INDIESTREET

Interviews with an underground NYC music legend, Milo Z, and his budding jazz saxophonist (Steven Frieder) give our creative community some insight on different ways to manage the ever-changing creative ecosystem.

    A rainy afternoon in the early 1980s: Soft rain acts the snare as a group of young boys add the kick drum on their leaps from truck top to truck top. Right behind CBGBs is where the old U-Haul trucks used to line up tight, and that is where the bright eyed young stompers would play their games and talk of the unknown. This is where the young boys would undoubtedly stumble upon some mischief that might just turn them into young men. In general these were the days when kids went out to play for the whole day without checking in ‘til the street lights came on.

     Milo Z was one of these boys, free to explore the East Village with no need to digitally check in or post a quick selfie to announce whereabouts. Humans were happy to share memories with a select few, but Milo still dreamt of big days ahead. It was one of the first days this particular group of boys had graduated from truck hopping to cab looting when the now local icon found an old practice drum set. Milo dragged that drum set home, and the rest is as Milo would say, is Razzamofunk!

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This past week, I had the chance to interview two musicians in different stages of their careers, different stages of their lives, and from different eras of the music scene. Even stemming from two unique ideological generations, these talents share the stage, perform together, and inspire each other in the types of ways that make crowds gather on Indie Street. Both Milo Z and the young jazz saxophonist Steven Frieder had lots to share about their values, their music, and their paths as independent artists.

The Who

Milo Z
A total professional, Milo Z sings, dances, conducts, orchestrates, and interacts with the crowd, all the while dressing and grooving in a style that is unique and all his own.. Showcasing his talent in NYC for decades, now 5 albums deep, Milo has the experience and grit that produces some truly authentic music and lyrics. His appreciation for originality is pretty obvious considering he has created his own music genre Razzamofunk (a blend of Rap, Rock, Rythym & Blues, Jazz and Funk).

Steven Frieder
Steven is only 24, but some consider him a sort of jazz prodigy. His saxophone will transport you back to a day of funky soul from before you were born, or may have forgot existed. Steven wales on the sax with Milo Z and a variety of other bands, and released his first album as a leader last year.

Steven and Milo seem to have a natural synergy with each other. Not just a student-teacher relationship, but one where both realize the great benefits of the others presence regardless of age or experience. The young generation has a lot to learn from the toughness and persistence of those who succeeded in the past, but now more than ever, older generations must keep an open ear to the young street for new ways to swing and sling in the market.

The two will be traveling with the rest of the Milo Z band to spread the funk in Greece later this month. Milo Z loves bringing in and bringing up young musicians, who he admits at times end up on even bigger stages than his. He becomes enlivened from the youthful vigor and reconfirmed by challenging Steven and others to perform at their highest level. Steven looks to Milo a leader who expects the most of himself and his band while committing himself to his craft and his crowd.

Distribution & Self Promotion

New School – Steven Frieder
The simple act of referring to this young talented musician “new school” is probably an injustice because his musical soul and spirit are from a different generation. In any case, his physical age is of the digital era, so we asked him about the new tools for getting out there. For the most part, Steven believes it is very different from musician to musician depending on their priorities, but he did reveal what he believes to be the most intriguing new digital concepts:

“I think that one of the most powerful social media phenomenas is that of the viral video. Do you remember this video of the subway street performers that went huge last year? It’s this trio with Bari Sax, Trumpet and percussion. Too Many Zooz. I know the horn players, good friends of mine that I went to college with. That video went viral overnight because someone posted it on reddit. Now, they are touring all over, playing in Europe and all over the west coast. I couldn’t be happier for them, cats that went to a major jazz conservatory, and got big playing “Brass-House” as they call it. It’s some great stuff.”

Old School – Milo Z
As an old school cat at heart, Milo Z (and many other humans on the planet) feel that the social networking and digital media have started a trend toward shameless self promotion:

“Nowadays everybody is a star, everyone is taking their selfies. There is no shame. It seems now the old expression there is no bad press has reached a new height.”

Lyrics from Milo Z song, “Bitch (for the camera)”:
“Nobody cares if they’re comin’ off wrong or right, as long as their name in the paper gets spelled right.

Even for artists who have some hostility toward youtube stars and the year of the selfie, there are still many ways to hit the avenues while still creating art. Milo Z for example, is taking advantage of his creative drive and rich childhood to write his first book.

