With Friends Like These -or- Our Favorite Albums of 2014 [Exclusive]

friendslikethese copy

3 1/2 years ago I was sitting in a lonely hotel room in Biloxi, Mississippi that served as my home for 6 weeks during the hot summer of 2011.  I had just finished releasing my first book/music compilation project, Children of Mercy: Tales and Teachings From the World of Independent Music.  In a interview for College Magazine about the project, I was asked the stock question:  “So what is next?”.  It was then that I really had no damn clue what was next.  I had written my first album review just over 3 years prior to this time, and had hundreds more to my credit since then, so I thought I might just stay on that road.  But, then I realized that I might like to step out a bit.  Actually, I might have liked to stay on the same track, yet slightly askew.  And somewhere between a sea of cheap Kentucky bred vodka, the mourning of a dear friend who had passed, far too much Taco Bell for one person to digest in a single day, and a cheesy SyFy movie about a genetically mutated alligator starring 80’s pop stars…..  I decided it was time to branch out on my own and take the obvious step forward.  So, I began Trainwreck’d Society.

Now here we are all these years later.  I’ve been around the globe since those tyrannical 6 weeks in that legendary Biloxi hotel room.  And Trainwreck’d has followed me every step of the way.  From Spokane, Washington to South Korea and eventually to my current location in the souther region of Spain.  And that’s not even mentioning writings and configuring that took place in Seattle, San Francisco, Sausalito, Redding, St. Louis, Omaha, Moses Lake, Lisbon, Tokyo, Longview, Kelso, etc.  Yes, this site has been as much a part of me as the air and pollution that I breathe.  I have loved and hated this site with passions that are hard to convey.  But, as we approach the end of an era, I can proudly say that I wouldn’t change a God damned thing about this site and all of the wonderful things we have done.

And this post right here is one of the reasons I have continued this labor of love and loathing for so long.  It’s always been about the people surrounding the site.  It is the friends of Trainwreck’d that truly make it what it is.  I am not naive enough to think that we have had any sort of success (as mild as it may be) without the help from the beautiful people we have showcased over the last few years.  They make this shit happen, and I will be forever grateful.

So, with that sob story thrown out there and out of the way, please enjoy the final installment of our “With Friends Like These -or- Our Favorite Albums of 201X”.  There are some new faces in the crowd this year, and we are so happy to have some new friends on board.  And as per usual, there are some veterans of the site on board as well.  This is without a doubt the year with the most active participants we have ever had for this annual post.  I think it is a brilliant way to go out; surrounded by those we love.  So please ENJOY!

If you haven’t figured it out, we are making plans to close up shop.  The final Trainwreck’d Society post will happen on July 4th 2015, our 4 year anniversary.  Sort of like a presidential term, right?  Our reign must eventually come to a close.  It has truly been a joy to serve you fine reader(s).  Thank you all, from the bottom of my wine soaked heart.  – Ron Trembath

 

 

Beat, Matt

Matt Beat (musician, Electric Needle Room)

Pixies – Indie Cindy
Ingrid Michaelson – Lights Out
Foster the People – Supermodel
Tycho – Awake
Beck – Morning Phase

Beauford, Johnny

Johnny Beauford (musician, The Jack Kerowax)

Ex Hex – Rips
Ty Segall – Manipulator
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Centromatic – Take Pride In Your Long Odds
Oil Boom – Red Metal

Benson, Bill
Bill Benson (publicist, boss man at Team Clermont)

Wye Oak – Shriek
Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
Augie March – Haven’s Dumb
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Give The People What They Want
Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

Bernier, Luc

Luc Bernier (actor, Contagio)

Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
Anne Bisson – Tales from the Treetops
Hozier – Hozier
The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Pink Floyd – The Endless River

Birdsall, Tracey

Tracey Birdsall (actress, Dawn of the Crescent Moon)

Prince – Art Official Age
Taylor Swift – 1989
U2 – Songs of Innocence
Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Royal Blood – Royal Blood

Bower, Andrew

Andrew Bower (musician, The Valery Trails)

New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Black Cab – Games of the XXI Olympiad
Bob Mould – Beauty and Ruin
Sounds Like Sunset – We Could Leave Tonight
Spoon – They Want My Soul

Brannan, Jared
Jared Brannan (musician, Dedere)

Violent Psalms-Slow to Speak
The Domestics-Self Titled
Nature Thief- Moon
Hart & Hare-And Action
Sleep School-White Girl Wasted

Budo
Budo (musician)

Rodrigo Amarante – Cavalo
James Vincent McMorrow- Post Tropical
The Acid – Liminal
Dawn Golden – Still Life
D’angelo- Black Messiah

Bukowski, John

John Bukowski (musician)

Pink Floyd – The Endless River
Nothing – Guilty of Everything
Whirr – Sway
Braid – No Coast
Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity

Burns, Heather
Heather Burns (actress, HBO’s Bored To Death)

Museum of Love – Museum of Love
FKA Twigs – LP1
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
Caribou – Our Love
Mary J Blige – The London Sessions

Capozzi, Catherine

Catherine Capozzi (musician, Axemunkee)

Fergessen – Far Est
Jaggery – For the Record
Rodrigo y Gabriela – 9 Dead Alive
PowerSlut – With Great Power Comes Great Slut
Mission Creep – On the Sea of Suns

Casson, Johnno

Johnno Casson (musician, Snippet)

Gruff Rhys – American Interior
mylittlebrother – If We Never Came Down
Alex Highton – Nobody Knows Anything
Hollie Cook – Twice
Colorama-Dere Mewn!

