Erector Square Open Studios

A few weeks back, the talented artists of Erector Square Art Studios in New Haven, CT opened their studios to the public. Mick took some pictures of the occasion. 

Veteran's Day

Though it may be belated, Mick read his poem Veteran's Day to celebrate the holiday. 

November has come in a cloak of gray
and amid the harvest and proud display
of leaves changing and falling away
the town has gathered with no delay
to honor their son who's found his way
back from the battlefield- let us pray
and honor him on this Veteran's Day.

That's my boy, look at him
there in uniform proper and prim.
I can't forget the day he answered the call
to shoulder the burden and fight for us all.
I was scared but proud to see him go.
Even happier when I learned he was coming home.
He was met with pomp and revelry
but he's quieter than he used to be.
I'm not worried, war's made him a man
and men avoid talkin' as much as they can.
That's my boy shaking hands with the mayor.
That's my boy in front of everyone there.
My boy is a hero through and through.
I bet his blood runs red, white, and blue.

And he stood before them tall and proud
And listened to their cheers so loud
And tried to smile to please the crowd
But could not see through the swirling cloud,
of thoughts marauding through his brain un-cowed,
the words he would never speak aloud:

I am not a hero.
I'm just a guy with a job,
possibly the hardest job in the world.
I am not a hero.
Just a kid who wanted to get out
of his hometown and see the world.
It's hard to feel heroic
when I've seen my friends
get pulverized into hamburger
while standing by, 
trying to keep my lunch down and
not get blown to bits myself.
I came marching home, 
but what about Darius, Diego, or Sue
or the rest of Uncle Sam's children?
Instead of draping their arms
around their families,
they draped a flag
over the last place
they'll lay their heads.
I came marching home but
I'm not whole anymore.
I traded a piece of myself
for a head full of nightmares.
It could be worse-
I could have been like my brothers and sisters, who
lost eyes, thumbs, entire limbs as
they did their patriotic chore.
Even as I shake the mayor's hand and stand
before my family, my community, and
the watchful eyes of God,
I do not feel like a hero.
All I feel is gratitude–
They have not seen what I have seen.
They have not done what I have done. 
And that is its own reward.

 

A Day in the Life - Taylor Raj

Taylor Raj shares his first solo photo set here on ALSO THAT. When he's not exposing the secret lives of skeletons, he's also a key player in Skeleton Assembly.

This collection shows what skeletons are doing the rest of the year, when not being put on display for Halloween.
— TR

NTWON: Sleeping with Other People

Instead of watching something spooky and creepy for the spookiest and creepiest month of the year, top minds at ALSO THAT figured it would be a good idea to watch Sleeping with Other People, starring Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis. 

The premise is simple: Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie are terrible at dating. After losing their virginities to each other in college, they reconnect in adulthood to find that their respective romantic lives are blazing dumpster fires and agree to become friends with no benefits.

While this may sound like a recipe for every other basic-ass rom-com you've ever heard of, the thing that really sets Sleeping with Other People apart from other movies in the genre is the supporting cast. Tons of comedy veterans show up in this movie and add a personal touch to their scenes. Jason Mantzoukas and Andrea Savage kill it as the supporting couple, bringing a fresh new approach to a Rom-Com classic. Adam Scott, in addition to sporting a ridiculous porn stache, brings an understated and straightlaced energy to his role as well.

The thing that's really great about this movie is that in addition to breaking common conventions in the romantic comedy genre, the director also works hard to create a visually interesting movie as well. One particular scene stands out where Alison Brie is attempting to teach a group of children to dance while rolling on ecstasy and the world slows to show her change in perspective.

Overall, this is a light and fun movie to throw on when you're trying to relax with your significant other. Check it out!  

Give Me 5 Stars - Tyrone Shoelaces

Gimme 5 Stars.jpg

The genre-busting four-piece (with a TON of other supporting musicians in the mix) shares their new single Give Me 5 Stars right here on ALSO THAT. This song focuses on the current obsession with imaginary internet ratings and how that's probably not a great thing for humanity. 

