Tag Archives: Do It Again

They Did It!

Light 'em off if you got 'em!

The Graham Parker documentary film Don’t Ask Me Questions achieved its funding goal during the final week of pledges!

Visit the official film Kickstarter page.

Congratulations to Michael Gramaglia, who can now complete the project and get it out into the world.

Congratulations to Graham Parker, who will finally see a decent documentary about his brilliant career become reality.

Congratulations to all the donors whose generosity helped support this vision.

And congratulations to the people who might finally tap into this artist we know and love thanks to their (likely) accidental exposure to this film. Can you imagine just discovering Parker this week and having that incredible catalogue to troll through as a new experience? I don’t think I’d trade thirty plus years of pleasure for one deep dive, but there are going to be some very happy people opening that door for the very first time.

After the success of Do It Again and now this, I have faith that projects about radio-ignored worthy artists can take root. And yes, I’m hoping that the next Kickstarter email I get is asking me to check out the John Hiatt story…

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Graham Parker Film – Home Stretch

I was angry too, back then.

Passion is no ordinary word. 

Last month, I wrote about the Kickstarter effort to raise funds for the Graham Parker documentary Don’t Ask Me Questions. The response has been tremendous and the goal is within reach. 

However, the premise of Kickstarter is that if the goal is not attained, none of the pledge money goes through. 

With one week to go, the producer still needs only a small amount – roughly six hundred dollars a day. That’s a dozen fifty dollar bids, twenty people pledging thirty dollars. In other words, it’s right there in front of us

Please consider a donation if you haven’t done so, but more importantly please pass the word along to friends who might be able to join the effort. 

Here’s the direct link to the Kickstarter page – and Michael Gramaglia has posted two new clips from the film for your dining and dancing pleasure. 

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Another Kickstarter Success Story

"I Won't Go Hollywood"

Looks like the new paradigm is DIY – with sponsors.

Got a note the other day about the upcoming Bleu album, Four. I’m a big fan; they even used my pull quote on the jacket of the first album which was my favorite record of the year. But although he’s had success on a major label and getting his music into film, he’s gone the truly independent route this time in an effort to release his music without compromise or interference – he’s gone on Kickstarter. Stacy from Speck Management, who handles Bleu, echoes my feelings about this type of DIY marketing plan:

“I think this is a full testament that indie music is alive and well!  Major record labels, and even some indie labels, I think, are underestimating the power of fans who truly love the artists they….love.  Fans seem to rally for artists on Kickstarter because they know their pledges go directly to the artist, and that makes them feel good about it.”

Unlike most of the projects on Kickstarter, Bleu has blown by his initial modest goal by a mile, but he’s still offering several inducement packages to invest directly with the artist; circumnavigating the old-school machine that sucks up most of the money and usually drops the ball.

The amount of money is a pittance compared to a major film or album budget, but I guarantee you Bleu is getting far more cash to work with and will have no debt to recoup, plus he has 100% ownership going forward. It’s a sweet deal for him, and for his fans – he’ll be able to get more projects completed and released and extend his career. In short, the new paradigm.

You’ll remember that a while back I touted the support of the Kinks film Do It Again, where Geoff Edgers had invested all he could from personal savings (and the wallets of friends and family) and used Kickstarter to get the film into festivals. The result was a rousing success, and he continues to take the film around the world and screen it for audiences and distributors. Having seen the film and the audience reaction to it, I know it’s only a matter of time before this gets a wider release.

Another project is the Graham Parker documentary Don’t Ask Me Questions which is making great strides after only a couple of weeks. Once again, people like you and me are getting involved to support worthy projects with reasonable budgets to help bring them to fruition.

The premise of a Kickstarter program is that the creator has a financial goal which is publicly posted. If they do not reach that goal in the allotted period of time, all bets are off and none of the pledges are enforced. For those who are skeptical about donating to a project and then losing their money when it never sees the light of day, this is about as big a safeguard as you can get.

Could a project owner raise the pledge money and then pocket it without producing the planned result? Of course. People could also request an insufficient sum of money because they planned poorly, or could wind up reprioritizing the effort and making a profit. You have to use your common sense, like you should do with any investment. Thankfully it’s easy to research the project owner, and since the artist involved has a lot more to risk career-wise, you can be pretty certain that they vetted everything thoroughly before getting their name and reputation involved.

And if the project owner makes some money, what’s wrong with that? As long as the album or film gets produced, I’m happy. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Otherwise you can sit at home and watch the big industrial machine release make the decisions. So enjoy that Creed album on your way to see Transformers V.

Here’s the main link to Kickstarter – you might find that a favorite artist is trying to get something off the ground, and you could be an important part of making that happen. If for nothing else, you’ll get an advance, behind-the-scenes peek at what might be coming down the pike in the future.

