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News from the Office of Film + Music 8/17/2011

City News

The Stranger
Cienna Madrid has an interesting piece in this week's Stranger in which she talks to several Seattle bar and club owners who say they've been told to cough up thousands and thousands of dollars in taxes they didn't think they owed. Department of Revenue spokesman Mike Gowrylow says the tax in question - applying to "Amusement, recreation and physical fitness services" - is nothing new and pointed people with questions to these sources:

An article on "amusement and recreational services" that similarly has the "opportunity to dance" language.
The Department's online Taverns and Service Bars guide addresses "opportunity to dance" (see "Cover Charges" discussion).
Another official explanation, addressing charges for the "opportunity to dance.


City Arts
City Arts Magazine is looking for ambitious, motivated, strong writers to join their team for a minimum three-month internship with two eight-hour days per week. The intern would provide invaluable support to City Arts Online, City Arts Magazine, and City Arts marketing and events. If interested, e-mail your resume and two writing samples to, along with a brief letter of interest describing your interest in City Arts and the subjects covered by the magazine.

Roger Fisher
Co-founders of the Seattle rock group Heart, Michael and Roger Fisher, have embarked on an artistic journey far different than their earlier romps with music. After many years of working independently, the two brothers have recently collaborated on a new project called One Vision. A small part of this project is a film entitled Rog's 60th. Roger's 60th birthday underlies the premise of the documentary, which takes its audience to Heart's epic world of rock n' roll. For this movie they have created an original soundtrack as unique as their story, including live performances of Roger and their talented friends and children.

Here is a great opportunity for filmmakers to get their name out there, represent Seattle and build their portfolio! Siemens is asking filmmakers to make a documentary short concerning the challenges of sustainable living in an urban environment. There are prizes for the top 15 videos, and it is a great way to get additional exposure. The video should be between 2 and 5 minutes long, exploring how various changes could improve cities around the world.

Seattle Weekly
This weekend, Sound Fest is calling all music fans to celebrate three days of punk music old and new. Inspired by the long-running Warped Tour, Sound Fest founder Lou Medrano sought to create an event that could cater to older fans who had outgrown the 13-25 year-old demographic of Warped. Major acts lined up for this weekend include Irish band Stiff Little Fingers (who haven't played in Seattle for 14 years), Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, John Doe & Exene of X, The Blasters, The Vandals, Angelic Upstarts, Cro-Mags and many more. Locals joining in on the action include 'Ol Doris, Smokeyjumper, The Brambles, and Shoot the Hostage, among others. All shows will be hosted at five venues around Seattle: El Corazon, Neumos, Vera Project, Fun House, and Comet Tavern.

Seattle Film Institute
The Seattle Film Institute, "the largest film school in the Northwest," is pleased to announce the SFI Professional Scholarship Program for Fall 2011 Graduate Degree programs members of qualifying film-related organizations. Two scholarships are available, one $10,000.00 awarded to a student receiving a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Filmmaking, and a $5,000.00 scholarship awarded to an MA student in Producing. The SFI features a hands-on education and practical experience that provide the groundwork for professional careers. The masters degree programs include accelerated options so students can study and get out in the real world as quickly as possible.

History Link
History Link recently published an article centered on the 1960's musical genius, Jimi Hendrix. The essay takes us from Hendrix's brief stint in the United States army, to the formation of an R&B band in Nashville, to headlining the Woodstock festival, to finally his far-too premature death at the age of 27. Beyond giving its audience a recap of Hendrix's life, this historical essay suggests why Seattle contains the seeds for what allows such ingenious music to germinate from it, whether decades ago or today.

Snohomish County Tribune
The City of Everett has put out a call for both residents and non-residents to submit an Everett-centric video. This 3-minute film, which could win you $1000, is part of the Experience Everett film contest. The idea was inspired by "Bellingham State of Mind," a video gone viral about none other than Bellingham that brought attention and new visitors to this quaint Pacific Northwest college-town. To be a part in this public contest, post a video to by October 14.

A new partnership between Rhapsody and MetroPCS aspires to bridge mobile and music, giving iPhone music apps a run for their money. This union promises that for the 9.1 million MetroPCS customers, who are Android phone users, Rhapsody will become their leading music service provider. For Android phone customers, this new free music application will be wrapped into their no-contract phone plan. The application boasts over 12 million songs and lets users stream unlimited music online or download tunes to listen to offline.

The Cinefamily
Wheedle's Groove, a film about the pioneering Seattle soul group of the same name, will have its Los Angeles Premiere at the Don't Knock the Rock Film Festival tomorrow. This documentary festival celebrates all forms of rock and pop on film, showcasing films with vintage footage of quintessential performances of artists in their prime. Wheedle's Groove contains many such scenes and includes interviews with other Seattle-area musical celebrities like Quincy Jones, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Ben Shepherd (Soundgarden), Kim Warnick (Fastbacks), and Kenny G. A Q&A will take place after the film with director Jennifer Maas and Light in the Attic Records representatives Matt Sullivan & Patrick McCarthy.

PAX Prime
PAX Prime, a locally-grown phenomenon, is one of the biggest events for tabletop, videogame and PC gamers. In addition to panel discussions, exhibitor booths, tournaments and freeplay areas, there is a growing music portion of PAX. This year, a concert with seven bands of the nerd persuasion will help bring the three-day event to a close at the Paramount Theater. Metroid Metal, Minibosses, Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm, MC Frontalot, Video Game Orchestra, and local nerdcore group Supercommuter will all perform Sunday, August 26.


