30
Jun 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Rock The Bells 2007

This week we take the Wayback Machine to August of 2007 and the Rock The Bells show that was held at Randall’s Island.  If I remember correctly this was the first corporate gig I shot.  It was for a company called Mirrorball and thier client Heineken who had a tent at the event.  The video was intended as an internal video for Mirrorball to illustrate to the Heineken folks that they did their jobs.  Mirrorball became my first regular client but for them these videos were all made as internal videos.  At the time I was also creating weekly content on TheNewPop for public consumption from my non-corporate gigs.  I thought that it would be great to create a directors cut of this event for TheNewpPop with their permission.  They were fine with it.  The Mirrorball cut just included the Rahzel performance, hence all the Heineken product shots.  Our video included the storyline of how Tone and I documented that day.  Today all my corporate videos are targeted at the consumer.  A testament to how brands have embraced the web over time.  But I digress…

To date the 2007 Rock The Bells show is the largest and wildest show I ever attended with or without a camera. Two groups that I grew up loving, The Wu-Tang Clan and Rage Against The Machine were reuniting and another of my favorites Public Enemy was also performing.  Needles to say the crowd was huge!  It rained the previous day and it was muddy and really hot.  The makeup of the crowd consisted of mostly Rage fans who were pretty out of control.  The wildest and scariest moment I’ve ever had shooting came during the Rage performance of “Bullet In Your Head,” I was literally in the middle of thousands of frat boys and jocks violently moshing.  This isn’t that hipster moshing shit where skinny kids crowd surf and bump shoulders, these were big corn fed white boys throwing fists with the intent to kill.  And there I was this one black guy with a camcorder trying to capture it all.  It was like wearing a big “kick me!” sign on my back.  You can see a brief self shot of me screaming in the video looking like I was having fun.  Trust me I was terrified!

The real storyline of the day was Tone’s mission to get onstage without a backstage pass.  At the time we were both very competitive in the emerging photo video blogging sphere and we took offense to any other documentarian who was trying to lay claim to our scene.  While I still had the video realm pretty much to myself Tone had a few folks starting to vie for his artistic and commercial throne as a photographer.  He was out for blood and he got it!  Tone talked his way backstage and in my opinion took some of the best images that he has taken to date.  In the end this video is one of the more memorable days we remember during the early days of TheNewPop.  Especially since we were both getting paid to do it.  Imagine that, WE were getting paid to see Wu-Tang, P.E. and Rage.  How could you ask for anything more?

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: This video runs almost 12 minutes long and is more representative (albeit on the extreme side) of the earlier editing style that was TheNewPop before the corporate clients taught me the value of brevity in storytelling.

Movies from the Wayback Machine are particularly buggy.  You may need to refresh a few times to see movie window.


 


23
Jun 11

Wayback Thursday’s – PS-1 “Love Is In The Air”

This week we take the Wayback machine to January of 2007 and a video that was shot during the summer of 2006 at PS-1.  This video holds a special place in the New Pop storyline because it is the first time my former partner Tone and I shot an assignment together.  I was doing a video profile of the band Kudu who were headlining that day and I invited Tone who I met a few weeks earlier on myspace to join me.  We were both just discovering our love for photo and video and everything we covered seemed new and exciting.  The energy we documented that day at PS-1 was arguably the most joyous we both encountered for many years to come. Back then it was all about capturing people having a good time and documenting people dancing.  Capturing the energy of movement defined both our styles for years to come.

Another thing that made this video special was the last shot you see on this video.  Every great party has that moment when the energy builds so much momentum that it explodes into one climactic moment. It can take hours, but when it happens you and everyone around you knows it and it becomes one shared orgasmic experience. Well I was fortunate enough to have anticipated that moment and to be in the right place at the right time to document it.  As the sun was setting over PS-1 I panned down keeping my hand steady (since I had no tripod) when right at the chorus the entire court with hands raised high yelled in unison with the track of the same name “Love Is In The Air!”  Tone and I just looked at each other amazed at the power of that moment. To date it is the arguably the most magical single moment I captured on camera.

If this post seems more sentimental than usual it is because as some of you know Tone and I had our relationship take a turn for the worse a few years back and haven’t seen each other since.  Two days ago I accepted an invitation from Tone to attend an amazing event that he created called Live at The Loft. It will be the first time in over two years that we will see each other.  This reunion will also be attended by our third former partner Texas who is a producer on the show.  I can’t remember the last time the three of us were all together.  We have traveled different paths in the past few years but despite our differences our ups and downs our successes and failures we will always share a bond that can’t be broken by time or circumstance. When you boil it down the story of The New Pop was if nothing else a love story between three friends, their cameras, and the city.  What we have learned from each other over those formative years feeds much of what we do today, for that I am eternally grateful.

TrVZ

Wayback Triva: This shoot was also our first encounter with Margot Silvera who was promoting a dance rally protesting the cabaret laws that were killing nightlife at the time.  The following week Tone and I did our second video together at this rally in front of Mayor Bloomberg’s residence titled “Dance If You Dare!”  Today Margot is an entertainment attorney who represents TheNewPop among others.

