new Waxahatchee album

The new Waxahatchee album CERULEAN SALT is out today, which makes this a glorious day. It rocks a lot harder than AMERICAN WEEKEND, but still Katie Crutchfield wears her beautifully wounded heart on her flowered sleeve. Only this time the guitars tears through your soul as well.  As I’ve said before, she is our most talented young songwriter.  And she’s one of the two or three best female vocalists making records today.  Get on the boat now…there probably won’t be a better album released this year.

 

Archers of Loaf & Internet Modeling (or World Premiers & a KickStarter campaign)

The World Premiere plus upcoming screenings of my new feature-length concert documentary WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? THE ARCHERS OF LOAF LIVE AT CAT’S CRADLE:

June 15th – NXNE Festival, Toronto, Canada (World Premiere)

June 18th – Sled Island Festival, Calgary, Canada

July 5th – CBGB Fest, NYC (US Premiere)

July 7th – Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC

July 18th – The Brattle, Cambridge, MA

August 15th – Trylon, Minneapolis, MN

October 5th thru 11th – Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, WA

And my first narrative feature since FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS). A very dark, sensual drama that takes place in the world of internet modeling (y’know places like Model Mayhem and One Model Place with their one million members)…

Please pre-order the DVD to BROKEN SIDE OF TIME

Or at least watch the trailer:

Then visit the KickStarter page.

Thanks!

What Did You Expect? (And 3 other features!)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 2, 2011

Archers of Loaf Concert Film Announced.
What Were We Thinking Films Receives Funding For Three Features.

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA & NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT: Director Gorman Bechard, whose current feature, COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS, was named one of “The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year,” by Rolling Stone, takes on another iconic indie rock band with WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?, a feature film capturing the excitement and raw energy of the Archers of Loaf reunion tour.

Filming in August at the legendary Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the film will bring to the small screen the explosive nature of an Archers’ show. “I believe the Archers of Loaf were the greatest rock band of the 90’s, and certainly one of the greatest live bands of all time,” Bechard explains. “The sheer power of their live shows needs to be preserved so future generations can know what a rock a band is supposed to do on stage.”

Bechard’s New Haven based What Were We Thinking Films has also just received backing for three feature film projects:

PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, a documentary that delves into the phenomenon that is New Haven brick oven pizza and the trifecta of Sally’s, Pepe’s, and Modern Apizza. With perpetual lines around the block and customers that include everyone from presidents to rock stars, these three legendary restaurants come rich with history and spark passionate debates. Beginning with the Italian migration to New Haven in the late 1800’s through the urban renewal debacle of the 50’s and 60’s, and into today when a two hour wait in line for a pie is not uncommon, Pizza, A Love Story is about family, passion, and of course one of the world’s favorite foods, pizza. Filming is currently taking place in the New Haven area.

ONE NIGHT STAND, is part two of Bechard’s planned “Alone Trilogy,” which began with his award-winning YOU ARE ALONE. Starring Lynn Mancinelli and Alex Brown, two leads from Bechard’s indie rom-com FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), the horror film explores what happens when you take the wrong girl home. “It’s completely twisted and claustrophobic,” Bechard explains, “the entire film takes place in one small studio apartment, with mainly the two lead characters. It isn’t until the end of the first act that you realize what’s happening, and by the time you get to the third act, you realize you were wrong about that too.” Filming is scheduled for January 2012.

the temporary poster for BROKEN SIDE OF TIME

BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, also starring Mancinelli, is the first film set in the world of internet modeling. A dark road trip of slow redemption, the film takes a look at a woman who realizes her lifestyle is a death sentence. “She decides to give it all up, and go home,” the director explains, “but not before one last taste of the vices which are killing her.” BROKEN SIDE OF TIME is filming now, and is scheduled to be part of a filmmaking panel for the Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival in Bay City, Michigan in late September. Attendees can watch Bechard and company as they shoot the closing scene of the film.

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 26

The mix works like this: big dark room, the film projected on what I’d imagine to be a 12-foot screen. There are a few chairs right down in front of the screen, but I never use them, unless I’m pacing, wandering, restless.

Matt sits one step up, behind the mixing consol. He’s surrounded by levers and knobs, and of course a computer keyboard, and I haven’t much of a clue as to what any of them does. I watch the monitor at times. It looks a little like a Final Cut timeline, but different. Because I trust in Matt, I believe in his abilities, I know it’s nothing I need to know. He’s in control.