Kickstarter is an online "crowd-funding" resource that helps musicians, filmmakers and producers of artistic projects reach out to friends and fans for financial support. Kickstarter allows artists the opportunity to give back to funders with special rewards, such as an exclusive album pre-release, a producer credit in a film, or even getting to meet the artist in person. Seattle is a hotbed for film and music projects, and you can be a pivotal part of the production process by backing a project and spreading the word. Current Seattle-based Kickstarter projects are listed below ordered by time remaining. Click on the Kickstarter buttons to check out these local projects and discover even more happening around Seattle.

Sirens (a narrative short) - 8/18 (6 Hours Left)
Primal Chef Continuation - 8/20 (69 Hours Left)
Painted in the Desert - A Travel Essay - 8/21 (3 Days Left)
The Truth Cabin: A gonzo journalism meditation on a NFL Star - 8/21(3 Days Left)
The MarQueen - 8/22 (4 Days Left)
All On A Winter's Day: Short Film and Music Video for Tomten - 8/26 (8 Days Left)
PUT Bakelite 78-What The Moon Has Done ON vinyl!! - 8/31 (14 Days Left)
Send Gardening, Not Architecture to record her second album! - 9/1 (14 Days Left)
Send Brent Amaker and the Rodeo to Europe - 9/2 (15 Days Left)
Beyond the Wand - A Feature Film by Plaid Shirt Productions - 9/3 (16 Days Left)

TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 8/10 - 8/16
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).

  1. Jesse Sykes - "Marble Son"
  2. Head and the Heart - "Head and the Heart"
  3. Eddie Vedder - "Ukelele Songs"
  4. Star Anna - "Alone In This Together"
  5. Shabazz Palaces - "Black Up"
  6. Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"
  7. Macklemore/Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
  8. Blue Scholars - "Cinemetropolis"
  9. Black Whales - "Shangri-La Indeed"
  10. Caspar Babypants - "Here I Am!"

In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.

American Heart (1992)

Hollywood has its way with cities, especially ours. It is funny to think how most movies that feature Seattle have a tendency to gloss over the grungier side of our city (that is what made us famous, right?) in favor of a romantic, color-rich, tourist brochure of all the fancy places you could visit and all the quirky people you could meet. When I first moved to Seattle in 1996, I only had one city in mind, and that was the Seattle I had seen two dozen times in the movie American Heart. Made in 1992, back in grunge's heyday, filmmaker Martin Bell knew Seattle's mean streets, the colors (gray, gray, gray!), the concrete places and buildings, and the heroin haze that had soaked into the city's sleepy atmosphere. And that he should know, after having made the amazing documentary Streetwise about a group of street kids growing up in a dour early 80s Seattle back before Starbucks and the dot com boom breathed life back into the region's economy. American Heart is loosely based on a father/son relationship established in Streetwise: Jeff Bridges (virtually unrecognizable, sporting a fat moustache, waist-length hair and a serious prison six-pack) plays an ex-con recently released from prison who is re-united with his young son (Edward Furlong). They travel along the Washington highways and byways to reach Seattle, and after some good old father and son squabbles, they decide to make a life of it together in the city. There's plenty of the old rag-tag Seattle in here, and a lot of it ain't too pretty, but oddly nostalgic for those of us who have lived here long enough to know it. All the street kids hang out at the "sunken ship" parking garage down on Yesler and 1st. Downtown is, well, Downtown, replete with the gospel street singers and the sad Yuppies shopping at Westlake. Bridges gets a job as a window washer, so you get some magnificent shots of Elliott Bay and the Washington State ferries criss-crossing through the water. There's even a rain-soaked hot-dog picnic over at Alki Beach. My favorite stuff though is seeing couples drunkenly swaying to Tom Waits at Eastlake's historic Zoo Tavern, and we get a grand tour of the now-defunct but always fondly remembered Lusty Lady and all the glories she held within her darkened doors. I watched the movie recently with some friends and I got really excited when my friend recognized her house in Wallingford. I learn something new, and old, about Seattle every time I watch American Heart.
--Jason Dodson


SSG Music
More than five years ago, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 500 Days of Summer, 3rd Rock from the Sun) launched a production company. The beginnings of this collaborative online community was fueled by the straightforward creation of a website called Today, hitRECord is a "professional open collaborative production company" that connects filmmakers from all over the world. The grassroots company proves that if the online world is utilized in a collaborative and purposeful manner, a creative synergy can exist and new media and film can flourish. Next week, Gordon-Levitt (self-coined "average Joe") will amuse audiences at the Neptune Theater when he brings hitRECord to Seattle. It will be a night of performances, short films, story readings, and RECordings, all in time for next month's release of the first anthology of collaborative projects.

Seattle Channel
Seattle sculptor Julie Speidel spent her youth amongst stone monoliths of England, Scotland and Ireland. These transcendent pieces of carved rock provided her with artistic inspiration and led her down the path of creating her own personal aesthetic of sculpture that she came to share with the world. Her artwork can be discovered at museums and embassies across the world, and her 24-foot sculpture "Tregaseal" adorns the lawn of the Federal Courthouse at 5th and Madison in our very own downtown Seattle. Watch a thirty minute piece profiling Speidel on August 18 at 5:30 pm on the Seattle Channel.

The Seattle Times
Cairo is bringing more to the Capitol Hill neighborhood than vintage dresses and colorful tunes. In a candid conversation with The Seattle Times, Cairo curator Ian Judd spoke about the artistic endeavors of this music and arts hub. The abundance of creativity that Cairo harnesses is taking on the public sphere. This Saturday, the venue will host a free all-ages music festival called "Vibrations" at Volunteer Park. It will feature a variety of genres such as experimental rock, R&B, and hip-hop, plus visual art and more.

Seattle Office of Film + Music Staff
James Keblas, Director
Chris Swenson, Film Program Coordinator
Rachel White, Music + Nightlife Program Coordinator
Tiffany Wan, Intern
Sorayya Aminian, Intern

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