Who needs Project Greenlight? (We heard it leads to a bad case of the Giglis, anyway.) A simple love of raucous punk 'n' roll, a raw cinematic eye and the California Employment Development Department have thus far served local filmmaker Ernie Quintero just fine.
Quintero has made a slew of videos for local bands (John Cougar Concentration Camp, Machinegun) and national acts (The Dwarves, New Bomb Turks). He recently filmed and produced a DVD for Seattle's Spits (available at www.thespits.com), and was contracted to film the three-day Chicago Blackout, an annual music festival sponsored by rock-'n'-porn rag, Horizontal Action. His first feature-length film, The Hurtin' Crue, was released in February 2003, and plans are in the works to film another this summer, called Toilet Paper Rocks.
Not bad for a 23-year-old punk whose formal film training includes a few community college classes on film history and another on non-linear digital editing. "My training was pretty much fucking around with friends, making skate videos and short films," he says.
Quintero's methods are textbook D.I.Y. He does all his filming and editing on minimal equipment, and Hurtin' Crue was funded entirely through his unemployment checks. "I use a three-chip digital camcorder and do all my editing on my pimped-out PC with Adobe Premiere. I also use a lot of beer when I edit film," he says, suggesting our taxpayer dollars occasionally go for a six-pack (note to Republicans: it's in the name of art, so chill.)
Quintero hopes The Spits DVD will provide some funding for his second film, but so far he's made very little money off his work. "I let bands know I make buttons and videos in exchange for cheap beer," he says of his efforts to cure chronic destitution.
"Hurtin' Crue took about three years of my life," he says. "Too much shit to describe went into it, but it was war and we won."
The Hurtin' Crue's soundtrack features music from many of the bands already mentioned, as well as the Makeout Boys and Minor Threat. Toilet Paper Rocks "is gonna be the shit, and the soundtrack is amazing," he says. "I have a lot of rad bands committed to the soundtrack and some that will also play live in the actual movie."
Most of Quintero's work has been live footage edited to a video track, but he's currently working on his first storyline video for local band, The Liquorice Quartet. To view his work or have him shoot your crappy band's video, contact him at unemployed@the hurtincrue.com.
On the eve of releasing their debut album, Near Mint, cheeky rockers Rookie Card have lost longtime bass player Jason Hee. A volatile lineup for years, Hee had been considered a permanent member. "It wasn't an easy decision to leave RC, but I felt that it was time to concentrate on one band," says Hee, noting he left to focus on his other project, The Buzzkill Romantics. "We're all good friends, which makes it really hard to leave Rookie Card right as we're about to put out our first full album." No word whether the stock of Hee's rookie card skyrocketed because of the announcement. If you wanna play bass for Rookie Card, e-mail frontman Adam Gimbel at rookies@ rookiecardthemovie.com
As sacrosanct as it sounds to some, law affects your band as soon as you leave the comfort of the family garage. Luckily, a few music fans who've passed the bar are giving it up for free. Musicians, actors and authors will have the opportunity to talk to a entertainment attorneys, gratis, when the San Diego Bar Association hosts "Free Legal Consultation for the Creative Mind," as part of Law Week 2004. The lawyers will be on hand from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, at Guitar Center La Mesa. They'll answer questions on record deals, copyrights and whatever else you wanna ask, including how to make sure Courtney Love doesn't gain control over your back catalogue.
North County bluegrass trio Nickel Creek are included in a new documentary released this month, called Bluegrass Journey, which was taped in 2000 at the Grey Fox Festival in New York. On Aug. 19, the trio will also appear along with Gillian Welch and Joan Baez on a new episode of long running PBS-TV show, Soundstage.
Jason Mraz' Sly & Robbie-produced "Curbside Prophet" will be included on the soundtrack for the new Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen flick, out this month.
Just in time for her return to the venue on June 14-15, savvy marketer Jewel has released Live at Humphrey's by the Bay, a concert DVD taped in 2001.
Local artist Jamilla Naji has self-released a children's book, Musical Storyland, which includes a series of paintings interpreting some of David Bowie's mid-'60s songs. In perhaps the ultimate marketing ploy, Naji has included the songs with the book without Bowie's knowledge or consent, because the material is not owned or controlled by the legendary musician. (www.jamillanaji.com)
San Diego County Fair is trying to cull local talent this year with a series of contests. Amateur vocalists have until May 10 to register for the American Idol-esque Superstar contest, with top prizes including a trophy, cash, demo CD and an appearance on Fox in the Morning. The station's indie-music program, Fox Rox, will sponsor a Rock 'n' Roll Battle of the Bands, judged by the show's producer Scott Richison and host Troy Johnson (who is also CityBeat's A&E editor), among others. The deadline to enter is May 21.
Mike Stax' Ugly Things magazine expands this month into a label of the same name, starting with the release of an album of vintage material from '60s rockers The Misunderstood. They'll also release the second album by Stax' own band, The Loons. The recording is helmed by both Rocket from the Crypt's John Reis and Earthling Studios' Mike Kamoo.
North County's SBE Records has just released Friends for Life, a 10-song compilation featuring jazz acts Peter Sprague, Andy Villa-Boas and Blurring the Edges. Proceeds will benefit the Escondido Humane Society.
The Dragons might wanna just skip 2004. First, the lion's share of their tour with The Wildhearts was cancelled (because the Limeys wanted to tour with The Darkness... uh, OK, we don't blame 'em). Then their trusty van broke down, costing more than $2,000 in repairs. Help the local grease-rockers get back on the road by shelling out for their show at The Casbah on April 30. The band will tour Europe in June.
Jazz fans take note: saxophonist Joe Marillo will begin hosting free Sunday afternoon jam sessions at downtown's intimate Café Bassam starting at 4 p.m.
Singer-songwriter Cathyrn Beeks has decided to go digital and save costs on pressing albums. For $1.50 a tune, fans can choose from more than 60 of her songs on her website, and Beeks will ship out a hand-assembled disc with a personalized, four-panel insert the following day.