30 December 2010

Mix CD: Track 9

Moving along. 8 days left.

We have a video for you about the $10 perk. It's mostly about books and how heavy they can be (hence, an ebook).

We have 2 nice quotes to share with you. First, from David Branin of Film Courage:

People tell us that independent film is dead. They tell us there is no community and that our efforts are wasted. We must be insane because we BELIEVE, even when all indicators tell us otherwise. In this spirit, we hope that you will take a strong look at "A Year Without Rent" by Lucas McNelly. Here is a man who is willing to give up a year of his life to give back to indie film and support our cause.

And this one from Jon Reiss (@Jon_Reiss), author of THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX OFFICE, who tweeted that A Year Without Rent was "an extremely worthy campaign."

Thanks, guys!

Oh, and here's track 9 of the Mix CD.

9. There there
Artist: Radiohead
Album: Hail to the Thief

We all know Radiohead. They're awesome.

What I love about this song is how it builds, especially the shifts at 3:15 and 3:58, and how it just forces you into action. I imagine more than one person has been pulled over for speeding while listening to it.

But you don't need to hear me talk about Radiohead. What you really want is a video. Enjoy.

Here's a live acoustic version:

And the music video:

1. On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
2. The 50 States Song (Sufjan Stevens)
3. No Cars Go (Arcade Fire)
4. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again (Bob Dylan)
5. I Know Every Street (Lohio)
6. Power (Kanye West)
7. Between Days (Red House Painters)
8. Dogwalkers of the New Age (Breathe Owl Breathe)

29 December 2010

Mix CD: Track 8

So the challenge didn't work. That's ok. I'll hold on to the clip and maybe we can do a different challenge closer to the end. Or I'll just release it when I was originally planning.

But here's what we're doing. Earlier today I had an idea while I was editing. You know what would be interesting? To really take a better look at those perks. Maybe someone's on the fence. Sometimes a paragraph isn't enough to explain why a perk is so cool.

So let's take a look at some of them. Up first, the $50 perk.

Oh, and here's track 8 of the Mix CD.

8. Dogwalkers of the New Age
Artist: Breathe Owl Breathe
Album: Magic Central

I could talk for days and days about how amazing Breathe Owl Breathe. They're 3 people in Michigan who's primary instruments seem to be a guitar, banjo, and a cello. They write songs about the woods and animals and nature.

Oh, and they're the best band you've never heard of. Unless, of course, you've been within a mile of me, and then you've heard me talk about them and chances are I've forced you to listen to them.

Yeah, I'm kind of a superfan.

The new album is great, as is Canadian Shield and, well, all of them. It's all great. Kieran Roberts and I spent a good amount of time sitting in a car and waiting for it to stop raining during the filming of Up Country, during which time we would listen to Breathe Owl Breathe for inspiration.

Seriously, trust me on this one.

And if you don't, well then here's some video for you. First is this song, and then some of what's on YouTube. Enjoy.

Really, just go on YouTube and search "Breathe Owl Breathe". You can thank me later.

1. On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
2. The 50 States Song (Sufjan Stevens)
3. No Cars Go (Arcade Fire)
4. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again (Bob Dylan)
5. I Know Every Street (Lohio)
6. Power (Kanye West)
7. Between Days (Red House Painters)

28 December 2010

a Kickstarter challenge

As several people have noted, I'm probably behind the curve on showing actual footage of the actual film Up Country (although not really, but that seems to be the trend these days). It's tricky, because in pushing the A Year Without Rent Kickstarter campaign, it looks like Up Country is getting neglected, whereas nothing could be further from the truth. I'm pretty close to having a finished assembly edit. I thought I might have it done by Christmas, but life had other plans.

So...let's multi-task, shall we?

Kickstarter is a lot more fun with some smaller goals and/or challenges. So here's one:

Right now (1:45pm) we have 35 backers. If we can hit 50 backers by the end of the day (and I'll be really flexible on the definition of "end of the day"), then I'll post a rough cut of a scene from Up Country. It won't be color-corrected and the sound will be rough, but that's what a rough cut is, you know?

I'll even tell you which scene. This one:

Jonny Mars

50 backers. That's 15 more. Even if they're all $1 backers. Let's do this.

27 December 2010

Film Threat

Maybe you saw this earlier, maybe you didn't, but we've become a Certified Film Threat in Progress, which basically means that the good folks at Film Threat think this is a project worth watching. It's some pretty high praise. They did a nice interview with yours truly. Check it out!

If you're scoring at home, that means we've been "endorsed" by the following: Film Courage, Film Threat, the makers of TILT, The Cutting Room Floor, Film Snobbery, and Script Chat, not to mention dozens of individuals. Hopefully we can convert that into backers and make this a reality.

Oh, and here's track 6 of the Mix CD, which is definitely NSFW.

6. Power
Artist: Kanye West
Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Surprised? I would be too. The thing is, this album is really stunning. It's everything you could ask of a genius megalomaniac narcissist like Kanye West. The whole thing teeters on the edge of complete disaster. It's the sort of ballsy album people don't make anymore, especially not major mainstream stars like Kanye. And, man is it catchy. I can't get it out of my head. And I'm not really into hip hop since they stopped throwing their hands in the air. But you can't deny greatness.

Did I mention the album (and the song) is very, very NSFW?

There's a video for the song, sort of, and it's as ambitious as the album. Actually, it's a teaser for what is supposed to be some sort of 40 minute short film built around the song, kind of like the 35 minute one he did for "Runaway" (trust me, just go with it).

