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Trailer watch: Where’s My Roy Cohn?

Nothing matters but absolute power

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What’s our affinity for controversial people? We have always had a fascination with people of unscrupulous influence and power, and the latest documentary from Sony Pictures Classic continues that. You may not have heard of the name Roy Cohn but he was directly connected to some of the most controversial and influential people of the last half-century, including the man who is currently the world’s most powerful.

Cohn was an American lawyer who was Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel, assisting McCarthy during the McCarthy investigations. He was also a noted political fixer as well as being the personal lawyer and mentor to one Donald J. Trump. That’s quite a resume.

Where’s My Roy Cohn? is a documentary detailing the history and influence of Roy Cohn and is a “thriller-like expose [that] connects the dots, revealing how a deeply troubled master manipulator shaped our current America“.

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer (Studio 54, the documentary, not the film starring Mike Myers), the documentary is set for limited release in the United States September 20th.

The trailer closes with the summation that “according to Roy, Roy was responsible for everything important that happened in the United States”. He’s probably not wrong.

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Patternist talks “I Don’t Feel Real” video and new album

“I’m like salaciously popping grapes into the mouth of this horrifying sex doll”

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Indie pop artist Patternist is overcoming some of the apprehension that comes with being a performer the hard way: by going all out in his performances on stage, on record, and most recently, in music videos. Patternist is musician Gabe Mouer, who over the course of his relatively new career has crafted himself amongst the best in up and coming young artists. His spry synthesizer hued indie is evoking memories of noted artists like The Postal Service and Owl City, growing in stature and recognition over the course of his two recent EPs, 2015’s Youth Is Fading and the follow-up, 2016’s Give It Up.

Fresh from signing with InVogue Records, Patternist recently went and shot the music video for the track “I Don’t Feel Real”, a personal song about overcoming a songwriter’s crisis of identity. We talked to Gabe about the video, how shooting the over-the-top scenes went, his recent signing to InVogue, and what we can expect from his upcoming new LP due in September.

I enjoyed the video- it looked like fun- was the shoot a long day?

Mouer: Thank you so much! I was initially worried I wasn’t gonna be able to do this concept justice, so I’m really relieved that the response has been positive overall. The shoot was actually surprisingly quick, we had blocked out nearly nine hours for filming and I think by the time we wrapped we were barely over 5? Something like that. That all comes down to the direction and support of Anneliese and Aaron, they were so fantastic about communicating what they wanted for each shot while at the same time fostering such a supportive and encouraging atmosphere, it really helped in pushing me out of my comfort zone. 

Who are Aaron and Anneliese? They directed the video? How did you guys connect?

Mouer: We came across Aaron and Anneliese after checking out the work they did for the band Armors, who are friends of ours we had toured with previously. It’s rare to find genuinely funny and novel music videos, and after seeing just how much those videos oozed personality and humor, we were like “We have to work with these guys.” I’m thankful they were kind enough to acquiesce, haha. Aaron shoots and directs while Anneliese produces and oversees the art direction, but Anneliese also had a heavy hand in the direction as well. They’re a dynamic duo. 

You’ve talked about being an introvert, and that the concept of the video was a little daunting at first- but after filming, having fun, and seeing the end result- has that changed your approach to videos? Will we see more wild videos in the future?

Mouer: That’s my sincere hope. I mean, it was terrifying to be sure, there were moments where people would walk by and stop and stare, sometimes with their kids, as I’m like salaciously popping grapes into the mouth of this horrifying sex doll. But it’s all in service of the art [laughs]. With the admittedly downer nature of the record, the goal is to contrast its more dismal thematic outlook with a lighthearted approach to our videos. 

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How different do you find making music videos like that to say performing live?

Mouer: Personally, I’ve always had fairly bad stage fright. I’ll feel initially sick to my stomach before going out, I worry about what people will think. But, if you want to be a songwriter and you’re, like me, too egotistical to let other people touch your material, you have to bury debilitating thoughts and just go for it. It’s the exact same process for this video. Can I act? Can I dance? Probably not but who gives a shit. They share the same mental priming, “Well, what the hell else am I gonna do?”

It’s a very personal song- and you’ve said that it’s about overcoming a songwriter identity crisis of sorts. How do you feel about the finished song?