“It's a coming of age story of a kid growing up in NYC and the (Lower East Side) in a time when the L.E.S. in particular was a very different place, a rough place that was untamed and untrendy. I’m exploring a different way to be creative and i'm excited about the process. Maybe I can drop my next album when the book comes out and one thing can cross pollinate the other, than who knows.”

We School – What can other cooperative artists learn
It seems the takeaway is that being genuine in your marketing is what matters. Even if you don’t want to write a whole book, you can tell your story without it being shameless self-promotion. Cross marketing, collaborating, and finding new ways to reach the audience is part of surviving for an entrepreneurial artist. Artists have always been entrepreneurial by necessity, and new tools like viral videos, social networking, and crowd funding, (while making it more complicated), do give more ways for creative to think a bit more about business.

Crowdfunding

Old School - Milo Z
When I asked Milo Z if he ever considered using a Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowd funding campaign, he was a bit taken aback. “Passing the can around just doesn’t feel right for some reason.” If you are from an era like Milo Z and myself where you feel weird to ask your friends and family for some extra scratch, then the odds are that they may think it a little awkward too if they are of similar age and upbringing. Crowd funding can alienate your core audience if your audience doesn’t think its cool.

New School – Steven Freider
Steven used IndieGogo to help finance his first album, After Time (Produced by Jake Hertzog, feat. Bob Meyer, Luke Franco, & Peter Brendler) and had this to say.

“I think crowd funding is a great idea for independent artist to finance their project. How much you can raise definitely comes down to your strategy and your audience. My audience was mostly friends, family, my fellow musicians, and people who kept asking about when I was going to make a CD! I kept the project within my limits, and still paid for most of it out of pocket.”

We School – What can other cooperative artists learn
If you have grown up in the age of crowd funding and to your knowledge your circles support the idea or would really enjoy your rewards, than what is the harm in going for it? Even if all your friends and family don’t have much dough, they can spread the word to others in similar circles so you can grow your audience (even if you don’t raise millions). There may be one new fan you get who may have some serious connects or a huge network of followers themselves. On the other hand, be honest about who your core audience is. If you think they would be offended by asking for donations, than maybe look toward other avenues of financing your next project. We have not used crowd funding yet directly for IndieStreet, but thre is surely value in it: some of our filmmakers have raised a good amount of money, as well as increased awareness for their projects.

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Creation – The School of the Insane Now

When I asked both of these unique artists why they made music, I got answers far from the realm of digital, all of the words were lined with human passion and grace. So rather than me go on about why they create, I chose a few of the most telling quotes from my talks with each of these talented musical creators:

Milo Z: I make music because I have to. If I wasn’t making music I would lose my mind. I think we are all a little bit crazy and what keeps us sane is our outlet.

Steven: My mother played and taught classical piano, played guitar and sang. She passed away when I was 17, and it is very much because of her that I play music today.

Milo Z: What has changed for me in the last few years is that I'm a father now and that now my daughter Sierra is the most important thing to me, even more than my art! If I never did another show I still be her dad so the rest Is gravy.

Steven: One of the greatest truths for any art, is that there is always more to learn, no matter what level you have achieved…

Milo Z and Steven Frieder are innately insane artists from different schools, but they both really live by the same code. Don’t fight the human need to create, don’t stop learning, create with your heart, and be authentic. The actual creation of art and its motives do not seem to change too much from generation to generation. No technology can stop our primal emotions and releases. No technology can truly engage a human audience without a human story behind it. Milo is building on his already rich story, and Steven is just starting to write his.

If Indie Street can help harvest discussion and keep the most talented (and by Milo Z’s definition the most insane) creators with sustainable outlets, then we can all stay a bit more connected to our human roots. By getting creative with technology and sharing the experience of truly unique individuals, the world gets to hear more great music, watch more great films, and keep some really awesome people from going insane.

