|Film + Music Newsletter
SUZY KELLETT TO LEAVE WASHINGTON STATE FILM OFFICE
We at the Film + Music Office are sad to announce that after years of dedication Suzy Kellett has decided to resign her position as Manager of the Washington State Film Office effective at the end of the month. Suzy has seen the state film office through some external and internal challenges, never ceasing to give the best customer service possible. Now the Washington State film industry is on the rise with a new incentive program, Spokane's increased filming activity, and other programs in the works. Lindsey Johnson will be available while the agency decides what is next for the state office. Suzy will be in the office until January 30. We wish Suzy luck in all her future pursuits, she will definitely be missed!!!
INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES
AMAZON ADDS MP3'S FROM WARNER MUSIC GROUP
With the addition of Warner Music Group product to its 2.9 million track DRM free mp3 catalog, Amazon is poised to take on the mighty iTunes. The final piece of the product puzzle, Sony BMG, will inevitably be forced to join the other three major labels in freeing their downloads of unpopular and restrictive "copy protection." Inevitably too, other digital retailers like Rhapsody, Napster and even iTunes will soon be allowed to sell WMG product without DRM. Universal compatibility also means that player manufacturers are now on a more equal ground when selling next to the iPod; although competing with consumer love of all things Apple will be difficult.
BIZKID$ PREMIERS THIS WEEK ON 279 PBS STATIONS
Local production, Bizkid$ will premiere this week all over the country on PBS. Bizkid$ is dedicated to encouraging financial literacy in kids and young people. For clips of the show and further information, visit their website at the link above. Congratulations to the whole team on putting together such a great show. You are making Seattle film production look good.
ZOMBIEBOT FILM FESTIVAL
What the Heck is a Zombiebot? The Zombiebot Film Festival was established to showcase the experience of watching movies that take you away from the real world. The goal is to present movies that terrify or otherwise provoke genuine emotion. Horror films that drag you kicking and screaming into a dark alley or the deep woods, science fiction that blasts off into a future that could be, or fantasy that surrounds you in magic both white and black. The festival will take place March 20th-22nd starting at 10:00 pm during Norwescon a 30+ year Seattle based convention. All Northwest Filmmakers can submit features and shorts for free.
BROKEN DISCO X HITS CHOP SUEY THIS FRIDAY
The tenth episode of community dance night, Broken Disco greets 2008 on Friday, January 11th at Chop Suey. Broken Disco is a monthly event that combines the talents of four of Seattle's most dedicated electronic music collectives with the support of favorite and familiar venue, Chop Suey. All united to showcase internationally renowned talent. Broken Disco's goal is to create an invigorating community experience and increase the momentum for electronic music events in Seattle.
JAZZ IN JANUARY
EMP|SFM, in collaboration with Earshot Jazz, proudly present Jazz in January 2008, Jan. 17 through Jan. 20, 2008 at EMP|SFM. Performances will include some of the biggest names in local and national contemporary jazz including: Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Esperanza Spalding, Michael Shrieve, the Jovino Santos Neto Quarteto, Joe Santiago Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble, JazzReach, the Roosevelt and Garfield High School jazz bands, jazz film historian Mark Cantor and others. The artists represented at Jazz in January 2008 are at the forefront of the jazz evolution, whether they are beginning their careers, seasoned performers or music legends.
THE 2008 IVY FILM FESTIVAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE APPROACHES
The final deadline for the 2008 Ivy Film Festival is January 15th. The Ivy Film Festival is open to film and screen play submissions from university-level filmmakers worldwide. With a $2,000 grand prize, a panel of celebrity judges, and great networking opportunities, The Ivy Film Festival is not to be missed. This year's festival runs April 14th-20th at Brown University in Providence, RI. More information on the festival and submissions can be found on the website.
