virginmarys

Miss rock music? Tired of the synth-driven, computer-generated, studio-enhanced pop-rock permeating radio airwaves? Check out UK’s The Virginmarys who return to Columbus tonight for the third time in 2013. The trio’s straight-ahead guitar rock brings to mind bands like the Foo Fighters, Local H, The Subways and Blood Red Shoes – in other words, prepare for a sweaty night of rock n’ roll in the cozy confines of The Basement.

CD102.5 presents a Low Dough Show ($5) with The Virginmarys, American Fangs, Cliffs at The Basement. Doors open at 7pm and the show is all ages.

You have 48 Hours to write, shoot and edit a short film....#48HFP

By Pete Brown

This weekend, more than 40 teams will hit the streets of Columbus with the goal of creating a short film in the 48 hours that occur between 7 p.m. Friday night and 7 p.m. Sunday night.

It’s the 48 Hour Film Project, a contest that will play out in more than 120 cities across the globe this year. The contest originated in Washington DC in 2001, and since that time, there have been more than 700 competitions. 2013 is the sixth year a competition has been held in Columbus.

You have 48 Hours to write, shoot and edit a short film....#48HFP

You have 48 Hours to write, shoot and edit a short film….#48HFP

The rules of the 48 are fairly straightforward. At the event kickoff, each team draws a genre out of a hat. All teams are given a required character, a required prop and a required line of dialogue to include in their film. Once everyone has drawn, it’s off to the races for a madcap weekend. Not all the teams get their film in on time, but those that do will see their films screened next Wednesday or Thursday at the Gateway Film Center.

The film selected Best of Columbus moves on to compete against other Best ofs…, and ultimately a handful of films are selected to screen at Cannes. Yes. The Cannes film festival. What’s more, two Columbus films have made it to Cannes in the event’s six-year run, including “Stones” which made it all the way in 2011.

While the films represent a wide range of styles and skills, the weekend itself is one of sleepless insanity and excellent adventure. I took part in 2012 for the first time as part of Blue Monkey Films team, and am glad to say we’re back for another go this year. You can follow our progress all weekend long on a tumblr we’ve set up for the weekend. Otherwise, be seeing you on set.

Columbus 48 Hour Film Project Screenings

Gateway Film Center

  • Group A Wed. July 31, 6:30 pm
  • Group B Wed. July 31 8:00 p.m.
  • Group C Thurs. Aug. 1 6:30 p.m.

Follow Blue Monkey Films online all weekend.

 

 

 

 

miketramp

whitelion

White Lion holds a special place in my heart as the first band I ever had the chance to meet. My friend Jeff’s dad was a dentist and among his patients were people who owned the Phantasy Theatre in Lakewood. Back in ’87, we spent lots of time shooting hoops and listening to music (often at the same time) and hard rock was the flavor of the day – from Bon Jovi to Whitesnake to Van Halen. We were also both KISS fans which made us fans of Ace Frehley’s post-KISS band, Frehley’s Comet. When we read in Scene Magazine (because that’s how you found out about concerts in Cleveland before the internet) that Frehley’s Comet would be coming to the Phantasy, we begged Jeff’s parents to pull some strings and get us into the show.

I remember the day (July 10, 1987) like it was yesterday. I flew into Cleveland Hopkins airport after a weeklong vacation in Florida and my mom took me directly to the Phantasy where Jeff’s parents had made a deal for us – if we showed up early and helped get the venue ready for the show, we’d be allowed to stay and watch for free. It was mid-afternoon when we showed up and the bar manager had Jeff and I carry kegs to the bar, fill the bins with ice, and whatever other task he could think of that would help save him some time.

The opening band, White Lion, was hanging out backstage (which was connected to the kitchen at the venue) so Jeff and I had the chance to meet the guys. We had picked up the band’s Pride album (released just a few weeks earlier) and were pretty familiar with it by the time we got to the show and having never had this opportunity before, we were pretty stoked to be hanging out with a real live rock band, something we had never thought (at that time in our life) would be possible.

After the band’s opening set, they returned to the dressing room area where Jeff and I were hanging out. Drummer Greg D’Angelo pulled us aside and said, “Hey guys, I need a favor. I left my shirt up on stage. Would you guys mind going to get it for me?” (I think it was a shirt … he left something that he wanted us to retrieve). Um, ask two 16-year-old kids if they want to go up on stage in front of hundreds of people and Greg didn’t even get a response, we both raced to go stand on stage and bask in the spotlight, if even only for 30 seconds.

White Lion released two more albums after Pride and then called it quits in 1991.