I sit behind a large desk of sorts one step up from and behind Matt. I have my laptop open to keep track of and check other film business while Matt does his thing. I’ll read emails, look up film festivals, things like that.

And we begin. I arrive on the 9th floor of DuArt at 9 AM on that Tuesday morning. Hot coffee in hand for me. I give Matt a present. A gift from the last film, Friends (With Benefits). It’s a Willoughby’s “Serious Coffee Drinker” t-shirt like Alex Brown and Rooney Mara wore in the film. When he realizes what it is, he smiles and tells me that since I sent him some Willoughby’s beans after the last mix he’s been addicted to the coffee, and orders it via their mail order site. Not only is the guy a brilliant mixer…he knows his coffee!

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 22

I’m on a plane to Chicago, for the third festival screening of CMO, but I want to take everyone back a few months.

We had been holding bi-weekly screening of the film at my house. Usually just me, my wife Kristine, Sarah Hajtol (who has more credits on this film than I do, but in this case was certainly acting as my assistant editor), and production manager/researcher Katie Dickey in attendance. And of course my dogs, Phoebe and Springsteen. (Springsteen finally stopped asking why there was no music in the film, which I thought was a good sign.) Jan Radder, my supervising producer would also watch, but from a DVD at his home in Minneapolis. The last of these was on Monday, January 31, 2011. It would be the last chance to have a number of eyes on the film before locking it down, and doing the sound mix.

Notes were blessedly few and far between. A missing period at the end of one title, a B-camera close-up a little out of focus, a missing name in the end titles, a photo that needed to move from right to left, instead of visa-versa, things like that. I would then spend the next week tweaking. We received a handful of last minute graphics/images, which Sarah would insert into the film, while I double checked everything, and added only two things.

Two things no one knew about.

The first: the pause. (Infamous in my small circle of participants on this film.) Bil MacLeslie was the band’s soundman for a few tours. He was the person who confiscated the tape which would go on to become When The Shit Hits The Fans. His stories are eloquent and plentiful in the film. But one on my favorite things he says is nothing at all.

I asked everyone we interviewed what their favorite Mats song was. Most people listed off many, or gave an answer, then quickly changed their mind. Bill was different. He gave his one word answer, then paused. It was as if it were the thing in his life of which he was most sure.

When doing the first cut of the film, I left that pause in, in all its six second glory. I loved it. It was a breath, a break, it was certainty and passion, it was exactly what the film needed at that point. But everyone on my crew hated it. That it stopped the flow. That it was almost uncomfortable. So I chopped away at it, until it barely existed, mainly because I was tired of hearing about it after screening every cut.

Well, when Sarah was through with the graphics, and when I knew the next person who’d me seeing the film was my mixer, Matt Gundy, at DuArt, I popped that pause back in, as I knew I would, as I had planned to, all along. And watching it with festival audiences, counting off the second in my head, I know it belongs in the film. I love that damn pause.

The second: a dedication. It comes right at the end of the end credits, as Matthew Ryan speaks. It’s heartfelt, and deserved, as I would have never made this film without her. You can read it when you see the film. I mean every word.

P.S. These past few posts, and the next few that follow were all written on that plane ride. Needed a break from new script.

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 17

OK…holidays over, and I hope everyone’s was safe and merry…

…but before I get back to that second NYC shoot…let me state once again and for the record, and so there’s no confusion. Since I have been involved with this film (well over 2 years now), there has never been a time when I considered, even for a second, putting music in the film. We have never approached The Replacements about using their music. We have never approached the band members for interviews. We have never approached the band members about anything, period. That is not and never was (or will be) the film I’m making. Go back to part 2 of this “making of” and hopefully you’ll understand why. I wanted to do something different, an original take on the rockumentary, a genre that’s seen almost everything, except well, this…my ode to what I believe to be the greatest band of all time. I like taking chances…you never know what you’re going to get. (Sort of like with The Replacements, right?) And can there ever be greatness without risk?

The Making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 16

The third day of filming for CMO brought us back to NYC. A really cold day, February 2, 2010. Just me and Adrian making the drive.

