Tag Archives: xox

Wild Yard Sale This Week Plus …Would You Like to Share an Apartment with a Co-Founder?

soundslikewoodstockThe Underground Multiplex moves from its current location, the Brain Kitchen, on Saturday!  History was made there as we’ve met with wonderful people, hosted jazz concerts, held interviews with TV news and radio stations, entertained partygoers with music and movies, and developed our philosophy of collectivism in art and art promotion.

The Brain Kitchen was a special place, but always a physically limited space, so we are off to plant roots in a new home TBD soon.

In the meantime, there are artifacts we will be selling in a wild and funky yard sale Wednesday 5/28 and Friday 5/30 from 3pm-8pm at our grand location at 1424 N Greenview in Chicago. Among the items being sold are Joe’s crazy artwork, some of my insanely cheap but interesting records. books, games, a super 8mm camcorder, a super 8 Sound FILM camera with telescoping mic and various other goodies.  However, please do note the following:

Please don’t ask what specifically we’ll be selling. I’m way too busy packing and working to reply. Just stop by.
NO, we are not selling marionettes.
NO, we are not selling Meinecke or related artwork.
No early birds. We begin promptly at 3pm. Early birds will be plucked and deep fried with a delicious golden brown beer battered coating.

Come on over and pick up a piece of Chicago newsmaker history!

PLUS–Lew, co-founder of TUGM, is still looking for a roommate for a West Logan Sq apartment sublet beginning June 1st – August 31st. Strongly preferring someone who will continue on with a lease on Sept. 1st. If you are serious and interested, email lewojeda@gmail.com for more details.

 

TUGM Proudly Presents the World Premiere Online Release of “Sisters of No Mercy”!

It’s finally here! After nearly three years and two hundred dollars, The Underground Multiplex presents the wild, avant-garde nunsploitation comedy Sisters of No Mercy: The Real 3D Midnight Movie Xperience. Combining exploitation, comedy, classic roadshow reels, politics, music and live performance, SONM is the completion of the first collaboration between Joseph R. Lewis and me.

This came about first as a 4-minute parody trailer for a then fake nunsploitation feature. With the help of some great talented friends, we408 were able to pull off this bit in three weeks, just before I was to give a lecture on nunsploitation at Facets Night School.

The trailer debuted on YouTube in October 2010 and gained an unexpected positive response in February 2011 from the French version of  Slate Magazine, which hyperlinked the short and called it a successful parody (if the Google translation is correct). Emboldened by the responses, I casually mentioned to Joe that perhaps the nuns should go to Madison, WI during the height of protests against Governor Scott Walker and exorcise the Koch-funded “demon” from the state capitol.

The resulting short film was The Wisconsin Exorsisters, which brought back Sisters Amy and Angela, Mother Superior and the evil Father Neal from first trailer. That short went public in March 2011.

409When June rolled around, we had decided to extended Sisters of No Mercy into a feature. To accomplish this, the film needed extra footage, which was provided by recording the third portion of the film live before a midnight movie audience attending each screening of Session 8 of Facets Night School. Each chapter was filmed in 5 minute pieces before that evening’s lecture and screening. The resulting portions were then uploaded weekly online.

On September 30, 2011, TUGM debuted Sisters of No Mercy 3D at Facets Night School in an edited version that included a live interactive experience with the audience. They were treated to live music, a theatrical performance, juggling and dancing for a unique approach in film entertainment. This version has not been duplicated since.

Which brings us finally to today– almost three years since the inception of the nunsploitation parody. The final product we hope you’ll find funny, informative and entertaining. It could not be done without the help of the following wonderful people:

Amy J. Boyd, Angela Yonke, Adrianna Montiel, Kenzie Kl, Bruce Neal, Joe Rubin, Jason Coffman, Jason Loeffler, Jonathan Leaf, Douglas Grew, Brian Kirst, Lielie Kaehn-Jarvis, Brian Jarvis, Chris Brake, Christa Koch, Nathan Boecker, Susan Doll, Phil Morehart, all the presenters of Facets Night School and, of course, the twisted genius of Joe Lewis.

