Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.41.55 AM

Is Your EP As Cool As Robin Hall? We Think Not.

We’ve been out of our minds from the minute we got wind of Northern Lights EP Robin Hall’s previous incarnation as front man for Jack Ruby, yes, Jack Ruby. Monday night – when we got to see him scream himself hoarse – was just perfect. Danny Gregory captures it all beautifully right here

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 12.09.05 PM

Check it out when you have a sec…

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 1.02.31 PM

Ben Orisich Dives In The Deep End For Speedo

Congrats to our friend director/designer Ben Orisich on this fantastic new piece for Speedo. Go Ben!

Ad Age

Orisich Speedo

Orisich Speedo

and how about that fine Lustre color correct and Flame work via Northern Lights’ Chris Hengeveld

More from Ad Age HERE

More on Ben HERE
Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 12.39.40 PM

Jack Ruby - Vinyl

Our own punk rocker Robin Hall inspires Jagger + Scorsese for VINYL on HBO

Robin Hall - Jack Ruby - Vinyl

Turns out that our very own Northern Lights EP Robin Hall was a punk rocker back in the day! And a very influential one at that with his proto-punk band JACK RUBY. Their raw experimental sound influenced a number of the big punk and alternative bands to come out of the 70’s NYC music scene – though they never released any music commercially themselves. A recent re-discovery by Thurston Moore and others led to a release of their music and in turn led to their songs being used in HBO’s new show VINYL, which premiered Sunday Feb 14th. Interesting story below from Pitchfork about how it all transpired.

 

Pitchfork

How “Vinyl” and Lee Ranaldo Turned a Lost ’70s Act Into TV’s Next Great Fictional Band

by Marc Masters

In the premiere episode of “Vinyl,” the new HBO series created by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, record label owner Richie Fenestra (played by Bobby Cannavale) sits on his couch, wired on coke and cigarettes, shaking his head to a song blasting from his stereo. The tune is “Bored Stiff” by a band called the Nasty Bits, whom Fenestra decides his company, American Century Records, absolutely must sign.

The Nasty Bits didn’t actually exist in the 1970s New York music scene that “Vinyl” depicts, but “Bored Stiff” did. It was originally written by one of those great bands that almost got lost to history, the proto-punk outfit Jack Ruby. The quartet existed sporadically for only a few years in the mid-’70s and never released any music commercially. But in 2011, Weasel Walter’s ugEXPLODE label released a CD of their 1974 demos; three years later, the small labels Saint Cecilia and Feeding Tube followed suit, releasing the same material from higher-quality tapes, along with more recently-discovered music.

Those releases caught the ear of “Vinyl” music supervisor Randall Poster, who heard the show’s fictional band in them. “There’s a punk rock foundation embedded in Jack Ruby’s music, before punk existed,” says Poster, whose lengthy resume includes The Royal Tenenbaums, Boyhood, and Carol. “Their music is stripped of all classic rock artifice, and it puts forward the root of something that would evolve from there. It works for Kip Stevens [the singer of Nasty Bits], who is having a moment of crisis trying to connect to what brought him to rock and roll in the first place.”

Jack Ruby’s music is indeed a fascinating hybrid of underground sounds, made at a time when mainstream rock was becoming a cartoon and punk was just around the corner. Their songs were clearly influenced by the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, with singer Robin Hall’s snarl echoing Iggy Pop, as well as Richard Hell. But their tunes also include layers of noise generated by atonal guitars and electronics. Hall recalls bandmate Randy Cohen, who went on to write for “Late Night With David Letterman” and the New York Times, filtering stock sound effects through his Serge synthesizer, which was “the size of a coffin.” The results foreshadow the unruly strain of post-punk known as No Wave. (One incarnation of Jack Ruby even included bassist George Scott, who later played in No Wave mainstays Contortions and 8-Eyed Spy.)