Mouer: I’m the last person to ask about the finished product because my MO is to vacillate wildly between delusions of grandeur and utter self-loathing [laughs]. I don’t know that I can feign any sort of objectivity. I think the track is not so much about my identity crisis as much as it’s documenting a period of hopelessness (channelled into this story about a person who finds themselves committed after a breakdown) that just happened to coincide with my feeling aimless in my artistic pursuits. I think I’ve done about the best I could do at the time in communicating those feelings in a hopefully interesting and engaging way. Then again, I still have people ask me what the song is about so maybe not [laughs]. 

You’ve said the song was your first step towards narrative songwriting. Have you found this writing process to be more natural or is it still a work in progress?

Mouer: Oh it’s always a work in progress for sure! But it’s taken me longer than it should have to realize what kind of songwriter I want to be, what my perspective is. I worried less about how Patternist fits into the Indie Pop zeitgeist and focused on trying to make the kind of record I wanted to hear, whether or not it’s what the people want is still up for debate. Also, having a higher track count and run time to play with helped divorce me from having to write a series of singles and allowed me to play around more. 

You recently signed to InVogue Records and are releasing your new LP in September. What can we expect from the new record? Have you adopted the same songwriting approach as you did to “I Don’t’ Feel Real” to the songs on the album?

Mouer: I’ve taken to describing the LP as “melodramatic guitar pop.” It’s a collection of short stories that explore various ways we isolate ourselves from the world around us, backdropped by a series of verb’d-out, emo inspired guitar riffs. It’s still a Patternist record, if such a thing can be said, but with more of a “rock band” approach mixed in with the usual bedroom pop sensibilities. From a lyrical standpoint as well as a melodic one, “I Don’t Feel Real” sets a precedent the rest of the record follows. Hopefully that adds up to something people can connect with.

The new Patternist album, I Don’t Know What I’m Doing Here, is due out September 6th on InVogue Records.

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LA punks The Paranoyds talk “Carnage Bargain” video

“We’re living in the dystopian future”

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Los Angeles-based punk band The Paranoyds are anything but conventional. The foursome are on the cusp of releasing their debut album Carnage Bargain this coming September and have been making a lot of noise. Musically, they’ve got elements of proto, indie, and early punk- but have forgone conventional genre sensibilities to meld the best of punk’s frenzied urgency with the artful tones of indie rock’s most captivating sounds.

Fresh from the release of their latest music video for the title track, we spoke to bassist and vocalist Lexi Funston of the band to talk their sound, their music video aesthetic, and how today’s manic society has influenced their music.

I love the video’s aesthetics- where did the concept of the video come from? 

Funston: Staz has this digital camera that was probably top-of-the-line in 2007 or something. It takes classic “Myspace” type photos and really grainy, but nice, videos. We wanted it to feel like a video we would have made in high school.

How was the shoot? Where did you guys shoot the video? 

Funston: Everything was filmed during our most recent summer tour. There were some long drives, so when it felt right or if we needed a break from being in the van, we would pull over and film some stuff on the side of the road. America has a lot of beautiful landscapes. 

It continues on the creative, unconventional videos you’ve done- “Girlfriend Degree” and “Hungry Sam” previously. Were there music videos or films that have influenced your visual style? 

Funston: Our past two music videos were definitely influenced by like D-horror films, John Waters, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and things along those lines; we love being camp and over-exaggerating things. But this one was different for us–we just wanted to do something that was like a fun, summer sing-along. 

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You worked with drummer David Ruiz and Max Flick on the video- what were some of the reasons you felt they were the best choice for the video? 

Funston: David always had a vision for the scene whenever we would pull over to film something. He’s very patient and has a good eye. And we worked with Max on our previous video, “Girlfriend Degree”–he’s so good at what he does it’s crazy. He came to our rehearsal space and filmed us a few times and then took all the footage we took on the road and was able to turn it into a goofy, energetic video. Both David and Max definitely got across who The Paranoyds are.

So while the video is quite fun- the song itself is about something a lot of more serious (people higher up wanting to get all this evil work done at a wholesale price) right? Do you explore a lot of these themes on the new album? 

Funston: Lately, we’ve been writing more about contemporary events (it’s hard not to). We have songs about being an empowered woman, the ills of social media, cyber-stalking, etc… but we also have songs about having to do laundry on a hot day and wanting to be a bear to hibernate during winter. 

Was the idea for the video being a little less serious something you wanted to do and were there other ideas you thought about doing? 

Funston: Despite the lyrical content, the song itself is upbeat and we always imagined filming something that was more on the light-hearted side. 

The Paranoyds new album, Carnage Bargain, is set for release September 13th on Suicide Squeeze.

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