Hell yes. TRAVIS shot all the images you see here. He made tons of great photos, but I just combed through and pulled some I liked. There's a mix of matinee and late show here, pre-show, soundcheck, et cetera. Just wait until you see the version of these that moves...
Here's a comprehensive list of all the live Walt Mink performances I've captured and recorded. I compiled this in order to review and select songs for the final project. It's a lot of music - more than 80 songs.
SHOW: MARCH 3, 2003: KNITTING FACTORY. (John performs a solo acoustic set) AUDIO: Desk recording to DAT tape. IMAGE: Single camera MiniDV. Super 8 b-roll and second camera.
Subway Lost in the World Sold Lovely Arrhythmia 21st Century Man Settled Love in the Dakota The Other Shoe
SHOW: JULY 16, 2004: PETE'S CANDY STORE. (John and Candice, acoustic set) AUDIO: multi-channel digital recording to Pro Tools. IMAGE: 2x Super 16mm film cameras, 2x MiniDV cameras for support coverage.
Sound check: Up To You
Subway Starstruck Act of Quiet Desperation Smoothing the Ride Pink Moon Lovely Arrhythmia Tree in Orange Settled 21st Century Man Lost in the World He's A Whore (first verse only)
RADIO APPEARANCE: JUNE 16, 2005: 89.3 THE CURRENT. MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO. (John, solo. Acoustic.) AUDIO: Engineered and recorded by MPR. IMAGE: 1x Super 16mm film camera.
Settled Act of Quiet Desperation
SHOW: JUNE 17, 2005: TRIPLE ROCK SOCIAL CLUB. (John, Candice & Zach. Full band. Two shows [with the exception of one our two acoustic songs, each of these was performed and filmed/recorded twice].) AUDIO: multi-channel digital recording. IMAGE: 4x super 16mm film cameras. (show #1 black & white, show #2 color.)
New Life Love You Better Chowdertown Stood Up Everything Worthwhile Shine Showers Down Twinkle & Shine Frail Betty Subway Smoothing the Ride John's Dream Pink Moon Brave Beyond the Call Lost in the World Miss Happiness
Acoustic Encore: Settled Act of Quiet Desperation Love in the Dakota
Second Encore: Overgrown Goodnite Tree in Orange
SHOW: JULY 28, 2011: THE BELL HOUSE. (John, Candice & Zach. Full Band.) AUDIO: Desk recording to DAT tape. IMAGE: 3x DSLR's.
First set: Zero Day Love You Better Chowdertown Showers Down Twinkle & Shine Croton Harmon Local Stood Up Everything Worthwhile Fragile Frail John's Dream Goodnite Miss Happiness
Second set: New Life Brave Beyond the Call Pink Moon Subway Overgrown Tree in Orange
We have a very decent mix from the front-of-house at The Bell House in Brooklyn where Walt Mink performed on July 28th. Nothing but a single DAT tape (yes, a DAT tape), but it sounds crunchy and raw and excellent.
I will publish a handful of videos from that performance over the coming weeks, in the neighborhood of half a dozen songs, total. They'll live on both Vimeo and YouTube. The first of these videos is being cut now. It's footage we captured using 3 Canon DSLR's, looks fine. This is all bonus footage and I'm happy to have it, and even happier to share it online. Coming soon.
Last - I'm working on a monologue to be performed once in either LA or Brooklyn, depending on how the logistics shake out. Based on my experience with this project (and with myself) over the past few years, it's with great reticence that I even mention it, but I think this is the creative solution I've sought all along. Very excited to do it.
We shall see.
I posted a few of my incidental film pictures from Boston (July 27) on Tumblr:
This article was first published in February 1993 in Ink Nineteen, a printed publication in Florida, and is reproduced here with kind permission of www.ink19.com.
* * *
Walt Mink is the nation’s foremost authority on sleep behavior. Walt Mink is a rollicking high-tension power trio. Identity crisis? Not really. The first is a professor of psychology. The second is three musicians/students who took their name from the first. The first feels “pretty arbitrary” about the whole thing, explains John Kimbrough, guitarist/vocalist for the band. “We were taking his class at the time when we needed a name. So we asked him if we could use his. He was pretty skeptical; he wasn’t sure we weren’t making fun of his.” And does the eminent Walt Mink lose any sleep over the recorded output of Walt Mink? “He probably listens to classical music or something. He’s in his late sixties.”
Walt Mink started out playing at college basement parties. According to Joey Waronker (drums), “One of the intentions of the name was to let people see cheesy fliers that said ‘Walt Mink in Someone’s Basement’.” The band played subterraneous virtually every weekend for two semesters before trying to land a gig in a club.
The three members were attending college as the band was forming: John majored in History, Candice Belanoff (bass) in anthropology and Joey (drums) in Music. But the origins of the band stretch back a little further. Says Joey: “John and I knew each other in western Massachusetts, and we played together. It was pretty free-form, though. Once we got to Minnesota and started jamming, we began looking for a bass player and ran into Candice.”