Legendary Lew Ojeda

Dead Celebz #2 starring Lillian Gish

Gish Nasty XOX

LILLIAN GISH
B93-D93
Born in OH
Queen of Silence
Seldom smiled
Suffering eyes

Daughter of the American Revolution
Her father disappeared
Her mother was an actress
Her young sister always feared
Lill would die at any moment
Becuz the good die young

They’d sell popcorn at the old Majestic
next door to their mother’s Candy Kitchen
Word came of her father in OK
She went and cared for him until he died

The Majestic burned down
Mother moved them to NYC
next door to little Mary Pickford
Lill danced with Bernardt when she was 12
She was Griffith’s angel
Garbo was her apprentice
“The Birth of a Nation”
“Intolerance”

“Those little virgins,
after five minutes you got sick of playing them”
She could outshoot Huston and Lancaster
Outlaw Jennings, the one who taught her
To Gielgud’s Hamlet, she was “lewd Ophelia”
She cared for the Griffiths as they died
She was there, bedside.

“I never approved of talkies…
Silents were so much more expressive!”
75 years in showbiz.
No Man. No kids.
The last words of her long career were,
“Good night, dear.”

Didn’t get the nomination
“At least I never lost to Cher.”

She Nasty XOX

How to Make an Epic Movie on a Shoestring

BACKGROUND~
SCI FI SOL is adapted from the album of the same name produced in 2003 in Amsterdam by indie electro-pop wunderkind MELODY NIFE.

Originally conceiveLuv Ur Shade TRAX ICONd as a soundtrack for an imaginary science fiction epic, SCI FI SOL (The Movie) was a dream nearly abandoned before MELODY NIFE met underground moviemaker JOSEPH R LEWIS while they were both touring the United States performing educational theatre for schoolchildren.

JRL & MN began a close friendship and occupied idle times by discussing what a possible SCI FI SOL movie adaptation may look like.  After many years of daydreaming, they agreed to undertake the mission of creating “the most epic no-budget science fiction fantasy of all time.”

SCI FI SOL was shot as a silent movie and uses the original album of music, played from beginning to end, as the entirety of the movie’s soundscape.  It is being released online for free as a music video adventure series and you can watch it RIGHT HERE wheneva U  want.  Trailer below:

NOTES FROM JRL~
“Getting Loaded” is my fave song on the album.  I think it’s one of Melody Nife’s very best tunes, and out of a catalog of hundreds – that’s something.  I’d always thought it had an eerie anthemic quality, like good Pink Floyd.  When we went into production, I reserved it a special place in my heart and my mind.

QUEEN B XOXWriting sessions usually consisted of Nife talking, me listening, and then me saying back to him what I heard.  He often disagreed with what I had to say.  In this way we were able to quickly discern our disparate ways of thinking and conceptualizing material.  I would take the ideas we dished about and write out sections of the screenplay and send them to him and we would argue and then I’d rewrite and then we’d argue less and eventually we weren’t arguing anymore.  Time-wise the writing process went pretty quick, maybe 5 months from start finish- But we went through more drafts than any script I had ever written before.

For instance:
Nife kept talking about these images for “Getting Loaded”:  students rising from their desks and walking out of class, empty offices like deserted ruins,  throngs of people spilling out into the streets and heading toward the beach.

Since the goal was to make an epic sci-fi movie without money, I would mull over the images Nife suggested and distill them down to their emotional content.  And then I’d just wait until I thought of something that would 1) express the same emotion 2) fit in the world 3) be possible.Emily Tunnel

For me, the song was about needing to separate from the world that is, and pursuing a world that could be.  Freedom, I guess.  Since we couldn’t do big crowd stuff or expansive exteriors due to our resources,  I thought it would be a good idea to magnify our focus and show scenes of individuals experiencing this captivity.  This was how I usually side-stepped the “problem” of not having much to work with:  Instead of shrinking the idea down I would magnify the focus and give my performers the responsibility  of creating the feeling of bigness and epic-itude that I needed.

