anything - I'll have to ask the band about that.  I find it odd but so am I so it's okay.  

Overall, this is a stunning release.  The more you listen to it, the more it unveils itself, the layers within the music and lyrics.  As it's playing again as I finish this review, it doesn't get old or redundant.  Do yourself a favor and download the album from their bandcamp page or buy the CD.  When they're headlining The Paramount in Seattle, you can thank me for turning you on to them today. 

Have a fantastic weekend!
-Mark

www.bleachbear.com