Oliver Hazard Diddy for Toledo City Paper

I did a quick piece on my old pals who started a pretty flipping fantastic folk band; just happenens to be the first article I’ve ever had published.

Follow the title link for this and more from Toledo City Paper

OLIVER HAZARD — HEARTFELT FOLK WITH 419 ROOTS

BY MATTHEW JOHNS. AUGUST 1, 2018.

~day one of the tour~

~day one of the tour~

 

Left: Devin East; axe maestro and cooing falsetto, occasionally plucking a banjo dictated by the track. Devin offers delicate fills, and precisely chosen riffs transporting us to a simpler time. ||| Middle: Michael Belazis, the middle man with band-proclaimed uncanny ability to “always be on key”; keeping their supple harmonies in check. Michael strums his four string, yes four string guitar while striking a kick-drum mallet into the belly of a vintage suitcase previously owned by his father. ||| Right: Griffin McCulloch; band-proclaimed “hype man” and live-wire vocalist, alternating between the glockenspiel and keys, cherries the sundae by throwing the crowd into a tizzy with the occasional primal howl. 

The three members of Oliver Hazard hail from the same soil, born and raised in Northwest Ohio; Devin and Griffin from Waterville, and Michael from across the river in Perrysburg. They came together nearly a year and a half ago when Michael, who had spent some time living in San Francisco, decided to head home. Griffin and Devin, who had been playing familiar local venues like The Ottawa Tavern and Howard’s with other local musicians for years, had a request from Michael to lend their talents to collaborate on a few tunes he had been plucking. That request became the beginning of Oliver Hazard.

The bandmates recall their musical style, each filling in where the others trail off. Responses, collectively, ramble forward, with the threesome finishing each other’s sentences in an effortless flow of sarcasm, giggles and banter, similar to the way their voices float and blend into one another in song, constantly building off of the other to create silky, simplistic folk overtures.

Roadside impressions

The band recently completed their first tour including high profile festival slots at Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, and Bluegrass in the Bottoms, the latter being where they also celebrated their first album—34 N. River—release at Rockwood Music Hall in the East Village of Manhattan. Such notches on the belt could send emerging artists’ heads into the clouds; so could brushing shoulders with idols like Jack Johnson and Father John Misty, but, instead, these midwestern sons were overjoyed just to have people coming out to hear some great music.

 

~Oliver Hazard at Bonnaroo~

~Oliver Hazard at Bonnaroo~

 

Building a crowd

“People thought we had something – they were surprised that THEY were surprised. It’s easy to please a crowd that’s already standing there—but we built (the crowd), it wasn’t already built when we got there” explains Dev regarding their Mountain Jam set. Griff adds “We started our set with 50 people at our tent, by the last song, there were over 200.”

The trio expresses a humble joy for the notion that people were being affected by their music. “Rockwood Music Hall, when the entire crowd knew the song ‘Hey, Louise,’ everyone was singing the melody in unison—super beautiful hearing all of those voices singing [our words] together,” explains Mike.

BAND-SIGN.jpg

The Hazard boys are taking their sound across the country and exclaiming their rooted midwest spirit through their album, named after Griffin and Devin’s riverside home, and the band’s studio, at 34 N. River Rd in Waterville. The group’s momentum suffers no pause with nearly 5 tracks cooking on an untitled second album, eight more Ohio tour dates this summer, and an opening slot for KC and the Sunshine Band, Friday, August 10, as part of the Promenade Park Summer Concert Series.

Oliver Hazard opens for KC and the Sunshine Band.

$10 | 6:15pm | Friday, August 10

Promenade Park Stage | 400 Water St
promenadeconcerts.com

For more information on Oliver Hazard, and to follow their tour, visit facebook.com/oliverhazard.

All Photo Credit To Gus Belfiglio

- Cargo - The Long Lost re-cut

This gentle blunder of an attempt at Dark-Comedy is the result of a re-cut of an even bigger blunder that surfaced back in 2012. Our senior year '48 Hour Shoot-Out' submission was a stab at glory that inevitably fell so short of seeing the light, it slammed into the edge of the tunnel upon entry. 

Sadly the original cut was burned by multiple media periodicals at Ohio University after the screening - (not really) but this was the result of my -- Matthew Johns' -- attempt at salvaging what remnants of quality were left in the 20 hours of footage and poor audio. Please Enjoy,...

 

- Cargo -

Stan's Diner - Excerpt #2

This will be the second excerpt from the upcoming motion picture, "Grounded." 

This will be the first instance our "Grounded" gang shares the same space at the same time, while also communicating with one another simultaneously; initiating the dynamics between them that will eventually mold them in to the people that fill this story with mountains of tension and vigor! I embellish, but please enjoy! 

Enjoy!

 

$tan's Diner pg 2.jpg
$tan's Diner pg 3.jpg
$tan's Diner pg 4.jpg
$tan's Diner pg 5.jpg
$tan's Diner pg 6.jpg

Upcoming Motion Picture Excerpt - Mr. Galton's Tale

"I finished my screenplay;" said every hopelessly hopeful screenwriter in the history of words and film; we have yet another! I began work on this piece when I was merely a day-dreaming sophomore attending Ohio University in 2010. This work has seen nearly 100 drafts, and 4 complete re-writes, but I have brought the baby that is "Grounded," into the world as an idea that will one day be seen on a screen by the multitudes...... - said every hopelessly hopeful screenwriter to themselves, shivering in their bath-tubs, awaiting responses from potential producers.

This excerpt is a monologue from one of our supporting characters Mr. Galton.

 

 

INT. CLASSROOM 

Mr. Galton notices Cecil's growing attachment to Ben and Aiden, as well as Ben and Aiden's attachment to each other.

