Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lil Wish/Hurricane Eye

We're happy to announce that Empty Streets will feature the musical talents of two more awesome musicians. The Chicago-based rapper Lil Wish and Hurricane Eye from the East Coast.

Lil Wish
stage presence, lyrical style, energy and crowd control. Imagine creating a performer with a mixure of Jay Z, Twista, P-Diddy, and Busta Rhymes. Now rap all that up in one package then you will have Lil Wish. Coming from the West side of Chicago. Lil Wish has a dazzling live performance that is guaranteed to make any crowd rock. Concert promoters call Lil Wish the best kept secret in the music industry. But to the ladies he is simply Wish. Wish has a style that mixes hip hop and Juke Music (a Chicago style of music) that will send any club up. At a young age Lil Wish took on family responsibilities after his mom suffered a mild stroke. Lil Wish started entering and winning local talent shows. Since then Wish has became the the Midwest most talked about artist/entertainer.

HurricaneEye formed in 1992 as a four piece Rap-Metal band based out of Beverly, Mass., pioneering a truly fierce sound. In 1994, HurricaneEye forged a relationship with the sport of kick-boxing and eventually composed the anthem to the sport titled: "Rage Zone". During the early 90s, HurricaneEye performed live at kick-boxing shows throughout Canada until they disbanded in 1996. Tim Long, the founder of HurricaneEye, forged ahead with the name and began to compose electronic music for the next several years, and in 2000, inked a deal with MTV's "Making The Video." At that time, HurricaneEye transformed into a publishing company and produced music for MTV, Comcast, and Spike.

— Sources: HurricaneEye, Lil Wish, cdbaby.com

Righteous Movement

Sacramento's own Righteous Movement consist of five Hip-Hop musicians that gradually crossed paths, forming together as a group to collectively pursue their mission to make great music. They have a kick-ass track titled "what's a man" that we use in one of the pivotal scenes.

Musically and personally, the group defines chemistry, with each member possessing not only his own style, but swagger as well, each tactfully able of defying any predetermined image of what hip-hop is perceived to be these days, visually or sonically. In pursuit of celebrating life's trials and tribulations through music, these four emcees and one DJ paint their stories in poetic Technicolor. Righteous Movement satisfies more than just fans of good Hip-Hop, but connoisseurs of great music, with their balance of party jams, introspective verses and addictive beats.

Righteous Movement has shared the stage with many nationally and locally acclaimed artists including, but not limited to: The Pharcyde, KRS-ONE, Tajai from Hieroglyphics, Zion I, DJ Craze, Crown City Rockers, JuJu, DJ Hive and more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

St. Louis

author: Paul Booth
Empty Streets will be screening in St. Louis next month at the Veterans for Peace National Convention. Our film was invited by the Iraq Veterans Against the War.

This is quite an honor. The organizers have asked Ely to take part in a panel discussion about homeless veterans. He and I will also be traveling to Memphis that weekend to finalize a few tracks for the score.

I'm looking forward to the convention. On the last day, Sunday, Aug. 19, there will be a peace march to the Gateway Arch, with veterans from all over the country from all wars. Ely and I have dreamed about being part of a peace event. It's why all of us made Empty Streets. Thanks to everyone!

Monday, July 16, 2007

I Want You!

UPDATE — July 16, 2007, 10:45 p.m.
Third time's the charm?
For the second time in as many weeks I've discovered someone has removed the "check out the blog" flier I put up in the apartment building's laundry room. They left the thumbtack, though. I'm going to put up another little sign. Maybe this time I'll cut it into the shape of the United States (the 48 contiguous states, anyway). Again, I have to wonder: Who is taking down the flier, and why?

June 29, 2007, 6:25 p.m.
We recently put up posters advertising our blog in the laundry room of my apartment complex. "Check out our blog," the signs said. "True story of a Marine's return home."

All kinds of fliers are tacked up on the laundry rooms' walls — people selling furniture, people looking for business clients, upcoming events around town, memos from management. Anyone can put one up, as long as they're not hateful or discriminatory in nature.

Soon after putting up the signs, they disappeared. Incidentally, they were replaced with business cards. Not just any business cards. These were the business cards of a U.S. Army recruiter. I presume he lives on property.

Raise your right hand if you think an Army recruiter took down our posters and put up his cards.

Why would he do such a thing? Is it because he doesn't want people to know that America's sons and daughters come back with just a bit more than that advertised sense of pride and responsibility? Did he really need that prime wall space?

Is it unfair to assume a recruiter took down a flier promoting a not-so-happy veterans tale?

For argument's sake, let's say it was someone uninvolved with the military who disposed of our fliers. Why would a civilian do that? Is it because they agree with war? Do they agree with the way the United States treats combat veterans and their families? Do they wish they were a soldier but, for whatever reason, didn't sign up? (Well, it's not too late to enlist. Last I heard, all branches of the armed services are in need of warm bodies.)

This film and blog are moving people to action. This is a special moment.

Correction: At the present time in the world, the USAF does not have a recruiting quota.

First Review

About a week ago, we sent advance screeners to several media outlets including newspapers and blogs, and film industry professionals. We wanted to get input on our (nearing) final version. It's basically complete, though in need of some minor tweaking here and there. On Sunday, July 15, Empty Streets was reviewed by Jay from the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute's blog.

From the review: "Empty Streets strongly evokes the psychological costs We The People pay for the military aggression commanded by our leaders."

We're very grateful for this review!

Read the full piece here:
Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hawaii Reel Stories July 26-August 2

Hawaii Reel Stories is airing a segment on Empty Streets. Check out the schedule. The show is on OC16!

Tuesday, July 31st — 10 p.m.
Wednesday, August 1 — 4 a.m., 4 p.m.
Thursday, August 2 — 9:30 a.m.

Hawaii's Reel Stories logo

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Soundtrack

author: Paul Booth
I'm very happy to announce the involvement of the Sacramento based rap group Righteous Movement. Myself and a fellow producer of Empty Streets saw these guys play a few weeks back and they really brought a special voice to what they do. Their music will be featured in one of the key scenes.

The scene takes place in a liquor store and gives the audience a sense of where our veteran is mentally. We use Righteous Movement as source music, meaning it's supposed to be playing on a radio in the liquor store. The music then leads us into the score part of the scene.

We found them very last minute. It was like a sign. I'd practically given up on finding some great hip-hop and was convinced to attend the local music even they were competing in. I heard one song and knew I wanted their sound, their spirit and the vibes they put out.

As a filmmaker, I always dreamed about making a movie with a cool soundtrack, with music that matched my emotions, vision and images. In this case it we're all on the same page and in sync. Thanks to the music. It always gives back to those who love it. This band has enhanced Empty Streets.