Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Patrick Wolf: "Hard Times"

Here it is! The complete and finalized music video for "Hard Times" by Patrick Wolf. I am BARELY in it... and my "bigger" part was cut (I suppose the "voluptuous" choir ladies in white WERE too much... ::pouts::), but I am still reeling at the fact that I spent the day with Mr. Wolf and all the amazing people there. I accept the fact that although I am barely in it- it was a fair trade. Seriously, I spent most of the day relaxing, and talking to Patrick while everyone else worked! HA!

more about "Patrick Wolf: "Hard Times"", posted with vodpod

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A little silliness...

I was on the road to Boston, and came across this peculiar decor at a rest stop on the I-95. Do you see what I see?

Monday, May 11, 2009

I was an EXTRA in the new Patrick Wolf video!

Tight black unitards. Skintight white tube dresses. White disks adorned with long white cords to mimic a jellyfish that strapped to our heads. Gnome like double cones wrapped around heads imitating horns that were draped with white string to resemble beards. Satellite dish neck pieces with tapered strings. Oversized crowns and white Elizabethan inspired paper corsetry. Drummers drumming. Human half-puppets do bizarre dances. Dancers dancing.Eccentric and beautiful minstrels singing. There is a bearded man dressed in a white robe splashing violently in day glow orange paint. There are blacked out faces and bodies, only the eyes and hands painted neon green, yellow, orange, or blue are illuminated in the black lights...

It was an average Thursday morning. I was working, sitting trapped within my 6X6 cubicle. I was looking forward to the evening of a nice little dinner and Wolverine with my man and his crew. As the hours slowly ticked by I would sporadically check my email hoping for correspondence other than advertisements all was to no avail. That is, until I received an email through the Patrick Wolf's fan club newsletter (TWIN) of a most curious nature:

Subject: Patrick needs YOU to star in 'Hard Times' video!

Dearest tribe,

Patrick Wolf is shooting a video for his new single "Hard Times" THIS Friday (8th May) in Manhattan, and he
desperately needs some extras! Please email ASAP and be sure to include a recent picture of
yourself and your contact info. It promises to be a mega fun shoot with black lights, make-up, costumes, and
glow-in-the-dark paint! Please note that you must be
available all day/evening for this venture.

Team Wolf x

I was amazed to see an email like this. It was so open, so inviting. I thought, "Ahh, that's so cool, if only I had the day off", and I went on my "merry" way about my day. The thought of such a rare opportunity nagged at me all day long. Thoughts plagued me, broke my concentration, "I DO have one sick day left... no no there's NO WAY they'd want me anyway! They're probably looking for supermodels that they don't have to pay forS I guess it couldn't hurt to send a picture and info in, it would be like buying a lottery ticket and hey, you never know..." and on that note I snapped a quick (yet pretty) picture on my cell phone and sent an email out to the people at NYLON, knowing nothing would come of it, but at least I tried. I went about my day. Then I got an email instructing me to be at this studio at 9 a.m. I didn't really believe it, until I was in a diner and I received a phone call from an unknown number- I picked up and discovered it was all true- I had been selected to be an extra in Patrick Wolf's upcoming video!! OH MY GOD! All the caller said was I needed opaque black leggings, and a long sleeve black shirt, mysterious, eh?

I woke up instantly the next morning, so excited and shaky I thought there was NO WAY I would be able to feign illness, well I was wrong again. In my best "swine flu" voice I reported that I had a sore throat, and the chills. Yeah yeah- I know what you're thinking, "K- you're actually WRITING this down? What if they see this??" Well, you know what? Let 'em see. If I got fired over this it would be worth it. You'll understand by the end of this epic tale of Friday, May 8th, 2009. I hopped on the train- coffee and bagel in hand and headed over to the studio. I entered, nervous, scared, and confused. I saw no one. Had this all been some sick prank? I turned and saw a young woman, similarly dressedS I smiled at her once and turned to ask a man where "Studio 1" was. She lit up instantly- we went up together.