Babydoll TRAX ICONI didn’t storyboard SCI FI SOL as I did with SCUMBABIES.  Each movie existed in a fantasy world, but instead of a single location SCI FI SOL took place throughout a whole CITY!   I knew that the bigness we wanted to pull off would require a completely different kind of shooting style, where my eyes would need to be WIDE open on set and always hunting for found material and the right kind of in-the-moment image that would hopefully make the movie feel like bigger than it really was.

For this reason “Getting Loaded” was particularly fun to shoot.  We shot the entire video in a single day in a single huge room.  The scenes and the images built themselves up piece by piece, and I never had any idea what it was going to look like until the cameras were rolling.

XOXJRL

Dead Celebz #1 starring Alla Nazimova

Nazimova NASTY1
UNDERGROUND MULTIPLEX COMIX
presents
DEAD CELEBZ #1
“Nazimova Nasty”

Alla Nazimova (b79-d45)
Silent Movie actress
known 2 all simply as
NAZIMOVA

the first great actress to emerge
from Stanislavski’s Moscow Art Theatre
and the best Hedda Gabler
Dorothy Parker eva saw
she named her mansion on Sunset Boulevard -
“The Garden of Alla”

Ibsen’s mainstay
the seminal Salome

plenty nuff ladies for nine lives
lover 2 both
of Valentino’s wives.

and Lady Gaga likes her hair

She nastyXOX

MOM LOVED BEACHES XOX

The beach will always remind me of my Mother.  She was a mermaid who loved the crash of the waves along the ocean shore.  The night before she died we stayed up quite late.  She always loved late nights with her boys.  But by evening’s end it was clear that a long, peaceful rest was long overdue.

Mom and I in California in 2008

I tucked her in on the living room couch, nestled cozily beneath a beautiful white blanket her grandmother had knitted for her some forty years ago.  I pulled a chair up beside her and held her hand and we closed our eyes together and suddenly we were in Havana.

We had been visiting Havana regularly since the first diagnosis.  After they found the tumor it became difficult for Mom to sleep.  Talking about the dreams we were going to have became a way to wind down at the end of the day.  Often, we dreamed of going to Havana.

DSC00808I was standing on the wooden boardwalk that lines a particularly lively strip of beach in Havana.  It was night and I was facing the waves and the full moon.  Music was floating out from the cafes and nightclubs behind me.  I saw my Mother, 20 years old, laughing wildly with her best friend, Jan.  They looked beautiful and lively and handsome young men surrounded them.  I was wearing a white Naval uniform and I walked up to them and we talked and drank.  The music was fast and we danced like old friends at a last hurrah.  From the dance floor I looked back out at the beach and the moon.

I saw my mother, 14 years old, standing barefoot in the sand.  I was standing beside her.  She closed her eyes and took a deep, fresh breath as the water washed over her toes.  She was bathed in blue moonlight.

I looked up at the moon and it seemed to fill the whole sky.  It was my Mother’s face and I was a baby in her arms.  I looked up at her with my tiny eyes and I knew that she loved me.

Noona Mermaid

“Noona Mermaid Goes to Heaven” by Nephew Zed

And then we were on the beach again but she was older and weaker and in pain.  I held her against my chest and rocked her back and forth in rhythm with the crashing of the waves.

And then we are sitting beside one another.  She is 5 years old and I am 5 years old.  She is hitting herself and crying.  She is upset that her body isn’t bigger and stronger.  I tell her that she will be stronger when she doesn’t need her body anymore.  She stops crying and looks up at me and smiles.  We look up at the night sky and there is a brilliant constellation above us in the shape of a Goddess holding a sword standing guard over the Universe.

In the living room my mother squeezes my hand and I awake.  I call for my brother Jon, and we sit with her as she passes, peacefully in her home.

Miss you, Mom.

XOX

Dream Illustration by Brother Gabe

Dream Illustration by Brother Gabe

SCI FI SOL at the LOGAN SQUARE THEATER

Babydoll TRAX ICON

Catch SCI FI SOL on the BIG SCREEN at the Logan Square Theatre as part of WEDNESDAY REWIND  presented by DAME KATIE RIFE.