Chaplin, Tim

Tim Chaplin (musician, The Factory Kids)

The Rag Dolls – Such A Crime
Sharon Van Etten – Are We There
Pink Mountaintops – Get Back
Gazelle Twin – Unflesh
Pharmakon – Bestial Burden

Chisholm, Dave

Dave Chisholm (musician, Talking Under Water)

Hozier – Hozier
Conor Oberst – Upside Down Mountain
Ambrose Akinmusire – The Imagined Savior is Far Easier To Paint
Beck – Morning Phase
Alt J – This Is All Yours

Costa, Mira & Chuck
Mira & Chuck Costa (musicians, The Sea The Sea)

Sean Rowe – Madman
Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
Bahamas – Bahamas is Alfie
First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
Hozier – Hozier

Cregger, Sam

Sam Cregger (musician)

Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
Johnny Cash – Out Among The Stars
Israel Nash – Rain Plains
Lucinda Williams – Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams

Deeble, Robert

Robert Deeble (musician)

Shenandoah Davis – The Company We Keep
Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman
Cold Play – A Head Full of Dreams
Ghosts Ive Met – From A Spark
Mahler Symphony No.2 in C Minor – Klaus Tennstedt, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Dox, Alexia

Alexia Dox (actress, Hulu’s Quick Draw)

Hozier- Hozier
Lindsey Sterling – Shatter Me
Black Keys – Turn Blue
Lana Del Ray – Ultraviolence
Beyonce – Beyonce

Edinberg, Joel

Joel Edinberg (musician, Somerville Symphany Orkestar)

D’angelo – Black Messiah
Tune Yards – Nikki Nack
Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia – Devils Tale
Mad Satta – Comfort
Rebirth Brass Band – Move Your Body

Epstein, Michael J.

Michael J. Epstein (musician/filmmaker, Magnetic)

Drab – Unicorn EP
Owl Eyes – Nightswim EP
Endation – Liars, Thieves and Dead Leaves
Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
Timecop1983 – Waves EP

Faith, Elsa

Elsa Faith (musician, Madame Torment)

Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds
Madame Torment – Wicked Bitch of the West
Banks – Goddess

Faulkner, Rachel
Rachel Faulkner (model/actress, Ride Along 2)

Beyonce – Beyonce
Coldplay – Ghost Stories
Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron
Taylor Swift – 1989
FKA Twigs – LP1

Feigh, Ryan

Ryan Feigh (journalist, The Portland Mercury)

Naturally Grown Misfists – The Art of Ignorance
Samarei – Best In Class
Jellyfish Brigade – Diving Lessons
Elton Cray – Craliens: Life of Mine Volume 1 mix tape
Milc & Slick Devious – Lightly Salted

 

Fink, Heather
Heather Fink (filmmaker, Inside You)
Philip Selway – Weatherhouse
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
Beyonce – Beyonce
Interpol – Elpintor

Ford, Kristen

Kristen Ford (musician)

Phil Selway – Weather House
Audrey Ryan- Let’s go to the vamp
Cold Chocolate- Cold Chocolate
England in 1819- Summer Lightning EP
Augustus Creighton- Au Gratin

Franklin, Diane

Diane Franklin (actress, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)

U2 -Songs of Innocence
Prince -Art Official Age
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Hypnotic Eye
Ozzie Osbourne -Memoirs of a Madman
Pixies – Indie Cindy

Gomez, Robert

Robert Gomez (musician, Ormonde)

Damien Jurado – Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun
John Chin – Undercover
John Grant- John Grant and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra: Live in Concert
Moonbather – Out of the Start EP
Sarah Jaffe – Don’t Disconnect

Grillo, Christian

Christian Grillo (filmmaker, Apocalypse Kiss)

Body Count – Manslaughter
Lady Gaga – Artpop
Sick Of It All – Last Act of Defiance
Obituary – Inked In Blood
Slipknot – The Gray Chapter

Hallet, Alexander

Alexander Hallet (hip hop artist/photographer/philanthropist, Bodi)

Beck – Morning Phase
J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Phantogram – Voices
Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
Pharoahe Monch – PTSD

Hardy, Jon

Jon Hardy (musician, The Pristines)

 Pete Fij & Terry Bickers – Broken Heart Surgery
Gallon Drunk – The Soul Of The Hour
These New Puritans – Field Of Reeds
Stump – Does The Fish Have Chips?
Royal Blood – Royal Blood

 Hutchinson, Bryce

Bryce Hutchinson (musician, Dedere)

Open Mike Eagle – Dark Comedy
Violent Psalms – Slow to Speak
Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun
At the Gates – At War with Reality
Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Kanefsky, Rolfe
Rolfe Kanefsky (filmmaker/screenwriter, Doc Holliday’s Revenge)

Guardians of the Galaxy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Chef Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Muppets Most Wanted Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Lego Movie Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
John Morris – The In Laws Original Motion Picture Score

Katz, Sadie

Sadie Katz (actress, Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort)

Taylor Swift – 1989
Lana Del Rey – Ultra Violence
Skrillex – Recess
Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
Iggy Azalea – The New Classic

Kramer, Vince
Vince Kramer (author, Death Machines of Death)

Sinister – The Post-Apocalyptic Servant
Alestorm – Sunset on the Golden Age
Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain
Scar Symmetry – The Singularity, Phase 1: Neohumanity
Obituary – Inked in Blood

Laws, Brandon
Brandon Laws & Richard Laws (musicians, Hosannas)

Caribou – Our Love
Future Islands – Singles
Aphex Twin – Syro
Thom Yorke – Tomorrows Modern Boxes
FKA Twigs – LP1

Lynch, Kerri
Kerri Lynch (actress, TEN)

Lana del Rey – Ultraviolence
Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron
Phantogram – Voices
Calvin Harris – Motion
J Cole – Forest Hills Drive

McAlarney, Paul M

Paul M. McAlarney (filmmaker, Honky Holocaust)

For The Worse – War On Everything EP
Who Killed Spikey Jacket – Beerstorm Trooper E.P.
The Combat Zone – The Combat Zone
Mooseknuckle – Knuckle Sandwich E.P.
Abstruktor – Judgement of Terror

Jared Mees w/ yours truly @ Baby Bar in Spokane, WA circa 2010.  Sort of a dream come true for me.

Jared Mees w/ yours truly @ Baby Bar in Spokane, WA circa 2010. Sort of a dream come true for me.