We entered into a high ceiling room of tall black fabric stretched over steel beams. There was camera equipment, and an area full of people of various ages, all in the same all-black attire, and a groggy expression. I was disappointed. Was I the only super excited person here? Just then a handsome effeminate man peeks in on the sea of groggy extras and says something like "hey everyone, we're actually going to start you on hair and makeup soon. The costumes are made of paper so be careful with them. We're talking oak tag and 2000 feet of string. Oh and some of you will be wearing paper corsets and crowns." At the word "corset" I let out an excited gasp only to hear it echo out from another¹s lips. I craned my head and found a lady with the same excited grin. We smiled knowingly at each other. That pretty much broke the ice. We were brought into Studio 3 where we would spend most of the day. I met wonderful people, Hillary, Anna, Michael, Jen, Paul, and countless others. We sat and talked endlessly, getting to know one another.

As we sat there I let the fact that I could've been sitting in my cubicle at that moment sink in. It was only 10 in the morning and already the day seemed unreal. I panned my view around the room; taking in all the creativity at hand, when suddenly my head and eyes froze. "Oh my god! He's here!" there, standing by the door of the studio was Patrick Wolf.

Just hanging out. Talking, laughing. I know he's not an absurdly HUGE celebrity to everyone but he's MY David Bowie OK? I stared and grinned like a fool- I couldn¹t help myself! I was totally unprepared for what happened next. He looked up and over at me, saw me grinning like a chimp and actually SMILED and waved back. This caused me to smile even more ridiculously, while waving like a maniac, then I got embarrassed and I spun back so fast I got dizzy.

Let me tell you something about Patrick Wolf. He is a gentleman through and through, and he is a very gracious and accommodating host. He made sure to make everyone's acquaintance, shook our hands, got our names, asked and sounded genuinely interested to know who we were and what we did for a living. I have to be honest, I was not expecting that, I assumed I would be standing NEAR him, but not get to talk to him. I assumed he would be an untouchable celebrity who would spend most of his day in makeup away from the extras in a private room. I was pleased to discover that this was quite
the contrary.

I was sitting in makeup when I had my first little interaction with Mr. Wolf. He was eating a bagel and had been chatting to everyone around him, all the while with a little schmear of cream cheese was on his face. I know everyone noticed, but no one said anything! The Long Island momma in me took over, and as soon as I was in his line of vision, I smiled and said- "you have a schmear of cream cheese on your face, I have to tell ya- the momma in me was so close to licking my finger and wiping the schmutz off for ya- if I wasn't in this chair!" he smiled, began wiping the smear away, laughed, and said, "Thanks!" and I responded with "Unless you were looking to save that for later". His laughter rang like a bell and it made me smile mistily. That first little bit of conversation was the opening of Pandora's box for me. The friends I made, Patrick, and I talked sporadically throughout the day, about anything and everything. I learned about his costumes, and the miraculous "green" designer behind them, his work with Angelo Badalementi, to his lucky yellow "knickers", that he's got movies like "White Chicks" and "Teeth" on his Netflix, he prefers gin, and he even mentioned his split from Universal. My favorite most random moment would have to be all 6'4" of him, decked out in his narrow white pants, shined black vinyl shoes, knee high black and white argyle socks, black suspenders, white t-shirt, and a FABULOUS black and white pin-stripe capelet adorned with beautiful black garbage bag rosettes (only 5£ to make such a stunning effect) sitting in a fold out black metal chair while eating a Ni├žoise salad. I'm sorry, you just don't see that every day! I know what you're wondering, did you actually DO anything besides chat and hang out with one of your musical heroes?

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I did. I was "fitted" for my costume first thing that morning. By costume, I mean I was handed a black unitard, a long sleeved black shirt, and black socks. I was then fitted for a black latex skull-cap (getting my hair back was NO easy feat- something Patrick pointed out several times that day). I got to be not one but TWO characters that day, a choirgirl jellyfish lady and a crown wearing paper corseted "sign holder"!

The sign holder costume literally took 30 minutes to be laced into, but I didn't mind one bit. Everyone looked great, and never have I had so much fun! I felt like the Queen of a demented underworld!

