“Biker Fox,” starring infamous Tulsa cyclist, set for deadCenter film fest screening
Film preview by Jordon Shinn, published on NewsOK.com, June 2, 2010, Oklahoma City, USA.
The sensational and sincere story of a controversial cycling activist, muscle car businessman and nature enthusiast is shamelessly revealed in “Biker Fox.”
Directed and produced by Jeremy Lamberton, “Biker Fox” follows the life of Frank DeLarzelere III, 52, owner of the international muscle car parts company Billions and Trillions Inc., as he experiences some of his most joyous and darkest hours as his alter ego, Biker Fox — a humorous and hotheaded cyclist in south Tulsa with the charisma of a motivational speaker and the temper of an angry raccoon.
The film, showing at deadCenter Film Festival at 10 p.m., June 10, at IAO Gallery, 706 W Sheridan, is an obscure, low-budget documentary crafted from hundreds of hours of self-shot footage and one filmmaker’s quest to reveal the true character behind Tulsa’s most misunderstood cyclist.
“The movie is inside his head,” Lamberton said.
Lamberton’s first feature-length documentary, “Biker Fox” took 2½ years to make and is forged from more than 800 hours of film, spanning a turbulent 10-year period of Biker Fox’s life. DeLarzelere shot most of the footage himself, adding an unusual and insightful point of view.
This uniquely Oklahoma documentary is a sobering look at DeLarzelere’s eccentric business practices, his Zen encounters with nature and his ongoing battle as Biker Fox to “share the road” with angry motor vehicles and disapproving members of the Tulsa Police Department.
Lamberton compares Biker Fox to the motivational speaker and ’50s fitness guru Jack LaLanne. However, the film presents the paradox between Biker Fox’s message of positive thinking, fitness and the pursuit of happiness, and his day-to-day struggles with his auto parts business and the Tulsa police.
“It’s almost like part self-help documentary,” Lamberton said. “But the whole time he’s offering all this advice, his life’s falling apart, and he’s getting arrested, and people are stealing from him.”
During the course of the film, Biker Fox is arrested numerous times and is the victim of several robberies.
“So, it’s just an interesting dynamic, that here’s this guy that claims that he’s so ADHD that his head spins all the time,” Lamberton said. “And he’s offering advice on how to better your life, when a lot of times his life is what’s spinning out of control.”
The beauty of “Biker Fox” is its sincerity.
“There’s just this real raw quality about Biker Fox,” Lamberton said. “I think what the movie has is a lot of really subtle moments of truth and moments of authenticity, moments of depth, where he wears his anger on his sleeve — he just explodes on the screen at times, and he’s got this amazing incredible temper — but he also has this subtle depth of spirit and love of nature, of people, humanity and the world, despite all the struggles and what he deals with to be not only Biker Fox but Frank DeLarzelere on a daily basis.”
Lamberton said he is planning a Tulsa premiere of “Biker Fox” later this summer, through the annual Tulsa Overground Film Festival, which he co-founded in 1998.
“I think he (Biker Fox) is truly a very good person, I think he means well, but at the same time he’s the most punk-rock person I’ve ever met in my entire life.”
ARMED WITH A GUITAR AND A SOFT VOICE, ELLEN JOYCE LOO (1986-2018) SANG ABOUT LIFE BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN
Musician memorial essay by Jordon Shinn for Apple Music, autumn 2019, Beijing, China.
Canadian-born musician Ellen Joyce Loo (卢凯彤) was an effervescent rainbow, stubbornly emerging from a stormy Hong Kong sky, stopped short by an abrupt sunset. From longing and loneliness, to heartbreak and rage, her songs are well-suited for reflective hours at a café and walking home in the rain.
As a teen, Loo swept the Hong Kong music scene with her angst and optimism in the early 2000s, as co-founder of the popular Contopop duo at17 with Eman Lam. But Loo’s introspective voice and melancholy personality shone through when she embarked on a solo career and began singing in Mandarin, with 2010’s EP “Summer Of Love.”
Her handful of live albums and three studio records showed a star in love with minor keys and a bright future. Loo displayed unrestrained creativity in 2014’s transient guitar album “如梦幻泡影” (Like a Pipe Dream). She attained her most “perfect” and expansive sound in 2016’s “你的完美有点难懂并不代表世界不能包容” (Your Perfection is a Little Hard to Understand But Doesn’t Mean the World is Unforgiving) — an unpredictable mix of acoustic guitar melodies, rock-and-roll riffs, piano ballads and electronica frenzy.
Diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2013, Loo wrote songs that reflected a fragile soul in a hurting world, where she found few answers. On Aug. 5, 2018, Loo tragically fell from her Hong Kong apartment at the age of 32, leaving behind the musical memoirs of a life beautifully broken.
Streets Kill Strange Animals — so leave your pet at home
Event preview by Jordon Shinn, published in REDSTAR magazine, November 2013, Qingdao, China.
If the name “Streets Kill Strange Animals” sounds bloody and bizarre, then you’re on the right track. A ‘noise rock’ trio from Beijing, SKSA loses itself somewhere in the chasms between surging metal guitar riffs and angst-filled pop music. Their unique brand of rock reveals a darker, aching side of Chinese youth that is much less beautiful than it is, well, noisy.
For those who want to headbang to something different, however, there is a diversity of musical influences brewing beneath the surface of SKSA’s sound. Rockers with a trained ear will definitely find their style interesting, if not enjoyable. In a video interview with CRI’s Sound Stage, SKSA bandleader Leng MeiYo cites Sonic Youth, Fugazi and Yo La Tengo as his musical influences. “However, you can also hear elements from noise pop, noise rock, lo-fi and experimental,” Leng said.
Leng, who plays guitar and sings for the band, founded SKSA in 2008 in his native Nanjing. He then relocated to Beijing in search of greater acceptance for his sound. SKSA follows in a similar vein as fellow Southerners PK14 and Hua Dong who also moved north, in favour of Beijing’s flourishing indie music scene. The band released its debut album Plan B: Back to the Analog Time in September 2012 under the Modern Sky record label.
When Streets Kill Strange Animals comes to Downtown Bar this month, expect a noisy, high-energy performance that pushes the edge of amplified sound while managing to stay melodically tasteful and entirely Chinese. Still not convinced? The bassist is a chick.