Vist their website here.

Check out their Soundcloud here.

Like them on Facebook here.

Gimme Five Stars, which features a reggae/disco/ska beat, was written in response to the episode Nosedive, from the Netflix hit series Black Mirror. It has an unmistakable stand up and
move your feet beat that cannot be missed & reminds people of classic ska and reggae bands from the 70’s and 80’s like The Specials. It was mixed and mastered by 3 time Grammy winner Phillip Magnotti.
— TS

In addition to their new single, Tyrone Shoelaces has brought along two other hot new tracks for you to jam out to. Give them a listen below!

Nobody Loses All the Time

Mick reads another poem. This time, he brought to life "Nobody Loses All the Time" by ee cummings.

nobody loses all the time

i had an uncle named
Sol who was a born failure and
nearly everybody said he should have gone
into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
of all to use a highfalootin phrase
luxuries that is or to
wit farming and be
it needlessly
added

my Uncle Sol’s farm
failed because the chickens
ate the vegetables so
my Uncle Sol had a
chicken farm till the
skunks ate the chickens when

my Uncle Sol
had a skunk farm but
the skunks caught cold and
died and so
my Uncle Sol imitated the
skunks in a subtle manner

or by drowning himself in the watertank
but somebody who’d given my Uncle Sol a Victor
Victrola and records while he lived presented to
him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
scruptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and
i remember we all cried like the Missouri
when my Uncle Sol’s coffin lurched because
somebody pressed a button
(and down went
my Uncle
Sol

and started a worm farm)

Don't Watch This Shit Sponsor Shout-Out

Don't Watch This Shit is going on a little hiatus, so we wanted to send off the podcast with a bang. Also, we wanted to milk our advertisers for a lil extra money.  Listen to the ads below.

Shout-out to our sponsors:

Dill Does Dildos Dildo and Sex Toy Emporium
Fartex
Euphoric
Speedking starring Rob Schnieder
Straws!
Nasty Jake's Smut Emporium
Big Bob's Foot Palace
The Washington Jews
Burt Reynold's Used Car Lot
Fisticuffs
Don and Bill's Discount Liquor Store

GreenHaus

Keith, Mick, and Taylor are back at it again with more urban exploration. This time they visited an abandoned greenhouse and nursery in the backwoods of suburban Connecticut. Check out the pictures below! 

Keith

Mick

Taylor

Rush Hour

Mick cut together another video. This one is a visualization of his poem "Rush Hour". Watch and read along below.

For more videos, click here.

5'o clock rolls around and we skitter
from our gray nests out into the world
for another few hours of freedom.
Our spirits soar like children released
for summer break, though
we shamble like zombies
through cavernous parking structures
to cars we can barely afford.
The line of vehicles idling
winds like a python
choking the flow of traffic
as exhausted workers go from
gas to break to gas again
inching down the road car by car,
the radio static and top forty dreck
occasionally punctuated by
the blast of a horn.
Heavy eyelids droop at red lights
only to snap open again
as if spring loaded.
We are a plague upon the highway,
a cloud of sluggish locust
belching exhaust as we
stop and go and stop
our way home.
The list of things to do hangs
like ticker tape before our eyes,
populating with the ever-accumulating
trivialities that make up life
only to vanish into vapor
when it comes time to act.
Then there are those brief moments
of horror and genuine introspection
where you take stock and find
that just a little bit more of yourself
has been worn away,
that your soul is being strip-mined
for bottom dollar
and by the time you understand
what it is that's happening to you
you're in your driveway and
there's so much to do before
you go to sleep and start it
all over again tomorrow. 
 

Make Good Art - Daniel Harding

While we share many short films here on ALSO THAT, we rarely get a chance to speak with the people behind this camera. Luckily, this month we managed to have a few words with Daniel Harding of 23 1/2 Films about his latest project, "Punch Bag".