-Jay Webb, Indie Street

Check out more and keep informed on Steven and Milo Z at the links below:

Milo Z Website

Buy his album on CD Baby

Milo Z Facebook Page

Milo Z Reverb Nation page

Steven Frieder's Website

Steven's Facebook Page

“Sailing a Sinking Sea” falls into quite a different subgenre of documentary. In fact, it seems to inhabit a special category all its own. A feature length experimental observation of the Moken people of Burma and Thailand and their seafaring way of life, filmmaker Olivia Wyatt’s vision is more of a dreamy wave of colors and glowing ripples on screen than your typical doc. Shown through a highly saturated, yet still ethnic lens, if you are looking for a run of the mill, observational doc full of talking heads and spoon fed information, you will not find it within this mystical offering about a unique, evaporating culture.The film observes the Moken people, a dwindling group of free flowing water gypsies that navigate through their ancient beliefs and traditions regarding the sea. One of the smallest ethnic minority groups still in existence in Asia, this is a group so inherently bound to the waves, that almost every one of them survived the massive tsunami over a decade ago - all in thanks to shaman premonitions and their intimate relationship with their watery surroundings. While we may feel as if we are completely soaked into this culture through their words and Wyatt’s special brand of bubbling packaging, something about the mix of people and world creates a barrier we can never personally get pass: these are people we feel we get to know but never fully understand. With less than 3,000 of them still in existence, this film seems the greatest, most important way to start to get acquainted: by going deep below the surface in comprehending their wisdom and spirtual connections to nature.If you seek a cathartic journey into a different culture, one that completely transports you into another place and time, “Sailing a Sinking Sea” is available to rent now via Vimeo on Demand. At only 65 minutes, it’s well worth the short watch. Personally, I think this is a film best enjoyed at night, with heavy eyes, allowing the screen to create a dreamlike portal that drifts you away. Interested in what’s next for the filmmaker? Wyatt's upcoming project, entitled "Jasmine on Jupiter", will be an episodic multimedia series that involves sailing around the world in order to capture the beauty being lost to climate change along coastal communities. Sign us up for that expedition! For more information on “Sailing a Sinking Sea” and filmmaker Olivia Wyatt, check out the links below: Sailing a Sinking Sea website: http://sailingasinkingsea.com/ Olivia's website: http://oliviaowenswyatt.com/ Documentary Educational Resources: http://www.der.org/films/sailing-a-sinking-sea.html Drag City (Vinyl LP + DVD): http://www.dragcity.com/artists/bitchin-bajas-olivia-wyatt

As a fan of enjoying a good craft beer with an even (hopefully) better film, I'm always excited to stumble across innovative ways beer and movies converge. Imagine my delight when I discovered the genius of Beer Mat Movies. The twitter page is a witty collection of micro-film reviews written on a single beer mat (AKA beer coaster) for those "on the go". If it don't fit, it don't fly. From recent reviews of mainstream fare like "X-Men: Apocalypse" to kid friendly films like "Zootropolis" and indie horrors such as "The Witch", the extremely concise beer-drinking, film-loving person behind the tweets offers a hilarious new way of analyzing and criticizing film all the while making use of what's under your beer. Keepin' it simple has earned them over 600 followers + counting! As they say, "If you can't sum up your opinion of a film on a beer mat, you're being pretentious." Grab a cold one and check out Beer Mat Movies' twitter to read up on some of their pretty on point, witty reviews.

With its deeply saturated colors and its equally bold plot, Asia Argento's "Misunderstood" is a force of a film.  Argento returns to the directing chair for the first time in years with this slightly over the top Italian drama that recalls a style of decades past.  The story centers around the life of a severely dysfunctional family of artists and their children.  In particular, Argento's story of childhood rebellion mostly focuses in on young Aria, the daughter of a drug addicted pianist and a superstitious, abusive actor.  An ode to the stresses of growing up in a world that seemingly doesn't understand you, "Misunderstood" can be best described as a grim fairy tale where the only supernatural forces and dangers we face are the people that should love us the most.  Though Argento's supposedly semi-autobiographical film thrives off of caricatures and a level of exaggeration within its characters, colour palette, and situations, there's still a bit of sensitivity embedded within the film that keeps it from becoming too over the top or distant.  In fact, there's an undeniably cult vibe exuding from this particularly colorful concoction of a film.  Highlights are equally both Charlotte Gainsbourg (Yvonne Casella) and child actress Giulia Salerno's (Aria) work.  Both display their acting abilities across a spectrum of bipolar emotions, from fearful and loving to manic and everything in between.  Salerno's Aria is our tragic hero, constantly bounced from one parent's house to the other, after her mother and father's excessive hatred of each other separates the family.  Aria being thrown out from their homes is usually a result of issues born from their inattentiveness or preference for Aria's sisters.  Because her half sisters are, in a way, owned by their respective parent, Aria is the sole child that exists as the reminder born from Yvonne and Padre's (Gabriel Garko) tainted relationship.  "A mistake", a symbol of regret and hatred, is the resulting identity that Aria bears, and as she continuously navigates a biased world out to get her, she becomes a far darker, more rebellious version of herself.  In the end, her final tipping point, after years of abuse from her own family, are her friends and peers' mockery of her life.  What we are left with is a swift and brutal end to the story with small traces of false hope shining forth through the credits.  Aria's life is cyclical for the time being, so we end her portrait of it the only way we can.  Excessive and dark in a world of deep, bold colours and 80s fashion flair, "Misunderstood" is a hodge podge of styles that all come together to tell a uniquely blended coming of age story of a lone girl in a world that doesn't quite know what to make of her.  A naive oddity, just like the film, Aria captures the audience and holds our attention with her deep blue eyes and unrelenting hope for someone to love her.  As Asia Argento's third directorial offering and an Italian Un Certain Regard entry at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, "Misunderstood" is certainly a product of its own title.  It will take open-minded audiences to crave, devour and understand this rainbow hued, sometimes magically unrealistic childhood drama.  Available on various VOD platforms, Argento's film of contrasts and edginess creates an imagined world that segue-ways far from reality yet still manages to vividly share with us a world full of very real emotions.  

