Archive for May, 2012

You Know I Do

This video experience was shrouded with greatness, amazing photographers like Daniel Muller, journalists like Andy Norman, videographer-musician-etcs like Django G-S and Brendan G-W, really tall people like Ben Semisch, and just plain revolutionists like Angie Norman.

What more could a band (or two people) ask for?

Whatever, life rules.

On you tube:

On vimeo:

The Love Drunkards came to us straight from Dela-where they’d filmed the Spinto Band recording a song right after one of the members finished a marathon!

I was already falling asleep when the crew rolled into our driveway north of town (parenthood can do that to a person). I was lulled to sleep by a dozen feet that pattered across the living room floor.

Some of those feet were tiny, and some of those feet were huge.

In the morning I left before anyone had woken up — anyone, that is, but Hawk, Lio, and Daniel, who had spent the night in the guest suite, aka our motor home. We didn’t know at the time that he was sleeping-bag-less, and that there was just one pillow and a flimsy old blanket out there. We felt terrible!

But Daniel didn’t care. We drank some coffee and giggled and caught up. When I got back to the house later that morning, I walked straight into a sea of bright, smiley faces. It was so good to see the Love Drunk/Hear Nebraska crew and to feel their awesome energy seeping into the floorboards of our house. There was so much to say, so much to relate – but mostly we played with Lio and laughed and got comfortable while the full-scale production team cranked out a freak tirade of multi-media from the sanctuary of their home office, also known as our living room.

A few hours later, we asked if the group would like to see some of our property. “You said you had some old buildings back there?” Angie asked sweetly — and we led this beautiful parade down to our favorite spot in the woods, the top floor of an old machine shed/hay barn that looks out onto this:

We tromped around in the woods for awhile. Andy delved the furthest, and we could hear him crack and snap as he climbed over trees and limbs in the thicket.

The team came back from a late lunch and immediately dove into a flurry of set-up. Daniel grabbed a giant chair and flung it over his back and was out the door. As for me, I drank a bunch of whiskey and held Angie hostage for awhile. Hawk gave Lio a nap, and after awhile we brought our keyboards and drums down there and set up under a light mist. It had been raining on and off all day, but the wet air and lack of sunlight made the forrest and the wood clearing so beautiful. We covered everything with trash bags and plugged in.

Right before the team began shooting, a hawk we’d never seen on our hundreds of walks to the backyard woods graced us by flying in one long swoop from the top of the shed right over our heads, across the way, well in the clearing. We all oohed and then fell silent, staring at the invisible arc left by the bird’s flight. I think we all felt something special had happened, and I for one felt blessed that such a creature would honor our afternoon by gently swooping overhead. We’d been setting up for so long, that I like to think he’d waited (for it was a He, his colors bold and distinct) for just the right moment, this one slice of silence, the penultimate, to swish his feathers a distance above us that made the crunch of his talons hitting a leafy branch audible. Then he disappeared. Maybe he stayed to listen?

I remember being worried because Lio lost interest in the shoot three-quarters of the way through. I gave him anything that might hold his interest — my phone, chap stick, a piece of bark he’d torn off a post — all in vain, to try to keep him occupied for the three minutes it would take to sing the song. I remember crouching down at one point mid-note to retrieve the only thing he was into, a to-go coffee mug without a lid which he was stuffing his face into and going “AHHHHHHHH.” (One of his favorite past-times is to stuff his face into any available container and hear the reverberation of his voice.)

The light was waning, the rain was posed and ready to fire, and six human begins had coordinated their every move to swirl around us as we sang a soft song. I didn’t feel like it was a perfect take, but the light was gone and Lio had officially crumpled. Django called it. I sensed I would love it regardless because of the unique and powerful experience we had all just shared, deep in this wooded area, surrounded by nothing but beauty and music and friends and a wild dog that kept laying in the most disgusting sludge puddle known to man, a pool of cest in two deep-treaded tire marks in the old barn.

There’s nothing that can be said to capture the beauty of this experience. The night ended in a smoked chicken party, light rain, cement step conversations, talk of other incredible projects our friends are involved in along with the chance of future collaborations, and lighthearted musings about our neighbors, who run an odd business next door out here in the country that we’ve long suspected was a fence. Ben commented how the products in the store were random and dusty, like the scene from Half Baked. Other visitors have remarked on the absence of typical brand-name products and the infusion of items like “Rap Snacks,” the official snack of hip hop, which I am presently going to search for on the internet:

This day was special because of the people and the place and because of Lio — because you could tell he was having the time of his little life meeting and hanging out with all of these incredible people who were so, so good to him. In a lovely little twist of life, we shot a Love Drunk video with Django last year when Hawk released his It’s True! album. The video was shot at Django’s parent’s home in Avoca, Nebraska, in a huge old school house with one of those cool big gyms you for sure had if you grew up in the rural Midwest. We shot the vid in the gym — and Django’s incredible folks guest-appeared, lending their voices and a harmonica to the mix. In that video, I am three weeks away from having Lio, playing the same style Korg, and, as per usual, Chamero’s running around smiling. And, wow, we’re about to have a baby! And, holy crap, now we have this amazing little one-year-old. In a lot of ways this felt like Part II of the Love Drunk video from last year:

I’d had a dream the night before the shoot last year that I had met Django’s mom, and that I really liked her. As soon as I saw her in real life I was so excited because I felt we already shared a common bond. After the shoot, Debby and I talked for a super long time about families, music, how the two mix, our lives, and just about everything under the sun. She told me she had been playing shows with her band at the time, which Django’s dad was also in, right up until the day before she went into labor. She’d met his dad in that band — by answering a musician’s ad. UM, SWOON. I guess Hawk and I answered each other’s musician ad, like, on the cosmic plane, somehow, too? Kidding. But this was the real thing, bold-face newspaper type. Debby was so happy we were going to have a home birth, and was just so supportive of our plans to travel with Lio and continue making as much music as we could. You can see us in the back here, talking and laughing:

Before we left, Deb pulled me aside and brought me into a room filled with Mason jars and potting soil. She took a small baby plant from the droops of one of her millions of spider plants, dropped it into a glass with some water, and gave me a giant hug.

I took the plant home, planted it, and then it came on the road with us. I’m not sure how it survived, but here it is, a year later, happy as can be in the Carolina shade.

When Django was here filming this video last week, I was so happy to show him the plant. Before he left I snapped a picture of him with the plant to send to his mom, to complete the circle, I guess- though there are many, many more circles still.

As if that wasn’t enough, Daniel Muller created this incredible montage with some of his favorite shots from the two days the crew spent at our place in Greensboro.