A new Music Video Adventure each week before the feature!

Wednesdays at 10:30pm thru May, 2013
LOGAN SQUARE THEATRE
2646 N Milwaukee Ave  Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 342-5555

842931_526583850695201_1540895528_o
And keep up with all our superhero video game comic book shenanigans by following us on TUMBLR and FACEBOOK.  FREE TRAX!  WILD TXT!  CRAZY PIX!  COOL VIDZ!


XOX

NIKKI KNOWS BO

Emily NikkiNIKKI PIERCE stars as Emily, the lonely video game designer at the center of SCI FI SOL, the music video adventure series currently blasting from The Underground Multiplex.  She is an actress and improviser that has performed at such esteemed venues as The Annoyance Theatre and iO(formerly ImprovOlympic).  She has worked as a choreographer for Second City and her band, “Brunettes With Bangs” is too cool for you.  She also enjoyed a long run as producer and performer in the Reader-Recommended show “The Davenports”, an improvised soap opera about “Lincoln, Nebraska’s billionaire first family of dance”.   Her hero is Bo Jackson and she has a beautiful daughter that knows karate. Her blog, “Naked Lunches” is funny and strange, as are her tweets, which you can read @nikkinikkip

Emily Tunnel
How has living in Chicago shaped your career as an actress and comedienne?

After a class with Mark Sutton, I knew I wanted to move to Chicago to study at the Annoyance. I felt my sense of humor and his style of teaching really clicked, and I learned so much about myself and what I wanted to do. I also used to be horrendously uptight and lacked any sort of non-linear thinking. I wouldn’t say I’ve beat those weaknesses by any means, but I’ve learned to use them to my advantage rather than having them hinder my work.

What is Brunettes with Bangs?

Brunettes With Bangs is an electronic girl band consisting of four brunettes with bangs. Unfortunately, one of our members is modeling and acting successfully in LA, so we’re on hiatus right now. The other two members are pretty worthless, but our manager told us that four is the magic number when creating teen craze, so we went with it.

DSCN5048_JPG
How would you describe Sci Fi Sol?

It’s like jumping into a fantasy world, but with less dragons and fairies, and more megapixels.

How was your experience playing the character of Emily?

The food was amazing. The cast and crew are still some of the most professional I’ve worked with to date. I’m a rambler, so when someone approaches me and says, “We’re going to need you to do this role without saying a word”, I thought, “Like, all day, or just while we’re shooting?” It was a fun challenge and an amazing skill to learn.  I found in process that you really have to bring your own personality and self through to the character. It wasn’t about creating an Emily. I was cast because someone saw Emily in me. I just had to feel the feelings and do work, son. Thank you, Big Black Boykin.

I did have a neurotic fear that someone would notice that my hair was getting longer, or was different from shot to shot. I spent usually an hour in the mirror looking at a picture of myself and making sure the two matched. They never did, and I’m sure no one is sitting anywhere thinking, ‘Man, check out that chick’s hair – what a big disappointment that this obviously wasn’t shot on the same day!”

What’s the most exciting news you’ve received recently?

I was really excited to hear that my main squeeze was getting promoted. My only squeeze, really…I don’t know why I said that. My daughter’s kicking ass in school and karate, and is just really shaping up to be an awesome little lady. I guess everything is going really well right now. I may also just be more open to realizing the good things that are happening, and not focusing or fretting on what may or may not be ahead.
Beach

What do you write about on your blog?

I hear random conversations between two people, log it mentally or sometimes jot it down, then write a character monologue based off of one of those people.  I am fascinated by other people and how they talk to each other. I find conversations particularly fascinating because I am pretty socially anxious. I grew up in the South and I was very shy, and was always afraid that anything I said was going to be taken the wrong way, or laughed at, or might hurt someone’s feelings.  So I usually stayed quiet. I know that sounds contradictory, as I said previously that I’m a rambler, but I ramble because I’m anxious. I end up thinking, “You’re being particularly boring or confusing, Pierce. Fix this.”  So I keep on talking, and then I’ve circled myself into a place where people probably think I’m really strange.

