Sunday, June 29, 2008

Schools out

Another school year is over and I am now a full time artist again- it's wonderful.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An Afternoon with Monsters

The Wolf Man gets no respect, especially when he’s paired with Frankenstein, the Mummy, Dracula, and the very seductive Bride of Frankenstein. Yesterday I spent the day with all of them on the set of the new Reggie and the Full Effect video shoot for J train, the first single off their new album Last Stop: Crappytown. I was shooting some still photographs and B-roll video for some old friends: John Carlucci (director) who has been around Hollywood via New Jersey working with the likes of Kevin Smith and Ridley Scott and Atom Rothlein (producer/director) who has been producing music videos and commercials for over 10 years.

The makeup process alone took a number of hours for the shoot and after it was complete I found myself in the surreal predicament of photographing Frankenstein (aka Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance) in an alley having a cigarette with the Mummy (aka James Dewees). The band looked so good in makeup that I though it would be crazy not to introduce them to the townspeople in the small village of Babylon, NY for some fun while the crew was filming the Mummy’s scene. After stopping by a local skate shop, politely harassing some strangers on the street like when Frankenstein momentarily stole a women’s pizza running down the street, and stopping in the meat market for some blood the monsters were helped across the street by a friendly old crossing guard as onlookers gawked. Good times were had and a few children are now permanently scarred but all in the name of hardcore rock.

The video shoot was as always a memorable one like the last time I worked with John and Adam we were thrown out of K-rock with Limp Bizket after Fred Durst cursed out the DJ and it should be coming out soon as a world premiere on Fuse- look for it, it’s a good one I promise.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Reggie and the Full Effect

Today I worked on the new video for Reggie and the Full Effect and I can't wait to see how it comes out. There's a cameo by Frankie from My Chemical Romance and the production value was the highest I've seen on any video I've worked on. The new single is pretty sweet too, I like the more intense Reggie sound- check out J Train.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

I haven't always dealt with birthdays well, but this year I think I'm handling it pretty well...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2008

Coney Island Mermaid parade girls

Coney Island Mermaid parade Ocean Ave

Coney Island Mermaid parade Flapper

Coney Island Mermaid parade octopus

Coney Island Mermaid parade smoking

Indecisive skies had threatened the urban mermaids that surface once a year on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, NY but the procession went on as skies cleared and the parade brought forth the weird, the wild, and the many. It felt like a John Waters dream on the surface of the sun- well worth it and not to be forgotten.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Get Smarter

Get Smart is an entertaining film that is built of cheap but effective humor. As a huge fan of the original series by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry my expectations were not lofty but the film did a pretty good job and had the audience laughing consistently. The script seems to borrow a good deal from fellow “spymedy” Austin Powers and alludes to the original series occasionally but the cast comes through in giving the film a distinctive flavor. Overall the film was definitely watchable and has a future as one of the fluffy, think-free films that lives on for years in cable re-runs.

In terms of acting Steve Carell doesn’t quite live up to Don Adams shoes but brings his reoccurring dopey character to the part with success and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson actually impressed me (possibly because I had any expectations at all). The rest of the cast falls in suit- Anne Hathaway looks pretty and shiny in stylish clothes (exactly what you’d expect from her role) and Masi Oka paired with Nate Torrence bring some geek charm. The star of the film is really Alan Arkin whose offbeat comedic performance makes the film along with a great collection of short appearances by well known comics and actors- Bill Murray and James Caan are especially notable as an agent in a tree and a imbecilic president.

It’s not high in content but farts are funny so if you need a laugh check it out.

IF: Horde

I know a little about hording...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Goodbye City Nights

This week I had a small painting, "City Nights", stolen from a gallery down in Port Jefferson. It was hanging in my kitchen forever but I guess wonderlust got the best of it and it's out there in the world now. You just have to let paintings live their own life sometimes...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monsters Eat Cars (in my imagination)

A scene from my new animated short film will premiere on June 27 in Toronto as part of the Toronto Animated Image Society's Monster Edition Showcase 2008. I'm currently working on extending it into a full length short so let me know what you think Canada!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Priscilla Ahn at Joes Pub 6.16.2008

Tonight I attended Priscilla Ahn's cd release performance at Joe's Pub in Noho- what a voice! Check out my review at Kevchino and check out her new single Dream. Her music is the kind of thing that my grandma would like as much as I do, it should be huge one day soon.