The result was a tight blend of garage and pop, melodies that would seem to lie defenseless against the towering strength of their accompaniment (part 70’s space-rock, part funk, part Seattle sediment), were they not so…catchy. Their debut album, Miss Happiness showcases this approach, explicitly so in the title track. As John Kimbrough’s voice dreams from verse to verse, the rhythm section, seemingly locked together tighter than a Houdini escape trick, pounds out tempo changes, rhythmic collisions and angelic harmonies.
If the Smashing Pumpkins were more red than blue, they’d sound like Walt Mink.
Miss Happiness’s cover shows a scene from a musical bordello. Instruments lay scatter. Wall hangings, beads, balloons and trinkets abound. The band stares sullenly and sultrily at you. The ashram has been overrun and the vermin is music. The scene is not from one of the aforementioned parties, or even a college groovy pad, but the recording room of Smart Studios, which the lauded Butch Vig calls home base. Joey explains: “John had made four track demos in our living room, and when we did the record deal, Caroline [the band’s label] said ‘you should bring all your living room stuff down to the studio.’ So we did, and they really got into it; ‘we gotta take a picture of this’.”
The band feels a deep connection with the concept of the original power trio: Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer, “the Outpatients from western Massachusetts, the Poll Winners, They had it together back then,” recalls Kimbrough. “Hüsker Dü is also way up there.” The band has a multitude of named influences. Joey admits to listening “from Captain Beefheart to Frank Sinatra to Ry Cooder. A lot of Seventies music, Dinosaur Jr.…the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds…I was getting into that back then, and nobody else would get into it. The bootlegs of the Beach Boys’ lost Smile album are the ultimate psychedelic rock music. We try not to work our influences directly; we try to have fun with it.”
And now, time for the dreaded “how do you write your songs?” question. The response? “John writes songs with no real ideas in mind. He’ll have a lyrical idea about something shitty someone did to him one day and write about it, or something.”
Music forges ahead like a wedge formation, with one or three bands at the tip and a multitude of others following in their own fashion. Several don’t bother to catch up. Others were lost before they even started. But Walt Mink found an interesting path, and stopped a while to admire the landscape. And put out Miss Happiness.
Seeking highly-skilled, highly-motivated, inventive, clever, sharp, “creative,” innovative & improvisational etc. FCP editor with a reasonable (preferably wonderful) disposition to cut a 4-camera rock concert, from emcee’s intro to final encore. Source material shot on Super 16. Media is on digibeta.
Pros and cons:
Budget and salary: zero dollars! Creative freedom: utter. Source material: luscious, luminous, one-of-a-kind. Deadline: flexible.
This concert is the marquis event that serves as the bedrock of a doc feature, so this is a rare opportunity to play an integral part in the completion of a unique project.
If you’re interested, email me with a link to your reel or your Vimeo channel. Once we're in contact, we will discuss in greater detail. [ butlr.c @ gmail . com ]
Also, if you know someone please send this along via email or Twitter, blog it, Tumblr it, post it, etc. Spread the word. I'm looking for the right person. LA-based a plus, but not necessary. (ahem, Mpls/St. Paul).
Alright. Here's one song from the forthcoming motion picture, and it's fucking beautiful. Apologies that this is online, compressed & tiny... I wish you were seeing this for the first time as a projected film print splashed across a humongous screen.
In response to recent comments: I am alive. The film is alive. Thank you for asking!
This blog, however, is pretty much dead. I don't enjoy blogging, it turns out. I sound like a putz. I over-share. It's gruesome. And more importantly it's unfair to disseminate countless updates on minutia when things are often delayed or don't pan out - or when the finish line remains frustratingly distant. I've adopted a policy of sparing everyone's inboxes while I find the way forward. Because really, those of you kind enough and interested enough to ask want a movie, not a blog.
But here you go:
I'm in Los Angeles now, and the experience is far more isolated and alienating than I had anticipated, and also far more expensive (getting out here, living, working on the film, etc.). But that's manageable - it's ok. Over the past month I've warmed to it a bit more and gotten into more of a rhythm.
My time is split among (1) reviewing footage and taking tons of notes, (2) writing and rewriting, engaging in the digital equivalent of tearing paper out of the typewriter, crushing it up in disgust and tossing it at the wastepaper basket, (3) assembling the strongest stuff in FCP, (4) talking to the cats, (5) questioning why I moved here (6) freelance writing, (7) drinking coffee, and (8) running. Then, ultimately, (9) feeling better and (10) going back to it.
The work is difficult -- and I am my biggest obstacle.
Apologies for the silence at this site. Once all of this slogging assembly and narrative re-thinking begins to falling into place, I will certainly make it known. I'll post something.
For now, I am in the Unibomber's hut, growing a beard, sorting it out.
If any professional FCP editor wants to edit side-by-side with me or produce, or co-produce or help me smash it apart, please feel free to contact me. You will be paid nothing, of course. And there will be cats.