The latest & Greatest - And an interview with the LA filmmaker for Cold War Kids' & Irving's music videos

Cambridge will be on Fire tonight:

Let's see what's on tap for this weekend. Tonight Cassavettes (and here) are playing in Boston at The Middle East Club (in Central Square, Cambridge to be precise) and releasing their new album. It should be good times.

Right around the corner - still in Central Square in Central Square.... At TT the Bears is the annual X-Mas Rock N' Roll Odyssey. This event is Boston's premier roots/rockabilly Christmas celebration. The absolute biggest Rockabilly, Swing, Country- and Blues-Influenced Rock Event of the Year. I swear.

the Stumbleweeds - Boston homegrown
... And coincidentally friends of mine!

Try these bands on for size: Johnny Carlevale and his All-Stars , Stumbleweeds , Raging Teens and The Alrighters.
Johnny Carlevale

Oh yeah - then add live (ahem!) entertainment from Thru the Keyhole Burlesque and Dee Dee Desire (burlesque) and what you have is a really special night on the town. This ought to be a night to remember!

    RSL is up for 2006 Music Weblog of the Year!

    Balloting is underway now and only continues through the 15th. You can vote once each day. If you like what you see, please vote. Also, please check out the other candidates (there are only 10!) - they are all great and worthy of your attention.

Vote Here.


I am trying to do some holiday shopping at the mall, but I keep making my way over to Newbury Comics. This inevitably results in me buying myself CDS of the indie, classic rock, rockabilly and punk variety. Then I feel guilty and find the need to go to Friday's to watch the beginning of a football game or soccer game over some hot wings and a Newcastle. It is the that I realize I really should not be falling into this familiar trap and spending so much money without achieving much on my list. I decide to leave until such time I can better handle my holiday shopping list.

I get in my car, pop in the latest CD of choice and enjoy the whimsical musings of say Devotchka, Swan Lake, or some old Pixies or Talking Heads album I had never previously owned. I head off into the young night. Things seem to be alright. There will be another day to get things done.



I have a record breaker series post (where I talk about an important album that you have heard and probably own, but I focus on some understated songs) coming up. I will try to get this to you by Sunday. There's a lot going on, but once I get a bug in my head - that's it; so you will see it and sooner rather than later.

There will be another Indieland News coming up. This is a series that focuses on current stories in indie and popular rock, but offers a little more insight than what you might find elsewhere. I also like digging - so you might just hear about something here first. It's like having your own music-related search engine. The plan was to do these once a month, but I give them to you more often as the events warrant. Check the sidebar for recent entries. This next one should be really good.


This is a repost of an interview which first appeared on this page in September. Since the majority of you weren't reading this page at that time, I thought it would make sense to resurrect it for you today.

The following is an interview the LA filmmaker responsible for new videos for some of Indie Rock's hottest bands.... Cold War Kids, Irving and the Shins!

Meet Josh Forbes,
Los Angeles filmmaker.

Josh directs music videos for independent music artists.
He is one-half of the force behind the Winch and Pulley production Co.
Without further ado ~ this is his work:

Ryan's Smashing Life: Wow. That's a tremendous video! How did you get involved with the Cold War Kids?

Josh Forbes: Thanks. I went to college for a couple years with Matt Maust (the bassist and graphic design guru for the band). We were never really friends, and to be honest he kind of scared me. He was super punk rock.
MM: CWK Bassist, Graphic Artist, Intimidator.
Carl Ernst photo for the Cold War Kids webpage

JF: I was friends with Matt's older brother Dave, who's in the band Havalina ( link ), and I had Dave star in the first video I directed for the band Thee Spivies ( link ). At some point along the way I got to know Matt and started bugging him to do some design stuff for me, back when his design company was called Cold War Kids. When the band started up, I started bugging him to let me do a video for him... Basically the best things in my life started with me bugging someone.

RSL: Haha - Josh, that's great. I can see what you mean. Matt is certainly intense. He's probably my favorite Cold War Kid. Very talented. Tell me about the conversation; the "bugging" as you called it. Specifically - How did you convince the band to do the video?

JF: Basically whenever I meet someone who's in a band that I like, I ask them if I can do a video. Most of the time they smile and say"yeahhhh" and then you never hear from them again. I hired Matt to do some design stuff for Winch and Pulley (dot) com and I asked him about a video and he said sure. The only down side was that they had no money, but we worked around that. You usually can.

RSL: Now that you've told us about your involvement with CWK, how about Irving, how did you meet them? I like their music but don’t know much about them, Where are they from?

JF: They're a Silverlake band. Again, it all comes back to bugging. I was doing a write up on them and had emailed them for a CD. It's one of the perks of being a music journalist, as I'm sure you know! Alex, their bass player wrote me back and we sort of hit it off. I asked if they wanted a video, he said yes and we went from there. I've always wantedto do an After Effect-sy animated video with my friends Max Miceli( ), and PJ ( ). Everybody pitched in and I'm really happy with the result. So was the band. I guess it's been on MTV2, Fuse and even in Nordstroms, which was pretty wild.
RSL: Cool. I know that song! I really dig that. How did you get into doing this? Being a filmmaker for music videos?

JF: I love music. I've written about music for over a decade, and recently was a Contributing Editor at Flavorpill (link). I have alot of contacts at different labels and it's sort of grown from there. Plus you're able to do cool stuff that other people pay for. Winch+Pulley is essentially myself and my producer Jeff Edwards. We've worked together for over 10 years. We wrote a couple scripts, one about magicians the other about midgets.

RSL: Did you go to school for film? Or study film in college?

JF: I started in film, but my school's program sucked so I studied theatre for 2 years. I left that school and after I did my time in a handful of community colleges, I ended up home at the University of Colorado.Their film school was an old abandoned Air Force base.

RSL: What are you new projects?

JF: Just wrapped a Barenaked Ladies video. Have a video for a new band called Acute that's really great (link). I'm flying out to Seattle to do a video with Damien Jurado. So a lot of stuff. Hopefully more stuff with the Cold War Kids.

RSL: Based on what I have seen, I hope so too. What video project are you the most proud of?

JSF: I'm really happy about my video for the Submarines - video

RSL: What services can you and Winch and Pulley offer small independent bands? Perhaps my page and maybe this video will help steer some bands your way.

JF: It all depends on the budget and the band. A band like the Cold War Kids is so rough and rugged that a video like our works. I once was asked to make a low budget video for a Vietnamese Pop Star and I had to pass because they wanted Britney Spears-glossy.

RSL: Thanks for visiting with me Josh. We will be watching. Best of luck.

(to see the Shins video)

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