Wednesday, February 14, 2007

DBCV17: Whole

Let's face it, Valentine's Day sucks when you are single. But that is not to say that it is always so great to be in a couple on Valentine's Day either. My point is that I have been doing a lot of soul searching this winter and even though it is Valentine's Day and I am alone, I feel pretty good about that.

Below is a new DBC Vlog reviewing Regina Spektor's song "Fidelity" and talking about what it means to be whole versus to have holes. And how we are all just trying to figure the same shit out, whether we are single, coupled or Einstein.

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Albert Einstein

I shot this vlog many months ago but thought VDay would be a good time to finally edit and post the sucker. Much of the darkness I am referring to in it has, luckily, passed. But it lingers, and probably will the rest of my life. I am ok about that. It is a continuing journey but it is nice to know you are not the only one making it.

So on that note, this video goes out to my ladies who have been taking this dark journey into the great beyond by my side this winter: Suzanne, Lesh, Abbie, Lani, Margot, Tracy, Kelly, Renee, Sarah, Sophie and the Mollys.

This video also goes out to Tony in Nashville who made me the best mix CD ever and tried valliantly to post a Wikipedia entry for me (!?), to Tonci in Croatia, James in Manchester, Parisa in NYC, Travis in SF, James in Little Rock, Zack in LA, Keith in Austin, The Junk Thief in SF, Joanne in LA, Nathan in Austin, Jeff and Charlie in SF, Robin in Alameda, Lauren in Oakland, Jeff in Waterbury, Jeff in Alameda, Anne-Marie and Charity in the UK, Chris in Indiana, Tyler in ?, all my best buddies at the Flynn and 7 Days and the nice people who sent me VDay cards ... jeez, what is this my Oscar speech? The point is that love is everywhere, you just have to open your heart up and there it is!

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! xoxoxo

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

DBCV16: Happy?

Another DBC Vloggy in which I blab about a tree or some such rot and discuss happiness, fakeness, Vermont in the winter time, and the fact that I probably have SAD something fierce. Jesus, get me to a hot beach pronto. Oooh, and I get a Spice Girl Polaroid camera in the mail. YES! Thanks Stephen! You the best!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

DBCV15: Snow!

To truly embrace the student (deadbeat) life, I have been walking all over the place. No car for me, no sir. It is a little bit harder to get around now that there is snow everywhere but it is oh so nice to look at, even as my fingers are going numb and my glasses are fogging up.

Here is a montage of pics I took on one of my frequent walks around town. Keep in mind that my fingers nearly fell off from the cold while taking these pictures:

The song, "20 Years of Snow," is by Regina Spektor and it has some haunting lyrics:

He's a wounded animal
He lives in a matchbox
He's a wounded animal
And he's been coming around here

He's a dying breed
He's a dying breed

His daughter is twenty years of snow falling
She's twenty years of strangers looking into each other's eyes
She's twenty years of clean
She never truly hated anyone or anything

She's a dying breed
She's a dying breed

She says I'd prefer the moss
I'd prefer the mouth
A baby of the swamps
A baby of the south
I'm twenty years of clean
And I never truly hated anyone or anything
Twenty years of clean
Twenty years of clean

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

DBCV14: Scott Walker

Scott Walker is an American singer/songwriter who has been making dark, tortured, brilliant music since the 60s. Years ago, I was given a mix tape of his work by someone who worked at Amoeba Records and it changed my life.

Walker has avoided fame and keeps to himself. He is a loner who makes music he believes in outside the limited confines of the music industry. He has lived in England for much of his adult life and he has experienced his fair share of suffering.

Walker's own original songs of this period (late 60s) are a late, last flowering of a dark Romanticism tinged with Surrealism and Existential angst. They are influenced by Brel and in some inchoate way, the writing of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus and early twentieth century European thought, poetry, art and music (despite the fact that by then Existentialism was waning as a philosophical and literary fashion).

Walker explored European musical roots while paradoxically expressing his own American experience and alienation. He was also inching to a new maturity as a recording artist. This would bear incredible fruit with his marvellous country recordings in the early seventies. - Wikipedia

Walker, who is 63, has one of the greatest voices in pop history, and in his younger days, when he battled orchestras as part of the sixties pop group the Walker Brothers, he was not afraid to use it. What he has lost—not much—in fullness over the years, he has more than compensated for by developing a unique, quasi-operatic style. He will twist a word, and a line, inside out, stretching vowels, leaving syllables to die in the air, gliding imperceptibly up and down his register. It is theatrical, designed to wring shades of meaning from diamond-hard lyric fragments. And also purely musical—if meaning remains elusive, and it often does, well, confusion still sounds gorgeous.

If it is rare to find artists working at their creative peak into their sixties, it is rarer still to find one releasing his most radical work yet. The Drift is Walker’s first album in ten years and third in 30, after 1984’s Climate of Hunter and 1995’s Tilt. It will be followed by a documentary, Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, in which everyone from Radiohead to Brian Eno lines up to sing his praises. This extraordinary trilogy exists entirely in Walker’s own, self-invented musical world, and it is not an easy world to enter. The music is dark, velvety, and almost motionless, yet full of tension. Sometimes, it sounds like an aria; at others, like industrial noise.