It’s your eyes and ears and wallet, after all. Carpe diem

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Graham Parker Film!

 

Well, it’s about damned time! 

Don’t Ask Me Questions is a new documentary film about Graham Parker being brought to life by Michael Gramaglia, who co-produced and co-directed the wonderful Ramones film End of the Century

I doubt I have to explain to the regulars here who Graham Parker is…how he burst upon the US scene in 1976 with not one but two five-star albums (Howlin’ Wind and Heat Treatment). Or how three years later Squeezing Out Sparks was lauded by most critics as the best rock album of the year. How thirty-five years after his first splash he continues to write, record and perform some of the most intelligent, passionate, and literate rock’n’roll on the planet. 

But for the sake of convenience, here’s a link to a couple of hundred song clips that should seal the deal for any of you scratching your head. There are enough collections and best-ofs to fill a shelf, but don’t sell yourself short. Start at the beginning if you must, but work your way through his incredible catalogue and hear the albums in their entirety. You’ll find wonderment galore, from classics like  “Soul Shoes“, “Discovering Japan” and “Temporary Beauty” to recent gems like “She Swallows It” and “You’re Not Where You Think You Are“. 

I was angry too, back then.

I’ve seen Graham Parker perform many times over the years and have had the great pleasure of interviewing him for a magazine feature. He’s as powerful a presence with an acoustic guitar and his sardonic wit as he is backed by the fire of The Rumour and The Figgs. Once he was lumped together with Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson (and for some of us, John Hiatt) as one of rock’n’roll’s “Angry Young Men“. Now, older and wiser, he’s aged like fine wine. Here indeed is a man who spent a career putting art before commerce, passion before trend and substance before flavor. 

Now, finally, the Graham Parker story…on film

 

From the website“A modern troubadour, Graham releases new music almost on a yearly basis, while touring small clubs around the country to a die hard fan base…The film documents the history of his independent spirit and defiant optimism, celebrates the sincerity of his music and delights in his self-deprecating wit.” 

Interviewed in the film are Martin Belmont, Steve Goulding, Bob Andrews, Nick Lowe, Joe Jackson, Dave Robinson, Ian Hunter, Pete Thomas, Black Francis, Jesse Malin, The Figgs, Meg Griffin and Alan Pepper, among others. 

The project has been in the works for four years and is available for the general public to financially participate in the production at varying levels through the Kickstarter website. This is the same method that enabled the recent Kinks film Do It Again to get off the ground, and as a proud participant in both efforts I can vouch for the process. 

It’s not cheap to assemble a quality documentary film, especially when you have to secure rights to footage and audio and do it the right way. A project like this really hits home for me; it’s the type of thing I would do if I had the time and the money…and the guts

But someone is doing it. And he needs a hand. The pledge drive continues through the Summer; there’s a long way to go but a very reasonable target to aim for. Contribute if you can, but at least spread the word far and wide

Don’t Ask Me Questions official site . Great promo clip!

Graham Parker official website. Mecca!

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Dead End Street

Pete Quaife, original Kinks bassist, dead at 66.

“All those early gigs we ever played
Sometimes we were lucky if we even got paid
On the road
Pete played on the bass guitar
Liked to get around, mixing with all the stars
But Mrs. Avory’s child was all fingers and thumbs
But solid as a rock, setting time on the drums
While Dave the Rave hit the rock ‘n’ roll riffs
Yours truly strummed away with a slightly limp wrist

Ironically, Ray Davies also just turned 66 the other day. Rumors had run rampant for the last couple of years that the original band was going to reunite for one more album and tour, but I remember Ray saying he was going to do that a decade ago to celebrate the Millennium.

Now it’s too late.

Quaife was an underrated bass player and understandably so; how could you possibly stand out with the flamboyant Davies brothers out front? But listen to the early singles and albums like Face To Face, Something Else and Village Green Preservation Society and you’ll realize just how solid Quaife and Mick Avory were. They were the engine; Ray was the fuel…and Dave was the gear shift, chrome bumpers and (careful, ladies!) back seat.

Where Have All The Good Times Gone?

Pete quit the band over forty years ago (replaced by the exquisite John Dalton) but was still revered by Kinks fans worldwide. And even when he was diagnosed with renal cancer a decade ago but turned lemons into lemonade. A graphic artist after his music career, he drew cartoons during treatment that morphed from a private pleasure into wide acclaim. A collection of these were released in a book entitled The Lighter Side of Dialysis.

In Pete’s words, “For the last 10 years, I have been a dialysis patient. During those long, boring, sessions, I found that drawing cartoons was an amusing outlet for all of my frustrations with the condition, the hospital and even at times, the professionals that were treating me. I hope you can enjoy the humour in these cartoons – I know I certainly enjoyed creating them! I have tried to make light of the various situations that I know we have all had to endure at one time or another. I hope these cartoons will make your situation a little better, wherever you may be. Remember, there is always humour – even in the deepest despair.”