Filming literally took all day, and most of the night. No one minded, because it was too creative and interesting, especially for those of us who don't do this for a day job! When it would start to lag, you could count on Mr.Wolf to come into the space just in time to make his rounds and chat with all, it was an instant pick-me-up. The final shots of the evening when all characters converged with the showman were by far the most memorable, and no doubt will be the most beautiful and amazing, I look forward to seeing it in its completion. The shoot ended climatically with everyone cheering, clapping, and applauding.

The night ended bitter sweet for me. I didn't want to leave. The excitement of being in the presence of someone you admire has that effect on you. I took the sign I had been twirling in the video as a memento, which Patrick was kind enough to autograph for me. We took a few snapshots together,

& he even let me come in for a HUG! Things got a little better from there (see below entry), then, I hopped in a cab with some of my new comrades, and headed home.

There are a few days that will stand out for a person in their lifetime. I think it is safe to say this experience is something I will
carry with me for the rest of my days. I feel lucky, gracious, and blessed to have had the opportunity to spend the day with someone as creative and interesting as Patrick Wolf, and though I thanked him countless times that day, I will say it again, here, in writing. Patrick, thank you so much!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The end!

An AMAZING mistake... my god, what a glorious day!


Fabulous ladies waiting patiently for their closeup..

Hair & Makeup...

Yeah your guess is as good as mine where this is going...


HE'S HERE!!!!!!

More Dance Rehearsal!

Ooooh choreography...

PW Dancers

Dancers dancing... I am so glad I'M HERE!

more from the video shoot!!

Drummers drumming!!

So cool

Uhh YES!!

Patrick Wolf Video Shoot

Played hooky to go and be an extra in the Patrick Wolf music video for his new single "Hard Times"! Have already spoken to a stylist- there WILL BE paper costumes, 2000' of string, crowns, corsets :::swoooons:::

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Patrick Wolf at Le Poisson Rouge

He is tall, lanky, and 25. He is as pale as I am, with a mop of pale platinum blonde hair atop his head. His smile sparkles with mischief. He chatters on in a stream of consciousness in attempts to make sure you truly and thoroughly understand the source of his inspiration for each song that he has written.

Before all other things, Patrick Wolf is a storyteller. He is a wandering minstrel singing his tales of triumph and woe to eager audiences. His voice is the perfect tool for lyrical expression. It's range seemingly limitless, going from the purest deep timbre of a grown man to the lightest most feathery and whimsical falsetto of a young boy. Through his voice, he helps paint the landscape of his tales.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard Patrick Wolf was doing an acoustic set at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan this past Wednesday night. The new album, "The Bachelor" (due out in a few weeks) is heavily electronic, and with very intricate musical arrangements. I couldn't even begin to imagine how those songs would break down. Well, it appears that the fundamental rule that "graphic design should work as well in black and white, as it does in color" applies to music too. Even stripped of all its elaborate orchestrations, Patrick Wolf has created emotive, whimsical, dark, and beautiful music. With nothing more than a piano, a violin, viola, guitar, and occasional dulcimer (and only TWO people on stage mind you) every songs musical meaning & integrity remained in tact. Truth be told, I felt some of the "stripped down" versions were more... intimate... in a way. I felt a certain personal resonance with each song, especially with it's many ways Patrick Wolf is a kindred spirit, especially in regards to his sense of style and visual aesthetic. This relationship with the viewer is the essential component to a minstrel's work... we should feel ourselves being drawn into the tale, being seduced by the singer, whisked away into whatever corner of the universe they choose. With this incredibly beautiful and striking performance at Le Poisson Rouge, Patrick Wolf has conquered over all my other favorite musicians. I feel blessed to have seen him perform this way- and have it be my first time seeing him live.

His connectivity and interaction to the crowd was nothing like I've ever witnessed, it was like VH1's "Storytellers"... every song meant something, and Patrick was more than willing to tell you. He talked to us throughout the set, even playing coy at a few comments. These moments of relation were probably my favorites. He gets on the audiences good side by wit, grace, and charm, and then steals their hearts by playing his music. I went through emotions like water- I would find my self laughing out loud one moment, then move rapidly on to silent meditation, then shoot upward to gleeful seat-bopping, then come crashing down to shaky hysterics.