According to Hall, being both catchy and chaotic wasn’t seen as a paradox in the downtown New York scene in 1973. “Everybody was doing something different, and it was very generous in the boundaries,” he recalls. “There was nothing that wasn’t allowed.” So as much as the Nasty Bits scoff at their label’s attempts to smooth their sound in “Vinyl,” Jack Ruby could dream of success while also refusing to bend. “We wanted to be popular, not underground,” Hall says. “But we were also committed to noise, and there was no thought of compromising. We assumed no one was going to get us, even as at the same time as we thought we would have hit singles.”

Judging by the music that survived, Jack Ruby’s Top 40 fantasies were not such a stretch. All four tunes that show up over the course of the show’s initial 10-episode run—”Bored Stiff,” “Hit and Run,” and “Bad Teeth,” plus Jack Ruby’s take on the Four Seasons’ “Beggar’s Parade”—are swinging and infectious, like punk before punk existed. It’s easy to hear why these songs could have impressed a label seeking fresh sounds; even 40 years later, Jack Ruby have a bracing immediacy.

To replicate that immediacy, Poster turned to one of his rock’n’roll heroes: Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo. He tasked Ranaldo with recording the songs of Jack Ruby and other bands depicted in “Vinyl” for its soundtrack, and in turn, Ranaldo called on an array of current musicians to help. “Randy likes the idea of bringing a lot of people into the game,” says Ranaldo, who previously worked with Poster on Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan bio-fantasy I’m Not Here. “All the different people we’ve had—tons of musicians coming in and out—have made it exciting.”

Ranaldo, whose ex-bandmate has also notably praised Jack Ruby, put together a band with bassist James McNew (of Yo La Tengo), drummer Steve Shelley (also of Sonic Youth), and guitarists Alan Licht and Don Fleming. When you watch the Nasty Bits raging away in a scene, you’re actually hearing Ranaldo’s band backing up singer James Jagger (yes, Mick’s son), who portrays Bits frontman Kip Stevens. Of course, Ranaldo and company are out of the age range of the show’s fictional group of disheveled twenty-somethings, so Poster and his colleague Meghan Currier hired some actual musicians to play Jagger’s backing band: Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils.

“We’re basically accessories to the [Kip Stevens] story,” says Beach Fossils founder Dustin Payseur. “He’s the singer in this proto-punk band, and we’re his weirdo, fucked-up bandmates.” None of the members of Beach Fossils had ever acted before, but at the beginning their tasks were pretty simple. “For the most part, [the directors] just said, ‘Play like you’re losing your mind,'” says Payseur. “And I said, ‘I know how to do that.’” “One of the assistant directors told me, ‘I don’t even care if you’re playing the part—just run around stage, fall down and act insane,” adds guitarist Tommy Davidson.

James Jagger as Kip Stevens in “Vinyl”. (Niko Tavernise/HBO)

As episodes progressed, Beach Fossils were given lines to perform, which all members say went surprisingly smoothly. But they really got into the whole experience when they were simply pretending to perform in front of crowds decked out in ’70s garb. “The scenes where we’re playing onstage with the crowd reacting to us—it’s easy to feed off that energy, because it feels real when you have a hundred people screaming at you,” says Payseur. “It makes you feel like you’re totally immersed in [that time] when you’re shooting [one scene] for 12 hours,” adds guitarist Jack Doyle Smith.

In other “Vinyl” scenes, real bands from the time period are played by actors, with Ranaldo’s supergroup of sorts also providing the music. For one flashback scene—set in 1968 at legendary St. Mark’s nightclub the Dom—Julian Casablancas joined Ranaldo’s group to sing the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” and “Run Run Run.” For another, they reworked Alice Cooper’s “I Love the Dead” with Andrew W.K. on vocals.

