Ryan Parker started at the very beginning of 2014 as Chart Attack's video intern. By May he was our full-time video producer, graphic designer and the head of our video team. By the end of 2015 he'll own the company. But this year was his rite of passage, and the videos were his gateway. So we let Ryan out from behind the camera for a day to share some of his favourite video moments of the year. Consider it his Bar Mitzvah.
Ryan Parker: You never know what you're going to get when you meet Mac DeMarco. The loveable 24-year-old is just as confused as anyone else at how he has hordes of girls chasing after him. Lucky for me and unlucky for the teen girls, one of my favourite moments from this year was when Mac, on camera, licked his lips and hit on me.
From a cinematography perspective, this solo sitar Noisemakers session with Elephant Stone is my favourite video that I've shot for Chart with my camera twin Jacob Morris and our director Jordan Darville. I don't mean to pat ourselves on the back, but we did a fine job. This also makes the list because it brings me back to a time not so long ago when I could go outside in a t-shirt. I'm currently pressing my face up against a window and crying.
I'm a huge fan of Perfume Genius. I've watched and read countless interviews with him and listened to his albums non-stop for the past five years, so I was super excited to get the chance to sit down and talk with him. Every interview I've seen with Mike Hadreas is, how do I say this... not the most uplifting. I set out with a goal to change that. What Mike said after the interview sums it up accurately: "Everyone's always like, 'why are you so sad and depressed?' It was fun to be a little more goofy." But he recognized the appeal of his persona: "You'll have to Photoshop some tears running down my face and a pink triangle on my forehead," he joked.
From a strictly music standpoint, this Noisemakers we shot with Dilly Dally was my favourite. I have listened to both "Candy Mountain" and "Green" upwards of 25 times, plus I have watched each video closer to 50 times. This shoot was by far the most interesting of the year. Aside from on three separate occasions when a representative of a neighbouring business stormed inside and told us to be quiet, the owner of the location actually kicked us out briefly for, let's say, creative differences. While the crew and band stood there confused, I put on my Mr. Charming hat and got ourselves "one last chance." The videos live to tell the tale.
“That was the most worried/pissed I’ve been at a shoot all year,” says the other member of our video team, Jacob Morris.
This year's Polaris Music Prize was the first one that I've attended. Comedian Nick Flanagan and I set out to the Carlu in Toronto where we stood on a "red carpet" for hours waiting for bands to roll through. The best moment came from (surprise) Mac DeMarco when he ranted about kale. The second best moment happened when Mac said he went with his band the night before to "pick out some fucked up outfits to wear on stage." Me, being very confident that this "fucked up outfit" was in fact his amazingly ridiculous camo overalls, did a big tilt down/up to show everyone this outfit. Mac then sarcastically told me "this I already had, but yes, thank you for that." I'm such an embarrassment.
Since Ryan Parker spent most of the year behind the camera, Editor-in-Chief Richard Trapunski shares some more tidbits from Chart Attack's live events and video shoots.
Richard Trapunski: This year, we made a concerted effort to occasionally get up from behind our computer screens and get out into the real world. In May, that brought us to the Revue Cinema in Toronto for a trio of live psychedelic soundtracks to real footage of humankind and our relationship to outer space. Of the three original scores, my favourite was the above creation by unsung hero engineer Marcel Ramagnano, whose electronic pulsing was the perfect accompaniment to the can't-believe-it's-real footage of Saturn and its moons. Fresh Snow and Absolutely Free also produced incredibly original work that you should definitely check out if you haven't yet.
For our Noisemakers series, we aim to capture great bands in interesting, off-the-beaten-path locations. But Absolutely Free keep beating us at our own game! So we tagged along to, yes, their event, a record release party at Toronto's Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre pool. While listeners (including me) bobbed around and played camp games, the band played an appropriately floaty set of electronic psych. It was one of the most unique shows I saw all year (and one I now realize I forgot to vote for for best of 2014). Stay tuned in early 2015 for another one-of-a-kind Chart/Absolutely Free video set.
Chart Attack <3 Sonic Boom & DIANA
Before they moved out of Honest Ed's and into their new location on Spadina, Sonic Boom was our home for events this year. We holed up there for Record Store Day and NXNE with stacked bills of local talent, and got it all on video. It also led to us joking that DIANA are our house band. Aside from this RSD Brian Eno cover above, we also caught the Toronto slow-burners at Wavelength Festival, for a 2013 Noisemakers, and, for good measure, Carmen Elle's other band Army Girls at NXNE. I think they might also be playing in a corner of our office right now.
The Green Out with Jef Barbara and Each Other
As mentioned above, 2014 was the year our old video producer Dan Busheikin rode off into the night. Even if he only ever produced these two green screen videos in our home Channel Zero studio he would have left one hell of a legacy. Good night, sweet prince.