NEW ORLEANS BATH
PAUL FLUM
"
New Orleans Bath"
format:
VHS Video
original release date:
November 27, 1997
CHAPTER listing: RealAudio ***
prologue. Assembling Tools
01. Enthusiastic Departure
02. Waving Goodbye To The Badlands
03. Elevator Shaft Skepticism***
04. Lullabye On The Fairgrounds***
05. Drills and Presses
06. Time Stretches
07. Hit and Run***
08. Not Enough On The Side
09. Picking Her Out Of A Crowd
10. Foraging For Food
11. Flight Though Leafsrewn Meadow
12. First Glance At The Night Sky
13. Happy Loving Couples
14. Opening Cocoons
15. Veils Falling From The Attic
16. Tears Reflected In Taillights***
17. Ode To How People Die
18. Death Of A Country Singer
19. Oblivious Morning Reflection
20. Motivational Afternoon***
epilogue. Seeing More Than Stars
More Cool Video Still Polaroids
PRESS  RELEASE by Kevin Lundahl 073001

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. So what happens if it was the most INDIFFERENT of times?

New Orleans Bath is a forty minute music video, taking you along for the drive from Baltimore to New Orleans, with stops along the way in Louisville and Memphis.

In the late spring of 1997, a trip was planned departing Baltimore by truck, and driving through Savannah, Tampa, and New Orleans. Unfortunately, things “went to shit in a hurry” in Tampa, and a 15 hour U-Turn back to Baltimore canceled any sights from The Big N. O.

Put one in the win column each for “best” and “worst” of times.

By the fall of 1997, the plans were back on course. Personal problems were set aside, and in the second week of November, the voyage began.

But first, it was Friday, November 7, and a recording commenced at Peabody Sound. A Casio Keyboard, An Ibanez Analog Delay, and a Fender Super Reverb, created lovely organ sounds, that went to cassette in two-track stereo.

These snippets played back a wonderfully creepy soundtrack that weekend, forcing a slight change in plans for that Monday Morning. A last minute grab for the Sony Camcorder, and a script was hastily thrown together for filming throughout the trip down to Louisiana.

The idea was to take full advantage of the filters that came with the Sony. That would include solarize, sepia, black and white, negative, and several others. The video was shot between Monday, November 10, 1997 and Saturday, November 15, 1997.

The soundtrack captures a strange blend of church organ, calliope, circus music, new age, and piano, that embellishes the video which is mostly out/in focus, light and shadow, fade to black. There are twenty tunes, most of which are under two minutes.

The Baltimore footage starts on a Charles Village Rooftop at dawn, and across the 29th street bridge as morning breaks. By the third tune, we go from a solarized shot of a bridge to a black and white shot of a cathedral in Louisville.

Negative-transposed shots of birds and power lines seem out of place in Memphis, then before you know it, we are in The Big Easy.

The rest of the video takes place there, with shots in the French Quarter, New Orleans Museum of Art, and The Garden District at St. Charles, playing a prominent theme. Balloons, coffins, antique cars, and Spanish moss, are some of the images that give you the creeps, along with extensive shots in St. Louis Cemetery #1. It’s quite apparent that someone has overindulged in the Mardi Gras footage from Easy Rider.

One clever technique is to include title screens in which the author calls each tune a “chapter”, and there is a corresponding message at the bottom of the screen, that is supposed to help the viewer understand with added emphasis.

The author claims the trip to be one of the most “INDIFFERENT” adventures undertaken. The voyeur nature, indeed, shows the cameraman to be transparent in crowds, with a calming, slow, deliberate pace and panning with the camera, which echoes the slow, syrupy, reverberant drone of the keyboard sound.

Nothing really exciting ever happens. Then again, no misfortune befalls our hero. It seems only fitting, since all the good and bad melodrama was already played out earlier in the year. Good for all of us.

-K. L.
THE AUDIENCE SPEAKS ...

"I like it. You can get high to it"
                    -Joan Webber, The Green Sister Pages

"That's sum fucked up shit..."
                    -Towanda Jackson, Nathan's Hair and Nails

"It transcends the intermediate, scoping out the intrusive in the process...haunting/haunted....pixilations distributed in a gothic embience with coordinated sway...three cheers!!!"
                    -Robert Roger Rodericks, The Forlorn Sentinel (periodical, not the newspaper bearing the same name)

"I was hoping for an ARP Odyssey, a Prophet, a Juno, a Rhodes, and I'm stuck with a Kmart. A great advertisement for Sony, though...How much was that camera?"
                    -Rick Martin, Corbin, KY

"It's, like, before the 'Blair Witch' just about everything was creepy, not just the creepy things,,,you know?...i hear the message ...."
                    -Pope Cornelius, Waterbury, CT

"I really like the pace....its like one of those 'Gilbert Grape' or 'Gas, Food, lodging' films where you can fall asleep and not really mind"
                    -Jamie Winborn, Frederick, MD

"I like "Hit and Run" because of the light on the car ...harmonic on the side mirror...the cemetery shots were killer...the organ was a tad too fruity throughout"
                    -James Barnes, Chantilly, VA