SEATTLE SYMPHONY TO PERFORM FREE CONCERT AT CITY HALL
City Hall will ring with the sounds of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in a free performance, noon to 1 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25. The symphony performance is a bonus concert of Seattle Presents, a year-round, free lunchtime concert series presented by the Mayors Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. City Hall is located at 600 Fourth Ave. Enjoy an all-Mozart program as Associate Conductor Carolyn Kuan conducts a performance featuring violinist Quinton I. Morris, a Renton native who launched an international solo career and recently returned to home to join the music faculty of Seattle University. Stay after the performance to meet Kuan, Morris and symphony musicians, and enjoy light refreshments at a post-performance mingle.
THE 2ND ANNUAL FERNIE MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL SEEKS SUBMISSIONS
On February 29 and March 1, 2008, the city of Fernie, BC, will play host to a weekend of short and feature films that spark awareness of mountain cultures, fragile environments and the passion and perseverance of global explorers. This two night event highlights one feature each night. The feature films are exceptional films that expresses our mission statement. Each night a unique selection of short films and film clips are presented. A wide range of topics are covered so that adventure sports, mountain cultures, and environmental topics are highlighted. The Fernie Moutain Festival will be accepting submissions until January 31st. For festival guidelines and more visit the festivals website.
NORTHWEST FILM FORUM AND THIRD EYE CINEMA PRESENT: AN EVENING WITH BRUCE BAILLIE
NWFF is pleased to welcome filmmaker Bruce Baillie, founder of the nation's preeminent avant-garde film distributor Canyon Cinema, for this quarter's Third Eye Cinema program. His 1964 film Mass for the Dakota Sioux inspired one of America's first avant-garde film festivals in a little town called Bellevue. Baillie's films are intensely poetic, lyrical evocations of people and places where the subject matter is transformed by the subjective methods used to photograph it. Many of his films display a strong social awareness, describing attitudes critical towards, and alienated from, mainstream American society.
TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR THE WEEK OF 12/24-12/30
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard, Fremont, and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).
- Brandi Carlile - Live at Easy Street
- Eddie Vedder - Music for the Motion Into the Wild
- Various Artists - Live At Kexp Vol 3
- Cave Singers - Invitation Songs
- Brandie Carlile - Story
- Blue Scholars - Bayani
- Carrie Akre - Last the Evening
- Menomena - Friend & Foe
- Siberian - With Me
- Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
THE ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS & SCIENCES FOUNDATION'S 29TH COLLEGE TELEVISION AWARDS CALLS FOR ENTRIES
Are you the Nation's best in student video, digital and film work? Each year, hundreds of students - from colleges and universities across the nation - enter this prestigious competition. Don't miss your chance to showcase your talent and have your work seen by a national audience. All submissions are due January 15th. Submission categories include: Animation, Children's, Comedy, Comedy Series, Commercial, Documentary, Drama, Drama Series, Magazine, Music (Best Composition), Music (Best use of Music), Newscast. For entry guidelines, rules and submission process can be found on the Emmy Foundation website, click on the "Students" section and then "College TV Awards."
DANCES WITH FILMS 2008 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
The DWFF is dedicated to finding films the Hollywood industry hasn't seen and giving them much needed exposure, publicity and opportunity. All films submitted cannot have any known directors, actors, producers, or monies from known sources. DWF has showcased more than 900 up and coming filmmakers, their casts and crews. Alumni include great talents such as Will Schaeffer and Mark Olsen (2004), creators of HBO's Big Love series and Dan Harris (1999), writer of X2 and Superman Returns. For entry details and further information, click the link above.
"CROC" SHOW WAS THE FEEL-GOOD GIG OF THE SEASON
Crisis-particularly when it strikes a creative community-can bring out the best in people, and nowhere was that more evident than during the well-attended Unscrew the Crocodile Employees benefits at Chop Suey over the past two weekends. Both nights had stellar lineups of familiar faces, but the first one, on Sunday, Dec. 30, was easily one of the most feel-good events of the Seattle music community's holiday season.