Movies from the Wayback Machine are particularly buggy.  You may need to refresh a few times to see movie window.


16
Jun 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Soled Out NYC 3

This week we navigate the Wayback Machine to August of 2007 downtown NYC and the Soled Out NYC3 episode. This event happened at the height of the sneaker/blogger culture led by sites like Hypebeast and Formatmag. Unlike today’s drab muted somewhat over-styled fashion palate, what stood out about this time was how colorful and fun it was. From the flyers, to the art, to the clothing, it seemed like everything was covered in bright day-glo paint splashes.  Boutiques like Sugar Headquaters, Reed Space, clothing lines like Rocksmith, King Stampede and 10 DEEP, and events like the Cut&Paste digital design tournament all promoted this colorful palate which in turn infiltrated the music, the art, the fashion, the photos and videos posted on this and other street blogs.  This video more than any other on TheNewPop, captured our experience with the fashion of that time.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: This episode was our introduction to the eclectic and sometimes hilarious Brad Digital who is the artist and designer behind the SoHo based Little Brooklyn art project.  Brad hijacked the hosting duties from Tone and we were happy to oblige.

Please excuse the video proportions due in most part to the implementation of a new player on the site.


09
Jun 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Love Brigade Episode 3

This week the Wayback Machine travels to September 2007 and one of the first brands we covered Love Brigade.  During the summer of 2006 I walked into the Love Brigade store on Haveymeyer a total stranger pitching a plan for bringing quality video coverage to indie artist and entrepreneurs. At that point I had been providing video coverage under the name thenewpopsensation to artists with in studio monologues and music videos, now I was ready to step it up with a branded documentary style video series.  I thought Love Brigade would be a perfect candidate to showcase what I was offering to potential clients.  It took almost a year from the first meeting to series launch to obtaining my first paying client.  This video (the third in the series) follows the Love Brigade crew to the NOLCHA fashion show. I find it fascinating to see how my storytelling technique has evolved from a slower paced narrative documentary style, to the fast paced brand friendly assortment of soundbytes and montages that it is today.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Triva:  Unlike today where my new clients are all referred to me via other clients, during the summer of 2006 I would go from store to store with my brochure pitching the idea for thenewpopsensation without much luck.  Thank god a new website was emerging on the scene called myspace.com.  This site allowed me to meet exponentially more people in a fraction of the time. As far as thenewpop is concerned this is when the New Media business model was born.

 


02
Jun 11

Wayback Thursdays 2007 – Kareem Black & White

This week we ride the Wayback Machine to October of 2007 and our profile of photographer Kareem Black. This profile still stands out as one of my favorite interviews.  Kareem was at the center of a community of artist that included Jules Kim, Roxy Cottontail, Chris Goldteeth, Maggie Horn, Brooke Nipar, and many others who were defining the downtown scene at the time.  Through our former manager Katie Longmyer (who was also at the center of this scene) we were quickly being introduced to a world that up until then I would only read about in magazines and see reflected in the street art, advertisements and boutiques in downtown NYC.  It was a world that I never imagined I would be a part of.  As I reflect on that time I realized that ultimately being a part of that world would inspire far less creativity in me than observing it from a distance.  There is something about wanting to belong but not quite belonging that evokes an innocent childlike fascination that I need to be inspired.  Kind of like the kid in the movie Almost Famous.

Another reason I chose to feature this video is because during this profile we documented Kareem while he was shooting for LRG at one of their legendary photo shoot/parties.  The founder for LRG Jonas Bevacqua passed away this week and though I didn’t know him personally I remember being amazed at the world he created that day.  It was unlike any photo shoot I had ever attended.  I didn’t include any footage of Jonas in this video as he wasn’t the subject of this profile but I tell you what…  Prior to shooting that event I had no idea who was in charge at LRG, the moment Jonas walked in I knew right away.  He had a presence that filled the entire penthouse.

Enjoy
TrVZ

 


26
May 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Memorial Day Weekend 2008 “The Summer Of Love.”

This week we take our Wayback Machine to Memorial Day 2008 our Summer Of Love.   It was a time when we were all just discovering our fascination with social media and figuring out ways to incorporate it into our art. There was a merging of different mediums under this one umbrella that we now embrace as Social Media. But we didn’t just engage online, we were meeting every day on the streets, boutiques and lofts of downtown Manhattan and North Brooklyn and it was all organic.  I think that it was organic is what made it special.  Up until then there was a separation between what happened online and what happened in the real world.  Unless it was a scheduled “meet up” people tended to separate their off-line experience from their virtual ones. Leading up to the Summer of 2008 that line was blurring until it vanished completely.

Looking back now I see that the years following 2008 people (myself included) started to figure out ways to commoditize new media.  Corporations started paying us to do our art, our friends wanted their own shows, we started leaving our day jobs and the stakes got higher.  It wasn’t just about creating anymore.  For me the camera phone and later the DSLR video camera was about to take the novelty out of what was a special little video project I called The New Pop.  Don’t misunderstand me, I am glad it happened in fact I predicted that once everyone started shooting video it would legitimize the art form and make it easier for me to make a living as a videographer.  Still, I can’t help but reminisce about the days when people weren’t so use to having a video camera in their face, on a whole folks today are more jaded and self conscious about being documented.