 

All of us at Indie Street are stoked to be partnering up with #000000;" data-mce-mark="1">Maria Dicieanu, Submarine Channel author and former 2Pause.com editor, to bring you a monthly serving of some of the most artistic, innovative music videos currently being produced! #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;"> #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">For our first installment of "Maria's Pick", the featured music video for May is an interactive spectacle well worth checking out! Maria discusses the intricacies of the #000000;">video for the late Jeff Buckley's cover of “Just Like a Woman” below:  #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">"The undeniable “kings of interactive music videos”, aka peeps at Interlude (responsible for Bob Dylan's “Like a Rolling Stone”), released yet another gorgeous online experience, this time for the late Jeff Buckley's unreleased cover of “Just Like a Woman”. Making use of graphic novel inspired panels, the interactive music video gives users the possibility of choosing between 4 different story lines within each new window: the boy's, the girl's, the happy boy+girl couple and its almost separated version. "The goal of this video is for both existing and new fans to enjoy many ways of experiencing the music, and for each individual audience member to return over and over to be involved with the emotion differently each time," said Yoni Block, Interlude CEO and co-founder. A perfect concept given the song itself is both a recent release and a reinterpretation of Bob Dylan classic at the same time. Find out more about how the music video was made by watching its making of." #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">You can check out the music video via Buckley's official site and try your hand at visually composing your own narratives to complement the music with just a click of your mouse! For the best viewing experience, Google Chrome is the suggested browser. Enjoy & see you next month!  #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">About Maria: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: large;">"Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

Ah, the craft beer boom. Such a wonderful thing. The amount of ingenuity going into the brewing process is one thing, but the creativity being seen on beer packaging and marketing materials these days is taking the industry to a whole new level. Now, I bet you didn't know that when art and beer collide, sometimes things can get...well, a little animated and practically come to life! Imagine enjoying your favorite beers - but in motion! That's what one craft beer lover has been working on for the past couple of years. Trevor Carmick, the creator behind Beer Labels in Motion, has embedded a rather unique flavor of imagination into the drinking experience by animating the very images and words on the labels of his favorite beers. Believe us, it makes for one magical, complementary experience.  Impressed, we asked Trevor the story behind his creations: "I started my animations in 2013. They began as a way to test various filters within Adobe After Effects and play around with various techniques I had seen in online tutorials. I had always loved the way cinemagraphs looked and I’d always wanted to create some myself. The only problem is I didn’t have a tripod or camera to lug around and capture anything. One day I was looking at a beer bottle and thought, “I could animate the picture on the label and that could be almost like a cinemagraph.” I created a couple of them after hours at work (I’m a video editor) because the computer there was much faster than my home computer. My co-worker, #1155cc; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal;" href="http://angulargeometry.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Tyler Haywood, saw them and after my 3rd, he finally convinced me to start a blog and post them. I honestly didn’t think they’d gather too much attention outside of people who liked craft beer. I was wrong! A couple months later, TIME listed me in their #1155cc; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal;" href="http://techland.time.com/2013/08/05/the-25-best-bloggers-2013-edition/slide/all/" target="_blank">Top 25 Bloggers of 2013. I still don’t consider myself a blogger!"  Definitely a well deserved praise. Beer Labels in Motion is a hypnotic and innovative outlet that all can enjoy, whether as a beer-lover or a non-drinker. Thirsty for more info? Be sure to check out Trevor's crafty animations via his website or on social media:InstagramFacebookTwitter  Below are some of the artist's favorite animations as well as a pick of our own. Enjoy!  ) Heady Topper Double IPA by The Alchemist: 

#FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="6">#F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/0B4h80ila2/" target="_blank">Heady Topper is a double IPA brewed by The Alchemist in VT. It's easily one of my favorite beers of all time and it drives me nuts not being able to get it here in Boston (or easily in VT for that matter!). This beer easily lives up to the massive hype around it. Drink Fresh! Credit goes to idrinkgoodbeer.com for the original can photo.#c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A video posted by Trevor Carmick () on Mar 9, 2015 at 6:52pm PDT

  ) Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale by Flying Dog Brewery:  

#FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="6">#F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/2tXqoCClab/" target="_blank">I might be a little biased being from Maryland but Dead Rise is one hell of a good beer! Brewed using Maryland’s favorite seasoning, Old Bay, this summer ale by is my surprise hit of the season. It has a hint of Old Bay with a bitter citrus finish and is absolutely delicious. Special thanks to my friend Anna who sent me some here in Boston!#c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A video posted by Trevor Carmick () on May 15, 2015 at 9:14am PDT

  ) Route of All Evil Black Ale by Two Roads Brewery:  

#FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="6">#F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50.0% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/-1-Bg4ilTv/" target="_blank">Take the road less shoveled with this fantastic Black Ale by from Connecticut. This beer easily made the list of my top favorite winter beers ever. They say it isn’t quite a stout/porter or black IPA but I’ll let you decide. (I think it tastes like an intense Black IPA). #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A video posted by Trevor Carmick () on Dec 3, 2015 at 12:35pm PST

  ) 60 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head:  

#FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="6">#F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50.0% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BAdTur-ClSN/" target="_blank">60 Minute is the best IPA brewed by . In my opinion, it's balanced in all the right ways compared to the 90 and 120. What's your favorite? #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A video posted by Trevor Carmick () on Jan 12, 2016 at 3:46pm PST

  ) Edmund Fitzgerald by Great Lakes Brewing Co.:  

#FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="6">#F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50.0% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BBgnXRGClXK/" target="_blank">One of my favorite porters of all time, Edmund Fitzgerald by Great Lakes Brewing Co. . This gem taught me that beer is more than just Bud Light and Miller Lite. Original photo credit: Noel at The Perfectly Happy Man Craft Beer Reviews and Pictures www.theperfectlyhappyman.com #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A video posted by Trevor Carmick () on Feb 7, 2016 at 7:07pm PST

  ) Ginga Ninja IPA by Black Hog Brewery:  

#FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="6">#F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50.0% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BC9OZruClQH/" target="_blank">Ginga Ninja is an IPA brewed by from Connecticut. You’ll find a delicious balance of fresh ginger and piney hops in this year-round brew. My next goal: pair this beer with some sushi! If you like this animation and others, please tag a beer friend and spread the word! #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A video posted by Trevor Carmick () on Mar 14, 2016 at 7:18pm PDT

