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Friday, April 19, 2013

An International Affair - "Blisters First" - A New, Official Feeding Fingers Music Video Animated & Directed by Steven Lapcevic

In 2003, I received, while living in a rather small town just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, a piece of correspondence from a visual artist based on Staten Island, New York concerning my first stop-motion animated puppet-film, "Zugskin", which had been irregularly airing on a small, public-access cable television show there dealing in exploitation, mondo, trash and other disciplines of "art" cinema known as, "Industrial Television".

Justin Curfman in Prague for the "Blisters First" Video Shoot
Image: Steven Lapcevic
In said correspondence, I found the written voice of a similarly-minded artist, nearly one-thousand miles away with nothing but positive things to say to me about a little animated film which I had shot using the, now primitive, combination of an enormous VHS camcorder, which I had bought for $5 at a local flea market and a lousy desktop PC which I had disassembled and re-assembled with bastardized components from at least six other computers over the course of five years while living and working in a decrepit, one-hundred year old farm house (which has since been demolished) running on borrowed electricity from a neighboring home through a bulky, day-glow orange extension cord. That written voice belonged to a man named, Steven Lapcevic. And since that time, somehow, some 10 years later, he and I have remained close, yet far-away, good friends and creative collaborators.

Puppet Exhibition - Münchner Stadtmuseum
After the release of Feeding Fingers' debut album, "Wound in Wall", through Tephramedia and Stickfigure Recordings in 2007 we found ourselves, rather unexpectedly, with a minor "hit" song on our hands, based on sales and internet statistics, titled, "Fireflies Make Us Sick" - however, it took me, rather stupidly, almost three years to realize it. The should-have-been-obvious idea of producing a music video for the song as a promotional element then arised within my band and our members of management just before our first international tour in 2010 and I though to myself, "Who among my creative friends and peers should I give this little piece of music to, which seems to have, somehow, tapped into a small part of the popular music consciousness to make a video which may, in turn, help to open up his or her vision to a modestly larger audience?" The name, "Steven Lapcevic" was the first to come to my mind. 

Steven Lapcevic & Justin Curfman in Salzburg
Finally, after about seven years of correspondence, on Friday, February 12, 2010, I met Steven Lapcevic, this incredibly tall, genuine and amicable man for the first time, in person, in New York just before going on stage for a Feeding Fingers concert at the Parkside Lounge, where he passed several copies of his completed "Fireflies Make Us Sick" music video on DVD to me to disperse to my band, management, promoters and press personnel.     

The "Fireflies Make Us Sick" music video, animated and directed by Steven Lapcevic, was released on February 16, 2010 as a major promotional element for our first international tour, which kicked off  roughly three weeks later. Seemingly overnight, the video was spread throughout Europe by an array of concert promoters, press outlets, fans and, of all people, comic-book legend, Warren Ellis

The video, with its incredibly unconventional and characteristic approach to digitized, cut-out-style animation, which I remember reading from a critic somewhere, probably quite duly described as being something akin to "Terry Gilliam from Hell...", was, by non-corporately-sponsored, indie-music standards, quite successful. 

Mr. Lapcevic and I have been steadily collaborating on projects ever since the release of his "Fireflies Make Us Sick" music video, including a music video for the Feeding Fingers song, "She Hides Disease" from our second studio album, "Baby Teeth" (2009), a follow-up video to "Fireflies Make Us Sick" titled, "MORBUS" which utilizes a re-mixed version of the song to achieve a rather alluring effect by another one of our collaborators, David "Ataraxis" Ordus and the seemingly ill-fated "TICKS" feature-length animated film project that I have been struggling to get produced since 2006.

At about the same time of the release of Feeding Fingers' most recent album, "The Occupant" (2013), Steven approached me with an interesting and appealing creative proposition. He explained to me that he
Steven Lapcevic & Justin Curfman in Prague
had been granted partial support and approval by The Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island and the New York State Council on the Arts for a multi-media / video-installation project titled, "VIRUS" to be exhibited Saturday, August, 3, 2013 on Staten Island, New York and that he would like to commission me to create and perform a two-hour, original piece of music for the project. My answer was, of course, emphatically, "Yes!".

On March 25, 2013, Steven landed in München and we took a train together to my home in a little border town next to Salzburg, where we began an exchange of ideas concerning "VIRUS", laughs and bathrooms during the course of six days in three different countries - Germany, Austria & The Czech Republic. 

Steven Lapcevic's, "VIRUS"
Opening Aug. 3, 2013 - Staten Island, New York
w/ music composed & performed by Justin Curfman

We traveled by train and by bus through München, Freilassing, Salzburg, Linz, Prague and numerous other cities and villages, both large and incredibly small, cracking jokes with one another - occasionally taking a break to discuss "VIRUS" and to record visual material which Steven would take back with him to New York the following week to create this - his fourth Feeding Fingers music video for the song, "Blisters First" from our latest album, "The Occupant".

I am excited to share with you all, our listeners, Steven Lapcevic's, "Blisters First":

And, please, don't forget about our TOUR FUNDRAISER running NOW at Your support is crucial in making our upcoming, intercontinental "Occupant" tour a reality. Just go here for more information and to make a contribution. Thank you!

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