Archive for July, 2012

Things that I have noticed recently

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2012 by jimcolemanmusic

Just found this half written in the drafts folder, figured I would just kick it out there:

– There are several delis that I have been in repeatedly in NYC in which the people who are working the cash registers are all middle aged Korean women. In each of these places, they all are yelling for the next customer well before the existing transaction is complete. Everyone ends up trying to find space for their bags, sandwiches, purses, juggling their wallets and change. Basically standing on top of each other. I don’t know about anyone else, but I end up getting completely stressed out. Somehow I put it together today, that this was a strange culturally shared behavior occuring in separate places. Now that I’m aware of it, my hope is that I can enjoy it rather than get stressed out.

– I saw a dry cleaning place yesterday in the West Village called “Washtopia”. I wonder if I get my clothes cleaned there if I’ll be more serene.



Posted in Cop Shoot Cop, personal histories, Phylr, Uncategorized, video on July 31, 2012 by jimcolemanmusic

I ran in to an vhs dub of an old music video I did for a Phylr track. This was from the first Phylr album (Contra la Puerta), and the track is called Circumference.

Hoping this video actually shows and not just the link, but if it is the link, please check it out and accept my apologies!

Some of this was shot in Coney Island (most memorably the big butts), some was appropriated from found footage that I had manipulated on an optical printer, some was shot in Taormina, Italy,  while at the film festival there, and some was shot in the mid west of the good old US of A.
I’ve always approached video/film in the same way I’ve approached sound/music. At the heart of it, I feel like I’m a samplist. I love working with found material, either extracting it’s essence or manipulating it so far that it becomes something totally other. In this early video, much of the footage itself is not manipulated, which goes in the face of what I just said. For one thing, this was made about 15 years ago, long before we had the manipulative tools and plug ins that we now have. I could still extract and abstract, but it worked more in the realm of editing. Creating rhythms, contrasts, definitions through juxtapositions and relationships. Oh shit, did I just disappear in to my head there?

Maybe that’s why video and music have always felt so alike to me. It’s all about the timing and the rhythms.

I recall editing this video (and starting on the second Phylr album) while staying in Banff in the Canadian Rockies. The elk have all come in from the forests to get away from the wolves and other predators. They had really overrun the town. They would literally sleep on the streets and sidewalks. You would have to walk around them. I was hiking once and I saw a family of tourists walk up to a couple of elk in some ones front yard for a photo op. They were literally putting their arm around the elk’s neck. A woman ran out of the house, yelling for them to get away. These animals are about the size of a moose, and somehow these tourists didn’t consider them dangerous. Two minutes later, one of those elks got in the middle of the road, forced a pickup truck to stop, then started repeatedly ramming in to the front of the truck.
And one last note before I go. In regards to the naming of the first Phylr album. Contra la Puerta. Against the door. Somehow I always have that feeling. It can be great and it can be just awful, terrifying, Maybe it’s akin to that worn out saying that the only constant is change. My sanity depends not on that truth,  but how I am in relation to it. Is that door taking me to some habitual hell that I’ve been through too many damn times already? Is that door taking me to a place of acceptance and love? Maybe a waiting room where I need to hang for a while waiting for the other door to open. But the thing I need to keep in mind (and heart) is that the way in which I approach that door totally affects what I’ll find on the other side of it.

3 Old Guys

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2012 by jimcolemanmusic

The Cop, The Holy Dude, and the Panda. I’m sure there’s a story there somewhere. Or at least a joke!

Sink, swim, or pull

Posted in personal histories on July 4, 2012 by jimcolemanmusic

Years ago, I was working as a projectionist on The Floating Cinema. The whole project was the brain child of Jon Rubin, who I had met when I was a film student at SUNY Purchase.  I had worked off and on with The Floating Cinema through the years, and it had gone through various incarnations. I wasn’t just a projectionist, I helped build the actual boats as well.

In the early days, we actually had 2 pontoon boats, both rigged with super 8 projectors and rear projection screens that we had built to jut out from the boats. The projectors ran in synch through a crude but effective wireless set up. Originally, the film that we showed was a film by Jon specifically made for The Floating Cinema. There was actually choreographed movement between the boats in specific parts of the film. About 6 of us would tour around in the summer, all in a beat up Chevy Suburban, with an overloaded trailer carrying the 2 boats. That last boat was always making sparks as we went over bumps, scraping along the ground. It was a nice seat of the pants rogue operation that was kept together with 6 packs and duct tape.

The Floating Cinema

Later on, The Floating Cinema grew to have a certain level of success, but it became streamlined for the (small) masses. It was down to one large boat. On the west coast, we ended up renting barges and constructing the projectionists booth and the rear projection screen right on the barge. But the following story took place on the East Coast, right on Staten Island, just over the Verranzano Bridge.

We were doing a show one summer night in Staten Island. This was during an elongated period of time in my life in which I was quite depressed and chemically imbalanced. I was young, and there is something about that state of being that must be attractive to women, or at least a certain type of woman. I was living with my girlfriend in a big old loft on Berry Street in Williamsburg (well before it became what it now is). I wasn’t doing a very good job of taking care of myself, so I figured I needed additional help, and got involved with another woman. She lived directly above us, just one floor above. It didn’t take long for the situation to become untenable. It continued for a while while they both knew what was going on. I think at one time I told them to work it out amongst themselves. Obviously, responsibility was not my strong point at that time.

But you may be saying, “what the hell does this have to do with the Floating Cinema?” Well, nothing directly. But this whole posting started as a memory that came up sometime in the last few days, which was really just a minute in time but was so powerful that it has continued to resonate through the years in my subconscious.

SO, I took this girl from upstairs with me to the Floating Cinema gig in Staten Island. Things were all falling apart at this point, the fuse has been lit a while ago, and the explosion was just starting, though it was all happening in painfully slow motion. We had to keep the Floating Cinema boat tied up in a marina just east of the Bridge. Part of the breakwater for the marina was this small tanker that was chained to the smaller existing breakwater jetty. Well, this girl and I got on to the tanker somehow and were exploring it. It was a really cool abandoned space. I’m still a complete sucker for exploring these spaces (used to also love wandering around the old abandoned  mental hospital on Roosevelt Island before it got torn down – you could only access it at low tide).

We ended up having sex in this vast interior room of the tanker. There was a huge pile of coal or stones in there that rose up about 20 feet, the ceiling of this room must’ve been 30 feet high. It was extremely exciting and eerie, a place that haunts. But somehow, after we both came, it hit me with a cruel clarity that our relationship was done. And it sickened me, depressed me, made me weak and sad. Everything seemed dark and very heavy.

And we realized that it was getting dark out, and that I was supposed to be ready for the show. We went back on the deck of the tanker, looked down and saw that we were a good 30 to 40 feet from the breakwater. What the fuck. Somehow the tide had changed, and the tanker had pulled far away from where we got on. Seemed like there was no way off. In desperation, I reached down and picked up the chain, tried to pull us toward the breakwater. And unbelievably, the tanker moved. Not much, but it moved. I kept at it, and was amazed. I was actually able to pull this tanker all the way in to the breakwater, and we were able to get off.

This feeling of might, pulling tones of steel, which seemed impossible, mixed with the sadness and desperation that I had just felt so strongly was such a strange emotional cocktail. I’ve never felt that again, but the ghost of that feeling has remained with me through many years.