He had reportedly fallen ill recently, even in a coma for a short time. The passing of anyone who has endured renal issues for a decade is not a great surprise. But it’s a sad day for Kinks fans worldwide, for his chapter has closed forever. Rest in Peace, Pete.

Today will be filled with Sunny Afternoons and Waterloo Sunsets.

***

Kinda Kinks

Geoff Edgers’ tribute from Do It Again

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Do It Again, Again.

I was privileged to attend the screening of Do It Again at the Independent Film Festival Boston last night. The Somerville Theatre was packed – the film was an advance sellout and the ticket of the weekend – and the audience response was astounding. The crowd was a diverse group, with a huge contingent of traveling Kinks fans (like me!) among some friends and families of the principals and the healthy crowd that the Festival naturally attracts.

I won’t rehash the previous promos of the movie I’ve written, nor will I spoil anything for you today, as there are many warm surprises, but I highly encourage you to get to a screening and see this film. There were at least two dozen moments during the film when the entire audience broke into spontaneous applause or laughter in unison as if operating from one central nervous system.

Blending stock footage, interviews, travelogue, voice-overs and creative graphics, Do It Again’s 85 or so minutes breezed by leaving me exhilarated yet wanting more. There are moments of gut-busting laughter, moments of tender poignancy, musical encounters that will make you cringe and others that will make you cheer…and maybe even dampen that eye of yours.

  • If you are, or have ever been, a Kinks fan…you need to see this.
  • If you have ever had an obsession about a band…you need to see this.
  • If you have ever questioned your pursuit of a goal…you need to see this.
  • If you enjoy a well scripted and superbly edited documentary about a fascinating subject…you need to see this.
  • If you are a Kink and your name is Rayyou need to see this.

Here’s a taste…

I’m writing a larger piece about the film and the principals for Blurt Online and will post an excerpt and a link here in the near future. But I would be remiss if I did not send up a flare within ten minutes of my return from Boston to implore you to do whatever you have to do to see this movie as soon as possible.

Please note that I didn’t say I was happy to see the film or lucky to see the film.

I was privileged.

The Do It Again film website  – trailer, info, etc.

Geoff Edgers interview at the Full Frame Film Festival

Reviews from Nashville Scene and Variety and The Huffington Post

Back the film project on Kickstarter

Dave Davies website

Ray Davies website

Kinda Kinksunofficial website

Kinks fan club forum discussion

Ray Davies fan forum discussion

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Do It Again

It’s only appropriate to follow a Kinks reunion post with a Kinks film-related post, since the Oscars are taking place this evening. (By the way, how did I miss Alex Chilton in that list of collaborators on the album-in-progress? Holy shit!) The film Do It Again isn’t in the running this year, but with several prominent film festival appearances this Spring, who knows what will happen next year?

Boston Globe reporter and die-hard Kinks fan (are there any other kind?) Geoff Edgers took his frustration about the Kinks dormancy a step further and made a documentary film about trying to reunite the band. Obviously he didn’t succeed (at least by the time the documentary was edited) but this film is about the journey, not the result. Do It Again features his encounters with members of The Kinks as well as Sting, Zooey Deschanel, Clive Davis, Peter Buck, Paul Weller and Robyn Hitchcock, among others.

* Watch a promo video about the film.

* Read the review in Variety.

Geoff made this film on a…wait for itLow Budget. Which means that without a major studio or even Harvey Weinstein picking up dinner checks, this is coming out of his pocket. Like any artist in the era of cuts in arts funding, Geoff is taking advantage of what available means of financing remain to help defray the cost. Enter Kickstarter, a site that allows artists to set up a funding website, track pledges and offer updates and rewards to the backers. Edgers has set up a very modest goal to be able to participate in the film festivals, and as of today he is almost halfway there.

Click for the Do It Again Kickstarter site.

So far it’s a still man and a dream. But as stated yesterday, perhaps Ray and Dave will Give The People What They Want and we’ll all experience Better Things. For now, I’m helping Geoff out with a little Word Of Mouth. And if you have a few bucks, maybe consider helping Geoff out…because Money Talks.

And Ray, regarding the film and the reunion rumors…may I please use your own lyrics to plead my case? The clock is ticking…

The days go by and you wish you were a different guy,
Different friends and a new set of clothes.
You make alterations and affect a new pose,
A new house, a new car, a new job, a new nose.
But it’s superficial and it’s only skin deep,
Because the voices in your head keep shouting in your sleep.
Get back, get back.

Back where you started, here we go round again,
Back where you started, come on do it again.

Back where you started, here we go round again,
Day after day I get up and I say, do it again.
Do it again.
Day after day I get up and I say, come on do it again.

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