While every year new films come into our lives and stir up our emotions, rarely can they affect us in such a raw, uninhibited way. Even from the very first line of its synopsis, you know “Thank You for Playing” is that rare breed of film that you accept is going to unapologetically leave you stunned. Think back to the most personal tragedy of your life. Really dig deep into that grief. Now, imagine going back to that moment and…making a video game about it. Yes, a video game. Bizarre, sure, but there’s one couple out there that did just that. As parents of a young boy with terminal cancer, not only did they live with that pain every single day until the inevitable happened, they also transformed their situation by opening themselves up to a creative outlet. What a film like “Thank You for Playing” teaches us is that the absurdity of creating a game about cancer only lasts for a brief moment before it turns into something transcendental - something more. Watching this film introduces us to the fact that creation can become a new coping mechanism, bringing us a beautiful new way of understanding and immortalising a life. Filmmaking duo David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall wanted to chronicle the behind the scenes work that went into the video game “The Dragon, Cancer”, created by parents Ryan and Amy Green, as a way to understand and show others how it was to care for terminally ill child, Joel, in his final years. Cutting between scenes of the video game process and footage of home, hospital and family life, viewers fall deep into a strange yet beautiful rabbit hole of emotion. One must wonder, why did the filmmakers make such a personal, private film in the first place? But just like inquiries into the existence of the game itself, it only takes watching a little bit of the film to understand the necessity of telling this story. “Thank You for Playing” is a documentary that goes beyond the constraints of so many video game films before it. That’s the ironic nature of its success - its fiction is real.  Though it’s a film that doesn’t beat around the bush in terms of its inevitable outcome, don’t be scared of that brutal conclusion. The film brings many other moral questions to light: can art really be a therapeutic outlet? Are creative endeavours for the sake of healing just exploitation of an otherwise private situation? Though I believe you need to watch the film to truly decide that for yourself, there’s no denying the honesty exuding from this film, scene to scene to scene. 

 “Thank You for Playing” was released via various VOD outlets this past March and is absolutely worth the watch. While it chronicles both the creative and mourning process, this film also memorialises the short but profound life of a young child that left behind a legacy far greater than he could have ever imagined.

Masked by the mysterious identities of its directors and a darkly misleading title, going blindly into a film like 'Everyone’s Going to Die' can trigger a confused initial impression. However, British collective duo “Jones” quickly reveal the direction their debut feature will take. From the opening title, where every person that worked on the film is immediately named and given a mass identity, to the surprisingly sweet story that follows, this is a film about raw human connection. Having had its premiere at SXSW, this underrated British indie is finally releasing to U.S. audiences. While the film focuses on the relationship between a young German woman and older English man, the appeal of this film is universal: when you find that rare human connection, it can be the most powerful thing in the world, wherever you are.  'Everyone’s Going to Die' takes on many familiar indie quirks but transforms them into something totally new. In this universe, we follow the aimless wanderings of two strangers as they crash into each other’s messy lives.  Melanie (played by German favorite, Nora Tschirner) is an immigrant living in a small coastal town in England with an absent fiancé. Things get interesting when she meets a mysterious, potential hitman named Ray (played by former carpet fitter and brilliant first time actor, Rob Knighton). Ray has just arrived in town following the death of his brother and has a secret “job” to carry out. It’s not until these two meet that they start to question their existence in not only this small town, but in the overall lives they have carved out for themselves.  Sharing similar feelings of not belonging but constantly inspiring each other with conflicting opinions on the nitty-gritty of life, this isn’t a case of two lost souls having everything in common. This is a case of two lost souls having almost nothing in common but still fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle. It’s not about physicality - it’s about conversation. That strange, unidentifiable connection between two strangers is what structures the minimalism within the narrative of this film. And it's that concept, coupled with the constraints of a low budget, that allows this strange, whimsical link between the two leads blossom into something totally beautiful and real.  Indie Street is happy to present the exclusive U.S. VOD release of this modern British “dramedy”. This is an adventure into finding the meaning of comfort and “home”, made up of small moments that are evenly paced with brilliance and wittiness. From dead siblings reincarnated as cats to roller skating beavers, televised porn hotlines, and a morbid family play that cleverly delivers the origins of the film's title, the humor is quirky, understated and complementary to a lo-fi script that focuses on character development over filler. It’s in the very final moments of the film that you may find your hopes for humanity slightly lifted. Yes, one day we will die. Everyone’s going to die eventually. But first, there are many things yet to experience. Memorable duo Melanie and Ray just go to show that life is too short to make the wrong decisions. Give this one a watch - we promise it won't kill you!  Click here to watch the film now on Indie Street! 

  