Jared Mees (musician, Jared Mees & The Grown Children)

Spoon- they want my soul
Erland Oye- Legao
Tycho – Awake
Kishi basho – Lighght
The Fourth Wall – Lovely Violence

Minne, David
David Minne (musician/Trainwreck’d Society contributor)

St. Vincent – St. Vincent
War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream
Spoon – They Want My Soul
Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World

Nathan, Neil

Neil Nathan (musician)

King Tuff – Black Moon Spell
Drive by Truckers – English Oceans
Christopher Denny – If The Roses Don’t Kill Us
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
The Gospel Queens – Cold World

Nordstrom, Sanna

Sanna Nordstrom (PhD, subculture researcher, magazine profiler)

Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds
The Haunted – Exit Wounds
At the gates – At War with Reality
Centinex – Redeeming the filth
Thundermother – Rock ‘n’ roll disaster

Paletta, Bre

Bre Paletta (musician)

Tori Amos: Unrepentant Geraldines
Nickel Creek: A Dotted Line
Snarky Puppy: We Like It Here
The Pierces: Creation
SZA: Z

Phillips, Michael

Mike Phillips (musician/PR Account Director, The Neo Com Group)

Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
U2 – Songs of Innocence
Vast – Making Evening and Night
David Bazan + Passenger String Quartet

Prudhon, Nate

Nate Prudhon (DJ, KEXP in Seattle Washington)

Beck – Morning Phase
Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
Helms Alee – Sleepwalking Sailors
Elbow – The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Swans – To Be Kind

Rat, Ira

Ira Rat (musician, Neon Lushell)

Thunder Bunny – Did You Mean To Look So Pretty?
Goldblums – Drug Window
Love L.U.V. – Come See Me
The Vahnevants – Bum Out
Brooks Strause – Acid Casual

Rice, Bob

Bob Rice (DJ, KYRS Thin Air Community Radio in Spokane, WA)

Rust On The Rails – November Sky
Gooding – We Are The Dark Stars
Leroy Miller – Temple
Peter Rivera – It Is What It Is
Will Phalen – The Dirt and Air and The Grass

Simmons, Jeff

Jeff Simmons (audio engineer, Portland Oregon)

Grouper – Ruins
Deerhoof – Paradise Girls
Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds
Shellac – Dude Incredible
Scott Walker & Sunn O))) – Soused

Sinha, Devin
Devin Sinha (musician)

First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
Damien Jurado – Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun
Alt-J – This is All Yours
Trampled By Turtles – Wild Animals
The Riverside – Getting Lost

Sleep

 Sleep (hip hop artist)
J Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour
Caskey – Black Sheep
Joe Budden – Some Love Lost
Royce da 5’9 – DJ Premier PRHYME

Smith, Adam

Adam Smith (musician)

Ty Segall – Manipulator
Mac Demarco – Salad Days
Spoon – They Want My Soul
Beck – Morning Phase
Ex Hex – Rips

Solimon, Sean

Sean Solimon (actor/filmmaker, Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage)
AC/DC – Rock or Bust
Ozzy Osbourne – Memoirs of a Madman
Andrea Bocelli – Opera: The Ultimate Collection
Young Gentleman’s Adventure Society – Adventure Party
Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour

 

Williams, Anna-Lynne

Anna-Lynne Williams (musician, Ormonde)

Damien Jurado – Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun
Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
David Bazan – Bazan Monthly Volume 1
Beck – Morning Phase
Eels – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett

Trainwreck’d Society’s Top 37 1/2 Albums of 2014 [Exclusive]

TW2014_copy

Original art by Ava Trembath, age 9

 

The years just seem to fly by a little too damn quick, don’t they?  Each December I find myself thinking, “Wow, it’s end of year list time already?”.  It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a single year can pass before I even realize it.  And it also never ceases to amaze me just how much great music I manage to get my greedy little hands on.  Some of the wonderful artists I have gotten to know over the years, if only digitally, have turned out to be some pretty amazing folks who I am honored to even just have a few “1’s” and “0’s” that make up a digital conversation with them.  And each and every year somebody the list just grows longer as I discover new amazing artists that make their way into the usual lineup here at Trainwreck’d Society (this year’s #1 and #2 spots are  prime examples!).

2014 was a great year for music (I know, I say that every year).  It was a brilliant blend of indie rock sensations, wonderful crafted hip hop lyricists, old favorites, revisited classics, and so much more.  As I mentioned in our Top 40 Songs of 2014, it would behoove me to disclaim that Trainwreck’d Society took a bit of detour (a “derailment” if you will) from the music scene, and steered harder towards the world of film.  While we always claim to be an “entertainment blog” to justify such madness, it’s no secret that we started mostly as a place to highlight some of the finest acts in independent music.  And although we managed to branch out into the “mainstream” more and more each year, the heart of Trainwreck’d Society will always be with the sweet children of mercy from the world of independent music.

So, with all that being said and done, let’s get to the list!  Thank you to all the fine reader(s) out there, and to the wonderful folks featured on this list that made our ears happy throughout 2014.  Enjoy!

 