MR. GALTON

No matter what happens, you need to remember that Ben and Aiden are still your friends, and they need you as their friend AND their guide. You are a wise young man. I don't know what your story is and I won't pretend to, but I do have an eye for a person who's seen too much of the ugliness of this world too fast.

I'm going to tell you a story Cecil; something I'm not supposed to and that might not mean a thing to you, but I'm your teacher, and in turn I shall teach.

Like many peoples' fathers, mine drank. And like many peoples' fathers, before he drank he was a great man. He fought in the second Great War for which he volunteered, like many young men of that time who didn't understand how would change them. I won't lecture you on the theaters of WWII, but he fought in the Pacific against the Japanese; a fierce people driven by honor and a passion to defend their family, homeland, and way of life.

When my father's platoon landed on Iwojima, his fellow troopers had seconds before they were charged up a hill. Within minutes 7 of his troopers were pinned down in a fox hole with the Japanese prepping mortar shells 20 yards away.

My father grabbed 4 grenades and the Thompson from his downed Sergeant; he pulled the pins on all 4 and tossed them over the ridge into the frantically scurrying heap of enemy soldiers. My father charged after the scattered explosions and dusty, screaming shrapnel, emptying his magazine into a blurry canvas of smoke, fire, and screaming men. The clicking of an empty chamber ceased his fire, followed by silence. A silence deafening, flooding his senses with the chaos of the moments before, and slowly fading in to the now peaceful and miserable present.

In the wake of the smoke lay 26 slain men; some far younger than my father, many not much older than yourself. The bodies laid mangled and piled like sacks of grain, in a fox hole the size of a Volkswagen. He was cheered and praised, and for those few short hours of active service, a no more than 120 seconds of violence inspired by rage, fear, and self preservation; my father was awarded the Silver Star.

(Beat)

The point of this scary war story, Cecil, is that that scary war filled my father with passion, then replaced it with hate, which turned to sadness, that he drank away with a 5th of bourbon until the morning he died. With that 5th he beat my sister, my mother, and myself, and I would wager he didn't remember much, save what my mother was brave enough to scream at him over his coffee and aspirin.

(Beat)

My father loved my family, but that love became masked with a hate he couldn't shake. I guess the point Cecil: what we decide to love can quickly be swayed to something we hate, or think we hate. It is quintessential to step back and realize we really don't hate much of anything at all. The truth is that we can get confused for an instant, and if you're not careful;

(Beat)

that instant can turn in to a lifetime.

 

Cecil looks up to Mr. Galton seeming to be missing the point of his story.

MR. GALTON

It may not make sense yet, but when that question arises. remember who, or what you love. Don't jump.

 

'Out of Line' - Homage to the Athens Film Club

There were three qualifications in order to be initiated into the Athens Film Club. 

1. You had to be a member of Ohio University. (I think)

2. You had to love movies, and during meetings refer to them as films. 

3. You had to make the meetings every Thursday at 7pm; which conveniently coincided with every happy-hour and house-party within walking distance of campus. 

Myself, Sam Sloma, and Grace Roulston were all minoring in Film at Ohio University. Stifled by the syndication, 'PG-13' confines of the Media Arts & Studies program, we surged face first in to the inspiration being doled by our most accurately described bad-ass, grad-student, film professors. I would leave one class consisting of an in depth study of Wong Kar Wai, or narrative dissection of John from Cincinnati, then with the switch of a building be coughing up reflections on the episode structure of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

"LET'S MAKE A FILM CLUB"!

The club was a club in the sense that we had a president and a vice president, but if memory serves that was the extent of our elected offices. We would talk shop and hopefully pull together to make some projects of our own, without the overview of our PG-13 media professors. Attendance was sporadic and the group wasn't exactly tight, but we did make some works, and made some of those works well. One music video on which we focused featured a watermelon as the lead. (If anyone has that footage please get in touch - matthew@mrdeimling.com)

The Media Arts & Studies' annual '48 Hour Shootout':

The annual '48 Hour Shootout' approaching as a potential showcase of our accumulated filmmaking skills, we hunkered down and awaited the curtain call. Parameters being that each team would be given a genre, line of dialogue, and a prop to make 5 minute short film. 

Athens Film Club 

Genre: Horror

Dialogue: "Sorry I'm late"

Prop: Earring

Ado aside, 'Out of Line' has to date been one of the more impressive pieces I had the privilege to be a part of. It popped in my head the other day, and I had the itch for a throwback. 

Enjoy.

 

 

praha portals

 

I was living in Prague in the winter of 2013 and became fascinated with the generationally dictated melting pot of design, art, and style that is now Prague. As a city, having been pressed through different governmental philosophies, from communism to democracy within the past 100 years; distinct & incredibly different styles are clumped very close, and in some cases on top of one another. 

Within a city block, it would be common to come across a few apartment buildings, some coffee shops, then stumble up the time tested stone stairs of a castle.

The doors tell the story of a complicated city in a simple and very obvious way, if you look.

You should look.

(click a door for a closer look)

brindisi

a small portion of my summer of 2013 was spent working in a hostel located in a small coastal Italian city; where the heel meets the sole of the boot: Brindisi.

 

the city was fine, it was beautiful sometimes, and without excessively rambling on about how much i hated being there...i hated being there.

developing a strong sense of restlessness and damn near depression from popping my bed bug cherry, being incredibly broke, and losing my mind in an already lazy siesta culture; i grabbed my camera.

in a place that for one reason or another i was finding quite ugly, i decided to take pictures of ugly things;  

ugly things i found beautiful.

(click for a closer look)