- The New York Times, Ben Williams

And did I forget to mention, he looks super hot in tight jeans! Also, he seems to have a love for this one red scarf that he wears in almost every picture taken in the 60s. Hmmm.

Here is a vlog I did on him for the January episode of The Deadbeat Club:

Friday, January 05, 2007

DBCV13: Happy New Year

William looks up, head still full of sludge, so that he can only stare dumbly at the sudden apparition of his two best friends, his inseparable Cambridge cronies, Bodley and Ashwell.

'Won't be long now, Bill,' cries Bodley, 'before it's time to celebrate!'

'Celebrate what?' says William.

'Everything Bill! The whole blessed Bacchanalia of Christmas! Miraculous offspring popping out of virgins into mangers! Steaming mounds of pudding! Gallons of port! And before you know it, another year put to bed!'

'1874 well-poked and snoring,' grins Ashwell, 'with a juicy young 1875 trembling in the doorway, waiting to be treated likewise.'

- The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber

Well, there goes another year - glug, glug - and here's to hoping that 2007 brings all sorts of new exciting life lessons to this lackluster deadbeat - clink, clink! As per usual, this New Year's Eve was a mixture of all things good and bad.

NYE highlights: Suzanne using her savoir faire to slip to the front of a 200+ drinks line; Scott slyly spiking our drinks underneath security guard's watchful noses; my sister tipsy (always a pleasure); Lani's impressive sass to the snooty doorman and her stunning lace dress; Suzanne's bossy drunken side that forced a group of girls to do schnapps shots; Suzanne tipsy (hours of entertainment); checking out the hottest trends among today's youth; watching the bottom feeders looping around their tank over and over again with their droppy mustaches; people watching from a variety of vantage points; learning about Champ and ships that sunk in Lake Champlain; hiding in a sunken shipwreck; watching the fireworks from a killer vantage point.

NYE lowlights: shitty music; shitty white rapper-wannabes; shitty people; shitty DJs; shitty doorman; shitty flashbacks to awkward middle school dances; not enough booze; no desire to dance due to shitty music; only baloney to eat; too cold and snowy for high heels; freezing rain at 3am.

What can I say, I've never much enjoyed NYE. This one promised to be especially wretched but with the help of some good friends, fireworks, booze, Prime Suspect and late night popcorn, it was not all that bad after all.

Here is my first vlog of 2007, DBCV13: Happy New Year, featuring the fireworks on the Burlington Waterfront:

Check out my pal Molly's shot by shot detailing of her pre-New Year's Eve Day with her drop dead gorgeous baby Ivo - seriously, what a dreamboat! Molly's blog post, lots of hot tea, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and knitting have managed to get me through this long New Year's Day.

DBCV12: VCAM Shoot

Seth had a great idea to make a VCAM (Vermont Community Access Media) commercial that will eventually air on local channels. So they asked some of their producers to come down and shoot some bits at the VCAM studios. Bill even blogged about it here and here (the second is a post about THIS post! PGUON).

Saturday was rainy and the sky was dark and overcast. Inside the cozy VCAM studios, Seth, Bill and Brad were working like busy bees to get each shot set up to perfection. My bit was pretty simple. I sat at an IMac and uploaded videos to YouTube. What, no lines?

The funny thing was, doing nothing was really hard to do! When you have a face like a clown and energy pouring out of your eyeballs, sitting still at a computer without making any faces is really tough! So if I make it into the final cut of the commercial, I will probably have an awkward pained expression which is what happens to me when I try to appear "normal" (just how does one do that anyways)?

The other amusing thing about this shoot was how professional it was. Each shot took much time to light and set up. This was especially humorous when compared to the final installment of The Offasty that we were shooting haphazardly at work last week.

Because we were in the process of moving offices, attending Xmas parties and "working," we had to shoot little bits here and there on the DL. In my head was a vague rough draft of the plot and I tried really hard to check off shots mentally and keep continuity roughly in check. Each of us took turns holding the camera, including my mom who happened to be there.

So the final scene has awful coverage, crappy ass lighting and is being held by a 72 year old hand. Still, we never would have managed to get this thing done if we had played by all the rules, lit properly, locked off shots and set things up perfectly.

I guess in the long run, I am more of a guerrilla filmmaker than a fancy professional. Granted, I know I need to learn the "right" way to shoot things so then I can actively choose to do things as I please. I hope to learn the "right" way to do things in school this year!

In the meantime, here is a vlog displaying this funny juxtaposition of shooting styles:

DBCV11: Christmas!

DBCV11: Christmas! in which the deadbeats unwrap their presents and discover many goodies: slippers, yoga clothes, Urban Decay make-up, books, paper supplies, lots o'socks, Ab Fab and lots of old fashioned love!

It is pretty good to be a deadbeat and even better when your sister makes a feast fit for a king. This deadbeat spent Christmas day relaxing with some Absolutely Fabulous, left-over Christmas present knitting, and her brand new foot bath!

And then over to Bill and Emily's for some treacherous Mafia fun (me thinks Margot is hooked) in which I managed to kill an entire town by accident. Oops... ;)

Aaaah, life is good.

And remember, like The Specials sing in the following vlog montage:

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think