37.5 Bodi - The Ratatat EP

37.5 Bodi – The Ratatat EP

37. Blue Skies For Black Hearts - Blue Skies For Black Hearts

37. Blue Skies For Black Hearts – Blue Skies For Black Hearts

The Valery Trails - Buffalo Speedway - Album Art

36. The Valery Trails – Buffalo Speedway

35. Weird Al Yankovic - Mandatory Fun

35. Weird Al Yankovic – Mandatory Fun

Columbia Records Leonard Cohen Popular Problems cover

34. Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems

33. The Evangenitals - Moby Dick (or, The Album)

33. The Evangenitals – Moby Dick (or, The Album)

32. Electric Needle Room - It's Getting Personal

32. Electric Needle Room – It’s Getting Personal

31. Safe Francis - Copper Gone

31. Sage Francis – Copper Gone

30. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams

30. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams

29. Brianne Kathleen - How the Rain Goes

29. Brianne Kathleen – How The Rain Goes

28. Atmosphere - Southsiders

28. Atmosphere – Southsiders

27. Cracker - Berkeley To Bakersfield

27. Cracker – Berkeley To Bakersfield

26. Rocket 3 - Burn

26. Rocket 3 – Burn

25. Spoon - They Want My Soul

25. Spoon – They Want My Soul

24. Drowners - Drowners

24. Drowners – Drowners

23. Toni Braxton & Babyface - Love, Marriage, & Divorce

23. Toni Braxton & Babyface – Love, Marriage, & Divorce

22. Wu-Tang Clan - A Better Tomorrow

22. Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow

Cassette Insert- 2 Panel seps

21. Childbirth – It’s A Girl

20. The Droge and Summers Blend - Volume Two

20. The Droge & Summers Blend – Volume Two

19. Kool Stuff Katie

19. Kool Stuff Katie – Kool Stuff Katie

18. Bike Thief - Stuck In A Dream

18. Bike Thief – Stuck In A Dream

17. Cowboy Mouth - Go

17. Cowboy Mouth – Go!

16. Infidelix - Nomadic

16. Infidelix – Nomadic

15. Simple Steven - Abandon All Anchors

15. Simple Steven – Abandon All Anchors

14. Sterile Jets - Liquor Store

14. Sterile Jets – Liquor Store

13. Beck - Morning Phase

13. Beck – Morning Phase

12. Pawns and Kings - Pomme de Terre

12. Pawns or Kings – Pomme De Terre

11. Andy B - Those Were the Days

11. Andy B – Those Were the Days

10. Sadistik - Ultraviolet

10. Sadistik – Ultraviolet

09. Ronnie Fauss - Built To Break

9. Ronnie Fauss – Built To Break

08. The Verve Pipe - Overboard

8. The Verve Pipe – Overboard

07. Cariad Harmon - Cariad Harmon

7. Cariad Harmon – Cariad Harmon

06. Grynch - Streetlights

6. Grynch – Street Lights

05. Tacocat - NVM

5. Tacocat – NVM

04. Ormonde - Cartographer:Explorer

4. Ormonde – Cartographer/Explorer

03. Robin Grey - More Than Today

3. Robin Grey – More Than Today

02. Violent Psalms - Slow To Speak

2. Violent Psalms – Slow To Speak

01. Sam Cregger - Tell Me Something Different

1. Sam Cregger – Tell Me Something Different


Trainwreck’d Society’s Top 40 Songs of 2014 [Exclusive]

2014Another year has come, and soon it shall be gone.  2014 was probably the least music heavy as far as material featured on the site, but we definitely had some of the best albums and acts featured right here in these digital pages.  And that is not to say that we weren’t listening to some really great stuff throughout the year as we worked tirelessly on interviewing more screenwriters rather than singer/songwriters.  Oh, we were listening.  With that, it might be a good time to apologize to all PR folks who might have thought they were being ignored, and suddenly a client shows up on this list without ever having been spotted on the site.  Apologies, but we were listening!  Same goes for the artists who made this list who have created the brilliant soundtrack to another wonderful year.

As per usual, lots of returning folks have made the cut once again, as it seems as though we have a fondness for some of the most hard working musicians in the business.  And while we may have set a personal record for most Top 40-esque artists in one of our lists, we still feel as though our heart is with the independent folks out there giving it all they got in a world of free streaming and mindless downloading.  Not to mention the fact that this was an amazing year for independent hip hop.  While our typical motif of showcasing sappy singer/songwriter material is definitely in place, 2014 was definitely a year for the lyricist.

Basically, as in all the years past, we have a great list of scattered, different, yet all brilliant, list of beautiful songs from some pretty amazing people.  And as always, this list is not all inclusive.  We just had to pick 40 out of hundreds to choose from, and this is what we came up with.  Enjoy!

 

Note: Artist and Song Titles that are highlighted will provide a link to any previous posts on our site featuring said artist. Enjoy!

 

40. Drowners - Well, People Will Talk

40. Drowners – Well, People Will Talk

39. Cracker - Almond Grove

39. Cracker – Almond Grove

38. Rocket 3 - Good Enough

38. Rocket 3 – Good Enough

37. Weird Al Yankovic - First World Problems

37. Weird Al Yankovic – Handy

36. Childbirth - I Only Fucked You As A Joke

36. Childbirth – I Only Fucked You As A Joke

35. Doumea - Do Ya (Neil Nathan Cover - Doumea Edit)

35. Doumea – Do Ya (Doumea Edit) (Neil Nathan Cover)

34. Bike Thief - Ghosts of Providence

34. Bike Thief – Ghosts of Providence

33. Brianne Kathleen - Paper Bag Dreams

33. Brianne Kathleen – Paper Bag Dreams

32. The Kneels - Love is a Splendored Thing

32. The Kneels – Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (cover)

31. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - U Get Me High

31. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – U Get Me High

30. Atmosphere - I Don't Need No Fancy Shit

30. Atmosphere – I Don’t Need No Fancy Shit

29. The Belle Sounds - The Siren

29. The Belle Sounds – The Siren

28. Sterile Jets - Olly Olly Oxen Free

28. Sterile Jets – Olly Olly Oxen Free

27. Eminem - Right For Me

27. Eminem – Right For Me

26. The Droge & Summers Band - It's Hard For You

26. The Droge & Summers Blend – It’s Hard For You

25. Sleep - Question 2

25. Sleep – Question 2

24. Scotty Stormborn & SixO (feat. Cas One) - The Jokes On Who?

24. Scatty Stormborn & SixO (feat. Cas One) – The Jokes on Who?

23. Cowboy Mouth - My Little Secret

23. Cowboy Mouth – My Little Secret

22. Kool Stuff Katie - Cars

22. Kool Stuff Katie – Cars

21. Spoon - Inside Out

21. Spoon – Inside Out

20. Ryan Adams - Feels Like Fire

20. Ryan Adams – Feels Like Fire

19. Simple Steven (feat. Sadistik) - Consuming Me

19. Simple Steven (feat. Sadistik) – Consuming Me

18. Pawns or Kings - Late Have I Loved

18. Pawns or Kings – Late Have I Loved

17. Beck - Country Down

17. Beck – Country Down

16. Babyface & Toni Braxton - Reunited

16. Babyface & Toni Braxton – Reunited

15. The Verve Pipe - I Want To Bury You

15. The Verve Pipe – I Want To Bury You

14. Cariad harmon - Wicked Town

14. Cariad Harmon – Wicked Town

13. Infidelix (feat. Funzo & Leiko) - Better Days

13. Infidelix (feat. Funzo & Leiko) – Better Days

12. Anja McCloskey & Dan Whitehouse - Stille, Totonstille

12. Anja McCloskey & Dan Whitehouse – Stille, Totonstille

11. Loch Lomond - Some Kids
11. Loch Lomond – Some Kids

10. Grynch (feat. Kokane) - On A Good One

10. Grynch (feat. Kokane) – On A Good One

09. Ronnie Fauss - I Can't Make You Happy

9. Ronnie Fauss – I Can’t Make You Happy

08. Sadistik (feat. Lotte Kestner & Eyedea) - Chemical Burns

8. Sadistik (feat. Lotte Kestner & Eyedea) – Chemical Burns

07. Andy B - Difficult Girl

7. Andy B – Difficult Girl

06. Ormonde - Collapse

6. Ormonde – Collapse

05. Bodi - One

5. Bodi – One

04. Robin Grey - More Than Today

4. Robin Grey – More Than Today

03. Violent Psalms

3. Violent Psalms – Sleeping Pills

02. Tacocat - Pocket Full of Primrose

2. Tacocat – Pocket Full of Primrose

01. Sam Cregger - Doubts

1. Sam Cregger – Doubts

Rebecca Husain [Interview]

