Monday, February 28, 2011

Coming Soon!

Attention all fans of The Skeptics. My documentary film, The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own is coming to DVD! Stay tuned, as I'll be making an announcement in the next couple weeks about where you will be able to get your copy. Below is the DVD cover.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Skeptics In San Diego

On January 24, 2011, I was notified that The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own had been picked for screening at the San Diego Film Fest 7 ; This is my first official screening at a film festival. While my March 25, 2010 premiere at the Weinberg Center was connected to the second annual Frederick Film Festival (F3), it was basically a pre-festival event that launched the festival, of which officially started the following day. It should also be noted that the Creative Alliance screening was a stand alone show, not affiliated with any festivals.

I'm pretty excited that the film is getting its first showing in Cali. Unfortunately, the band won't be their to provide the audience an energized set following the film. But not all is lost. Standing in for me is Andy McCutcheon, co-founder/singer/guitarist for The Skeptics. Driving down from Los Angeles, Andy will be on-hand for a question and answer session following the film's screening. I'm really pleased Andy is able to attend, as he'll be able to speak in detail about the film and also field questions about The Skeptics. It's perfect.

Ol' Holes Heels (OHH), the band's manager, was slated to make an appearance with Andy at the San Diego festival, but unfortunately, OHH will not be attending, due to an argument he and Andy had over their appearance while attending the festival. Incidentally, from 1984 - 1990, among many of his other duties, including helping to write some of The Skeptics' popular songs, OHH was also responsible for their wardrobe and hairstyles.

The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own trailer

Screening At The Creative Alliance

 On August 6, 2010, The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own was given a screening by the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, Maryland . And for the second time, The Skeptics were on hand for another rare performance after the film's screening. Prior to the screening, music critic and columnist, Michale Sragow, penned a review of the film for the Baltimore Sun.

To date, the Creative Alliance screening and a local private party were the last live performance by The Skeptics. Currently, their manager is actively trying to convince the boys to bring their magic to larger venues once more on a regular basis. But it won't be an easy task, as they are tired of clubs and want to return to the small venues where they originally honed their craft: alley ways, back yards, porches, abandoned warehouses, and other spots that offer such a great ambiance.

Baltimore Sun write up prior to Creative Alliance screening:

Baltimore City Paper announcement prior to Creative Alliance Screening:
The Baltimore City Paper

Maryland Institute College of Art (Mica) announcement:

Frederick Premiere At The Weinberg

On March 25, 2010, my first feature length documentary, The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own, premiered at the Weinberg Center in Frederick, Maryland. When I completed the film, the Weinberg was my first choice. It was a long shot, but I felt it was very appropriate and fitting to screen this film at such an historic landmark. Fortunately, the stars were in alignment. The film was accepted. Making the event more special, the Weinberg Center decided to use the film as a kickoff for the Frederick Film Festival (F3), formally starting on March 26. It was decided the film would run solo that evening and followed by a rare live performance by the band.

Playing at the Weinberg Center was something the boys had always wanted to do, since forming The Skeptics on blustery Groundhog Day in 1984. The Weinberg Center was a historic venue. Its origins dates back to 1926, opening as the Tivoli,

Since I, too, grew up in Frederick, premiering The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own at the Weinberg Center will always remain a very special and most memorable moment for me.

The picture is very telling. Taken in the late 1980s at The Weinberg Center, while the band was still together, it reveals their desire to play at the historic venue.

This was the teaser trailer I posted that was the only information about the film until a week prior to premiere. I then posted the second trailer:

Here's a wonderful write up about the documentary by owner of Bonafide Records, Rick Noll, who was also interviewed in the documentary:
Bonafide Records

Frederick News Post announcement:

Hagerstown, Maryland announcement:

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little History

It was Groundhog day, 1984, when four musicians gathered together for the first time atop Braddock Mountain in Frederick, Maryland. That blustery day, The Skeptics were born. For the next six years, the band created a blend of original garage, surf, punk, Appalachia, and psychedelic ear candy for a small but devoted fan base. Playing clubs, alleys, side streets, and opening for bands, such as the Slickee Boys and Velvet Monkeys, The Skeptics brought magic to these venues. In 1990, The Skeptics disappeared from the scene.

But, in recent years, The Skeptics were back together and making a few rare appearances. Their return can be accredited to one person, Ol' Hole Heels (OHH), one of Frederick's finest entrepreneurs, who has been with the band since the beginning. What has been unknown until now is that the boys would have played out, if not for their discovery by OHH, who took the band under his wing. OHH had discovered the band practicing in an old tool shed he had rented them. Quickly realizing the boy's had real talent and potential, he soon became their mentor and manager, guiding them on a dizzying upward spiral, amidst a whirlwind of rehearsals, gigs, interviews and recording sessions. OHH's management style was unprecedented. In fact, he was responsible for everything from the band's look and attitude to many songs in their impressive catalog.
OHH convinced the boys they should return to the scene, enabling a new generation of listeners the opportunity to hear the legendary Frederick band. The timing was right. Beginning in the summer of 2007, The Skeptics began recording new material and performing at surprise gigs around the area. Simultaneously, OHH felt it was time the band's history was documented for future generations. It was then he contacted me and asked that I begin putting together a documentary.

Over the next couple of years, I interviewed OHH, the reclusive band members, fans, friends, and was given unlimited access to the band's musical archives. By early 2010, the documentary, The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own, was complete. The film provides a rare glimpse into one of Frederick, Maryland's best unknown musical treasures.

I hope you enjoy their story.