Scenes featuring more obscure artists required mixing and matching. “We needed to record something for a scene with Joey Ramone’s first band, Sniper,” recalls Ranaldo. “But there’s not one bit of music you can hear by them—there’s not even one picture of the band you can find.” So Ranaldo chose songs from a similar group of the same era, the Magic Tramps (led by Eric Emerson, best known for his acting in Andy Warhol’s films). He recorded those tunes with Yo La Tengo, alongside Jesse Malin singing as Joey Ramone.

Ranaldo’s stable of collaborators widened even further when creating music for the end credits of individual episodes. Guests included Iggy Pop, X’s John Doe, the Kills’ Alison Mosshart, and Charli XCX, who Ranaldo says “did a Stooges song and totally fucking killed it.” “That’s the fun part,” says Poster of all this partnering. “There are a lot of people involved who we’ve all worked with before and know. Somebody like Ira Kaplan, he’s an incredible musical resource. I’ve always cited Yo La Tengo’s [partial covers album] Fakebook as a great inspiration for me in finding material.”

Ranaldo and Fleming also served as on-set consultants, making sure the concert scenes looked and felt accurate. “It was pretty amazing to watch,” says Ranaldo. “They would do a club show with 150 extras wearing what people coveted from vintage stores 25 years ago. The Velvet Underground scene was supposed to be the Warhol crowd, so there were people in bouffant hairdos and gold lamé mini-dresses.”

But Ranaldo seems particularly thrilled to have helped rekindle the music of Jack Ruby. “I think they were straddling this period musically,” he says. “All of their recorded stuff was super raw, and you can feel this nascent energy rising up, which makes it valuable as a historical document. Jack Ruby led to some great stuff that happened even if they didn’t get there themselves.”

This recent interest in Jack Ruby, after decades in obscurity, must feel redemptive to the band’s only surviving members, Robin Hall and Randy Cohen. For his part, Hall admits that “Vinyl” has provided a thrill that his teenage self couldn’t have imagined. “I was a 15-year-old kid in New Hampshire when some girl said to me, ‘You look like Mick Jagger,’ and that made me want to be a rock’n’roll star,” he says with a chuckle. “It’s amazing that 40 years later, Mick Jagger’s son is singing my band’s songs.”

Bodega Xifaxan

Bodega/Northern Lights played in the Big Game with Xifaxan

Bodega Xifaxan

Big Game congrats to our folks at NYC one-stop shop BODEGA on their 3rd quarter Superbowl spot for Xifaxan! The interwebs are aflame and the Twitter-verse is atwitter… Bodega handled the live action with Northern Lights’ Glenn Conte cutting + Chris Hengeveld coloring and SuperExploder’s Jody Nazzaro mixing.

 

P.S., The ad worked

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.49.44 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.49.24 AM

Cop Show

Northern Lights Editor Glenn Conte Cuts Up Colin Quinn’s COP SHOW

Season 2 of Colin Quinn’s hilarious web series silliness COP SHOW dropped this week on Lexus’ content channel L Studio. Our favorite cut-up Glenn Conte at Northern Lights edited last year’s debut season and all 8 episodes of Season 2.

Check out Episode 1 featuring 2016 Oscar host Chris Rock experiencing Colin’s acting skills during a death scene:

CS_PILOT_IMAGE_3

Northern Lights editor Glenn Conte cuts down Cop Show for cutup Colin Quinn

CS_PILOT_IMAGE_3

Our very own Glenn Conte, editor at Northern Lights Edit is cutting all the episodes of comedian Colin Quinn’s new satirical web series, COP SHOW. Great review from the NY Times follows and you can click the image below to watch the premiere episode. Congrats Glenn!

CS_PILOT_IMAGE_8

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 4.01.54 PM
Review: ‘Cop Show,’ Colin Quinn’s Police Procedural Satire
By MIKE HALE
Feb. 17, 2015

The comedian Colin Quinn is a cunning self-deprecator: He makes fun of his own middling level of fame with an aggressive edge that suggests that he really ought to be bigger by now. On Twitter, he draws attention by encouraging his haters, retweeting their most imaginative insults. (Recent sample: “My girlfriend and I are going to play the CQ game. Every time you come on screen, we drink arsenic.”)