RebeccaHusainWell, the year is coming to a close.  And a year is about the time we have been waiting to hear from the wonderful young actress/screenwriter we are so happy to be able to have featured here at Trainwreck’d Society today!  And trust me, we’d wait until the end of time to get a few words out of this talented individual.

Rebecca Husain has been making some wonderful waves over the years as an actress, animation voice over genius, and screenwriter.  It was definitely her work as a voice actor on the brilliant animated Hulu Original Series Mother Up, created by the great Eva Longoria, that caught my attention first hand.  But, after looking a bit into the stellar career she has had, and that she obviously will have, I became even more intrigued.  Besides her brilliant work as an actress, Husain has recently been hard at work penning the film adaptation of Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Hummingbird’s Daughter which has recently had Antonio Banderas attached as a star.  Rebecca will also be putting her acting chops to work in the stage production of Noel Coward’s play “Private Lives”.

And we are so happy that she has come around to share a few words with us here.  So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present one the wonderful Rebecca Husain!  Enjoy!

 

When did you know for absolute certain that you wanted to work in the world of film, both in front and behind the camera?

I found my first job when I was ten. A Hollywood movie was coming to town and they ran a tiny ad in the newspaper with stars around it screaming- WANTED: VOLUNTEER MOVIE EXTRAS!

I cut it out and carried it around in my pocket for days. On the day of filming, my mom woke me up at dawn and I remember trying to convince her that I didn’t need to wear a coat. (I lost.) We drove downtown and I saw huge movie lights being pushed down the street. After we signed in, we were given a ticket for a boxed lunch and that ticket made me feel very professional. We spent all day cheering as a float carrying Santa rolled down the street, reversed, rolled down the street again. There were thousands of people in the crowd but I cheered like the close-up was on me.

Filmmaking was something I always gravitated towards and my parents were very supportive. My mother put me in theatre school, chaperoned when I worked as an extra, sewed gold sequins on my green swimming costume… On weekends my dad and I would sit at the kitchen table writing scripts.

Now that you have worked in various different settings in the world of film & television, what is it that keeps you working and yearning for more? What gets you excited about this world?

The quiet creation that takes place when you are alone and working on a role or writing a script; and the colorful collaboration that follows while on location in some faraway land.

What I love about working on set (or on stage) is that for a pocket of time an entire world springs to life –spinning with passion and high stakes– and then just as suddenly as it appeared, it disappears when the lights are flicked off.

The same is true for screenwriting. On a good day I’ll sit down at my desk and within minutes I’ll be galloping across the desert off on some wild adventure with my heroine or crawling through a flea-infested garrison eavesdropping on injustice and strategic cruelty.

Working in animation can be equally thrilling. If you really engage your imagination you can walk out of the studio feeling like YES! I CAN fly and slay dragons and make new friends and stop wars and rescue the prince and recover from scurvy while dancing on stilts and…

Mother Up!
How did you land the gig voicing Eva Longoria’s character’s daughter Apple on the Hulu Original Series Mother Up?

The producers had been searching for an actress for months. When I saw the casting call for the role of Apple it was headlined with – URGENT! Although I’d never done any voice work, I had this odd feeling that the role was mine. I ran to a studio and the sound engineer recorded my audition on his break. I sent it off and put it out of my mind. Two days later show runner and head writer Greg Lawrence called me with direction and asked me to record a second audition. The following day I was put on “hold” and a few weeks later I got the part.

Some of the content on Mother Up is downright hilariously foul, in all the right ways. It really is just hilarious. What is it that draws you to work for a show like this?

Working with Eva Longoria and the rest of the cast is unbelievably fun. I’m in a sound studio with all these hip actors but then someone will open their mouth and a cranky centenarian will float out!

In addition to Apple, I also play Fergus, Megan, Agnes and Nurse Higgins. In animation you can take the jokes a lot further and the writing team have created devilishly dysfunctional characters. One week Apple is hit in the head by lightning and reawakens as a five-year old prophet leading her deranged neighborhood to salvation; and the next week her mom sprays her food with performance enhancing drugs that leave her sprouting pimples, a moustache and flinging classmates around at recess.

The Hummingbird's DaughterWhat’s striking about this series is that it centers around a fierce but flawed female character. Rudi Wilson is a clever high-powered Manhattan record executive who suddenly finds herself plonked in middle-of-nowhere suburbia as a stay-at-home mom. She’s not equipped to nurture and this severely unhinged town intends to take her down. Although her heart is not always in the right place, it’s generally in the right vicinity and you can’t help but root for her.

Can you tell us about your script adaptation of the award-winning book The Hummingbird’s Daughter? What made you want to pursue this adaptation?

Director Luis Mandoki sent me the book. We’d been looking for a project to write together and this was it. I read the first page of Luis Alberto Urrea’s masterpiece and just couldn’t put it down. I read straight through the night and all the next day. The Hummingbird’s Daughter is based on the life of Teresita Urrea, the Mexican Joan of Arc and Saint of Cabora.

Set in the 1880’s against a burning desert backdrop ripe with violence, the story centers around the extraordinary bond between a wealthy cattle rancher Tomás Urrea (Antonio Banderas) and his illegitimate daughter Teresita; a resilient little girl born with the power to heal others with her hands.

