NC-17: FILM TO DEPICT ROCK BAND'S STRUGGLE
Los Angeles Times
Staff Writer Mike Boehm
NC-17 is making a movie that it figures will be rated PG.
The idea, according to singer Frank Rogala, is to depict the life and times of
the long-struggling band from Orange County and to use its story to illustrate the
downside of the Southern California rock dream.
Filmmaker Dov Kelemer chose NC-17 as his subject after being impressed with the
band when it appeared on "Rock America," a cable television show he produced.
Kelemer already has shot concert footage at Club 5902 in Huntington Beach. Rogala said the
goal is to make a documentary with broad enough appeal to run on cable networks or to be
given theatrical release.
"This is the story of one band but we're trying to put it through the lens
that there are thousands of other people going through the same experience," Rogala
said. "The director is really trying to make it a mass-appeal type of thing, a cross
between "Roger and Me" and "Truth or Dare."
Rogala said the film, which is being financed with the help of NC-17's fans,
with involve interviews with music industry figures, including executives who have turned
down the band's bids for a record contract.
"Its [about] the insanity of playing music in Southern California and
thinking you're going to get anywhere [given] the odds." Rogala said, "Everyone
flocks here - there's estimated to the 10,000 artists clamoring for attention, and 97% of
the records that are put out [nationally] fail. Its a struggling-against-impossible-odds
kind of thing. We want to show things that are the truth, not have any acting, and just
let it be real."
Los Angeles Times
Rah! Rah! (cassette only)
Without benefit of any substantial record deal, the core members
of NC-17 have been an admirably persistent and resourceful presence on the Orange County
scene since the mid-1980's.
Formerly a synth-rock band called Exude, they have dropped their
old no-strings rule and added accoustic guitars and a sizzling violin while branching out
into heavier sounds.
This latest well-crafted missive from the band's back-yard studio
is a six-song cassette that introduces Robert Aviles, an electric-violin wiz who also
leads a Satriani-meets-Stradivarious instrumental trio called Insight.
With a voice that is scratchy and narrow, NC-17's singer, Frank
Rogala, isn't going to win any awards for crooning. But the band always comes up with
vehicles that work.
Find the right atmospherics and a sharp enough melodic hook for a
song, and even a less-than-pure voice will do nicely. Here, NC-17 casts its hooks on songs
concerned mainly with romantic and sexual obsessions.
Rogala ostensibly addresses the lingering shadow of a lost love
as he sings the title track's refrain, "get the hell out of my head." But he
might also be slyly sizing up a listener's chances of expunging said refrain once it has
sunk in. The hook is unshakable.
"Shoot the Bull" finds him playing a lounge sleaze who
comes on to emotionally vulnerable prey with lines worthy of a self-help guru. Singing in
a hissing near whisper, he makes a good, snakelike villian.
Aviles, who is used with restraint elsewhere, turns a cover of
"Purple Haze" into an orgy of flashy, electronically distorted bowing.
The violinist's finest contribution is the instrumental,
"Anxious Echos," a tensely undulating piece that would have sounded at home on
Brian Eno's 1975 progressive rock gem, "Another Green World."
A bit of everything...
(>1 meg). NC-17 has received a lot of
press coverage. This is a very high resolution image of the flyer NC-17 has used for
promotion, which includes quotes about the band from a number of music publications.