Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Scenes and noise from the Chinese underground. HELP US RELEASE IT!

The World Underground : CHINA from GONZO CHICAGO on Vimeo.

I'll try and keep this short.  The World Underground is a global idea, starting with China, Montana, and Chicago.  A new web series capturing moments in time from underground music scenes around the world.  To be released online, for donation only, free to all if you so choose.  I'll release all sound recordings with band permission.  Begin an ever-evolving archive of video and sound from across the globe.  Put up links to who books shows.  Local bands in each city to contact.  Local scene supporters.  Connect the global community.  Build bridges, and keep going, everywhere I can.  I have the next 5 in the works.
3 months ago you sent me to China to kick this series off.  Try and grab a moment in time.  I'm happy to say I did just that.  It went better than expected.  With proper polish, it will be excellent.  As a mostly inexperienced one man crew, it could not have gone any better.  I also learned that this idea is more important than I thought.  I filmed 47 bands.  Went to 7 cities.  Jumped on tour with the most one of the most seminal rock and roll bands in China.  I listened to the hope, frustration, and embedded my own excitement.

What We Need : 

Wait, didn't you include editing costs in your original fundraiser?  Yes.  However, I did not expect to go so far over budget.  WAY over budget.  Thousands of dollars.  I am fighting towards being back on my feet, financially.  I cannot sit on this footage.  Nobody wants to be that guy who gets you stoked and you don't see the result for 2 years.
Why did we go over budget?  You can chalk some of it up to inexperience, and tackling this by myself.  The first leap into the deep end is always the hardest.  I had never done an international shoot before.  I put too much into the perks.  Travel costs were more than I thought.  My computer stopped working, and I had to fix it in China to be able to keep filming.  A hard drive took a flying leap off a table and went into the garbage.  Luckily, I brought 2 backup systems.  Considering what could have happened, I actually consider this a huge success. 
I learned a lot from round one, in every regard.  I will continue to apply this knowledge.
This film will not come out soon if this fundraiser does not succeed.  I don't want to sit on this footage.  The footage and sound is amazing, and it deserves proper nurturing.  This is something I currently do not have the skills to do by myself.  Not to the level this footage deserves.  If it succeeds I hope to have the first episode up by MAY of 2014.  In the interim, I will finish Missoula, Montana, and prepare it for release.  While that happens, I will finish Chicago, and keep going.
$2,000 : Post production.   Nathan Christ of Echotone is editing the project.  I am excited to have him on board for this series.  His editing fee is $200 / day.  We expect the editing process to take around 45 days.  Nathan is taking this on at a discounted rate because he believes in this project.
$400 : Animation and Translation.  Jenna Caravello of Dikarya will be dong some short animations for the film.  I have a few translators on board.  They are all taking this on well under their normal rate to get this done.
$500 : Indiegogo and Paypal fees.  Perk fulfillment on the record packs.  

The Impact

Huge, and having dropped into foreign territory and done this, I know it's even more important than I had ever thought.  The excitement for this project in China was immense.  The excitement criss-crossing between scenes I already know is immense.  Connecting people has been my passion for years now.  Building bridges between communities.  Introducing new sounds on a global scale.  Helping connect touring networks and local bands.  Things change so fast, and the "music industry" itself is growing and changing rapidly as we speak.  I feel it's important to catalogue these moments in time.  Music has no boundary, and no language barrier.  


$5 : Thank you and shout out on all social media.  In the film.  On the website, forever.
$10 : A LIVE recording and photo set from the best punk band I saw in China.  They're called DIDERS.  Young, fierce, and spectacular.  They play Deadboys and Jet Boy covers.  I saw them three times, and filmed a practice.  They made me drink a whole glass of Jaegermeister and then licked my face.  Recommended.  (files will be e-mailed)
$30 : FIVE LIVE recordings from across China, including HEDGEHOG, DIDERS, Casino Demon.  Punk.  Noise.  Mind-melting rock.  A few heart breaking tracks from the amazing Skip Skip Ben Ben.  There are some surprises in this one.  HIGHLY recommended.  I only ask that you keep them your secret, or listen with friends, until the film is out. (files will be e-mailed)
$50 : TAPE AND VINYL RECORD PACK from artists across the globe.  ULTIMATELY recommended.  I did these last time and people enjoyed them.  This run includes even more global.  Trust me, you should consider this. 
The labels : 
China's MAYBE MARS : One of the main engines to China's independent scene, they have released seminal records from almost every Chinese rock band to date.  P.K.14, Hedgehog, Skip Skip Ben Ben, Chui Wan.  The list is endless.  You really need to hear this.
Australia's TENZENMEN : A scene supporter after my own heart, Sean Tenzenmen has been helping build bridges between Australia, China, and all over, releasing amazing sounds along the way.  From Australia's CRUX and DEAD, to China's CARSICK CARS and BIRDSTRIKING, we're excited to connect with him.
Chicago's CAPTCHA RECORDS : Releasing bombastic cuts from the likes of TY SEGALL, RUNNING, and THEE OH SEES, Captcha has been bringing you the good noise for a long time.
Missoula, Montana's AL HADID : Rashid Abdel Ghafur started a label years ago, wanting to chronicle his relationships with SRI LANKA and beyond.  He releases noise and black metal tapes and CD's from around the world.
Chicago / Asia's GARY RECORDS : Building bridges between Asia and Chicago, they've helped release international splits with acts from Taiwan, Chicago, China, and beyond.  Exciting.
Records and tapes from individual artists from Missoula, Montana, Chicago, California, and beyond.
$4,000 :  Any punk rock philanthropist's out there : Seeing something you think deserves coverage, and have some money to burn?  We will shoot an episode of The World Underground in a city of your choosing.  All inclusive, anywhere in the world.
International orders please add $10 to help offset extra shipping.

Other Ways You Can Help

Share this project.  Tell your friends.  If you are reading this from a foreign country where something is happening, e-mail me.  I will keep note.  Since launching this project I have started conversations with many different countries.  I will keep going with this project as long as I am physically able to hold up a camera.  I hope to grow it and eventually be able to bring a small crew with me.  Being a one-man crew had its shortcomings and benefits, but it would be nice to have a second person, especially when I trek to more dangerous countries.
This project will take a long time to come out if this fundraiser does not succeed.  I do not want to sit on this footage.  You don't want me to sit on this footage.  I want to put this out, get everything out there, and finish filming Montana and Chicago.  Keep going with this.  I've never believed in a project more in my entire life.  Regardless of the outcome of this, I will not stop.  I wrote quite a bit about my travels.  You can view more photos and words HERE.  Thank you for your continued time and support.  It means the world.  Let's do this.
Reach out : hotmetaldobermans at gmail dot com.  - JY