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.