There’s a really lovely scene where she tiptoes into his magnificent house (leaving a trail of muddy little footprints across his plush white carpet) and meets her father for the very first time. They don’t quite know what to make of each other and yet there is an instant connection between this spiritual little six-year-old and this outspoken liberalist. Years later, when the people of Mexico are rising in revolution against their iron-fisted dictator and crying out Teresita’s name, Tomás sacrifices everything in an attempt to save her life.  Our script is gritty, a little Peckinpah I’ve been told, but with all the heart, humor and fury found in the book.

UBCPACTRA AWARDSWhat else does the future hold for Rebecca Husain? Any other new projects in the works?

Right now I’m in rehearsals for Noel Coward’s play Private Lives.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I’m listening to a live performance of Elvis singing “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” How can you not smile?

Neil Brown Jr. [Interview]

Brown Jr, NFor anyone who can remember the 90’s, everyone probably remembers it a the era a bit different.  And it has been a sort of unofficial goal here at Trainwreck’d Society to try and showcase as many different aspects about the 90’s entertainment world as possible.  From Nickelodeon child stars to 90’s alternative pop superstars, we’ve interviewed some pretty stellar folks.  And while we have dabbled in the world of 90’s hip hop, we haven’t seem to strike gold on a really beautiful showcase.  Until now.  Not only did we procure the chance to ask a few questions from the man who will be portraying the legendary DJ Yella of N.W.A. fame in the upcoming biopic about N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton, we actually managed to realize that that very man is none other than the illustriously talented actor and martial arts expert Neil Brown jr.

Brown has been around the acting world for quite some time, and has done some wonderful work, including a brilliant guest spots on hit television shows like Suits and The Walking Dead, and appearing in films like Fast and Furious and Battle Los Angeles.  He is a highly skilled actor who has everything going for him.  And while some may see his role as Yella in the upcoming biopic as a “break out” sort of role, we would definitely disagree.  We’d call it just another fine performance by a wonderful and worthwhile actor to take note on.

And with that being said, we are very happy to have had the chance to has Neil a few questions about his career, Straight Outta Compton, and what the future holds for this immensely talented individual.  Enjoy!

How did you find yourself in the world of acting, and what is it that keeps you going?

When I was a kid I won a few youth championships in Karate and Kickboxing. A casting Director and producer from universal studios came to my dojo to check me out for a new martial arts TV show called WMAC masters. They auditioned me, saw that I had a natural talent for acting, and I have been doing it ever since. I was 14 and caught the acting “bug”, I knew this was what I was meant to do. My wife, children, love of the art of acting and a thirst for learning is what keeps me going.

What sort of preperation have you been taking/did take to prepare yourself to perform the role as the legendary DJ Yella in the upcoming NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton?

I searched all the videos, interview’s, pictures, and songs that I could find of NWA. I spent time with the real Antoine “Yella” Carraby, asked as many questions as I could think of. I studied all of his moves, his voice, his past and present experiences. I immersed myself in the time period that they came up in, and what their music meant to the world and to themselves. It was a beautiful experience. I pray we did them justice.

NeilBrownJr2What drew you to the role of performing DJ Yella?

I grew up listening to NWA, for me to be a part of the film in any capacity was a dream come true. It didn’t take too much convincing for me at all. I jumped at the opportunity, I just wanted to do it right, and I knew having Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Tomica, F. Gary Gray as well as all of the surviving members of NWA involved would get us there.

Another project I noticed you have in production is a comedy titled Rivers 9, which sounds like a very clever take on the Oceans series. Can you tell us a bit about this project? Who will you be performing as?

That movie is just a whole lot of foolishness and fun. I play Virgil Dobbs, a tough guy who knows how to get stuff done. It is in fact a funny take on Oceans Eleven. We had a great cast and crew! Chris W. Freeman brought me on because we worked together on Battle:Los Angeles and I knew he would make a fun movie. I had always been a fan of Vinnie Jones, C. Thomas Howell, Ed O’Ross, Elizabeth Rohm; the entire cast really, and I just knew Jamie Kennedy and I could make people laugh. The project looks awesome, and I just hope the people who watch it have as much fun as we had making it.

Now that you have done everything from racing street cars, to fighting aliens, killing zombies, or being just plain silly in films, what would you say is your favorite genre to work in? 

I’m partial to a gripping drama, but I think any good film should take you through an entire sea of emotions. It should make you laugh, cry, be afraid, be happy, keep you in suspense, and have a great pay off in the end because thats life and I am a huge fan of that. What I do not like is being put into a box for the sake of sales, I like to move people…honestly.

If you could portray any famous character in American history, who would it be?

That’s a great question…….It would have to be Prince. I would love to do his life story. He was and is a musical genius, such an interesting man who effected so many people through his music, his heart, his energy. The boundaries he pushed or rather erased, the careers he started, the boxes they tried to put him in that he effectively destroyed. Love that man for that. It would be a daunting task but I think I could pull it off. Very passionate about that one!

NeilBrownJrWhat else does the future hold for you? Any other projects in the works you can tell us about?

I’ve been really blessed to have a good bit of projects in the can. River’s 9, Bad Blood, San Patricios, as well as a passion project called Cold: Choices which is about the immensely hard choices our heroes in the military have to make each day that the public have no idea about, just so we can feel safe. I’m a lucky guy, I have the privilege to play pretend for a living, and hopefully make people feel something.

When you look back on your career as an actor thus far, what would you say is your favorite aspect of the business thus far, and what are you most proud of yourself as an actor for?

Just like a fight or car accident, five different people may see those events five different ways. I love that people will watch my work and each person gets something different from it. I enjoy affecting people, and hope I can continue to do that, and get better at it through growth and experience. That is my favorite aspect as well as what I am most proud of.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My wife’s smile.

Elaine Miles [Interview]

5 elaine milesIf you have been paying attention to TWS lately, you may have noticed that the classic television show Northern Exposure has been coming up quite a bit lately (see our interviews with producer Michael Fresco and actor Darren Burrows from October).  I have recently found myself engaged in revisiting the show in its entirety on DVD, and I am absolutely astounded at how wonderful of a show it truly is.  Growing up, I can remember the show being on, but showed a vague interest as it was for “grown ups”.  But, I always knew as I got older that this might just be a show I could learn to love and truly appreciate.  With such an array of strange yet lovable characters, it’s pretty hard not to love.