In this video Texas and I decided to have a non-stop Memorial day weekend that took us from the now defunct outdoor venues The Yard and Hope Lounge in Brooklyn, to a naked Hot Tub party and a Rooftop gathering in Manhattan.  Through it all I had one question for my friends “What Are You Doing This Summer?”

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: During that incredible Memorial day weekend while Texas & I were documenting parties non-stop, the visibly absent Tone (our third partner) was out of town attending a wedding.  Of course as soon as he returned we rubbed it in with repeated stories of what went down and just how much he missed out.  When we got to the story of our naked hot tub adventure Tone visibly shook by the fact that he missed out would refer to the Hot Tub as having green water. Lol.  It wasn’t green but whatever works for you Tone.


19
May 11

Wayback Thursday – Korrupt Chinatown | 3 Years Ago Today Where Were You?

This week on the Wayback Machine we rewind to an event that took place in May 2008 at a party organized by the folks at Mean Red called Korrupt.  I think this was the first party held at the Chinatown Mall called 88 Palace.  This video features the Retro Kids who were blowing up at the time.  At the time they were rumored to have a cable show in the works, but seemingly so was everyone else in the scene.  At the beginning of this video I pay homage to a famous video clip from The Doors Live from Europe 1968, and then it somehow turned into an impromptu music video.  The party itself was pretty spectacular featuring lots of random makeout sessions, lots of free booze, and lots of good music. It was an indication of the insane summer of ’08 that was awaiting us.  More on that next week.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia:  There is a picture floating around out there from this party of one of the girls in the video eating my face.  She is literally digesting me.  If you know where too look you can probably find it pretty easily. Oh those were the days : )


12
May 11

Wayback Thursday’s – The Pussy Party

This week we take the Wayback machine back to August of 2008 at the height of thenewpop party days.  The New Pop triple threat of Tone, Texas and myself (Trevz) covered a party at Rebel called The Pussy Party.  As was our custom back in the day I showed up with no real script in mind and came up with video ideas on the fly.  On this night I thought it would be great to do a silent film in which The New Pop Sticker would play the role of the protagonist. Texas led the way placing stickers on everyone and took the video over the top.  It’s funny how some of the folks we put stickers on ended up becoming such an integral part of the New Pop story in later years, including Contessa and Louisa who were a part of our huge drama filled SXSW Road Trip that signaled the beginning of the end of our party days.

Wayback Trivia: This night Wesley Clouden (who is a friend today) was also shooting something at Rebel (You can see him in this video).  After being the only videographer on the scene for a couple of years, Wesley was the first videographer I started to run into covering similar events.  At first I would hear about him and see him on occasion but no one could figure out where to find his movies.  To this day I still have no idea where Wes is hiding those movies.

 


05
May 11

Wayback Thursday’s – King Stampede/Shut NYC

This week we go back to an event that took place at the Red Bull space somewhere around July of 2008. It was an event thrown by King Stampede and Shut Skateboard.  The event was pretty cool but not something I would cover today.  Mostly because it involved not much more than people standing around having drinks looking cool.  There were no performances, no art, nothing to really discuss on camera, not even many people dancing.  As a result I fell back on the old getting to know you strategy and introduced just about everyone in the place to the camera.  I already knew half the room so it was pretty easy.  Today I would die if I had to shoot something like that again.

Enjoy
TrVZ

Wayback Trivia: There has only been one person that I can remember that hasn’t paid me for work.  It was for the gig posted above and his name was Todd and he worked with RedBull.  You can see him at the end of the video.  He bailed on paying me for additional editing and raw footage, even after seeing me a couple of times and giving me his “word” that he would get me paid. It wasn’t much, just a couple of hundred in OT.  Todd I guess your rep isn’t worth much.


28
Apr 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Yours Truly Brand

This week on Wayback Thursday I bring you a gem from July of 2008 featuring the Yours Truly Brand store opening. This is one of several indie establishments that reside along with TheNewPop on the still relatively unknown “B.E.L.T” (Below The ELevated Train) on Broadway in South Williamsburg.  A few others are Mishka, The KDU, The Trophy Bar, Moto, The Beauty Bar Brooklyn, Yours Truly and my personal favorite, Frenchies Gym. We all share the common bond of living underneath the steel canopy of the JMZ line.  It isn’t as bad as you think, plus the “condo-proof” elevated line pretty much puts a cap on the level of gentrification that will ever invade my beloved strip of Williamsburg.  We literally live on the “other side of the tracks”.

Wayback Trivia: In 2005 I started a series of  short video clips that I titled Pop Spots.  The idea was to display short non-narrative random moments of the streets of New York with only ambient noise as it’s soundtrack.  I wanted to replicate the photo experience with video. Unknowingly to me at the time a considerable portion of those Pop Spots are of  a pre-condo Williamsburg.  One day I hope to republish that video series.