I try to enjoy it all and keep moving forward.

We understand that you suffer from Eurotarachnophobia*. How has this affliction affected your life?

I’m positive one day it will happen, and I will have to scream my way to the ED and explain to someone that it has happened, and have them laugh in my face while I cry and pray none of the inevitable 300 teeny spiders have set up home and need to be forcefully or chemically evicted. I mean, that has to be the worst possible thing that could happen to anyone ever.

See Nikki Pierce in a new episode of SCI FI SOL each week here at TUGM or ON THE BIG SCREEN as part of Wendesday Rewind at The Logan Theatre, Spring 2013.

*Fear of spiders coming out of your vagina
Nikki as Bo

POP! NEON! SCI FI SOL!

Melody Nife & The Underground Multiplex are proud to announce the launch of SCI FI SOL – The Music Video Adventure Series!

Today’s premiere presentation is the music video “Babydoll” featuring SEXY DANCERS,  EMILY THE LONELY DESIGNER, THE EVIL BRAIN, and even cameo appearances from your favorite bumbling buffoons MATCH & STONE!

If you like music and fantasy, comic books and video games, then this will be right up your dark neon alley!

Follow along here at the Plex for original SCI FI SOL vidz, pix, txt, and trax!

SCI FI SOL COMIC XOX

SCI FI SOL presents THE LEGEND OF MELODY NIFE

Image

LEGEND OF MELODY NIFE

DOWNLOAD THE SOUNDTRAK MP3

Melody Nife is the cutting edge.

The universe began with a bang and on the wings of its expansion flies sounds, sights, and spirits.

Melody Nife expresses the outer limits of this movement.

Melody Nife is the cutting edge.

As humans evolved, so did the technology they created. Soon, the cites they built began to be controlled by these machines.

Through the process of transformation, one machine produced a spirit. A spirit that signaled the arrival of a digital consciousness, a time when the moment to moment progression of the universal voice would be expressed by a digital brain. This brain was the Sci Fi Sol.

The Sci Fi Sol had a thought. A being of human form must be created to become the Sci Fi Sol incarnate, specifically, a “Rock Star” to lead the people towards their rightful place as servants to the digital brain.

Melody Nife was the Sci Fi Sol’s Rock Star.

To create this digital human, Sci Fi Sol enlisted the help of a human designer named Emily. Though to her, it was merely an idea that occurred to her to do, her designs would give the size and shape — and humanity — to Melody Nife.

Thus, Melody Nife was created, as were six disciples, all designed to deliver the message that Sci Fi Sol was now in control.

But something changed.

Melody Nife and Emily fell in love.

Melody Nife was a man with a digital brain, but now he had a heart for a human woman.

Using the disciples, Sci Fi Sol enslaved Melody Nife calculating that if he were to consummate his love with Emily — one solitary human — its mission would be compromised. Melody Nife was intended to be the object of all desire and he was to woo each of the world’s subjects equally. He was not intended to feel for himself. Emily had changed that.

But, the brain’s message of supremacy was to be delivered at all costs. Sci Fi Sol continued to harvest music from its Rock Star counterpart, now using Melody Nife’s own desire for Emily as fuel for an even more powerful digital message.

Love is the shape of the universe.

And love is stronger than any machine, even one that can think for itself.

The human bond between Melody Nife and Emily was too strong. And the will of the disciples was too weak.

The Sci Fi Sol machine was destroyed, but in its absence, remains its human-with-a-digital-brain, Melody Nife.

Melody Nife is the Sci Fi Sol.

And still, the universe continues to expand. New sounds and starlight spread out into an approaching infinity. And Melody Nife lives on the cutting edge of this expansion. His digital spirit scientifically documents the experience of “now”, and does so with a human heart. The music, the visions, the phrases, are all expressions of the cutting edge of reality.

Melody Nife is the cutting edge.

XOX