And one of the characters that we simply can not deny as being one of the most important during its time was Marilyn Whirlwind.  She was the strong, calm, and utterly adorable Native woman who at times acted as the very glue that kept that Woody Allen-like witted Joel Fleischmen in check.  She was the one who had the power to say so much, sometimes without saying anything at all!  Each time she graces the screen, I can’t help but smirk and know that something great is about to happen.

And how was the actress behind this wonderful character?  Well it was none other than one of the happiest accidents in the world of film and television, the lovely Elaine Miles.  Happy accident because the story behind her landing the role as Ms. Whirlwind is one that movies are often made of.  With no acting experience under her belt, Elaine managed to strike the attention of the show’s producers….when she wasn’t even auditioning.  Miles was simply dropping her mother off at an audition in Seattle for the very same role, a character originally intended to be much older.  The producers saw something in her, and took her in.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Elaine went on to work in several more great films, including the classic All-Native American fronted Smoke Signals, and many more before taking a brief hiatus from the acting world.  But, she has never really been out of site.  She moved into the world of stand up comedy, public speaking, and more.  And she has moved back into the acting world as well, and we should all be so damn grateful for that.  So ladies and gentlemen, here are just a few words with one of the greatest television actresses the world has ever know, the lovely Elaine Miles.

Elaine Miles2When I look back on Northern Exposure, which was once the greatest television comedy in history (in my opinion, which is correct by the way), there is no more iconic figure I can think of than Marilyn Whirlwind. You were definitely to the rock in the chaos that ensued in Cicely. So, if you could tell us, what was your experience like during the filming of this beautiful series?

It was scary at first. Being brand new & green to the industry! But as time went on, working with so many people. They taught me the ropes…so to say, LOL. I was told I was the one in a million with the natural ability to act. So I was the needle in the haystack, LOL. As time went on it wasn’t so stressful and it became fun. Meeting so many different actors & actresses was amazing! Doing something I never in my whole life thought I would do…work on screen! :-) That part of my life I will treasure; those crazy long hours of shooting…late nights…early morning…ungodly hot…below freezing! Windy days…wet days! But we did it thanks to cast n crew of Northern Exposure…I am honored I had that opportunity to work on such a successful television show. One we didn’t think would run as long as it did!

Your pair up with Rob Morrow on the show was obviously one with a hidden affection, in a family sort of way, that was absolutely endearing to say the least. What do you believe it was that made your work with Rob more than just a boss and employee relationship? Did you both have a plan of action in making your scenes together so perfect?

I think Rob & the producer’s had an idea of what they wanted. The original Marilyn was supposed to be older…motherly type native woman. But when I went in they liked the feisty side of me…I’m the complete opposite of the character Marilyn. I have no patiences…I talk a lot…LOL. The chemistry of Marilyn & Dr. Fleischman was written for us and it all came together with Rob Morrow and I. He is a wonderful actor…taught me so much in the 5 years we worked together! We had some good laughs with some of our scenes. Was hard to keep a straight face at times! We also worked great as a team…got our scenes done quickly! :-)

During the 6 season run of Northern Exposure, did you feel a sort of weight on your shoulders or the burden of responsibility of representing Native American women across the country? 

Yes, I did feel a great weight on my shoulders…representing Native people in general…later it became more about Native Women. It was tough at first. I had to deal with Alaskan Natives who didn’t like it because I wasn’t Alaskan Native. Some people wrote in saying I looked too Asian or Hispanic. But I am an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribe of the Umatilla Reservation. Meaning 3 tribes…Cayuse, Umatilla & Walla Walla. I am Cayuse from my mother & Nez Perce from my father side. So I am full blood native. Also some people didn’t like the talent show scene where I wore my own traditional dress and danced. Something Alaskan Natives were not pleased with! So it was tough at first. But the Native people lightened up after a few years, LOL.

2 elaine milesYour role in the iconic indie gem of a film, Smoke Signals, is also one I absolutely adore. And with that, I have always wanted to ask you something….Where you actually driving that car backwards during the shoot? How exactly did that work out?

Smoke Signals :-) lol yes, I did end up driving the car backwards myself. The stunt driver was too tall…couldn’t fit the hat I wore…so Sherman [director] asked me if I could do my own driving? I said OK let’s try it…so early the next morning the stunt man worked with me to drive backwards, 3 hours before shoot time. That was fun, bahahaha, I did it…I made dust even…it was the funnest thing I ever did in a movie! LOL, Another part I was honored to do and be a part of…the first written…directed…produced…main characters all Native movie! Made history with that movie for sure :-)

I understand you have are an accomplished stand up comedian? How did you find yourself moving into this line of work in addition to acting?

Yes…people who really know the real me know’s how crazy I can be! One time I was dared to do open Mike at a bar. So I did it was scared as hell because it was non Native audience but I did it n they laughed. Once I get on a roll there’s no stopping me lol its fun doing it but tough for women to get bookings. But that’s ok…now we have a lot more talented crazy comedians out there that are breaking through just fine :-) my fav is Tanya Jo Hall OMG if you have a chance to see her go…one crazy Native woman! lol

When you look back on your career thus far, what do you believe is your greatest accomplishment as an actress, stand up comedian, and more?

My greatest accomplishment was being a Native woman on a weekly television show as a regular cast member. I was told I was the most recognizable Native Woman being seen weekly on an international television series. To this day I can walk in a store n some people still get all star struck after 19 years of being off the air.

If you could portray any little know Native American figure in history, who would it be?

I think I would like to portray my great grandmother. She was one of a few survivor’s that made it to Canada during the Nez Perce war. She was pregnant with my grandfather n gave birth to him in Canada. When I was little my Grandpa use to tease us n say we were Canadian too! lol they lived up there not quite a year then were sent back to what is now Lapwai Idaho. I would be honored to play such a warrior woman for sure!

7 elaine milesSo, what does the near future hold for you? Anything in the works you would like to tell our readers about?

