Friday, June 25, 2010

Selling Salvation

I have a few articles that I'll post next week. Until then, enjoy this new poem I wrote today...

Drug dealers
and preachers
they're not that different,
selling salvation
one dime at a time.
Holy water and heroin
communion wafers and cocaine
the road to heaven has never been higher...

Who do you call
when all you want
is sleep
but all you do is shiver,
and sweat?

It's too hot to think
all I can think to do is drink.
My shirt sticks to my skin
like cellophane on processed cheese.

You tell me to quit killing
myself one braincell at a time.
Well, honey, you can want
all you want
but not a damn thing is going to change...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I decided to post a new poem as filler until I can crank out another article next week

"I Lied"
by Charles Wood

Spent shotgun shells
and empty ink ribbons
are the only proof
I've ever lived.

This was the summer of bad decisions
where cheap beer and thin blood
flowed into thirsty gutters
with reckless abandon.

We sat on the porch
drenched in our own sweat
and besieged by chubby mosquitoes.
You said you loved me
I said I didn't care...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kodak Moments

1-A bunch of people and myself stayed at a house on top of mountain for a weekend to let off some steam. I took a bunch of E and danced like a mad man in the guest house which we deemed “the spook house”. I was wearing a camo vest, a woman's robe, and a gardening hat while dancing with reckless abandoned.

2-For my 26th birthday a bunch of friends and I went to the get strip club. I was on E (see a pattern here?) and I was forced to sit on a chair with my hands tied behined the stripper poll as the two strippers I picked danced on me. The later released me only to have one pin me down with her thighs as the other whipped me. It was a kodak moment

3-I tried rollerskating once, with disastorous results. That would of made for some funny pictures

4-I took karate lessions when I was five, for like a month or less. I was sparring with this kid one day and he suckered punch me. I went ballistic and they had to pull me off of him. No damage was done, we were both wearing padding. Still, it would of made a great photo...

5-When I was a sophmore I lived on campus in Grogan dorm. We had a fire alarm at 3am in the middle of December. It was snowing outside. I was so frazzled I didn't think to put on pants or a shirt so I was stuck out in the snow for a half an hour wearing my boxers. It would have been an embarassing photo but a good one none the less...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lunch With Marty

I met with photographer Allen Martin of MartiniVision for lunch at McCoul’s a few weeks ago to talk about his work. As he enjoyed a delicious blackened chicken and gouda sandwich he told me, “I’ve always been in visual arts and I’ve always had a camera but I didn’t start shooting seriously until five years ago.” Martin does both fashion and art photography and believes, “At its best they [arts and fashion photography] blend together and become indistinguishable.”
Martin, originally from Greensboro, moved to New York because he needed more than Greensboro had to offer, a sentiment common among Greensboro natives. Martin’s father owned a type setting business and Martin ran the dark room. Once Martin left for New York he took his experience in the dark room with him to become an art director. As an art director in New York Martin had to, “separate fine art from commercial art. Commercial art became a way to make a living.” During his stint in New York Martin produced all the print tourism ads for Turkey tourism from 1994-1996.
Martin eventually left New York. Since his return to Greensboro Martin has been impressed with the state of the town, “With a city of its size I’m impressed with the talent and creativity of the people here. I feel now the [arts] scene is more crystallized and focus then it was before I left.”
A typical photo shoot begins with Martin discussing with his models every detail of the shoot, down to wardrobe or the lack there of, before they even meet. If it’s a fashion shoot a stylist may be involved but in most cases it’s just Martin and the model. The ideal model for Martin is someone who is capable of fashion photography but also open to artistic work as well as someone who has their own style. Beauty and intelligence are also necessary for a good model.
Film noir has been a major influence in Martin’s photography, “I really like the feel of classic film noir. The lighting and composition of those old black and white movies catches my attention. I also like the true Americana in it.” Noir can be seen in his fashion photography, which is very European in tone and feel, as well as his art photography, which can be dark but never delves into horror, sci-fi, or gore.
As for upcoming projects, “I'm currently shooting a series I'm calling Noirotica . It's Erotic more in subtext, than in blatant, obvious visuals. Think Sam Spade, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M Cain and Lew Archer. Think Maltese Falcon, Touch of Evil, Night and the City and Double Indemnity. My studio was formerly a group of insurance offices. And by "formerly", I mean the 1940s. It looks it too. It's not really a fetish series, but it's kind of leaning that way. It's black and white.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Funny Like a Funeral