The Runaway video:

1. On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
2. The 50 States Song (Sufjan Stevens)
3. No Cars Go (Arcade Fire)
4. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again (Bob Dylan)
5. I Know Every Street (Lohio)

24 December 2010

Mix CD: Track 4

Merry Christmas Eve! (Unless you're Jewish...and then....hi!) We might do one of these tomorrow, but probably not until the evening. Definitely not until after the Celtics' game.

4. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack

I'll tell you a little secret. This album is fantastic for a solo road trip. The beauty of it, besides the fact that there's a ton of great songs on it, is that it's fresh versions of classics, which I find helps keep me awake when driving through Hartford at 3am. Also, the album is just begging you to sing along at the top of your lungs (hence, the solo part) in your best Bob Dylan impression. Time just flies. Plus, it's Dylan. How can you go wrong?

The Scorsese documentary is pretty awesome too.

There's surprisingly few Dylan recordings on YouTube, but the song does appear in Todd Haynes' I'M NOT THERE, a pretty much perfect biopic film.

1. On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
2. The 50 States Song (Sufjan Stevens)
3. No Cars Go (Arcade Fire)

23 December 2010

Mix CD: Track 3

If you haven't noticed the pattern, we're doing one of these a day. Enjoy!

3. No Cars Go
Artist: Arcade Fire
Album: Neon Bible

A purist (a.k.a. a jerk) will quickly interject that "No Cars Go" was originally released on the self-titled EP. Who cares? I like this version better.

There's a ton of Arcade Fire songs you can put on a mix, but we're kind of going with a travel theme here, so "No Cars Go" wins out over "Keep the Car Running" (which is also really great). Why? Because it's longer and if we're doing a road trip mix, those extra minutes count. Plus, I think this gives a better picture of how big Arcade Fire can be. But, maybe that's just me.

Anyway, here's a live performance from back in the day.

For extra fun, check out this super cool Arcade Fire video for the album's title track:

1. "On the Road" (Jack Kerouac)
2. The 50 States Song (Sufjan Stevens)

22 December 2010

Mix CD: Track 2

Yesterday, we started our road trip mix CD, because every road trip worth a damn has to have a good mix CD. We're gonna do one a day, and as much as I'd love to burn everyone a copy of the finished CD, that's kind of a copyright lawsuit waiting to happen. Of course, no one's stopping you from finding the music on your own and doing whatever you want.

2. The 50 States Song
Artist: Sufjan Stevens
Album: Various Live Recordings

There's lots of ways you can impress a hipster, but one of the best is to tout music that's never been released on a CD. They love that sort of thing. Of course, then they'll find a way to talk about how "that's so last year" or whatever.

Sufjan Stevens (who the hipsters love, by the way) once declared he was going to write an album for every state. No one really thought he would, but he's done two of them so far: Greetings from Michigan and Come On Feel the Illinoise. They're both pretty awesome. "The 50 States Song" doesn't appear on either of these albums, but Sufjan performs it live at his shows. Here it is, via YouTube:

1. "On the Road" (Jack Kerouac)

21 December 2010

Mix CD: Track 1

If you've ever been on a road trip worth a damn, you've passed the time listening to Mix CD. Of course, everyone has their favorite mixes. You know, the ones where you've listened to them so much that you no longer think of the songs in their original album context. But, I think they're a lot more fun when it's an old mix that you don't really remember. The next track is a mystery. It could be one of your favorites, or it could be a song you haven't heard in years. So...without further adieu...a Year Without Rent Mix CD

1. On the Road
Artist: Jack Kerouac
Album: Reads On The Road [track 3]

You can't imagine an American road trip without Jack Kerouac. And if you can, well, I don't know what to tell you. This track, from a spoken word album of old Kerouac home recordings. is a song Kerouac composed after staying up all night writing. To quote his introduction: "I'm just reading what I wrote all night. There are better things coming than what I wrote all night. Straight from the mind to the voice". Years later they added a haunting guitar and--voila!--magic.

17 December 2010


My father has never, ever been late for anything. Except today.

15 December 2010

13 December 2010


Yesterday, I was accused on this blog of deleting a comment that was, well, not polite toward me as a person.

As much as I don't want to listen to people yell at me with information that's more inaccurate than accurate, I don't support censorship.

Google (and the Blogger servers) thought the post qualified as Spam and moved it to the spam folder, where I was able to recover it. It's now readable and stuff. I won't comment further on the matter, as I don't feel it warrants any discussion.

However, we have a small change. Moderation is enabled on comments. I'll approve everything that's signed with a real name. If you're unwilling to put your name behind your thoughts, I see no reason why I should give you free reign to tarnish mine or anyone else's.

If you have a problem with this...well...I don't give a fuck.

09 December 2010

08 December 2010

Crowd > Funding

I've often said that when you're dealing with crowdfunding, the crowd is much more important than the funding. Really, the people you get emotionally invested in the project are much more valuable than the money (although, the money certainly helps).

So with A Year Without Rent, we tried to put together a series of perks that will, hopefully, really grab people. And we tried to price them as low as we could, with a goal as low as we could find.

We think people will like them. They're a lot of fun, and we're really looking forward to fulfilling them for you. My favorite is the $35 perk.

07 December 2010

an image

If you were paying attention, you kind of saw this the other day on Twitter, but here it is for reals.

Jonny Mars

Cool, no?