MUSIC-SCENE PREDICTIONS FOR 2008
Unfortunately, the wireless connection on my crystal ball has been weak lately. So the picture's a little bit fuzzy... but the Seattle Times has compiled a set of predictions for the Seattle music scene in 2008 including, "After a popular five-night run at Neumo's at the end of 2007, hip-hop duo Blue Scholars stuns Seattle, announcing it will play every night of 2008 at the same club. Within a week, the entire run is sold out."
GETTING WITH THE PROGRAM
Two weeks ago, the Program sold out all five nights of its run at Neumo's, a coup not only for Blue Scholars or Mass Line but for all of Northwest hiphop. That's 4,000 people, which is like three sold-out nights at the Showbox, or two at the Showbox Sodo. That's huge. On Thursday night, Neumo's was, like in the preceding nights of the series, packed. Neumo's staff had to remove the barrier dividing all-ages from 21+ on the main floor, effectively making the whole showroom all-ages, because so many kids showed up. During Blue Scholars' headlining set, the room was a sea of hands, waving and pumping in time with Sabzi's beats and Geologic's raps.
"AIDA" RETURNS FOR SEATTLE OPERA'S 2008-09 SEASON
Seattle Opera will open its 2008-09 season with a trio of special occasions this August: the return of the company's International Wagner Competition on Aug. 16; an Aug. 14 recital by international star tenor Ben Heppner with conductor Asher Fisch at the piano; and the first production in 16 years of the Verdi classic "Aida."
NETFLIX TO STREAM WEB VIDEO TO TV
Online video-rental service Netflix and giant LG Electronics on Wednesday said they will develop a set-top box that lets consumers stream video content from the Internet to high-definition TVs. The straight-to-TV service, due in the second half of the year, would be the most direct way yet for Netflix's 7 million members to view movies and TV series. For a year, Netflix users have been able to stream content to their PCs. They can also rent videos from Netflix's Web site, for home delivery of DVDs.
CAPITOL MUSIC REOPENS IN NEW LOCATION
Its future has been uncertain since late '06, but Capitol Music -- the largest sheet music and instrument rental store in Seattle -- will be reopening Feb. 1 in a new location after being forced out of its longtime downtown digs. The new address is 1032 N.E. 65th St., one block south of Roosevelt High School. Teachers will be free to use practice rooms. Students will be able to rent clarinets and violins. Musicians will be able to take home new songs to master. Owner Albert Israel is, understandably, ecstatic.
'07 AND '70S: WHEN MOVIES EXPERIMENTED, TOOK CHANCES
Welcome back to the 1970s. As 2007 draws to an end and critics go about their annual rite of drawing up top 10 lists, it's clear that the past year, if not necessarily a watershed, did witness a wave of provocative, challenging films. In fact, many critics are complaining that they're having difficulty restricting their praise to the traditional list of 10.
"PIANORAMA": NOLA INSPIRED, BUT ALL NORTHWEST
One of the liveliest, most-anticipated fringe benefits of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is "Piano Night," a midweek adjunct of the festival proper that showcases Crescent City ticklers. Taking their cue from New Orleans - and a serendipitous success last summer - three of the hottest Northwest blues and boogie-woogie pianists join forces next week for Seattle's first-ever "Pianorama."
U.S. ALBUM SALES DOWN, DIGITAL SALES UP
U.S. album sales plunged 9.5 percent last year from 2006, continuing a downward trend for the recording industry, despite a 45 percent surge in the sale of digital tracks, according to figures released Thursday. A total of 500.5 million albums sold as CDs, cassettes, LPs and other formats were purchased last year, down 15 percent from 2006's unit total, said Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks point-of-purchase sales.
A CELLIST WITH AN EAR FOR RADIOHEAD
Cellist Joshua Roman is undoubtedly a fan of the English alternative rock band that's been performing almost as long as the 23-year-old Roman has been alive. The influence of Radiohead will be perceived in a genre-bending "Quartet" concert programmed by Roman, principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony and artistic director of TownMusic (the exploratory music series at Seattle's Town Hall). "Quartet," which starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, had its genesis in Roman's long-held desire to play Radiohead music on his cello.