We began with someone who’d become one of CMO’s patron saints, Jesse Malin. He was our first official rock star. We shot the interview at his bar Niagra, on Avenue A and 7th Street.

Jesse was great! He told stories that seemed to connect with Jack Rabid’s, of seeing them on their East Coast Whirl back in 1983, of jamming with Paul Westerberg after their set at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. He spoke of how the band seemed like a real gang, nothing phony about them. And when asked what he would tell a younger rock fan to turn them onto The Replacements, he said:

“It’s real. It’s real rock n’ roll. It encompasses everything that rock n’ roll and punk rock should have. Great songs. Great energy. Rebel music. A fuck you. A comradery of the people. A great sense of humor. And a unique style. A unique sound. Fearless. Timeless in a way.”

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 15

Before we continue with the interview process, I want to stress to any people making films out there, or thinking of making a film:

1. You’re out of your freaking mind!

2. You need a poster and a website NOW.

It’s one of the first things I do. Even if nothing has been filmed. Because when you speak about the movie you are planning to make, people will inevitably want to check it (something) out online. Thus, Sarah Hajtol initially set up a simple site for Color Me Obsessed, which was the poster you see below, and a bunch of simple HTML links on the side: what’s new, director’s site, pages for my last film, and the one before it, facebook, twitter, etc., and so on. SOMETHING.

But how exactly did we arrive at the poster? Well, I basically drove Sarah crazy (as I always do), telling her to forget everything she learned in school and go nuts. Now, enjoy this poster while you can, because a new one is in the works (see the plaid one at the bottom of this post).

But in the meantime, let me show you a few of the designs that never made it past their embryonic stage…

Before we went plaid, we were aiming for something based upon the old Let It Be house…

…or a speaker, as in the Bastards Of Young video.

…or a volume knob…

Until one day I thought…plaid pants…and sent Sarah every plaid background I could find…and voila, she made magic:

(P.S. We are missing names from the credits above…but that will be corrected on the new version.)

The Making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 14

Adrian and I ended the day in Boston back at Q Division Studios, first with an interview with the guys from AM Stereo, who have an amazing Replacements inspired number call “Bob Stinson” then with Bill Janovitz, the lead singer of Buffalo Tom.

The one thing that was becoming very apparent, was that in the grand tradition of the Velvet Underground, The Replacements inspired people to pick up guitars and play. The punk tradition that anyone could do it. But you didn’t even need the uniform. Look I love The Clash. I think they’re one of the five greatest bands of all time. (Live, the second greatest band of all time.) But let’s be real, they wore a uniform. The Mats on the other hand looked as if they’d just rolled out of bed. As if they’d perhaps slept in their clothes. They looked like the guys working the mini-mart or pop in any clichéd job description you want. And they were hardly the greatest musicians when they started. Hell, they were hardly ever in tune. But they inspired such hope and confidence.

They made it look easy. Real talent does that. Makes you believe it’s a cinch. Of course, then you try and write a song like “Unsatisfied” or “Color Me Impressed” or “If Only You Were Lonely,” and you suddenly realize their brilliance. Not only is it harder than it looks. A lot harder. It’s impossible. The proof is that no one would ever do it again quite like The Replacements.

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 13

Next up on that long day in Boston, Mike Gent of the Figgs, another big fan, who of course also backed Tommy Stinson on one of his solo tours. This was the first day interview where we realized we’d have a very pet friendly film on our hands, as I had to make the decision to allow pets (dogs mainly) to roam free, sit on sofas, etc. Or not. Well, anyone who knows me knows my decision.

Mike has this great old black pooch that kept jumping up onto the couch, chewing its Kong, coming over to the camera. Basically being a dog. He would be the first of many such canine cameos in CMO. And I truly believe they add a more human dimension to the film.

Mike told this great story about always searching for a copy of ALL SHOOK DOWN on vinyl. (It was never originally released on vinyl in the states.) Well, when in England on tour he found a copy. He was so excited he actually opened the album on the plane ride home, just to look at the record and insert. He found it a little strange that while there were grooves for six tunes on side one, there were only grooves for five tunes on side two. And ASD had thirteen tracks in all. When he got home he quickly discovered why. While side one was the first six songs of The Replacements’ last album, side two was inside a Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton album. A mistake from the factory where the vinyl was pressed.