I could go on forever about this show. There were so many glorious little moments. Instead I will leave you with this suggestion: Go out and buy every album this young man has produced. Listen to each album the old school way in sequential order, with your head phones on, and see if you can withstand the inevitable draw of one the best modern musicians out there today.

Some of the songs he performed live included:
The Pigeon Song
"Tin Angel" by Joni Mitchell directly into the Magic Position
Who Will
Wind in the Wires
The Bachelor
Hard Times
"Happy Birthday" to his dear cousin Natalie (in the audience)

Oh dear sweet Patrick Wolf you have my heart...

What a fantastic and glorious evening. I am smitten by this lovely young man and his incredible voice. Expect a gushing blog of love shortly...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

PW @ Le Poisson Rouge

Waiting eagerly for Mr.Wolf...

Oh. My. God. I am

Oh. My. God. I am SO NERVOUS AND EXCITED FOR PATRICK WOLF. The anticipation is palpable. I am shaking

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bat for Lashes

Lately, I feel like I am saying this more and more (which bodes well for the music scene), but, Bat for Lashes performed one of the best concerts I've ever heard last night. The sound was full, thick with magic and mystique. Natasha Khan was sensual and alluring, her tall lanky form moved languidly about the stage, that is, when she wasn't playing the auto-harp, keyboard, or guitar and singing like the world's most completely arousing angel.

I owe Natasha and Bat for Lashes an apology. I assumed her voice and sound was another product of pro-tools magic. I was wrong. Her voice is her most powerful instrument. It drove chills down my spine, made my eyes well with tears, and stirred feelings within me for women that I had long forgotten. Yeah- I said it. Natasha made me want to sleep with her. She's one of the sexiest female performers I've ever seen. She's right up there next to Siouxsie. However, the difference in sex appeal between these two women is monumental. Siouxsie makes you want her because she is raw, aggressive, and almost masculine in her appeal. She's a violent and vivacious woman, whose deep throaty husk of a voice makes you uncomfortable and interested all at once.

Natasha on the other hand lures you in not through aggression, but through her subtle wispy and overtly feminine voice and movement. The casual sway of her hips, the crisp glimmer of her smiling white teeth through her full parted mouth, even when she's tuning up her keyboard for the next song, she's sexy. I was up in the far left balcony in the press section of the Bowery Ballroom. I was pressed up against the wall and I had absolutely no view. I caught her only in glimpses, but that was enough for her to cast her spell but her visual appeal was only one small part of the overall seduction.

Then there's the music, my God the music. We all know I have a penchant for the dramatic. We all know I love eccentric lyrical style, musical arrangements, and the use of non-conventional instruments in modern music. Well, I get these elements in spades with Bat for Lashes. First of all, there's the flair of the "synth" element to the music that hooked me from the beginning. The way they translate it live rivals Nine Inch Nails (and I am NOT kidding folks). Bat for Lashes interprets their polished heavily synthesized orchestral music catalogue and translates it into a well thought out organic mythological beast of concert sound. Bat for Lashes are concert fairies and I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE!

I certainly clapped enough. The music took on a whole new element for me live. It was tribal, visceral, and yet it was also intellectual, and poetic. Natasha's voice is heavenly and Bat for Lashes sound is earthy. Bat for Lashes is a marriage of the realm of faerie and man, and I am grateful to have been standing before them savoring the delicious auditory feast they presented. Everyone should be listening to them.

For those of you interested, here are some of the songs they played (in no order)
Opened with: Glass (the perfect opening song)
Sleep alone
Horse and I
Daniel (acoustic, stripped down version)
Good Love
Siren Song
The Wizard
What's a Girl to Do?
Pearl's Dream
Peace of Mind
Two Planets
Moon and Moon
Bat's Mouth
Traveling Woman
Closed with: Daniel (original version)