SEATTLE SYMPHONY: USHERING IN 2008 GLORIOUSLY
Despite a broken leg and a mammoth negative story in the New York Times, Thursday's performance was an exciting affair, with the musicians playing hard, well and attentively for a conductor who didn't seem to have his energy diminished at all by the trip to the podium on crutches and the awkward business of conducting from a stool. A near-capacity audience showed up for the concert and cheered the performance with every evidence of enjoyment.
SEATTLE FILM EVENTS
The Seattle PI has compiled a list of Seattle film events that include Diva, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Blazing Saddles. For a complete list of events and showtimes, click the link above.
IF YOU'RE STILL IN PARTY MODE, JOIN THE CROWD; THE NIGHT SCENE'S FIRED UP
The first week of the new year is notoriously bad for nightlife. Most of the hangovers are still hanging, and everyone's noble resolutions have yet to break. It seems like a great week to stay in, so most venues go light on their scheduling -- an open mike here, a cover band there, a drink special or two scattered around the city, but that's about it. This is the conventional wisdom, anyway. Yet Seattle is kicking off 2008 in full party mode, as if many of its residents haven't recently been belting out "Auld Lang Syne" with three fingers of scotch splashed across their pants.
SEATTLE OPERA'S NEW SEASON WILL OPEN WITH A BANG
Seattle Opera opens its 2008-09 season in August with three major events: Verdi's "Aida," the International Wagner Competition and a recital by tenor Ben Heppner, all at McCaw Hall. Also in the new season are a revival of the company's production of Strauss' "Elektra," Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers" (from Philadelphia Opera), a double bill of Bartok's "Bluebeard's Castle" and Schoenberg's "Erwartung" in the celebrated production of Canadian director Robert Lepage, and a new production of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro.
EDDIE VEDDER "GUARANTEED" VIDEO TO PREMIERE
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder will unveil his first solo music video for "Guaranteed," taken from his Into the Wild soundtrack. The video, shot by director Marc Rocco and featuring "striking silhouettes of Vedder with translit still frames from the film in a powerful and simple way," will premiere on VH1 on January 7th. The song has already been nominated for a Grammy and a Golden Globe, and is a frontrunner for an Oscar nod.
KING COBRA STRIKES CAP HILL
The club formerly known as Sugar will become Seattle's newest live music venue. Che Sabado, who owned the Kincora Pub for five years, partnered with longtime friend Jamie Garza, a businessman who used to book all-ages concerts in Bremerton and Bellingham, to buy the nightclub Sugar and are planning on reopening the place as the King Cobra. The new venue will accommodate 475 people and will be home to a diverse mix of live acts as well as be a bar where locals can come and relax. The two bought the club because they wanted to contribute to the music community in Seattle.
INDIE BOXOFFICE KNOCKED DOWN BUT NOT OUT
These are sobering times for the independent film industry. Boxoffice revenue for films from indie distributors and specialty divisions dropped 11.9% from $1.32 billion in 2006 to $1.16 billion in 2007, while the number of indies in theaters increased from 501 to 530. Even more disturbing, only 16 of the films grossed more than $20 million (nearly half of them by a slim margin), down from 20 in 2006. The biggest story of 2007 might be that 350 indie films -- two-thirds of the list -- failed to reach even $250,000 in ticket sales, an increase from 313 in 2006. All this at a time when overall 2007 domestic boxoffice hit a record high of $9.62 billion, a 5% increase from 2006, according to Nielsen EDI.