I hope to get back into acting. I purdy much gave up my career when my mother was alive to care for her 24/7. She had colon cancer. She passed away 7 years ago this February 2015. I’ve done 2 movies in that 7 years. 1 short video. So I’m hoping to get back into the industry. I am working on getting my S.A.G. card back…finding an agent…get my foot back in the door so to say. Crossing fingers it all goes as planned. Wish me luck lol

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The last thing that made me smile…my step daughter’s little girl getting 3rd place out of 9 pee wee barrels…3rd over all pee wee’s…my little cowgirl :-) she comes from horse people Comanche & Mescalero Apache! :-)

David Schmoeller [Interview]

David SchmoellerHello Everyone!  Happy Halloween, and welcome to Day 5 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Week of Horror!  It has been a great few days bringing you fine readers some great interview from some of the finest folks involved in the world of horror.  And while it might not be fair to say that we saved “the best for last”, as that would obviously not be fair to the fine folks we have already featured – but we are very excited about this one!

David Schmoeller is that sort of guy that fascinates us the most.  When you look at so many horror franchises out there, it is always great to speak with the originator!  Just as we did last year with our interview with Friday the 13th creator Victor Miller, we have another great interview with a man that has left his mark in the world of horror in a major way.  Schmoeller is the man who originally made us shit ourselves over…puppets?  Yes, this delightful jerk of a man managed to take something as simple and cute as puppets, and scare the hell out of us.  Dolls were already ruined thanks to fellow TWS interviewee Tom Thurman (Child’s Play), clowns are a no go (another TWS interview Tommy Lee Wallace and his film adaptation of Stephen King’s It), and…..well, basically nothing is sacred from the mind of the masters of horror.  If you couldn’t guess by now or didn’t already know, David Schmoeller is the man we can hold responsible for 1989’s Puppet Master (but, thankfully for him, not the ridiculous sequels that would be released).  He is also the man responsible for the now cult favorite 1979 film Tourist Trap, a film that any REAL horror buff should know and love.

So with that being said, we are so pleased to have Mr. Schmoeller as the special guest to round of this year’s Week of Horror.  We are fortunate, honored, and extremely lucky to have this wonderful fellow share a few words with us.  So, here we go!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a filmmaker? And what were some of your earliest influences?

I came fairly late to filmmaking. I became a writer at around 15 years old. I went to college with the intention of writing novels. Mid-way through college, I met some friends who were in film – and it just sounded like more fun. So, I started taking film classes and was hooked. I took a class on Italian Cinema and it completely changed how I looked at film. It was transformative.

Tourist TrapLike many other filmmakers we have spoken with (Rolfe Kanefsky, in particular), the Internet and new, easier mediums of film viewing have managed to allow some amazing films to finally receive the credit, at least in a “cult status”, that they always deserved. I definitely believe your 1979 film Tourist Trap is one of these films. Do you think the internet coming around is a good change for cinema? Have you noticed the difference?

The Internet is a good and a VERY bad thing for filmmakers. On the good side, there are many new places for your work to be seen. But the fact that internet, by it’s nature, leads users to expect everything on the internet be free of charge, this will eventually end film as we know it. Piracy will destroy film, at least as we understand it now. And, unfortunately, commerce is figuring out how to impose themselves on the Internet in very ugly ways: ads that you have to watch to get to content you want. It’s becoming alarmingly pervasive. So, I really DON’T think the Internet is going to be good for filmmakers – not filmmakers who want to make a living at making films. YouTube is a good place to load your films to be seen instantly, but you can’t make any money that way. And now YouTube is being totally invaded by stupid ads – and as yet, there is no way to see that desired content without seeing that stupid ad. I suppose filmmakers will figure out how to get some of that ad revenue – but I’m pretty cynical about it.

What do you believe it is about your 1989 film Puppetmaster that has made it a relevant addition to the other franchises in place (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, etc.)?

I don’t think Puppetmaster became a franchise in the same way that Halloween or Nightmare or Chainsaw became franchises. Those films were big theatrical hits – and even bigger on video. Puppermaster was a hit on Video only. So, it just was not as big a hit as some of those other successful franchises. And I’m not sure that it merited 9 sequels – but, I’m sure they all made money for Mr. Band. As to why Puppetmaster was appealing, it has to be those stupid puppets coming to life and running around killing people. Leach Woman coughing-up a giant leach to chew up a man thinking he is about to have great sex is pretty funny.

In past interviews, you have mentioned that producer Charles Band has sort of screwed you out of residuals for the Puppetmaster franchise that has spawned 9 more films. Has a resolution been made on this matter, yet?

No, not at all. I am just one person on a long list of people who Charlie has screwed out of the money he owes them. As long as I was working for Charlie and he needed my services, I would get paid. Once I stopped working for him, I would never get what he owed me. For a while there, in the eighties and nineties, I would have to do another film to get paid for the last one. I liked working for Charlie because he would let the directors make their movies and he didn’t meddle as long as you delivered good films. He didn’t pay much and it was hard to collect what you were owed, but it was so much fun making movies during those days. I wasn’t a filmmaker for the money.

Puppet MasterAnd with or without those factors in mind, what is your opinion of the films that followed your original 1989 film?

I’ve never seen any of the sequels.

In your obviously expert opinion, what do you think it is that makes a “great” horror film, as opposed to “just another” horror film?

A: It helps to have a really great monster (Michael, Freddy, the shark in Jaws, Frankenstein, Annabelle, stupid puppets, etc.). It also helps if your subject touches something in the Zeitgeist of the time or just strikes the imagination of the public (Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist, and even something like Saw). Sometimes if it is an especially well-made horror film top-notch in all categories – writing, directing, acting, etc – it can be a great horror film (Silence of the Lambs, Prisoners).

Currently you can be found in the UNLV Film Department. How did you come across this gig? How has it been for you thus far?

I’ve been a university professor for the last 14 years at UNLV here in Las Vegas. I was very lucky to get the job – a professor in film was given a better offer just a week before school started and they needed someone to teach directing at a very short notice. I was living in LA at the time and commuted to Las Vegas for a year. They then offered me a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor and I took it. Best thing that has ever happened to me!

What are your plans for this Halloween?

This year Halloween falls on Nevada Day – which is a state holiday – so, I am going to stay home and work on my new screenplay “Dead Angels.” I hope it’s the next movie I direct. (see davidschmoeller.com)

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Jim Carrey on SNL doing the funniest spoof of the Matthew McConaughey Lincoln Car commercials. (I like McConaughey as an actor – but what was he thinking, really?)

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