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Singer Mike Tramp has continued to make music after White Lion’s demise (with Freaks of Nature and as a solo artist), most recently releasing Cobblestone Street in April. Fans of Tramp’s from his White Lion days may find his solo work to be a bit too mature and lacking a driving punch, but Cobblestone Street is actually a really great listen, a largely-acoustic driven release that shifts between Springsteen-like numbers (“Cobblestone Street”) and seaside shantys (“Caught in the Storm”).

While I haven’t kept close tabs on Tramp’s career, I don’t think he’s toured the U.S. much (if at all) since his days in White Lion so his run of July and August tour dates is worth noting (and worth attending!) as you never know if or when he might return.

Fortunately, the good folks at Bethel Road Pub (1375 Bethel Road) will be hosting Mr. Tramp on Monday night as the singer will most likely run through songs spanning his entire recorded career armed simply with an acoustic guitar and probably many stories to tell. Erica Blinn and The Vague share the bill with doors opening at 7pm. Tickets are $10.

theneighbourhood

Not sure if The Neighbourhood is more well known for their black-and-white visual aesthetic or their single “Sweater Weather”, but the band has been rapidly gaining the attention of music listeners, radio program directors, and late night talent show bookers.

After they finish up a summer tour supporting Imagine Dragons, the band will embark on their own headlining fall tour including a October 5 date at The Newport Music Hall with support by Lovelife (ex-Via Brother) and Ghost Loft.

The Neighbourhood’s last (and only) Columbus appearance was as part of the CD102.5 Second Dose show on April 6.

Here’s an interview the band did with KidsInterviewBands.com.

Venus and Serena Williams

You don’t have to be a tennis fan to enjoy Venus and Serena,  a documentary playing at the Gateway Film Center this week during Columbus Documentary Week.

The filmmakers spent the majority of the 2011 season following the sisters as they both attempted comebacks from injury. While this footage is interesting and sheds a graphic light on the toll that playing professional tennis can take on a body, the more interesting story here is when the film makers dive deep into archived video and tell us about the sister’s past, growing up in LA’s Compton neighborhood and learning tennis from their father, Richard Williams.  These segments nicely balance the contemporary footage of the Williams singing karaoke, goofing around, and dealing with their success and failures on the court.

Check out the Trailer, here.

Venus and Serena Williams

Venus and Serena is playing this week at the Gateway as part of Columbus Documentary Week.

Richard Williams is the enigmatic creature stalking the periphery of the film. While we learn that he selected tennis as a means to raise the family up, we’re still not sure how he – without much experience in the game – authored and then enacted a 78-page plan that has led to two of the greatest tennis players of our time, we just don’t get a sense of how he accomplished these things. What we learn about him along the way only clouds the picture – his difficult past coming of age in the racist South to his many different children from a variety of women (at one point in the film, a young man is with him calling him ‘Dad,’ but neither of the Williams’ sisters knows who the boy is.) Lightly touched on but not fully explored in the film is the role of religion in the Williams’ lives – the family are Jehova Witnesses, though the very disparate worlds of pro tennis and Compton collide in a moment of psychic weight as the girls detail the shooting of their eldest Sister in what was apparently a case of gangland mistaken identity. The grass courts of Wimbledon seem utterly preposterous compared to the sister’s reactions to this event.

Ultimately Venus and Serena is  portrait not just of the two players themselves, but of the systems and processes built to get them where the are today, of the hours of hard work they put in to remain at the top of their games, and of the interplay of these processes and the shifting dynamics of family life. It’s a fascinating portait that leaves one with the feeling of having eavesdropped on their lives for an hour-and-a-half, but the filmmakers – perhaps rightly so – don’t endeavor to push us towards any single interpretation or conclusion about what we’ve seen, leaving this task to the viewer.

Live Long, Ping Pong

Opening for Venus and Serena at all showing this week is the locally produced short documentary Live Long, Ping Pong. This 6-and-a-half minute short introduces us to a variety of senior citizens who gathered in Columbus this past March for the Table Tennis competition at the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Shot for the 2013 International 5-day Documentary Challenge, Live Long, Ping Pong is playing before all screenings of Venus and Serena this week at the Gateway Film Center. Tuesday@ 7 pm Wednesday@2:30 pm Thursday@5 pm

Shot for the 2013 International 5-day Documentary Challenge, Live Long, Ping Pong is playing before all screenings of Venus and Serena this week at the Gateway Film Center.
Tuesday@ 7 pm
Wednesday@2:30 pm
Thursday@5 pm

Since I was the writer and director on this short film, I won’t endeavor to review it (two thumbs, way up!), but instead only mention that it’s showing before all screening of Venus and Serena. The short was originally produced for the 2013 International Documentary Competition, a 5-day documentary challenge held this past March, and features an original score by Brian Hake (of Kopaz and Van Haken fame). Hope you get to see it and enjoy it.