Gavan Holden, vocalist and bassist for local punk act Funny Like a Funeral, met guitarist Jordan Holden at NYP. Jordan was sporting a Mohawk at the time so Gavan assumed he was a punk rocker and approached him about playing guitar. Jordan was a metal head and turned down Gavan’s offer. Years later they became friends and band mates though neither knows exactly when. “I’m a little too drunk to remember stuff like that” say’s Gavan.
Gavan and Jordan were both drawn to the “fast, loud, and sloppy” music of late 90’s Midwestern post-punk acts like Jawbreaker, Oscar, Get-Up Kids, and Hot Water Music. The influences of these bands can be seen in their music which, according to Jordan, “Juxtaposes happy, energetic music with dark lyrical content.” Gavan adds, “A lot of the lyrics are about past substance abuse.”
A typical Funny Like a Funeral Show consists of, “Seven or eight drunk kids standing around,” according to Gavan. There have, however, been a number of notable exceptions. They played a house show in Grand Rapids that drew in, “Hundreds of straight up college kids with jack shit else to do.”
The band also played at a Spanish poetry reading at a Christian coffee house in Indiana. The owners of the coffee house were especially nice, “They paid us and bought us food and asked to come back again sometime.”
While on tour with Social Life at Virginia Beach the band spent all their cash at the bar because everything was on sale for a dollar. Gavan and drummer John Robertson was lost and wandering around Virginia beach at 8am and was saved by Social Life’s drummer Caleb Gross who found them and picked them up.
Funny Like a Funeral has one album out entitled Evolved to Counter Act and it’s available at shows. The recording session was, “cheap and fast.” Local artist Sam King did the artwork for the album. “I want to make out with Sam,” says Gavan, “He did the artwork for free and deserves a kiss.” The band is currently working on releasing another album early next year. Gavan and Jordan expect the record to show more maturity. Jordan adds, “We’re going to pay more attention to detail on this record, use more layers, and concentrate on backup vocals and harmonies.”

You can check out Funny Like a Funeral online at

Monday, May 17, 2010

Evan Wade and The Mad Ones

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes "Awww!”-Jack Kerouac

The above quote is where Mad Ones Films, a local Greensboro independent film company, derived their name. Mad Ones Films currently consists of Evan Wade, Jaysen Buterin, and Jennie Prince. Evan Wade, UNCG alumni, was introduced to Jaysen by their mutual friend Jennie. According to Evan, “Jaysen was a film geek. He had the gumption to be a screen writer. I became a producer and Jennie did what was left. That was in 2006.”
As a producer, Wade’s job consists of, “arranging schedules, talking to directors, getting a crew together. More than anything, you primarily feed people, especially in indy films, when you’re not paying them.”
Wade and Jaysen were both English majors and their education has influenced their work, “I pride myself that Mad Ones Films have some sort of literary element. My co-founder and creative director for the team, Jaysen Buterin, has a Master's degree in English Literature. So, there is a certain respect for the canon that comes across in several of our films, especially "The Devil's Tramping Ground," which is another take on Faustian myth.”
Wade also adds that the films of Quentin Tarentino and Robert Rodriguez, with their gritty over the top approach to film making, have also been a major influence and would love to work with the two, “That would have been an awesome time to work with those two, as they were just establishing themselves in Hollywood, and probably weren't rich enough to be jackasses yet... “
As with most independent film companies, a budget, or lack thereof, can become a concern, “Mad Ones Films has been built on the premise of doing "more with less." Having focused largely on modern spoofs or the occasional ‘slasher’ flick, we've had to get creative and find ways to do things on a budget, while still aiming for the delivery of a ‘quality’ product. We've garnered some really talented friends in our 4 years of producing "indie" films and that has helped us, as their talents have upped the production value of our films.” Some of the talent includes special effects from some of the Spooky Woods team, a local haunted house, during the off season.
Wade insists that if Mad Ones Films ever did acquire a substantial budget that Mad Ones Films would still hold onto its indie cred, “If budget was not an issue, I think we would continue in a similar vein with our films, but they would definitely show more polish and craftsmanship. More money would give us the freedom to purchase nice venues for film sets, as we seem to spend most of our money on venues and craft services to feed the cast and crew.”
Mad Ones Films first project was a short for the 48 hour film festival called “Z Day”. Wade describes the short as, “A zombie movie with a smart eleck tone. We didn’t try to be scary, just funny.” Since “Z Day” Mad Ones Films have recorded 10 shorts, 1 45 minute film and have recently begun shooting a 30 minute film entitled "Booze, Bullets, and Hot Pink Jesus - Ch. 1” which is going to be the first installment of a trilogy. Wade will also make his directorial debut in June at this years 48 Hour Film Festival.

Here's a trailer for one of their films:

The Decapitator Teaser Trailer #2 from Jaysen Buterin on Vimeo.

If you want to learn more about Mad Ones Films you can check out their site at

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Summer in Greensboro

I am uploading this poem basically as filler until I can add some more interviews and articles next week:

Summer in Greensboro
by Charles Wood

These summer streets are filled with the smell of freshly cut
Grass and french fries.
Leather skinned hobos hustle college kids for loose change during the day
While shivering for salvation and cheap drugs at night.
The faces of friends blur together as the hours fall on each other
Like clumsy dominoes.
I don’t know where I am
But I know it’s not heaven.