VIOLINIST EMPHASIZES MENTORSHIP, COMMUNITY
If you've started out the New Year with a resolution to get more things done, you might want to consider the example of Quinton Morris. The young violinist and founding director of the all-African-American chamber group the Young Eight, Morris is three months away from finishing his doctorate at the University of Texas-Austin while he directs Seattle University's instrumental music division, runs the chamber music program, teaches violin students, devises the curriculum for a new bachelor of music program for string students, tours and performs with the Young Eight - and performs a Mozart violin concerto in several free community concerts this month with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
LANGSTON HUGHES PERFORMING ARTS CENTER IN CRISIS
The two top directors at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center occupied offices on opposite sides of the building's second floor, rarely speaking to one another. The estrangement of artistic director Jacqueline Moscou and her boss, managing director Manuel Cawaling, fueled tension throughout the building. Staffers largely allied with Cawaling, an Asian-American who was more buddy than boss, while alienating Moscou, an African-American they described as quick to belittle. Cawaling and Moscou were locked in a power struggle at the iconic Central Area institution, which over the past three decades has given rise to generations of African-American talent. And as the center's staff grew more diverse, its troubles increasingly came to be about race.
FLIPPER DRAFTS NOVOSELIC FOR NEW ALBUM
Fifteen years since its last studio album, influential punk outfit Flipper is up and running once more. "I think that we're 99% there, if not done," drummer Steve DePace tells Billboard.com of a new, as-yet-untitled Flipper album. "We've got 10 songs, and we just did another round of mixing. The album sounds great -- I think it's some of our best work ever. That also is an indicator for more future songs to come. We know we can write songs with Krist now that sound just like Flipper."
NEWEST SOCIAL-NETWORKING SITE IS DRUMMERS ONLY
Because Dave Grohl can't play for everybody, Austin, TX-based musician Todd Hansen (formerly of Chicago indie rockers the Winter Blankets) has launched Drummer Hunter, an online portal designed specifically to link talented skinmen to the bands that need them. Using a model typically used on dating sites (and utilizing the same software), drummers can create profiles that specify their influences, styles and party preferences, all in a searchable database. Bands can also post "drummer needed" profiles, with the option to upload audio and video of their group in action.
A MOVIE FIRST: NORTH KOREAN FILM RELEASED IN WEST
The plot is predictable, the acting maudlin and the ideology is spread on thick, but "The Schoolgirl's Diary" has something most B-movies don't: The first North Korean film ever distributed commercially in the West, it provides a rare, if sugarcoated, glimpse of daily life in one of the world's most secretive and repressive nations.
THROW ME THE STATUE GETS CLUB'S 'RESIDENCIES' OFF TO AN AFFABLE START
Local indie pop five-piece Throw Me the Statue looks as wholesome as a high school honors society. They're all clean hair and warm smiles, and their music is as pleasantly poppy as the sunny side of '90s alt rock. At times they sound a little like the Rentals, at others like Imperial Teen, and even occasionally like Buggles (of Video Killed the Radio Star" fame), and on Monday night Throw Me the Statue affably shambled their way through the first of three shows this month at Chop Suey.
AN ORIGINAL THINKER PUTS A FRESH SPIN ON EXPERIENCING SOUNDS AND MUSIC
Christopher DeLaurenti is one of the most articulate and original thinkers in the Seattle music scene, writing music and writing about music, as well as being something of a computer guru. He also organizes concerts such as "The New Phonographers" Saturday night at the Chapel at Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, along with Jonathan Way. The two composers will be joined by Martin Bland. Together these three constitute a bill that offers different approaches to "phonography": a term, DeLaurenti said, meaning not only a resurgence of field recordings that emerged in the 1990s, but also the actual playing of CDs and vinyl.
SEATTLE CELLIST VIRGINIA KATIMS DEAD AT 95
For nearly a quarter-century, Virginia Peterson Katims was the first lady of the Seattle music scene: a gifted cellist, a charming hostess, and the devoted wife of the late Seattle Symphony conductor Milton Katims. Mrs. Katims worked tirelessly to introduce classical music to young people, to promote the Symphony throughout the community, and to raise money to expand the length of the season and introduce new artists to Seattle.