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Rockin' Brunswick - Jigs and the Pigs - "Daddy" (3 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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Jim Wood (of my upcoming movie The Front Man) loves the intro to this piece from Rockin' Brunswick.

“Uh, the song “Daddy,” is really about my father”.  Classic Jigs.  Also a heartfelt song.

Jigs grew up near me in a family of 12 kids, 6 boys and 6 girls.  Many of them are musicians.

They were an amazing family, an inspiration to a lot of us in our hometown.  But no doubt there were a lot of challenges in a household that big.  Jigs’ mother, Phyllis, wrote all about it in her book, When You Come to the End of Your Rope, There’s Hope.

Jigs’ father, Sal Giglio, died last year around Christmas time. As Jigs put it, his father “pulled off the perfect death” - at home, with an opportunity to say goodbye to his family.  He will be missed.  A sad occasion, but also the first time in years all 12  Giglio “kids” were all together.  I had the honor of taking this photo of the entire family.

Stay tuned next week for more bands from Rockin’ Brunswick.
The DVD of the complete movie is also available here!

Music Video - Cyndi Lauper - "Who Let in The Rain"

Posted by Paul Devlin

My work on music videos gave me chance to meet quite a few pop stars.  I was the online editor on this music video and had a chance to work with Cyndi Lauper for a couple days in the edit room.  

She was a character! Very smart and verbal – lot’s of fun, chatty stories.  But she was also very demanding and exacting, and would joke about “Sabotage!” anytime there was any difficulty in the edit.

She also had a very keen eye:  Because of a discrepancy in the film-to-tape transfer between the offline tapes and the online tapes, each shot in the final edit was off by one “field.”  This is half a frame, which represents 1/60th of a second difference.  None of us trained professionals caught it, but somehow she saw that something was “off.”  

Not an easy fix, believe me.  “Sabotage!”

But we got the job done, and the video looks great.

Rockin' Brunswick - Jigs and the Pigs - "Let Go" (2 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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Joe (“Jigs”) Giglio lived across a small park from me growing up and we were best friends in grade school. 

Jigs' first single "Reason I Rock" was a hit in New Brunswick, NJ and set the tone for a lively rock and roll scene there in the '80s.  His band, Jigs and the Pigs, was one of the most popular at the time and they featured prominently in my first documentary Rockin’ Brunswick.

We played the movie up and down the East Coast on public access television (the YouTube of its day).  Rockin' Brunswick became very popular.  We knew we were on to something when Jigs started getting recognized walking around Greenwich Village in New York City.

I invite anyone familiar with those days to share their stories in the Comments below.

Keep an eye out for more videos each week from Rockin’ Brunswick.
The DVD of the complete movie is also available here!

Rockin' Brunswick - Crossfire Choir - "Left Behind" (1 of 12)

Posted by Paul Devlin

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I grew up near New Brunswick, New Jersey and a lot of my buddies were in bands.  But I wasn’t a musician; I was into making films.  The best way for me to participate in the music was to make music videos.

New Brunswick in the 80’s had an amazing music scene, especially with Rutgers University in the mix. Bands everywhere and lots of places to play. A champion of the music was WRSU DJ, Matt Pinfield, who later became famous on MTV and commercial rock radio. Rockin’ Brunswick was all about that scene.  It was my first documentary.

I shot it all in one summer and then went back to the University of Michigan where I used the school’s equipment to learn how to edit video and put the movie together.  Editing became a lucrative skill.  I discovered it was much more useful getting me jobs on my subsequent travels than my English Lit degree.  

This opening piece is by Crossfire Choir.  They came up from Florida to be near New York, discovered New Brunswick and took the scene by storm. They got their big record contract with Geffen and toured with Culture Club, and Thompson Twins.  But like most rock and roll stories, it did not end happily, and there were many rumors as to why...

Over the next few weeks we’ll post more videos by Crossfire Choir and the other bands in Rockin’ Brunswick and tell more of the back story, so stay tuned.

 

 The DVD of the movie is also available here!

BLAST! Extra - Life in McMurdo

Posted by Paul Devlin

We are thrilled to announce that BLAST!  will air this week on PBS, WNET-Channel 13, New York,  Thurs, Nov. 4th, 8PM (Primetime!), Sat, Nov. 6th, 1:00AM & 1:30PM, Thurs, Nov. 11th, 4AM.  If you're in the area, be sure to tune in!

This broadcast is proudly sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences.

McMurdo Station is like an artist residency for scientists – total isolation, all needs taken care of, nothing to do but focus on your work.

There’s a real hierarchy there.  The support staff are fascinating people, who have chosen very unconventional lifestyles, many returning year after year.  But the scientists are royalty, treated with deep respect.

While I was at McMurdo, I met Henry Kaiser an accomplished musician and expert Antarctica underwater diver. He was also producing Werner Herzog’s film Encounters at the End of the World. At one of McMurdo’s watering holes, he introduced me to the table as a fellow filmmaker, listing my credits, awards and adventures. But this crowd had seen it all and were unimpressed.

Then he added, “...And his brother is the PI (Principal Investigator) of one of the NASA balloon experiments.” WOW! Now that was a different story. Suddenly, I was much more impressive, and the conversation picked up.

For more insight and dark humor about McMurdo Station, check out the book, Big Dead Place.

BLAST! DVD  
BLAST! Trailer     

Slam Poem - Tina Wright - "Unnatural"

Posted by Rina Svet:

With the 2010 election coming up this year, touching on so many sensitive issues, we decided to add our own little contribution to the mix.  Another addition from SlamNation, this poignant poem by Tina Wright draws on the delicateness of human relationships… there should never be fear in your child’s heart for love is never unnatural.

We hope you keep Tina’s words in mind today as you cast your vote!

SlamNation DVD  
SlamNation Trailer     

Slam Poem - Saul Williams - "Children of the Night"

Posted by Paul Devlin

This was the first shoot for SlamNation, before we even knew we were doing a movie.

I had already made Slammin' and was shopping it around to MTV, Sony and even Russell Simmons (this was in ‘95-’96 – a little before it’s time apparently because Russell went on to do HBO’s Def Poetry Jam many years later).  Nothing was in place, but the finals at the Nuyorican were happening and I knew I had to film it.

Bob Holman was still the host at the Nuyorican but the politics were fierce and relationships tense.  Bob and producer Tom Poole made the shoot happen, but under the condition that we would not have access to the direct audio from the sound board. The Nuyorican wanted to make sure it had some say in what happened to the material.  Tom made sure we got the proper audio later when SlamNation was in post-production.


Saul told me that this poem was still in progress when he performed it at the Nuyorican, so it might be interesting to compare it to later versions.   It was still a powerful piece, because he won that night, went to Nationals, starred in SlamNation and the rest is history.

 

 

SlamNation DVD

 SlamNation Trailer     

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