Strictly Students Film Festival

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Last month the 4th annual Strictly Students Film Festival was held here in Smithtown. It's a non-for-profit festival dedicated to high school students I created 5 years ago along with local volunteers. I have to say I'm really proud of the films these student's have created. Thanks to the upgrades in digital technology students can now create really professional films inexpensively. I included a link to a few of the winning films from the past years- check them out below.

Matt Gelfman: Sololoquy

Alex Siliato: America's Ninth

Kelly Goeller: Alive

Also check out the short behind the scenes making of documentary:The Making of America's Ninth

You can also check out reviews of the festival and more information here:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Rain Delay

The lightning hitting the roof of the Jones Beach Theater with it's frightening crack and explosive smell is a sight I will not soon forget- amazing. Here are some of the photos I took during the rain delay- it was like Woodstock (if it had commercials everywhere and only lasted an hour).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

REM has seen the rain 6.14.08

REM, Modest Mouse, & the National Jones Beach Theater 6.14.08
Tim Needles

Some concerts are about the music and some are about performance but Saturday night was the REM experience. The gods must be big Michael Stipe fans because they attended in style pouring cold rain down for hours along with lightning bolts across the sky, but the crowd did not waver. The show began with the National, the local Brooklyn band with the characteristic Tom Waits style vocals. The crowd of empty seats and chatting people did not take a big interest in this indie newcomer as the skies began to foreshadow the night’s weather rollercoaster.

Shortly afterwards as dusk began to draw to a close Modest Mouse took the stage unassumingly and met an equally unenthusiastic audience. The crowd began to take notice as they started into “Fire it Up”, one of the songs off their newest album, but with the exception of a few hipsters and a small group of dancing teenage girls the audience’s attention was quickly focused elsewhere. The sound was lost in the large crowd although it did begin to gain momentum again with a passionate rendition of “Doin the Cockroach”. As lightning began to appear in the sky the band rounded out their set with a trio of songs including a great version of “Dashboard” and a funky mix of “Trailer Trash” As they began their final song lightning stuck the amphitheater and sparks few over the heads of the crowd (a great way to close).

The crowd was evacuated for over an hour as people jammed into cars and hallways with continual rain and lightning (one fan was even rushed to the hospital). After an announcement the crowd poured back into their wet seats as REM took the stage. They won the soaking crowd over instantly as they began with the Creedence classic “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” followed by “S. Central Rain”. The stage set was perfectly in tune to the caffeinated pace of the songs with cropped video monitors and lcd lights lending an artistic instant video feel to each song. They continued on with classics such as: “What’s The Frequency Kenneth”, “Orange Crush”, and “The One I Love” showing how tight they are after so many years on the road. The rain somehow seemed to amplify the experience and the band changing up the set list on stage gave it a great live feeling. Michael assisted wet fans by throwing out Obama t-shirts and when the time for the encore came he told the crowd “okay, this is the encore” asking them to imagine them leaving the stage and coming back looking tired.

The encore was amazing for the seasoned REM fan including: “Losing My Religion”, the last minute addition of “It’s the End of the World” which Michael said he swore he’d never play again, and “Fall on Me” for which they called out Johnny Marr. They closed the show with “Man on the Moon” around midnight and the wrinkled crowd seemed awed and satisfied even in their drenched clothes and ponchos.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Last day of classes 2008

Another school year has come to a close and as always it's a bittersweet close- K.I.T.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jaymay live at the Bowery Ballroom 6.10.2008

I reviewed Jaymay's solo show earlier this week for the indie-rock blog Kevchino. If you haven't heard her stuff yet make a point to listen to saome of the tracks off her new album here: Jaymay music

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stars of the South Shore


I was down on the south shore of Long Island this weekend and had an opportunity to visit Freeport for a maritime festival. It was sort of fascinating that I had never happened upon this town before and it's unusual makeup of houses that are all open to water for boating. The festival was awesome and brought me back to being 6 with corn dogs, live cover bands, and a carnival that seemed excitingly unsafe.

Fresh Graffiti Art and Photography Show

fresh graffiti art show


Tim Needles

fresh graffiti art show

The Fresh graffiti art and photography show at Painters in Bellport, NY was pretty cool last week. It was huge and there were a ton of people there. It was fun showing a film, it's been a while!