Click here to visit the 23 1/2 Films Website

Click here to follow 23 1/2 Films on Twitter

Click here to like 23 1/2 Films on Facebook

MT: How did you get your start filmmaking? 

DH: At 16 I made a very bad life decision which was to go and work at a power station as an apprentice. The money was good, and would be even better now, but I wasn't happy. So instead, I decided I must pursue something I enjoy rather than money, and that was film. It took several more years before I finally went to uni and studied media and film, which gave me access to a kit room. I then made the most of that equipment at every opportunity - documentaries, music videos, anything and everything. But I only began writing when I was 23. Since then, I've just tried to keep busy, and continue to make things I want to do.

MT: Who are some of your biggest influences as an artist?

DH: I'm currently watching Zodiac by David Fincher, so there's an obvious one. He was the first filmmaker I 'studied' and really thought about how he directed a scene and film. But in all honesty, I have too many to list. Musicians, writers, biologists! But specifically for film, I always think about the Coen's for tone, P.T. Anderson for artistry and Kubrick for pretty much everything.

MT: Punch Bag is your latest short film. What were some of the challenges that came with making this piece?

DH: I wouldn't say there were many challenges. I guess my DOP struggled with some technical issues - I decided to shoot in December so we didn't have much natural daylight, and the location has big open windows. But, for me, making Punch Bag was fun and easy. That's what I think short films should be. Ingvild, who plays Naomi, had the challenge of portraying a character who goes from vulnerable and weak, to someone willing to confront and possibly beat-up her neighbours in the space of 10 minutes. But she rose to it brilliantly. 

MT: Punch Bag has a very open-ended feel to it. What did you want audiences to take away from this film after the credits roll?

DH: I like to provoke some sort of response. If you tie everything up in a neat little bow, what is there to talk about afterwards? You do have to tell a story of sorts, but ultimately it needs to lead the audience to engaging with your idea. I hope that's what happens.

MT: In addition to shooting shorts, you also appear to be working on a feature called The Cult of Nigel. Can you give audiences a little background on this work-in-progress? 

DH: We are planning to launch a fundraising campaign very soon, so everyone who has watched and enjoyed my short films over the years will hopefully sign up to be part of the team. The script was completed a few weeks ago, and we are beginning to plan the production. It's a darkish-comedy about a guy who believes he has been abducted by aliens. Upon his return he has to tell the world, everyone thinks he's crazy. 

MT: What words of advice do you have for aspiring artists?

DH: Do it, and in the words of Neil Gaiman, make good art.

NTWON: Little Evil

nothing-to-watch1.jpg

September is on its way out and October, the spookiest month of the year, is just about here. So, it seems only fitting that this time around we spotlight a relatively spooky movie: Little Evil starring Adam Scott, Evangeline Lilly, and some kid.  

Little Evil is a satirical take on the classic horror movie The Omen. Both films center around a strange little boy who seems to bring misfortune and mayhem wherever they go. But while The Omen plays things entirely straight, the characters in Little Evil are much more genre savvy and exist in a world where movies like The Omen and Rosemary's Baby exist.

Little Evil is different from other, more overt horror parodies like the Scary Movie franchise. Rather, the tone of the movie never wanders into the explicitly absurd. Instead, Adam Scott plays the only sane man that is paying close enough attention to his surroundings to actually remark on them. This film serves as a loving tribute to the demon baby genre that gently subverts the common tropes and expectations with a modern slant.

Though the writers were clearly inspired by the horror genre, this movie is not particularly scary. There are no jump scares or anything that's going to make viewers frightened to turn the lights off in their homes. That said, there are definitely some scenes that are pretty gross and disturbing, but these scenes are usually played for laughs as they are contrasted with completely oblivious bystanders that do not appreciate the seriousness of the situation.

This is definitely a fun watch if you are at all familiar with The Omen. Even if you don't normally watch horror movies, you'll probably enjoy this short, light film. Check it out!