His new eight-episode online series, the ragged, amiable and occasionally quite funny “Cop Show,” fits this pattern. It’s billed as a satire of police procedurals like “Law & Order,” but it’s really a double-edged satire of Mr. Quinn’s pretensions and desires. Playing himself as the creator, writer and star of a cut-rate, amateurish detective drama, he’s clueless, affected and obsessed with righting the wrongs done to him during his career. It’s a funny and fairly merciless self-portrait, but hey, “Cop Show” is, indeed, his show. No one else is getting the last laugh.

The show debuts Wednesday, with new episodes of five to six minutes each appearing weekly on the Lexus-sponsored video site L/Studio. It is a mock making-of documentary. We see the unspeakably bad show-within-a-show, which features Mr. Quinn, Sue Jean Kim and Keith Robinson as detectives, and we see behind-the-scenes interviews and outtakes filmed by a reporter for a snooty-sounding French publication, played with an amusingly exaggerated accent by Elsa Carette. Encountering Jerry Seinfeld on the set, wincing as he observes the proceedings, she cautiously asks, “Your name ees on zees?”

Mr. Seinfeld’s name isn’t on the series, but he showed up for Episode 1, and a number of other comedians drop by to help Mr. Quinn: Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan (doing a surprisingly convincing Congolese warlord), Jim Norton, Pat Cooper. In one amusing bit, Michael Che — currently a “Weekend Update” anchor, a role Mr. Quinn filled before his unceremonious off-season exit from “Saturday Night Live” — shows up to play a detective who has the Quinn character’s old job.

“All people do is talk about how great you were,” Mr. Che says, reading his Quinn-written dialogue. “It feels like I’m following your shadow.” Mr. Quinn, with his contradictory blend of smugness and wounded pride, replies: “Well, I was just doing my job, fella. And I left of my own accord, I wasn’t forced out. Over the summer.”

Produced by MEGA Films. Created and written by Colin Quinn; directed and produced by J. D. Amato; Morris S. Levy, Brian Stern, Mr. Quinn, Lisa Eisenpresser and Caitlin McGinty, executive producers.

WITH: Colin Quinn (Colin), Keith Robinson (Joe), Sue Jean Kim (Grace), Peter Grosz (Kyle) and Griffin Newman (Jake).

Here’s SHOOT’s coverage:

NY-based Northern Lights editor Glenn Conte dives into the raw world of police dramas in the new satirical web series, “Cop Show,” created by SNL alum and comedian Colin Quinn. Conte edited the 8 episode series that recently debuted on L/Studio, which also hosts Lisa Kudrow’s web series “Web Therapy.” The show is a behind the scenes look into the production of a crime drama and features an A-list lineup of guest stars, including Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Che, Peter Grosz and Griffin Newman. The series was created and written by Quinn, is directed by J.D. Amato (“The Chris Gethard Show”) and is executive produced by Morris S. Levy of MEGA Films and Brian Stern (Comedy Central’s “Big Time in Hollywood, FL”).

Click HERE to view “Cop Show” Episode 1 “The Dream.” Episode 2 stars Amy Schumer in “Hipster Drug Gang.”

Having previously worked with Levy on the comedy feature A Novel Romance, Conte was eager to collaborate again for this web series, which is Conte’s first. He notes, “It was great working with such a high caliber of talent. Colin knew exactly what he wanted and it was exciting to work with him to push the comedy to the next level and really help shape the show from the beginning stage.”

Adds Quinn, “Cop Show is a labor of love. That’s why nobody made over a hundred dollars.”

“When you’re making a web series about a documentary about a fake television show about fake cops, things can get out of hand very quickly,” Amato comments. “You need production and post-production to be extremely efficient or the whole thing falls apart. The team working on ‘Cop Show’ went above and beyond to make sure we got the best out of our material.”