We have all probably struck up some questionable friendships in the unlikeliest of situations. In "Lamb", it just so happens that our two protagonists find their spark through a cigarette. Set within a world that feels like a latter day Lolita, this unsettling film follows the indefinable relationship between two struggling individuals that happen to sit on very different ends of the age spectrum. Unhappiness and spontaneity, amongst other things, are the catalysts that drive a 40-something year old man to deem a friendship with an 11 year old girl as acceptable after she innocently asks him for a cigarette in a dare gone awry. Ross Partridge takes the reins as not only director but actor and adapter of this story based on the novel by Bonnie Nadzam. Is this film a simple matter of identifying what could be a wolf in sheep's clothing or is it a much deeper and innocent portrait showcasing the role of destiny in our struggle to find comfort and acceptance in this world?  The premise of "Lamb" is simple on the surface but dark and deeply complicated below the obvious. Having just lost his father and starting to witness the unraveling of his marriage and affair, David Lamb (Partridge) finds himself face to face with a [keyword: very] young girl (Oona Laurance). Her high heels and cool demeanor suggest she is aged beyond her 11 years. From here we witness these two lost souls finding each other in the corner of a desolate parking lot .. and well, you can almost see where this is going tone-wise. A kidnapping joke, or more like role play, will cement the fate of the two and set the wheels of the narrative in motion towards a very unsettling yet necessary and exposed ending. Setting out West to escape the monotony of life, seeking to find something more, some beauty in the world, the two set out for their paradise and a slew of roadblocks to their destiny.  A film that is soaking in symbolism, morals, and immoral scenarios, "Lamb" proves that, though you can try to run away from life, bothersome realities will eventually find you again. It makes us ponder - who or what is the real innocent here - who is the real lamb of the story? For whatever sense of relief or anxiety the film’s ending may give you, what the film sets up is a scenario that makes us question relationships and the role that society has over defining them. Whether an inappropriate but harmless connection, something down right predatory or simply human desperation for comfort, the open road takes these two on a trip that will affect the rest of their lives. "Lamb", though sometimes lost in the dark confusion of its own plot, is a film well worth watching if only to help us in understanding something necessary about human connections and ourselves. 

Ethiopia-based Director Miguel Llansó has created a debut feature that plays out less like your typical film and more like an unpredictable dream.  On screen is a sparse, extraterrestrial looking Ethiopia that worships Michael Jordan, barters over "historical" Ninja Turtle figurines, and tries to figure out the mystery of the dormant spacecraft hovering above them.  If there ever was a romantic, post-apocalyptic sci-fi film coming out of Ethiopia that was full of characters hell bent on obtaining pop cultural artifacts, avoiding second generation Nazis and finding Santa Clause, this would be it.  An imaginative quest of a film that is certainly a mouthful to even describe, you may be asking yourself, "What did I just watch?", and though far from perfect, the unique edge of this film may be enough to quell your confusions.Our view of this post-apocalyptic world, after the big war, comes through the eyes of Candy (played by Llansó favorite, Daniel Tadesse), the film's petite, slumped hero that believes he comes from another land.  As he embarks on a journey to find a way onboard the reactivated spacecraft in the sky, we see him travel through a world both deeply profound and nonsensical, in order to find a way to what he believes is his true home.  The country's landscape is disarming and used to its greatest potential, with Daniel Tadesse’s Candy working at drawing us even more into this crumbling world.  His lover, Birdy (newcomer Selam Tesfaye), is with child and waits for him at home, biding her growing anxieties in a dilapidated bowling alley.  Supplementing their story are segments within the film regarding a cocky "antiques dealer".  We are introduced to his bartering intermittently throughout Candy's journey, learning the "histories" and anecdotes behind various cheap pop cultural artifacts from the past (AKA our present).It helps to know that the film was inspired by a quote from professor Seifu Yohannes about the end of the world and how all that will remain will be "a series of cheap plastic figurines floating in the stratosphere once everything has finally exploded".  "Crumbs" shows this depressing landscape well, where mankind’s hopes and dreams will cease to be of any great importance in the end.  In this world, human life has lost its value.  The survival of mankind is no longer a priority.  Left to fend for themselves, they get by from trading random items as if they were great relics of a lost time.  Like some voodoo spell, something about this hodge-podge of a film entices you into this very specific dreamscape, despite the disturbing references to what it means for our time.If you're on the hunt for something different, away from the mainstream and rehashed, "Crumbs" may just fit the bill.  With a low budget and minimal sources, Miguel Llansó was able to manifest a highly imaginative world out of the alien-like qualities of Ethiopia's landscapes.  It's that simultaneously primitive yet futuristic feel that becomes the true heart of this film.  Winner of the New Flesh Award for Best First Feature at the 2015 Fantasia Film Festival and nominated for the FIPRESCI Prize at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, "Crumbs" is now available in the US on VOD and DVD.  Go ahead, reserve your seat on the spaceship, at least to say you did.  At only 68 minutes, it's well worth the unusual ride.